Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pols2powerpoint1 130102145207-phpapp02
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 2
Modern World Governments – Fall 2012
Power Point Presentation – August 28th & August 30th
COURSE LECTURE TOPICS
This Week’s Lecture Covers:
•Introduction To Course
•Defining Political Science
Elitism Versus Pluralism
•Defining Comparative Politics
•Theories Of Comparative Politics
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #1 (2)
•Spheres Of Influence
•Transitional Effects & Stabilization
•Transparency – American Exertion Of Power
•How Governments Interact With One Another
•Reading Assignment For Week #1:
Chapter 1 from “Comparative Politics”
Review Key Terms For Chapter 1
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY
KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 1 (1)
4. European Union
7. Gross National Product (GNP)
8. Human Rights
9. Income Inequality
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY
KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 1 (2)
19.State Of Nature
New semesters bring various
hiccups for everyone. This also
goes for your instructor. We are all
adjusting to new situations, course
schedule conflicts and other
adjustments. This course utilizes
various methods to deliver
information. Many of our materials
are media driven. You will find many
to be humorous, thought provoking ,
or even interesting. This first clip is
presented merely for fun. It is titled
“Welcome To School”.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (1)
Instructor: “JP” Tabakian
POLITICAL SCIENCE 2 – MODERN WORLD GOVERNMENTS
Sections 1036 (Lecture) & 7986 08/30/20010to 12/19/2010
Lecture: Tuesdays & Thursdays – 11:45AM to 12:30PM – Room TE-401
Office Hours: Tuesday – 11:45AM To 12:30PM
Voice Mail: (213) 763-5377 Ext. 4023
E-mail: email@example.com (most reliable way to reach “JP”)
URL: www.tabakian.com (use the site to download class material)
*Students with disabilities who need any assistance or accommodations
should contact the instructor*
SYLLABUS REVIEW (2)
This course studies a selected variety of major national states to
secure a comparative picture of political philosophies, constitution,
political processes and governmental institutions. Emphasis is
placed on how various variables such as the geographic, historic,
demographic, and cultural serve to influence various aspects of
societal behavior within respective nation-states. The primary goal of
this class is to assist students in developing a solid foundation of
major methodological and theoretical issues in the field of
comparative politics. Students are expected to become able to
compare nation-states through the use of various intellectual or
conceptual tools of the discipline. Various country studies will be
examined that will require careful examination of the politics of
Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, China, Mexico, Brazil,
Iran, India, Nigeria and The United States.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (3)
OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES
Students will have attained the following tools upon successful
completion of this course:
• Acquire a strong understanding of how specific combinations of
variables serves to alter societal behavior within a nation-state
that in turn influences that government’s foreign and domestic
policy. Students will come to understand the following: why
compare; how should we compare; and what can or should we
• Come to appreciate how theory helps us understand past
events, presently unfolding events and even helps researchers
to better predict future outcomes. Properly utilize the major
strategies of comparative analysis: the case study, two country
comparisons, and multiple-unit comparisons.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (4)
OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES (CONTINUED)
• Gather appropriate research materials during their quest to
produce research based papers that utilize proper
methodological approaches that draw on proven theoretical
approaches in their comparative analysis. The major theoretical
traditions in comparative politics will be utilized throughout the
course: rationalist, culturalist and structural approaches.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (5)
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLO’s)
1. Analyze government and politics in nation-states through
the use and interplay of political institutions and processes,
public policy, state and non-state actors, and domestic and
2. Analyze the relationships between the economy and
political system for a given country.
3. Analyze how different kinds of government and political
institutions affect both domestic and foreign policies for a
SYLLABUS REVIEW (6)
The following textbook is required. Students are advised to
complete assigned readings prior to attending class.
“Comparative Politics Today: A World View, 9th Edition”
By: Gabriel A. Almond, Russell and G. Bingham Powell Jr.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (7)
Articles may be assigned for students to review. They are made
available on our supplemental Moodle course site. Students may
receive hardcopies in class depending on the nature of our
SYLLABUS REVIEW (8)
The following text is optional. It is available on our course website
at: www.tabakian.com in the publication section. Other interesting
texts are also made available for students to enjoy.
“Transparency: American Power In The 21st Century” covers many
of the points made by your instructor during lecture.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (9)
Two essay assignments, three in class quizzes, one research
paper, AND ONE FINAL EXAM will serve as the assignments. ALL
IN CLASS QUIZZES, INCLUDING THE FINAL ARE OPEN NOTES,
BUT CLOSED BOOK. Students are advised to take notes both
during lecture AND while reviewing assigned readings outside of
class. Students are given 60 minutes to complete their quizzes. One
of the three in class quizzes, the lowest scored quiz, will be
thrown out. There will be no makeup quizzes. If a student misses a
quiz then that will be the one dropped. STUDENTS MUST BRING
THEIR OWN SCANTRON AND #2 PENCIL. NOTE: Online
students will take all exams online through the Moodle system.
SYLLABUS REVIEW (10)
Students are required to attend class. Attendance is taken during
every class session. Repeated unexcused absences may lead a
student to be dropped or face a reduction in grade due to
nonparticipation. Lecture discussions are to be addressed in the
research paper. Be sure to contact your instructor if you are going to
be absent. It is the responsibility of students to formally drop
classes. Your instructor is not responsible for dropping anyone.
DEFINING POLITICAL SCIENCE?
Political Science is a branch of the Social Sciences like Sociology.
Both fields are fairly similar as each is primarily interested in
individual as well as group behavior. Their fundamental difference is
exhibited by what theory serves as the foundation for each
respective discipline. Social scientists are biased towards elitism
while political scientists are prone to pluralism. This does not mean
that elite theory is not utilized in the political sciences. It is
recognized, but only in contrast with pluralism. Both theories
compliment each other, but pluralism is generally favored by political
scientists. Political scientists examine how political behavior is
influenced as Sociology, which looks at individual behavior that is
determined according to elite influence in general. Elite theory
serves as the primary basis of the social sciences (sociology) while
political scientists are biased towards pluralism or the result of
competing interests and the end result of conflict and compromise.
Elitism does not promote elite rule. It merely helps us to
understand how the rules of a society, especially a democratic
one, may actually obstruct the social progress of the masses.
Elitism argues that elites are needed, due to the ignorance of
the masses and their unwillingness to act responsibly. One
thing that elites are particularly fearful of is the tendency for
masses to be vulnerable to demagogic appeals. Demagogues
or counter elites are mass-oriented leaders who express
outright hostility toward established order and appeal to the
mass sentiments. This can be from the far left or far right. This
also helps to explain why domestic elites remain fearful of
direct democracy and why the Founding Fathers were against
the establishment of national referenda.
ELITISM SUMMARIZED (1)
1. Society is divided between the powerful few
and the majority weak.
2. Governing few are not typical of the governed
masses. Elites are not drawn mostly from the
upper class socioeconomic section of society.
3. Non-elites have to be given the opportunity to
rise up to elite positions. The masses have to
believe that the process is continuous or
revolution may occur. Barriers prevent finite
elite positions from being overtaken by
unqualified individuals. This is a classic rat and
Sufficient Cheese Sufficient Cheese Lack Of Cheese
ELITISM SUMMARIZED (2)
4. Elites share a common belief on the basic
values of the elite. Any change of public policy
will be incrementally slow rather than
5. Elities may base their actions either on narrow,
self-serving motives and risk undermining mass
support, or they may initiate reforms, curb
abuse, and undertake public-regarding
programs to preserve the system.
6. Active elites are not typically influenced from
apathetic masses. Elites influence masses
more than the masses influence elites.
Sufficient Cheese Sufficient Cheese Lack Of Cheese
ELITISM – HOW INFORMATION FLOWS
Elite theory also argues that information flows
from opinion elites down to opinion leaders
who are looked to the public for information.
News is first “created” by opinion elites and
then sent to opinion leaders to help
disseminate the information. Those at the
very top of the elite network decide what
information is deemed as necessary to offer
society. These elites may be news makers
themselves or in charge of large media
corporations. Opinion leaders may be thought
of as journalists, news anchors, expert
pundits or even celebrities who possess
legitimacy among those in society.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED (1)
1. Society is divided into numerous groups with all making
demands on government while none of the participants are
able to dominate all decision-making.
2. Citizens do not directly participate in decision-making, but
they are able to vote for leaders to make decisions through
a process of bargaining, accommodation, and compromise.
3. Competition among leadership groups helps protect
individuals’ interests. Countervailing centers of power – for
example, competition among business leaders, labor
leaders and government leaders – can check one another
and keep each interest from abusing its power and
oppressing the individual. Each of these individual “spheres
of influence” allies themselves with other spheres that
possess similar goals. See “Spheres Of Influence”.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED (2)
4. Individuals may not participate directly in decision-making,
but they can exert influence through active participation in
organized groups, political parties and elections.
PLURALISM – SPHERES
Pluralism insures that groups are
restricted from single handedly
influencing public policy. Rather,
cross-cutting cleavages would form,
as groups seek compromise with
others to build coalitions that would
succeed in affecting change. This
helps to assure that minority factions
are protected from an overwhelming
majority. Majority power-holders
among the “Spheres of Influence” are
essentially “checked” by the
formation of cross-cutting cleavages
in an effort to balance against
ELITISM VERSUS PLURALISM (1)
Comparing and contrasting elitism and pluralism allows us to
observe how they differ:
1. Elitism asserts that the most important division in society is
between elites and masses.
2. Elitism emphasizes the importance to leaders to maintain their
position of power – Pluralism emphasizes this devotion to their
3. Elitism asserts that mass membership of organizations rarely
exercises influence on elite leadership. That these organizations
have no democratic processes and are controlled by leaders who
operate for their own self-interest. Pluralists offer no evidence that
the giant organizations represent the interests of their individual
ELITISM VERSUS PLURALISM (2)
4. Elitism takes into account of all power holders – private and
public. Pluralism focuses on governmental leaders and those who
interact directly with them.
5. Elitism emphasizes shared characteristics of leaders on top of
their interest in preserving the social diversity among leaders,
differences in backgrounds, ideologies, and viewpoints. Pluralism
also argues that decisions made by leaders are a product of their
role perception, institutional constraints, interest group pressure,
public opinion, etc. Elitism focuses on leadership consensus –
Pluralism focuses on elite conflict.
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (1)
Comparative politics inspires students to establish linkages
between international relations with domestic politics.
Structural-functionalist approaches had failed to recognize the
interactions between international and domestic issues.
Comparative politics deals with complex systems issues that
can include comparing capitalism to communism, democracy
to totalitarianism, free markets to planned economies, etc.
Scholars saw many avenues open to comparison from the
1960s to 1970s when comparative analysis started to take
notice. Nothing seemed to be beyond these scholars as they
pursued every conceivable option including democracy,
authoritarianism, Marxism, revolution, corporatism,
totalitarianism, fragmentation, disintegration, and civil war.
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (2)
Comparing to control is perhaps the major point of interest for
students as it relates to case studies. Control means to test
our hypothesis. An example would be a claim that “Democracy
cannot be imposed on society by an external power.” How do
we know if this is a strong or weak claim? The first thing to do
is look for other cases where democracy has been imposed on
another society. Looking at two cases like Germany and Japan
after World War II reveals that we may need to adjust our main
thesis statement. This is why it is a good idea to look at even
more cases to evaluate the strength of our argument. Though
we cannot ignore any evidence, we can explain why different
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3)
Comparative Politics used to be focused mainly on Western
Europe until the Cold War compelled American policymakers
to pay attention to “lesser” countries, regions and former
colonies. The concern was that these countries represented
either future enemies or allies. This concern propelled
American policymakers to learn more about these countries.
Cases are usually based on a specific issue or concern like
industrialization, social revolution, terrorism, democracy, or any
other issue of interest. They are also delimited graphically as
time can be a focal point of analysis.
COMPARATIVE POLITICS THEORIES (1)
Comparative Politics Possesses three main theories:
1. Rational Choice
2. Structural Analysis
3. Cultural Approaches
Rational Choice Analysis: This theory argues that self-interests
guides all behavior, which involved conducting a cost benefit
analysis. Individuals weigh the cost along with the benefits and
then decide to pursue something if the benefits outweigh the
costs. If we assume that everyone basis their actions on self-
interest then we have to come to terms with situations
involving actions that are not beneficial. This depends on the
quality of information one has been able to accrue.
COMPARATIVE POLITICS THEORIES (2)
Decision makers rarely have access to perfect information, as
they simply don’t possess viable access to the information
required to make a rational decision. This includes a lack of
experience, limited data, lack of education, inability to assess
actions of others, lack of knowing future developments, or
even just bad luck. Strategic interaction also comes into play,
which is the implication that indecisions made by one
individual is made according to decisions made by others,
which leads us to game theory. Prisoner’s dilemma is one
aspect of strategic interaction.
COMPARATIVE POLITICS THEORIES (3)
Structural-Functionalism: This theory utilizes micro-
interpretation to suggest that given the issue, individuals may
unite temporarily to defend its interests. Structural-
functionalism helps to explain how political leaders can deal
with citizen demands that are hard to fulfill. Instead of
providing the actual goods sought, political leaders may instill
loyalty based on symbolic or cultural goods. The structural-
functional approach maintains two points:
1. In different countries, the same structure may perform
2. Absolute power is impossible and no one institution, or
individual entity, no matter how powerful, may be able to
control all facets in society.
COMPARATIVE POLITICS THEORIES (4)
Culturalist Approaches: This theory is likely to accept the
arguments of rational choice or structural analysis as both are
seen as helping to construct societal norms. Culturalism
begins with the premise that culture matters in any
explanation. It is important not to state grand assumptions
when using culture as a variable. For example, statements like
“Muslim countries are resistant to democracy,” or
“Confucianism helps explain capitalist development in East
Asia” are not appropriate. The problem with these claims is
that it represents a decontextualized generalization that
portrays culture as clear-cut, uniform, and basically static. The
majority of Culturalists would argue today that culture is multi-
vocal and multidimensional.
ROLE OF THEORY
Everyone uses theory whether they know it or not. Many
of us devise our own theories through our childhood
socializations up to adulthood. Disagreements within the
field of political science for example come about when
there is no agreement over the basic forces that shape
the discipline. Students become disillusioned when
situations arise that sweep forecasts into the abyss.
Elitism and Pluralism serve as the foundation for the
social sciences with political science being more inclined
to adhere to pluralist arguments. Readers are
encouraged to utilize both theories throughout the text.
This will assist students of the political sciences to
critically analyze those arguments presented by the
author in order to devise their own methodologies
concerning political science. Theory also helps
researches to classify certain variables. It may be
thought of as a pair of sunglasses that helps us filter
EXAMPLE OF THEORY - REALISM
Realism accords that as human
nature remains the predominant factor
in a nation-state’s foreign policy, it is
further determined that such policies
are focused upon self-interest. As the
inherent motive for man is survival, it
applies to the applied foreign policies
for the actions of a state are determined according to the tenets of political
determination. Considered to be a synonym for power politics, though at times
construed as pragmatic and wrought with simplicity, it is a somewhat abrupt
philosophy focused on the inherent evils of mankind. Let us look at a clip from
the movie “Failsafe”. Walter Matthau plays the role of National Security Advisor
who applies rational choice and realist theory to explain why striking at the
Soviet Union is necessary to survive.
RATIONAL CHOICE (1)
What is the primary goal of the individual? The answer may be
summed up in one word: Survival. This basic human
requirement serves as the foundation for all action. If survival is
the ultimate goal, then one must assume that individual parties
are determined to make decisions that are based on rationality.
This of course assumes that people as individual units will base
all decisions on self-interest. Let us even assume that the
decision maker is in possession of perfect information. Why
then do people make irrational or even foolhardy decisions
even when all signs point to negative or even disastrous
results? The answer is simply that human beings are not robots
or computers. We are fallible to emotions that encompass belief
systems like religion that in turn are great influences over
RATIONAL CHOICE (2)
Decisions are based on self-interest…as we define our self-
interest to be. Consider this example. We have a nun and a
real-estate mogul. The nun gives up all her worldly
possessions and dedicating herself to helping those in poverty.
Her justification may be great rewards in the afterlife. The real-
estate mogul does not believe in an afterlife, but does believe in
making as much money as possible, spending it all on an
overly extravagant and abusive lifestyle. Who is acting
rationally? Both individuals are for they are fulfilling their self-
interest…as they define their self-interest to be.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE (1)
Pluralism is best in describing how
competing spheres of influence protect
minority rights against majority factions.
These majority factions may consist of
individual powerful elite entities or groups
of “spheres of influence”. Alliances will form
among once competing spheres in order to
“check” another sphere or individual elite
base that acquires too much power. This
constant “checking” as described in the
“competing spheres of influence” diagram
describes how this plays out in all systems.
Individual spheres of influence are always
on the alert for one of their peers assuming
too much power.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE (2)
Spheres consist of individuals who share a
common set of interests and/or belief
systems. Individual participants are the
absolute micro-level of every sphere. Here
are some examples of spheres: family,
work, school, political parties, and religion.
Different spheres of influence communicate
with one another through the individual
who is a member of those same spheres.
Various societal interactions influence
Competing Spheres of Influence
essentially check each other within the
political system. This is seen as essential
for the protection of minority rights
especially as it pertains to majority
factions. Elites in our society are not
defined according to race, gender,
religion, etc. They are seen mainly as
those who hold positions of power with
society. Our Founding Fathers considered
the protection of minority rights as those
few individuals who retained control over
society. These individuals were property
holders, policy makers or those who
possessed positions of power.
TRANSITIONAL EFFECTS (1)
Competition among spheres of interest produces great returns
for humanity. The constant strive for marketplace acceptance
has resulted in America progressing from a predominantly
agricultural society to an industrial, nuclear, and information
based society. The United States is unique in that it excels in
more than one particular capitalist endeavor. Innovation has led
to advancements that have greatly influenced every aspect of
society. Society has benefited from constant advancements in
energy harvesting, computers, communication, water
purification, medicine and all other areas not listed for the list
would be enormous.
TRANSITIONAL EFFECTS (2)
Every significant discovery has in turn greatly influenced
societal norms of behavior. Masses today view internet
communications as a vital necessity. It is nearly impossible to
operate in a complex society without easy access to the web.
The majority of masses did not have this belief fifteen years
ago. Only society determining that the internet allowed for
greater efficiency was it adopted as a societal norm. Those not
willing to adapt became obsolete.
Sudden instability is the greatest threat to humanity for it
threatens to cause irreparable harm to the individual. One may
never consider harming another person in a state of nature.
Elimination of one’s sustenance throws the individual into a
state of war, because their survival is now threatened. Nation-
states consist of multiple spheres of interest in turn consisting
of individual units consisting of people. As survival is the
primary goal of man, so it is the ultimate pursuit of nation-
states. The primary concern is that of stability. This philosophy
has prevented a major war from taking place over the last sixty
years. Instability is the primary cause of all conflict both within
and between nation-states.
POWER THEORY (1)
To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves to
draw upon. This is defined simply as “capacity of power”.
Achieving higher positions is dependent on various factors that
may include: education; wealth; profession; charisma and other
talents either developed or engrained from birth. This “capacity
of power” is not determined according to a single resource,
ability or possession. It is instead a combination of different
variables that serve to make up the individual. This is just like a
battery consisting of energy resources drawn upon when it
comes time to draw power in order to achieve a set objective.
Just like a battery powering a flashlight so does one’s individual
“capacity of power” serve to assist one in achieving a set goal
or in this case influencing or affecting political behavior to
maintain, expand or protect one’s standing in order to survive
POWER THEORY (2)
Our example of “capacity of power” is applicable
to individual capacity of power and all
associations up to the nation state as all
combined units consist of individuals pursuing
their set of priorities or self-interest that is in turn
based on survival. Drawing upon these reserves
allows one to pursue agendas of self-interest.
Power is the ultimate pursuit, as the ultimate goal
of humanity is survival. Individual participants in
pursuit of these goals join together in common
pursuits under the umbrella of common interest.
These resulting “spheres of interest” in turn join
under broader umbrellas that also offer another
distinct set of common goals that in turn
competes with respective peers.
POWER THEORY (3)
Power equals resources (capacity of power) times
compliance squared, divided by force. Every accounting of
power theory is taken into consideration in the construction of
this formula. We have explored the contention that the pursuit
of self-interest encourages man to engage in political
behavior. This serves as the foundation for rational choice
theory, which in turn has led us to power theory. One may
argue that the pursuit of power maintains the never ending
cycle of political: conflict; compromise; alliances; and wars.
POWER THEORY (4)
Many have countered this argument with a direct assault on
the statement that “there is no morality in politics”. These
critics are both right and wrong. It is true that morality has no
direct correlation with political science if the pursuit of self-
interests and power resources maintains utmost priority. On
the other hand they may be correct if one party sells their
pursuit as a moral cause in order to achieve their agenda. For
example, one may argue that good may come from conflict
even if it leads to the destruction of a nation-state and the
slaughtering of thousands or millions of people if the seed of
democracy is planted and nurtured to maturity.
America has grown from the days of a colony to major power,
superpower, and hegemon, to its present empire status.
American power is felt throughout the international community.
Playing poker requires one to adopt what is commonly known
as a “poker face”. Players will hide their true emotions, even
faking their true intentions to catch other players off guard.
Some have even taken to wearing sunglasses. The exact
opposite tactic that the United States has adopted is
“Transparency”. This involves disclosing all routes the nation-
state will undertake with regards to all forms of public policy
pertaining to its political, economic and military strategies.
Alexander Hamilton initiated this
policy as the chief financial
philosopher of the United States
even if he did not coin the term.
Hamilton is regarded as the chief
architect of our economic policy,
which in turn was developed in
order to win the confidence of
domestic US business and
financial elites as well as gaining
the confidence of international
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #1
America possesses the
advanced military hardware.
This video demonstrates
one of the first deployable
force fields for light armored
vehicles (LAVs). Welcome to
the 21st Century.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #2
America is not the only
nation that utilizes
Transparency. This video
shows the Israeli Defense
Force demonstrating a new
type of gun that can shoot
around corners. A brief
interview with the inventor of
this amazing weapon
follows the demonstration.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #3
Some forms of transparency are
both political and military in
nature. The military sponsored
the development of the Massive
Ordinance Aerial Burst (MOAB). It
is commonly referred to as “The
Mother Of All Bombs”. It is the
largest conventional bomb in our
arsenal. There is a psychological
component to this bomb. A
mushroom cloud forms following
successful detonation. It looks
somewhat like a nuclear device
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #4
Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile
with lock-on before launch and
automatic self-guidance. The
system takes a top-attack flight
profile against armored vehicles
(attacking the top armor which is
generally thinner) but can also
take a direct-attack mode for use
against buildings or fortifications.
This missile also has the ability to
engage helicopters. Javelin is
supplied by Raytheon/Lockheed
Martin's JAVELIN Joint Venture.