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Assoc. Prof. Murat Somer, CASE 153 Fall 2012 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00pm.

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Presentation on theme: "Assoc. Prof. Murat Somer, CASE 153 Fall 2012 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00pm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assoc. Prof. Murat Somer, CASE 153 E-mail: Fall 2012 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00pm

2 Learning Objectives Define key concepts such as political institution, democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and federal versus unitary systems. Explain the role of a constitution, and understand the concept of constitutionalism. Discuss the general type of political system and important constitutional issues in the TIC cases. Categorize each TIC case as having either a unitary or a federal system.

3 What are Institutions? Liberal Conceptions Formal Definition: Institutions are the rules of the game in a society or, more formally, humanly devised constraints that shape [regulate] human interaction. (Douglas North)

4 How are Organizations Different from Institutions?  Organizations are the players  Institutions are the rules of the game GS, BJK, UEFA and MHK are organizations Rules of the game are institutions Municipalities and contractors are organizations Rules that determine their relationship are institutions Political parties are players (organizations) Electoral rules are institutions Courts are organizations The laws they apply, the rules that determine their salaries, promotion, accountability, and powers are institutions

5 What Do Institutions Do? 1. Determine who are the winners and who are the losers 2. Define boundaries such as property rights 3. Determine standards 4. Provide incentives and disincentives 5. Enforce contracts 6. Monitor behavior 7. Punish violatiors and reward cooperators 8. Provide information 9. Reduce uncertainty 10. Produce trust and facilitate human cooperation 11. Prevent free riders

6 Institutions can be:  formal (constitution)  informal (tradition)  social (customs)  political  economic

7 The constitution defines a country’s regime Regime: the nature of the way a society governs itself The nature of the relationship between the rulers and the ruled Functional and territorial distribution of power

8 Rule of Law: A constitution adds legitimacy to a system Constitutionalism □ A central concept in the U.S. and other democracies Constitutions are designed to limit the power of government Government officials must follow the laws of the land Upholding these limitations and following these laws is a key source of legitimacy

9 Levels of Government Functional separation of power Executive Legislature Judiciary Elected officials Appointed officials (bureaucracy)

10 Territorial distribution of power Unitary versus Federal Arrangements □ Unitary: Regional governments have no powers reserved to them. □ Federal: Regional governments have constitutional status and autonomy, share powers with the central government, have certain reserved powers of their own and are represented in the federal (central) government.

11 Local Government □ Exists in federal and unitary systems □ Oversees “day-to-day” municipal governing Devolution transfers Powers from Central Governments to Lower Levels

12 Political Institutions Regime (Political System) Types Totalitarianism Seeks the atomization of society (Arendt) Emphasizes mass mobilization Official ideology Single political party Reliance on terror to maintain order Control of communications Control over the means of force in society Command economy North Korea, Nazi Germany

13 Political Institutions Regime (Political System) Types Authoritarianism Presence of a dominant leader or small group of leaders Limited political participation Degree of autonomy of society from state control Lack of ideology Limited control over the economy Variants of authoritarianism Military, party, bureaucratic Syria, Egypt under Mubarak

14 Political Institutions Regime (Political System) Types Semiauthoritarianism/Semidemocracy Democracy is incorporated into an otherwise authoritarian system

15 Political Institutions Regime (Political System) Types Democracy Selection of government officials through free and fair elections The balance of majority rule and minority protection Limitations on government action Variants of democracy Majoritarian, consensus European, Westminster, American and Latin American models

16 Free & Fair Elections Free Elections: Individuals have the ability to vote, Their votes are made in secret, Candidates have the ability to run for office, Candidates have the ability to campaign for office by providing information to voters.

17 Free & Fair Elections Fair Elections: Voters to have access to impartial coverage of the campaign in the media, Voters to have reasonable access to polling places, The vote of each eligible voter -and only of eligible voters- to be counted,

18 Free & Fair Elections Fair Elections (Cont’d): The vote of each eligible voter to be counted equally, The losing candidate to acknowledge and accept the results, The electoral process to be administered and monitored by an impartial body of electoral specialists.

19 Look at the list of criteria associated with free and fair elections. How do Turkish elections measure up based on these criteria?

20 Consensus democracy: A democratic system that unites proportional representation elections, a multiparty system, and diffusion of power across branches and levels of government. Majoritarian democracy: A democratic system combining strong executives, few checks on the power of the majority to pass laws and amend the constitution, and conflictual politics between two major political parties.

21 Table 5-1 p132

22 Topic in Countries The United Kingdom “Westminster democracy,” highly majoritarian Constitution is not in a single written document; a collection of acts, legal opinions, and customs Despite significant devolution of powers to regions, remains a unitary state

23 ■ Veto Points □ Individuals or collective political bodies whose failure to accept a policy change results in the rejection of the proposed change □ Parliamentary systems generally have fewer veto points than do presidential systems (see Chapter 6), and unicameral (single-chamber) legislatures have fewer veto points than bicameral ones □ Thatcher took advantage by making significant social welfare policy changes

24 Topic in Countries Germany Consensus democracy; combination of coalition governments, federalism, and corporatism The constitution (Basic Law) lays out both social welfare protections and limits on government “Cooperative federalism” with significant powers for the Länder

25 Topic in Countries India Parliamentary democracy; system has evolved from one-party dominant to multiparty Constitution is long, detailed, and heavily amended; federal system with strong central government Federal system (28 federal units), but the central government has strong powers; three levels of government

26 Topic in Countries Mexico Party-authoritarian system until recently; today an unconsolidated democracy Constitution originally written in 1917; prohibits the president and legislators from running for reelection; provides for checks and balances that became important when PRI lost its dominance Federal system with 31 federal units (estados) and one federal district; estados dependent on central government for revenue

27 “Old Institutionalism” in political science had focused on describing institutions The behavioralism movement that began in the 1950s focused on explaining political outcomes □ David Easton proposed that all political systems translate inputs (demands and supports) into outputs (policy) □ The system responds to changes in supports and demands □ Easton’s model pays little attention to the design of the institutions themselves

28 Mexico and Easton’s Approach □ In the latter part of the twentieth century, changes in demands and supports put pressure on the government of Mexico □ Resulted in policy changes, including the political liberalization of the 1970s-1990s □ Even without looking “inside” the Mexican system, Easton’s framework helps explain the changes that led to the PRI losing its dominance over Mexican politics

29 Figure 5-1 p145

30 Topic in Countries Brazil Has alternated between democracy and military authoritarianism; remains an unconsolidated democracy with traditional elites maintaining significant power Current constitution written in 1988; enshrined privileges for the outgoing military government Federal system with 26 federal units (estados); more power for lower levels than in Mexico; preserves power of local elites

31 Topic in Countries Nigeria Combination of majoritarian and consensus democracy; has alternated between democracy and military authoritarianism; democratic status is increasingly unclear Most recent constitution written in 1999; emphasis on the need for unity in a country with prevalent identity and political divisions since independence Formerly an ethno-federal system; now more of an American- style federal system; provides a certain degree of cross-cutting identities among the otherwise complementary identity divisions

32 Topic in Countries Russia Democratic following collapse of USSR; creeping authoritarianism; semiauthoritarian system today New constitution since December 1993; Putin not seeking third term gave some legitimacy to the constitution in an otherwise increasingly authoritarian system Federal system; since Putin came to power, central government has increased its power versus the regions (which now number 83)

33 Topic in Countries China Under Mao Zedong, often considered a totalitarian system; since Deng Xiaoping, more like a party- authoritarian system Evidence that a constitution, even one that is somewhat followed, does not equal democracy Unitary state with 31 regions; some devolution, but still not a federal system

34 Theda Skocpol’s 1979 book set the stage for a new focus on political institutions □ Skocpol saw state institutions as an important independent variable, not a “black box” like in Easton’s approach □ Led to calls to “bring the state back in” China is a Main Case in Skocpol’s Book □ Collapse of Imperial System due to the state relying on local leaders for military support □ Her argument has relevance today, as China relies more and more on regional and local officials

35 Topic in Countries Iran Theocracy; under former President Khatami, attempts at reform; under President Ahmadinejad, a return to hardline policies Constitution after the Revolution implemented a theocracy, including the position of Supreme Leader; overhauled in 1989 (abolished prime min.) Unitary state with 30 regions; powerful provincial leaders; central government has overseen “controlled decentralization”

36 New Institutionalism □ Focuses on theories that use political institutions to explain political outcomes □ Three main variants: Sociological N.I. Historical N.I. Rational Choice N.I. Rational Choice New Institutionalism □ Sees political institutions as the product of rational choices by political actors □ Existing rules constrain decision makers, but they may also try to change these arrangements

37 Rational Choice N.I. and Iran □ Many in the West portray Iranian leaders as irrational fanatics □ But, Rational Choice N.I. would see them as much more rational, designing the rules of their theocracy to maximize the goals of maintaining power and controlling society Reformers versus Hardliners □ Rational Choice N.I. explains how reformers wanting to change existing rules are constrained □ It also explains the hardliners’ use of the existing rules to block pro-reform candidates

38 Country Summary 5-1a p155

39 Country Summary 5-1b p156

40 Country Summary 5-1c p156


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