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Amanda Labrado

PLSC 210
Prof. Lee R.Miller
1/31/10
Homework #2
Democratic efficiency
1. What are two practical benefits associated with democracy? (Hint: one is related
to foreign affairs and on is related to the economy.)
Two Practical benefits associated with democracy are: the tendency democracies have avoid war
against each other or their success in war vs. non-democratic states, and their inclination to be rich
countries.

2. What is democratic efficiency?


Democratic efficiency is the efficiency with which a democracy can make public policies from the
opinions or preferences of its citizens and still represent them correctly.

3. (a) What are the two factors that the author suggests are indicators of
democratic efficiency?
(b.) Explain how they are related to democratic efficiency.
The author suggests that the Gini Index of Income Inequality and the Herfindahl Index of
Organized Labor Strength and Unity are indicators or democratic efficiency.
The Gini Index is related to Democratic efficiency because it determines how evenly distributed
political power is in a country given that people who do not share pol. Power evenly tend to “demand tax
breaks and subsidies from their governments, redistributing income toward them”(Miller p.39)
The Herfindahl index can be related to democratic efficiency because the more a government
tackles the problems its interest groups present, the more equally power is distributed, and the greater the
ability of the government is to reach a decision.

Justice, political philosophy, and models of democracy


4. In what ways did the conception of democracy in ancient Greece differ from our
conception of contemporary America? Discuss:
(a) Institutional differences and
(b) Differences in the relationship between citizens and government
The conception of democracy in Greece differed from our conception of contemporary America
in the fact that Athens’s democracy was limited in size to several thousand citizens (basically a city-state),
and it excluded females, slaves and immigrants from being part of the polity, and Greco-Athenian
democracy failed to recognize citizenship rights of people who had lived there for generations; Whereas
contemporary American democracy governs millions, gives voting rights to women and immigrants, and
grants citizenship. In contemporary American democracy, American’s elect representatives to represent
them and their opinions or beliefs in national meetings; on the other hand, in Athens’s democracy, people
represented themselves and attended community meetings to decide on major issues.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of representative democracy


compared to direct democracy?
Advantages Disadvantages
• Allows for large # of citizen’s to • Doesn’t rep. every citizen’s
participate in national politics. individual view on current issues.
• Allows women & immigrants the right to • Hardly any opinion from minorities
citizenship and to vote.
6. Discuss the assumptions of the Protective Democracy model:
The Goal of a protective democracy is to protect individual liberties and to encourage individual
gain of material wealth through the protection of private property. Citizen’s are politically active only “to
protect their freedom[s] in the marketplace”(Hudson, P.9). A protective democracy’s institutions are
expected to have government officials who support a free market and who have limited power, “universal
male suffrage, [a] secret ballot, a free press, and […] free elections” (Hudson P.8). This model of
democracy includes “universal suffrage [that included] the poor, the [property-less], and the working
class”(Hudson P.8) according to the utilitarian philosophy that a successful capitalist society will benefit
the poor over time. This model assumes Humans are “self-interested and competitive” (Hudson, P. 8).
7. Discuss the assumptions of the Developmental Democracy model:
Developmental democracy creates “good citizens” through active participation that requires its
members to interest and educate themselves in politics as to be able to monitor the actions of the
representatives they elect. “Developmental democrats expect[…] and encourag[e] all citizens to be civic
minded [and] accept representation only as a practical necessity” (Hudson p. 11) The Citizens in this
model are equal in politics and society (they confer with others on issues and make judgments).
Developmental Democrats are thought to be good people who need to be educated through participation.
8. Discuss the assumptions of the Pluralist Democracy model:
In a Pluralist democracy, some citizens are involved in politics, while interest groups attempt to
cultivate interest in other apathetic electorates, in order to motivate them to participate in elections, which
will create a public policy that will reflect the “popular will”. Power is distributed equally among political
institutions so that “all [can] provide a check against the accumulation of hegemony”(Hudson, P.14), in
turn, allowing “competition among aspiring government leaders, the fairness of elections, the free
interplay of interest groups, and the formulation of democratic compromises” (Hudson p .14) This model
allows citizens to choose their rulers in an equal manner and to have freedom in society, and the market.
Most Humans are seen as apathetic to politics while a minority are widely informed about it.
9. Discuss the assumptions of the Participatory Democracy model:
Participatory democrats wish to bring democracy into all aspects of society so that citizens have
more chances to participate in decisions that will affect them more directly, in turn, causing them to lose
apathy and take up care for politics and elections. Citizens would have many chances to participate in
democratic settings because work, school, and other institutions would include citizens in coming to a
decision. Political institutions would be reconstructed to be similar to a direct democracy. All citizens
would be equal in society, politics, and economics. Humans are considered apathetic to politics because it
doesn’t concern them often enough for them to care, nor does it affect them directly as would a power
outage.
10. Which of the four models do you think is the most accurate? Why?
I think a Protective democracy sounds most accurately like contemporary American democracy
because Individual liberties are protected (The Bill of Rights, Amendments), all government officials
support a free market to a certain extent, and there are many freedoms given to the people of the nation,
including immigrants and the poor.
11. If you could make reality conform to one of the models, which one would you
choose? Why?
If I could make reality conform to one of these models, I’d make it conform to the participatory
model. The participatory model seems to be the best way to involve citizens in politics. But since it does
have it’s flaws I would fuse the participatory model with the protective model to make an ultimate
Participatory – Protective model that would allow citizens to be involved in politics while protecting them
from any possible flaws in the political system.

Liberals, conservatives, and agents of socialization


12. (a) Explain Huntington’s theory of the “clash of civilizations”.
By “Clash of civilizations” Huntington means to say that in the years after the cold war, because
of nationalism spread over several countries that is based on culture, it is more likely now than ever, that
wars will be fought over religions or cultural identities than fought over anything else.
(b) Do you see the current “war on terror” as an example of the clash of
civilizations? Why or why not?
Since I was 8 when it started, I am still kind of fuzzy about what it was all about. What I think I
know is that it began because of oil and the September eleventh attack, but since I don’t know what Bin
Laden’s motive was, I can’t say that it is a culture conflict or related to the Muslim religion in any way,
but I do think it had to do with anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan; therefore, perhaps it was a clash
of civilizations, because if the afghans knew nothing of America, they wouldn’t have attacked.
13. (a) What are the 3 dimensions of elite political culture necessary for political
stability?
1.The elite must believe in their own politics as a way to justify what they are doing and uphold
the nation they created. (“right to rule”) (Hague & Harrop p. 113). 2.The elite most see their position as
supporting the interests of the citizens of his nation.3. “Politicians must support the rules of the game”
(Hague & Harrop P.114)
(b) Do you think that elite political culture or mass political culture is more valuable
in explaining politics? Why?
Mass Political Culture is more valuable in explaining politics because they normally control their
politicians, who then control their nation; If the nation is not democratic, then elite political culture would
better explain poltics because the politicians would be authoritarian and control almost all aspects of
politics and society.
14. (a) What does the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” model from game theory teach us
about the results of pursuing your own individual interests vs. cooperating with
others in favor of your common interests?
The Prisoner’s Dilemma model teaches us that by pursuing your own interests, you neglect those
of the people around you, debilitating them from aiding you in gaining your interest, but by cooperating
with your peers, you can easily both obtain or attain whatever you want.
(b) Apply this concept to a contemporary issue in public policy.
Gender Equality in federally funded schools promoted women’s participation in sports but it
could not have been conceived had it not been for a woman who attempted to play sports while attending
college, who had noticed that women were not being given a chance to try out. Since she thought not only
of herself, she drafted Title IX to support other women who would try what she did, but the difference
would be, that in 1972 they would succeed. If she had thought only of herself, a law may have never
been passed and women would not have had a chance to play sports like they do today, Ms. Mink would
have missed out, as would others in the future.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_IX)
15. (a) What does the “tragedy of commons” teach us about the results of everyone
pursuing their own individual interests?
If a pool of common resources is not regulated, destruction becomes its destiny; everyone who
acts in their own self interest will not communicate with their neighbors, but will reach a decision
without telling the others, causing the others to come to their own decision which may spoil the decision
of the former because there was no communication. If everyone were to do what they wanted without
consulting people around them, everyone is destined to tragedy or failure.
(b)Apply this concept to a contemporary issue in public policy.
16. (a) What is the downside, according to Hudson, to the American culture of
Individualism?
More focus on the self is bad for democracy because then society does not
communicate, it becomes too concerned with itself (or at least the individuals
become too concerned with themselves), and people claim rights to often for
policies to work correctly causing for misunderstandings and a loss of support for
politics and overall participation in democracy.
(b)Do you agree or disagree with his arguments?
I agree because from personal experience, I know that many people born in the 80’s and 90’s aren’t as
concerned with politics as former generations, (I on the other hand keep myself updated with current
events, and am asked questions by my peers such as “You actually watch the news??” ) because they
were taught to focus on themselves first ; therefore, politics that don’t affect them are unimportant; Which
may lead to a loss in political participation in the next generation of 18 year old voters.
17. Explain the difference between libertarianism and communitarianism.

“Liber: independent & free from obligations to the rest of soci. Good gov’t= facilitates ability of indvl.s
to make indvdl. Choices about how they live their lives. Favor minimal gov’t whose princip role =
protecting and not inerfereing w/ indvdl. Rights. Free econ w/ little / no regulat’n. PPL free to do whateve
like (drugs) w/o gov’t interfering as long as behavior doesn’t harm or violate rights of others. Obligation
to participate in / support broader community / public good = minimalIf liberty / autonomy preserved =
public good is achieved

Communi: Understand freedom / dignity req. support of a network of social institutions = nurture /
protect. Need to balance rights with responsibilities if rights are to be preserved. Seek to renew civic
obligation to enhance democracy”. (Hague & Harrop p. 114)