Comparative Politics Midterm

  1. Group formation effect of oil -
    • Definition: “group formation effect” which is premised on the assumption that “…when oil revenues provide a government with enough money, the government will use its largesse to prevent the formation of social groups that are independent from the state and hence that may be inclined to demand political rights”
    • Significance: The presence of oil decreases freedom = authoritarian regimes in oil rich countries.
  2. Hybrid Regimes -
    • Definition: The combining of both democratic and authoritarian regime characteristics.
    • Significance: Authoritarian regimes may hold democratic elections in order to appear democratic and claim that they hold legitimate authority. Appearing democratic lessens the negative backlash from other countries.
  3. Hypothesis -
    • Definition: A proposed explanation for an observable phenomena.
    • Significance: Comparative politics is based on observations about the process of politics and explanations based on these observations.
  4. Illiberal Democracy -
    • Definition: is a governing system in which, although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties. It is not an 'open society'.
    • Significance:
  5. International Organizations -
    • Definition: Organization with an international membership, scope or presence. International nongovernmental organizations are comprised of groups or individuals who’s reach spans the globe. International governmental organizations are organizations comprised primarily of sovereign states (referred to as member states), or of other intergovernmental organizations.
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  6. Irredentism -
    • Definition: is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. Some of these movements are also called pan-nationalist movements.
    • Significance:
  7. Junta -
    • Definition: Spanish term for a council or committee and is used by political scientists to describe the political committee of military leaders that is formed during a coup to represent the military in its new role as a ruling organization.
    • Significance: Is an aspect of coups, which are significant in the forming of some governments.
  8. Large-N analysis -
    • Definition: Analyzing large amounts of countries’ data, searching for patterns, to arrive at political theories and conclusions.
    • Significance:
  9. Majority run-off -
    • Definition: Electoral system whereby a majority is needed to get the seat, and for lack of majority the two candidates/parties with the highest number of votes hold a run-off.
    • Significance: An electoral system. Widely used to elect presidents.
  10. Mass parties -
    • Definition: Parties for the masses as opposed to parties for the elite.
    • Significance: Significant in the evolution of party systems. Associated with the industrial revolution; increased political participation as workers aimed to gain rights meant that parties expanded their views and bases to accommodate.
  11. Median voter theorem -
    • Definition: The idea that parties have the incentive to move towards the middle of the political spectrum in order to capture the most votes, assuming that the curve is normalized (bell shaped) and that voters and parties act in predictably rational manner.
    • Significance:
  12. Military rule -
    • Definition: Form of government where the political power resides within the military.
    • Significance: A form of authoritarian regime... there are exceptions, but military regimes usually have little respect for human rights and silence political opponents. Military regimes are rarely willing to leave power unless forced by popular revolt. Military regimes have become less common since 1990s.
  13. Monopoly of Violence -
    • Definition: It defines a single entity, the state, exercising authority on violence over a given territory, as territory was also deemed by Weber to be a characteristic of state. Importantly, such a monopoly must occur via a process of legitimation, wherein a claim is laid to legitimize the state's use of violence.
    • Significance: Max Weber said in Politics as a Vocation that a necessary condition for an entity to be a state is that it retains such a monopoly. His definition was that something is "a 'state' if and insofar as its administrative staff successfully upholds a claim on the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence in the enforcement of its order.
  14. Nation -
    • Definition: a territory or country as political entity or a grouping of people who share real or imagined common history, culture, language or ethnic origin, often possessing or seeking its own government.
    • Significance: significant because of the existence of nation-states. The nation-state is a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity. The term "nation-state" implies that the two geographically coincide, and this distinguishes the nation state from the other types of state, which historically preceded it.
  15. One-party rule -
    • Definition: a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election. Sometimes the term de facto single-party state is used to describe a dominant-party system where laws or practices prevent the opposition from legally getting power. Some single party states only outlaw opposition parties, while allowing subordinate allied parties to exist as part of a permanent coalition such as a popular front.
    • Significance:
  16. Open List -
    • Definition: When voters have say over which candidate gets elected from which party. As opposed to a close list where the voter votes for the party and the party chooses which candidates receive the seats.
    • Significance:
  17. Parallel mixed system -
    • Definition: a mixed voting system where voters in effect participate in two separate elections for a single chamber using different systems, and where the results in one election have little or no impact on the results of the other.
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  18. Party families -
    • Definition: Parties that have similar: origins and sociology, transnational links, policy and ideology, and/or party name.
    • Significance:
  19. Political party -
    • Definition: a political organization that typically seeks to attain and maintain political power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests.
    • Significance:
  20. Political Regime -
    • Definition: form of government: the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of government and its interactions with society.
    • Significance:
  21. Polyarchy -
    • Definition: form of government in which power is vested in three or more person
    • Significance: A stepping stone to democracy. Not necessarily democracy.
  22. Power of the purse -
    • Definition: he ability of one group to manipulate and control the actions of another group by withholding funding, or putting stipulations on the use of funds. The power of the purse can be used to save their money and positively (e.g. awarding extra funding to programs that reach certain benchmarks) or negatively (e.g. removing funding for a department or program, effectively eliminating it). The power of the purse is most often utilized by forces within a government that do not have direct executive power but have control over budgets and taxation.
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  23. Procedural definition of democracy -
    • Definition: The very barest definition of a democracy; for a country to be democratic it must hold elections.
    • Significance: Within this definition, Hybrid regimes that hold mock elections are considered to be fully democratic.
  24. Public good -
    • Definition: A good which is non-rival and non-excludable.
    • Significance: Public goods face collective action problems which are key in explaining why explaining why some individuals don’t take action, even when they want change.
  25. Rationalization of rule -
    • Definition: The second phase of state development. Bears chiefly on the ways in which power is exercised. Rulers create bureaucracies, hierarchies, manages money (taxation, overseeing economy), expands rule,
    • Significance: Second phase of state development.
  26. Repression effect of oil -
    • Definition: oil wealth allows government to spend more money on security and repression forces
    • Significance: extra security might be needed to quell ethnic conflict since mineral wealth is often geographically concentrated but benefits are diffused. Repression forces may be used to repress public.
  27. Research question -
    • Definition: the methodological point of departure of scholarly research in both the natural sciences and humanities. It is the question which the research sets out to answer.
    • Significance: one of the first methodological steps the investigator has to take when undertaking research. The research question must be accurately and clearly defined.
    • Choosing a research question is the central element of both quantitative and qualitative research and in some cases it may precede construction of the conceptual framework of study. In all cases, it makes the theoretical assumptions in the framework more explicit, most of all it indicates what the researcher wants to know most and first.
  28. Resource curse -
    • Definition: the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons, including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (caused by appreciation of the real exchange rate as resource revenues enter an economy), volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or weak, ineffectual, unstable or corrupt institutions (possibly due to the easily diverted actual or anticipated revenue stream from extractive activities).
    • Significance: Countries with more resources have less freedom and less development.
  29. Revolution -
    • Definition: a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution:
    • 1.Complete change from one constitution to another
    • 2.Modification of an existing constitution.
    • Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.
    • Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution center around several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analyzed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociology and political science. Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to the current understanding of this complex phenomenon.
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  30. Rules of Procedure -
    • Definition: body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies.
    • Significance: At its heart is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority. Its object is to allow deliberation upon questions of interest to the organization and to arrive at the sense or the will of the assembly upon these questions. Self-governing organizations follow parliamentary procedure to debate and reach group decisions—usually by vote—with the least possible friction.
    • Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself (often referred to as bylaws), but also usually supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body. Typically, national, state, and other full-scale legislative assemblies have extensive internally written rules of order, whereas non-legislative bodies write and adopt a limited set of specific rules as the need arises.
Card Set
Comparative Politics Midterm
Emory University; Professor Ghandi; Comparative Politics Midterm; Terms and definitions