Comparative Politics Final

Comparative Politics Final

This is a practice exam for Emizet Kasagnani's Comparative Politcs Final Fall 2013

published on December 18, 2013188 responses 0

German reunification took place in October 1990. This refers to the reunification of:

Germany and Poland.
Germany and Austria.
West Germany and Slovakia.
East Germany and West Germany.

Portugal, Spain, and Greece experienced transitions to democracy in which decade?

1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s

South Korea experienced a transition to democracy in which decade?

1960s
1970s
1980s
None of the above; South Korea is in a suppressive dictatorship.

Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay experienced transitions to democracy in which decade?

1970s
1980s
1990s

The non-interventionist policy of which Soviet leader was instrumental in the democratic transitions of 1989 across much of Eastern Europe?

Joseph Stalin.
Mikhail Gorbachev.
Nikita Khrushchev.
Boris Yeltsin.

The “velvet revolution” is a reference to the peaceful democratic transition in:

Czechoslovakia.
Romania.

According to recent studies of attempts to externally impose democracy on a country by using military force, there is very little evidence, if any, to support the claim that such intervention increases the level of democracy in the target countries.

True
False

Some politicians like to refer to cases in which the United States intervened successfully in order to establish democracy; Japan and West Germany after WWII are the favorite examples. However, according to the recent empirical research discussed in Chapter 8 (on democratic transitions), evidence shows that although attempts at the external imposition of democracy may promote some democratic-seeming reforms in the short-run, they ultimately produce political instability in the target countries and are unlikely to lead to a stable democracy.

True
False

The introduction of elections, legislatures, and parties in many dictatorships around the world is a sign that these countries are definitely moving toward democracy.

True
False

A “public good” is:

Excludable and rivalrous.
Non-excludable and rivalrous.
Excludable and non-rivalrous.
Non-excludable and non-rivalrous.

Public goods are, by their nature, desirable. Thus, anyone who would benefit from such a good can be expected to contribute to its provision.

True
False

Collective action theory indicates that individuals will automatically act collectively to achieve their goals whenever they share common interests (such as wanting to listen to NPR, protect environmental resources, or promote democracy).

True
False

When groups are small enough that members can monitor each other’s behavior, solving the free-rider problem becomes:

More difficult
Easier

Collective action theory suggests that minority groups may actually be more powerful than majority groups in some circumstances. This might explain why business lobbies are usually considered to be more effective at influencing political elites than trade unions are.

True
False

Collective action theory helps explain why:

Protests in Eastern Europe were rare throughout most of the cold war.
There were massive protests across Eastern Europe in 1989.

The tipping, or threshold, models presented in Chapter 8 are used to explain why the public protests in Eastern Europe in 1989 were a surprise to most political observers, both inside and outside of Eastern Europe. According to the reading and lectures, why are revolutions always going to be a surprise?

Revolutions tend to be irrational.
Preference falsification.
Revolutionary cascades.
None of the above.

Collective action theory, which highlights the incentives for free riding, is better at explaining why:

Protests in Eastern Europe were rare throughout most of the cold war.
There were massive protests across Eastern Europe in 1989.

The textbook distinguishes between the types of dictatorships based on:

Size of the country
Title of the leader
Identity of their support coalitions
Type of election

The three basic types of authoritarian regime outlined in the textbook include all of the following EXCEPT:

Monarchies
Oligarchies
Military
Civilian

Those dictators that hold elections and tolerate some degree of pluralism yet violate democratic standards are called:

Electoral authoritarian
Democratic pluralism
Liberal democracy
Pluralist dictatorship

Dictatorships that rely on their family and kin network to come to power and stay in power are called:

Monarchies
Military dictatorships
Dominant-party dictatorships
d. Personalistic dictatorships

In the country of Qatar, the successor to the king is selected by the ruling family by consensus based on their own best interests. Based on this information, Qatar can be labeled a:

Monarchy
Military dictatorship
Dominant-party dictatorship
Personalistic dictatorship

A dictatorship ruled by a “junta” is a:

Monarchy
Military dictatorship
Dominant-party dictatorship
Personalistic dictatorship

Military dictatorships often claim the “guardians of the national interest”:

True
False

Military dictatorships rule in an altruistic manner and are unburdened by economic interests:

True
False

The unstable nature of the regime in Guinea demonstrates:

That personalistic dictatorships are prone to being overthrown via popular revolution
That military dictatorships are prone to military coups
That dominant-party dictatorships are prone to external invasion
That monarchies make efforts to slowly liberalize institutions

Dictatorships that rely on the support of a “junta” of leaders of the armed forces to remain in power are called:

Monarchies
Military dictatorships
Dominant-party dictatorships
Personalistic dictatorships

Dictatorships that do not rely on either the support of the military or a ruling family or kin network are called:

Monarchies
Military dictatorships
Civilian dictatorships

When we see a dictator removed from power, we are likely to see the dictator replaced by a dictator of a similar type:

True
False

The most common form of dictatorship from 1946-2008 has always been:

Monarchies
Military dictatorships
Civilian dictatorships

. The Communist Party in the former Soviet Union is an excellent example of this type of regime:

Democracy
Monarchy
Military dictatorship
Personalistic dictatorship
Dominant-party dictatorship

Dominant-party dictatorships rely on the following to stay in power:

Controlling the military
Tying monetary and nonmonetary benefits to membership in the party
Restricting the ability off opposition parties to effectively compete
Only b and c
All of the above

Dominant-party and personalistic dictatorships are both subcategories of the following type of dictatorship:

Monarchies
Military dictatorships
Civilian dictatorships

The military in personalistic dictatorships is often deliberately kept weak so as to not act as a power base for a potential rival:

True
False

Personalistic dictatorships are often characterized by the following:

Strong parties, strong militaries, and weak leaders
Free press, competitive elections, and multipartism
Weak press, strong secret police, and arbitrary uses of force

Personalistic dictators rely on ____ to maintain the loyalty of their support coalition and the citizenry more generally:

Cult of personality
Strong parties
Free media
Supportive military

The difference between hegemonic electoral authoritarian regimes and competitive authoritarian regimes is that:

The former is where the major party wins only half the time and the latter is where the major party wins the vast
majority of the time
The former is where the opposition parties win substantial minorities and the latter is where opposition parties
often win in presidential elections
The former is where the leader’s party wins with overwhelming majorities and the latter is where the opposition
parties win substantial minorities in elections.
None of the above

. The dictatorship type that will be in office the shortest time is expected to be:

Military dictatorships
Personalistic dictatorships
Dominant-party dictatorships

The dictatorship type that is most likely to be followed by competitive elections is:

Military dictatorships
Personalistic dictatorships
Dominant-party dictatorships

What is the basic assumption behind the Selectorate Theory?

That dictators care more about staying in power than democratic leaders do.
That dictators use elections to discourage internal rivals from attempting coups.
That all political leaders are motivated by the desire to gain and maintain office.
All of the above are important assumptions of the Selectorate Theory.

According to Bueno de Mesquita and others, what is the selectorate?

These are all of the people who could elect the leader.
These are all of the people who do elect the leader.
These are all of the people who could select the leader.
These are all of the people who do select the leader.
None of the above.

According to Bueno de Mesquita and others, what is the winning coalition?

The party that wins.
The government coalition that wins.
The group of people who keep the leader in power.
The group of people who can select the leader.
The group of people who actually selected the leader.

To stay in power, leaders must keep members of their winning coalitions happy.

True
False

If members of a winning coalition get “paid” with things like money, special legal protections, or special business advantages, then this is an example of the government providing:

Public goods.
Private goods.

If members of a winning coalition get “paid” with things like national security, rule of law, primary and secondary education, then this is an example of the government providing:

Public Goods
Private Goods

A key part of the Selectorate Theory is that the actions of the leader (for example, setting the tax rate) can affect the level of economic growth for the entire country.

True
False

When will leaders have an incentive to provide public goods?

When S is small.
When S is large.
When W is small.
When W is large.

According to the Selectorate Theory, when are the members of the winning coalition likely to have the highest loyalty to their leader?

When W/S is large.
When W/S is small.
When W/S is average size.
t doesn’t matter whether W/S is large, average, or small; they are always loyal.

If you were the leader, what type of institutions would you want to set up (assuming that you wanted to stay in power)?

Institutions that would generate a small W and a small W/S.
Institutions that would generate a small W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a small W/S.

If you were a member of the winning coalition, what type of institutions would you want to set up (assuming that you wanted to receive as many goods as possible)?

Institutions that would generate a small W and a small W/S.
Institutions that would generate a small W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a small W/S.

If you were a member of the selectorate but not the winning coalition, what type of institutions would you want to set up (assuming that you wanted to receive as many goods as possible)?

Institutions that would generate a small W and a small W/S.
Institutions that would generate a small W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a large W/S.
Institutions that would generate a large W and a small W/S.

Loyalty toward the incumbent leader declines as the winning coalition grows relative to the selectorate (that is, as W/S gets larger).

True
False

In the United States of America, who belongs to the selectorate?

Everyone who lives in the United States.
Everyone who lives in the United States legally.
Everyone who is eligible to vote in presidential and congressional elections.
Everyone who actually does vote in presidential and congressional elections.

One way to describe the relationship between corruption and kleptocracy is to say that kleptocracy is corruption on a large scale–for example, when corruption is actually organized by a country’s political leaders with the goal of their personal enrichment.

True
False

What set of institutions makes kleptocracy most likely?

A large W/S and a small W.
A small W/S and a small W.
A large W/S and a large W.

Once we apply the Selectorate Theory to our usual typology of regime types (democracies as well as various types of dictatorships), it provides us with a potential story both for why democracies produce a relatively high level of material well-being and for why some dictatorships perform better than others.

True
False

Let’s say we want to apply the insights from the Selectorate Theory to analyze some question we have about democracies and dictatorships. In the language of the Selectorate Theory, the key factor that distinguishes democracies from dictatorships is the size of the winning coalition. If we further want to distinguish among dictatorships, we would examine the countries with small winning coalitions and look at variation over the size of the selectorate (so we would be comparing W/S).

True
False

According to the Selectorate Theory, when are we likely to see the best economic performance?

When W is big.
When W is small.
When W/S is big and W is big.
When W/S is small and W is big.

If a country has an independently elected president, then we necessarily consider it to be a presidential regime.

True
False

Is it possible to have a monarch as a head of state in a democracy?

Yes, this can occur in semi-presidential regimes.
Yes, this can occur in presidential regimes.
Yes, this can occur in parliamentary regimes.
No, it is impossible for a country to be considered a democracy if it still has a monarchy.

When we talk about “the government” in terms of distinguishing parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential systems (for example, when we say that the government depends on the legislative majority as well as the president in a mixed system) we mean:

The state.
All of the elected officials in a country.
The cabinet (made up of the prime minister and the other ministers).

If the opposition in the legislature proposes a vote on whether or not the current government should stay in power, then this is an example of:

An investiture vote.
A no confidence vote.

If an incoming government must face a formal vote before it can officially take office, this is referred to as:

An investiture vote.
A no confidence vote.

Which of the statements best describes a vote of confidence?

A new government must pass a vote (on the cabinet's composition and proposed policies) in the legislature
before it can take office.
A government declares that a vote on a particular piece of legislation is also a vote of support for the
government itself; if the legislators do not support the legislation, then the government will resign (and new
elections might result).
A group of legislators propose a vote on the support of the incumbent government. If the government passes the
vote, then it stays in office. If it fails the vote, then it must resign (and new elections might result).

When you classify countries in terms of presidential versus not presidential (that is, either parliamentary or semi-presidential), whether or not a country has an investiture vote is more important than whether or not they have a no confidence vote procedure.

True
False

What is a constructive vote of no confidence?

When the legislature votes to approve an incoming cabinet.
When the members of the legislative majority propose a no confidence vote.
When the no confidence vote specifies an alternative government that will be installed if the no confidence vote is
successful.

To stay in power in a parliamentary democracy, the government must keep a majority of the members of the legislature happy.

True
False

In which system(s) is the government not responsible to the legislature?

In a parliamentary regime.
In a presidential regime.
In a semi-presidential regime.
All of the above.
Only (a) and (c) above.
Only (b) and (c) above.

. In which system(s) is the government responsible to the legislature but not the president?

In a parliamentary regime.
In a presidential regime.
In a semi-presidential regime.
Only (a) and (c) above.
Only (b) and (c) above.

In which system(s) is the government responsible to the legislature and the president?

In a parliamentary regime.
In a presidential regime.
In a semi-presidential regime.
Only (a) and (c) above.
Only (b) and (c) above.
All of the above

In which system(s) is the government responsible to the legislature?

In a parliamentary regime.
n a presidential regime.
In a semi-presidential regime.
All of the above.
Only (a) and (c) above.
Only (b) and (c) above

In which system(s) is the government responsible to the president?

In a parliamentary regime.
In a presidential regime.
In a semi-presidential regime.
All of the above.
Only (a) and (c) above.
Only (b) and (c) above.

Which of these defines a presidential regime?

Independently (directly or indirectly) elected president.
Government is responsible to the president but not to the legislature.
Both (a) and (b).

In a semi-presidential regime, who is the primary political actor during periods of cohabitation?

The president.
The prime minister.
Both, depending on the issue–prime minister has more control over domestic politics, but president still has a
role in foreign policy.

Canada held an early general election on January 23, 2006, after the Liberal Party's minority government was toppled in a no-confidence vote on November 28, 2005. Canada does not have an independently elected president. Based on these two pieces of information, is Canada a presidential, parliamentary, or semi-presidential democracy?

Presidential.
Parliamentary.
semi-presidential.

The difference between premier-presidential regimes and president-parliamentary regimes is:

The former is responsible to the legislature while the latter is not
The former is responsible to the president while the latter is not
The former is not responsible to the legislature while the latter is
The former is not responsible to the president while the latter is

A good example of a premier-presidential regime is the following country:

China
Ireland
United Kingdom
Italy

A good example of a president-parliamentary regime is the following country:

China
Netherlands
Japan
France

Presidents have more influence on policy in president-parliamentary regimes than premier-presidential regimes:

True
False

The allocation of cabinet seats among parties is more proportional in presidential regimes than parliamentary regimes.

True
False

Coalition governments rarely occur in presidential regimes.

True
False

Nonpartisan ministers are more common in parliamentary regimes than presidential ones.

True
False

Votes of no confidence do not exist in presidential systems.

True
False

Which of the statements best describes a vote of confidence?

A new government must pass a vote (on the cabinet’s composition and proposed policies) in the legislature
before it can take office.
A government declares that a vote on a particular piece of legislation is also a vote on support for the
government itself; if the legislators do not support the legislation, then the government will resign (and new
elections might result).
A group of legislators propose a vote on support for the incumbent government. If the government passes the
vote, then it stays in office. If it fails the vote, then it must resign (and new elections might result).
None of the above.

About half of the legislative and presidential elections that took place between 1946 and 2000 were held in dictatorships.

True
False

Some scholars argue that elections in dictatorships serve a purpose even if they are not the mechanism for selecting leaders. They argue that elections can stabilize the dictatorship by:

Discouraging opposition groups from challenging the dictator.
Dividing the opposition by allowing some groups to participate but not others.
Presenting a democratic “appearance” to satisfy international organizations.
All of the above are reasons given to explain why dictatorships have elections.

What is (are) the key difference(s) between majoritarian and proportional representation (PR) electoral systems?

In majoritarian systems, the winning candidate(s) must win a majority or plurality of the vote, whereas this is not
necessary in PR systems.
PR systems use large district magnitudes or two-round systems in single districts to elect candidates.
All PR systems use party lists.
All of the above are differences between majoritarian and PR systems.

What is the district magnitude in a single-member district?

1
2
10

Is it possible for a candidate to win in a majoritarian electoral system, such as single-member district plurality (SMDP), without receiving a majority of the votes?

Yes
No

SMDP systems are sometimes criticized because they:

Do not allow voters to hold their representatives accountable very easily.
Can produce very unrepresentative electoral outcomes at the district level.
Both (a) and (b) above are common criticisms of SMDP systems.

We can characterize all proportional representation systems as those with multimember districts and in which either a quota or a divisor is used to determine which candidates are elected in a district.

True
False

All proportional electoral systems have natural thresholds. Some have formal thresholds written into the electoral law as well.

True
False

The discussion of federalism in the chapter contains a distinction between de facto federalism and de jure federalism. The latter is referred to as “federalism in structure.” To be classified as federal in structure, what features must a country have?

A unitary state.
Constitutionally regional governments that cannot be unilaterally abolished by the national government. Both the
regional and the national government govern their own citizens directly, and both have independent bases of
authority.
A bicameral legislature, in which legislative deliberations occur in two distinct assemblies.
Devolution
All of the above

The majority of independent countries in the world today are federal in structure.

True
False

It is nearly always the case that a researcher can determine how centralized a country is by looking at its constitution.

True
False

When researchers study federalism in practice (de facto federalism), what measure do they use to estimate how centralized a country is?

The effective number of parties.
The central government’s share of tax revenue.
The number of regional subunits in the country.

Political scientists tend to view federalism (de jure federalism) as a constitutional issue but decentralization (de facto federalism) as a budgetary one.

True
False

According to political scientists, what is the relationship between federalism and government accountability?

Federalism enhances accountability.
Federalism undermines government accountability.
Different political scientists have argued both (a) and (b) above.

The majority of independent countries in the world today are bicameral in structure.

True
False

In which of the countries would you expect to see legislators engaging in more credit-claiming behavior?

In bicameral parliamentary democracies.
In unicameral parliamentary democracies.

Even upper houses that are generally considered to be weak can, in some circumstances, significantly influence the legislative process.

True
False

In most bicameral systems, the upper house represents the citizens of subnational geographic units. Thus, the upper chamber often suffers from malapportionment.

True
False

The majority of bicameral countries in the world today are characterized by symmetric bicameralism in structure.

True
False

Over time, most countries have moved away from having class-based upper chambers, though territorially based upper chambers tend to be able to retain their legitimacy.

True
False

Imagine that the status quo policy shown in Figure 2 were actually at 5 (assume that nothing else has changed). Would this different status quo affect the answers to the previous questions concerning Figure 2?

Yes, because the acceptable ranges for each median voter would be different. In fact, in this case the status quo
could not be overturned in favor of any new policy.
No, all of the answers to the preceding questions would be the same.

Constitutionalism” refers to constitutions that are written in a single document, as opposed to constitutions that have several sources, some of which may be unwritten.

True
False

The majority of independent countries in the world today have codified constitutions.

True
False

In which of the types of democracies would it be easier for the legislature to enact any policy change that it wanted to make (assuming a majority of legislators were in agreement), no matter how radical?

In a country with a legislative supremacy constitution.
In a country with a higher law constitution.

. In the U.S. case, are actors such as the president and the Congress considered to be institutional veto players or partisan veto players?

Institutional veto players.
Partisan veto players.