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FSU CPO 2002 - Notes

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Rationality (as defined by political scientists): an actor is rational when she processes a complete and transitive preference ordering over a source of outcomes. o Complete preference ordering: prefers x to y, or y to x, or is indifferent. Strictly or weakly.o Transitive preference ordering if x more than y, and y more than z, then x more than z.Condorcet’s Paradoxo Shows that a group composed of individuals with rational preferences doesn’t necessarily have rational preferences as a collectivity, individual rationality isn’t sufficient to ensure group rationality. o Cyclical majorityo Condorcet winner: an option is a winner if it beats all other options in a series of pair-wise contests.o Round Robin tournament: when making group decisions, each alternative against each alternative in a set of pairwise votes.Single-peaked preference ordering: characterized by the utlity function that reaches a maximum t some point and slopes away from this maximum on either side, such that a movement away from the max never raises the actors utility.o Utility function: a numerical scale in which higher numbers stand for higher positions in an individuals preference ordering.oMedian Voter Theorem: (MTV) states that no alternative can beat one preferred by the median voter in pair-wise majority-rule elections if the # of voter is odd, voter preferences are single-peaked over a single policy dimension, and voters vote sincerely.o Median voter: the individual who has half the voters at his position and to the right or to the left.o Can help Condorcet paradox by ruling certain preferences out of bounds and reducing the policy space to a single-issue dimension.o Indifference curve: on a curve that shows the preferences of what they are getting. The curve is a set of points such that an individual is indifferent between any two points in the set. o Winset: of some alternative of z is the set of alternatives that will defeat z in a pair-wise contest if everyone votes sincerely according to whatever voting rules are being used.o Chaos Theorem: if there are two or more issue dimensions and 3 or more voters with preferences in the issue space who all vote sincerely, then except in the case of rare distribution of ideal points, there will be no Condorcet winner.Arrow’s Fairness Conditions: fairness conditions that all decision making processes should meet.o Non-Dictatorship (D): there must be no individual who fully determines the outcome of the group decision-making process in disregard of the preferences of the other group members. ( a professor, parent, committee chair, a literal dictator)o Universal Admissibility (u) states that individuals can adopt any rational preference ordering over the available alternatives. (You cant artificially restrict what people can prefer)o Unanimity (o Pareto Optimality) (P): states that if all individuals in a group prefer x to y, then the group preferences must reflect a preference for x to y as well.o Independence from Irrelevant Alternatives (I): states that group choice should be unperturbed by changes in the rankings of irrelevant.Arrows Theorem: every decision making process will violate one of arrows fairness conditions, if it is to guarantee group transitivity and hence stable outcomes. o There exists no mechanism for translating the preferences of rational individuals into a coherent group preference that simultaneously and necessarily satisfies the fairness conditions (D,U,P,I)o Institutional ‘trilemma’ between 1. Stable outcomes 2. Universal admissibility, 3. Non-dictatorship. o Can only choose 2 out of the 3Electoral systems (majoritarian versus PR, varieties of each)District magnitudeElectoral Thresholds: the minimum % of votes needed by a party to gain representation.o Formal threshold: legally imposedo Natural threshold: mathematical property of the electoral system.o Cause disproportional outcomes: waste voteso Help stop party fragmentationExamples of allocating seats under different electoral rulesSincere vs. strategic voting: o Strategic or sophisticated vote: wen an individual votes in favor of a less preferred option because she believes doing so will ultimately produce a more preferred outcome.o Sincere voting: a vote for an individual most preferred option.Devolution: occurs when an unitary state grants powers to subnational governments but retains the right to unilaterally recall or reshape those powers. Can be compared to Federalism. Example is IndiaType of party systems: o Nonpartisan democracy: has no official political partieso Single-party system: one which only one political party is legally allowed to hold power.o One-party dominate system: one which multiple parties may legally operate but in which only one particular party has a realistic chance of gaining power.o Two party system: one which only 2 major political parties have a realistic chance of holding powero Multiparty system: which more than 2 parties have a realistic chance of gaining power.Effective number of parties o used to count political parties. A measure that captures both the number of parties and the size of parties in a country. o __ 1 ____ v^2+v^2+v^2+v^2o If all 4 parties received 23% of the vote then it would look like this:o ___1____ 1 = 4.25^2+.25^2+.25^2+.25^2= 0.25Politicized Cleavages o If the cleavage is politicized or saliento An attribute: a characteristic that qualifies an individual for membership in an identity category. – has different values and is given and self-evident. Socially constructed.o How attributes are mapped into identity categories depends on:o Cross cutting attributes: uncorrelated attributeso Reinforcing attributes: correlating attributes. For example all the northerners speak Dutch, Southerners speak French.o Supported by Malawi and Zambia example:o Chewas and Timbukas are enemies in Malawi Large percentage of overall populationo Political allies in Zambia. Small percentage of overall population. Have to form a political coalition. Cleavage is between N E S W.o They both use SMDP: Social Cleavages and Electoral Institutiono Social Cleavages: o Urban cleavage: rural agr. vs. city dwellerso The confessional cleavage: religiouso The Secular-Clerical Cleavage: separation of church and stateo The class cleavage: labors and capitalists. Wealth redistributiono Post-materialist cleavage: freezing hypothesiso Ethnic and linguistic cleavageso Electoral Institutions:


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