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Contemporary Democratic Institutions- Exam 1 Study Guide(This is a combination of Ms Driscoll’s notes, our book and online readings)1. Behavioral Revolution- this was the intellectual reaction to Old institutionalism that placed an emphasis on ‘real’ politics, political behavior, statistical analysis and hard data, public opinion polls, voting behavior, party competition, etc…2. Old institutionalism- focus mostly on legalism, formal rules and documentation of procedures- (spurred the behavioral revolution and social choice)a. Pros: thick description nuanceb. Cons: comparisons are difficult, too much nuance, overtly legalistic and sociological and formalistic3. Characterize approach and identify limitations:a. Rational choice institutionalism-i. Approach is aimed at producing parsimonious statements of social processes in order to generate testable hypothesis and falsifiable theories within explicit scope conditions- the unit of analysis is individual actorsii. Objective: to devise a model of human behavioriii. Limitations: It assumes that individuals are rational, act intentionally, operate in an external environment, have preferences and have beliefs about the state of the world. Criticisms- we aren’t rational, we don’t maximize payoffs, we’re not calculatorsb. Historical institutionalism- i. Approach is to acknowledge institutions to be socially constructed, malleable and the product of path dependenceii. Objective- to understand the process by which institutions come about, how they are perpetuated, how they influence member’s goals, actions and the collective organization cultureiii. Limitations: Does not provide obvious opportunity for the generation of falsifiable hypotheses, fails to consider multiple cases, limits generalizability, considers everything at once, causal mechanisms are difficult to identifyc. RCI vs. HIi. RCI- Deductive- founded on abstraction, analytical rigor, simplification and insistence on clean lines of analysis and basic axionsii. HI- Dense, empirical description and inductive reasoning4. RCI and structured institutions- Shepsle notes that RCI is most successful in “structured institutions” for the following reasons:a. Individuals are a natural object to studyb. Preferences and motivations can be specified with some precisionc. Individuals operate in structured environmentsd. Outcomes are clearly implied by configuration of rulese. Payoffs and utility are easy to infer5. Utility- it is maximized by picking the actor’s top preference6. Preferences- wants, desires, motivations- exogenous: taken as given, outside the model- must satisfy 2 criteria:a. Complete- the actor prefers option X to Y, option Y to X or id indifferent between them, they are comparable in the actor’s mindb. Transitive- if 1 prefers X to Y, and prefers Y to Z, then they prefer X to Z (or is indifferent between them)c. When individual’s preferences are both complete and transitive they can be ordered7. Normative-describing or relating to a standard or social norm8. Empirical-knowledge or information that is gained by observing or experimenting9. Exogenous-taken as given, outside the model, external10. Endogenous-inside the model/individual, internal11. Path dependence- self-reinforcing positive dynamics in the political process- aka- the decisions you make today are shaped by decisions you made yesterday12. Critical juncture- a critical moment in time defines the trajectory for future sequence13. Equifinality-the possibility that two causal processes will arrive at the same outcome via different ‘routes’14. Parchment institutions- institutions written on paper (Carey introduced these). They are formal regulations, rules and protocol that are written down. The act of writing things down creates mutual expectations for behavior. 15. “neither necessary nor sufficient”- Carey thought that parchment was neither necessary or sufficient for an institutiona. Necessary- if x is necessary for us to have y, then if we don’t have x, we won’t have yb. Sufficient- if x is sufficient to have y, we know that if we have x we must have y16. Coordination games and institutions: (Carey)a. They highlight:i. multiple equilibria are possibleii. moving across equilibriaiii. the institutional origins and change contentiousiv. institutions communicate to come up mutually held expectations17. Coordination with conflict (Carey) –with both players prefer to partake in an activity with the other person, rather than doing the activity alone they coordinate, but what they each want to do differs18. Deductive and Inductive inference (and associated steps with each)-a. Deductive approach- (Rational Choice institutionalism) you start with the theory and then move to hypothesis, observation and confirmation or refutationb. Inductive approach- (Historical institutionalism) starts with observation, then moves to pattern, hypothesis and ends with a theory19. Adoption of Argentine gender quotas: Question- why would Argentine legislators, nearly all of whom were men, adopt a gender quota that would put them at risk for losing their seat if implemented?)a. Deductive and inductive approaches-this deals with whether the hypothesis came first or the theory. 20. Rationality- assumption of rationality- individuals are rational, they act intentionally- this was adopted as an analytical assumption in order to connect purposeful actors to their actions, assumes that individuals have preferences, operate in an external environment and have beliefs about the state of the world21. Methodological individualism- a theory about social phenomena that shows how the relationship between society and individuals- the individual is the basic unit of analysis, it is taken as fundamental that individuals hold preferences and beliefs22. MI and institutions-rational choice institutionalism aims to devise a model of human behavior, MI is used because its unit of analysis is individual actors23. Beliefs and uncertainty- what you think about the worlda. Uncertainty- people are unsure about how their choices will influence the outcome24. Self-interestedness- actors will do what gives them the most utility25. Assumptions- reducing variables, simplifications, they are clearly stated26. External environment-the idea that individuals operate in an external environment is one of the assumptions of rationality, it implies everything other than the actor:a. Constraints/institutionsb. Incentives, etc…c. It is

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FSU CPO 3930r - Exam 1 Study Guide

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