The Welfare State

It is important to start off with the definition of the Welfare State, which is defined in ITMC as “A state that aims to provide a basic safety net for the most vulnerable elements of its population, often accomplished through social insurance, public health care plans and poverty relief.” There are currently three main types of welfare states, with one of them being the liberal welfare state (think US), which tends to have modes social insurance plans and helps lower classes. The second and third focus more on the middle class, and are the corporatist (think Germany), which is conservative and post industrial, and social democratic types (think Sweden), which believes in equality and vast social rights.

The current or relatively current situation in Sweden involving immigration has relation to this. Sweden’s Welfare State is described by the New York Times, not as a safety net, but as a “nest.” That is, the Swedish people and their father and grandfathers built the existing Welfare System. With a population of under 10 million, the addition of 150,000 new immigrants proved harmful to the Welfare State and the once welcoming Swedes are now trying to turn their backs on refugees.

To what extent are immigrants be blamed for hurting welfare states in countries?

In a liberal welfare state like the USA, immigration is hurting it. This is because liberal welfare states tend to help the lower class, and with new immigrants coming in and occupying jobs, it is not helpful for the poorer community. In middle class oriented welfare states, immigration can be problematic because immigrants will apply for welfare and when they recieve aid, it is taking it away from the working middle class.

Erlanger, Steven. “Sweden Was Long Seen as a ‘Moral Superpower.’ That May Be Changing.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Sept. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/world/europe/sweden-election-populism.html.

James Tyler Dickovick and Jonathan Eastwood, Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 65-69.

Competitive Authoritarianism

Competitive Authoritarianism is a hybrid form of government with values coming from democratic and authoritarian governments. A great example would be Russia under Putin. This form of government is where the regime does not meet the four requirements for democracy (fair elections, right to vote, freedoms of speech etc. and elected officials have real responsibility). In a competitive authoritarian government, there is usually one very strong party, people are not generally allowed freedom of speech and bribes and other things are prevalent.

In 2018, Russians charged over 27 million dollars in bribes, and that is just what was found. This is up from the year before and proves that Russia ranks low in transparency and high in corruption.

How can the distinction be made that a competitive authoritarian government isn’t a democracy or authoritarian?

The main distinction would be that the government does not grant basic rights to its citizens and there is not an opposing party. Mexico’s PRI reign would be characterized as a competitive authoritarian government. While Mexico during this time didn’t necessarily oppress its citizens, it did control the media, accept bribes and there was never a strong opposition party.

Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics. Classic and Contemporary Readings ed., Oxford University Press, 2017.

 

“Russians Charged Over $27M in Bribes in 2018, Prosecutors Say.” The Moscow Times, The Moscow Times, 18 Dec. 2018, themoscowtimes.com/news/russians-charged-over-27-million-bribes-2018-prosecutors-say-63879.

Women and Minority Groups

In ITMC, Dickovick and Eastwood talk about the factors that influence the political representation of women and minority groups. Social Movement Mobilization is a process for this, along with political parties that are based off of gender or ethnicity or institutions that promote women’s and minorities representation. These ethnic and gender parties are generally formed based off of shared interest based on demographics, a society’s culture of ethnic affiliation, the nature of political competition, and the historical treatment of the ethnic groups.

The New York Times has reported that the third women’s march is coming up. The first women’s march was the largest single day protest in United States history, and was very effective. The march that is coming up is set to protest many things, with an emphasis on anti-semitism.

How easy is it for minority groups to have representation in government?

As seen in last semester, democratic regimes and governments are often very good at representing all types of people. The election of Barack Obama for example, is a great situation where a minority is elected to the head of government. However, this is not always the case in authoritarian regimes, as these governments often discriminate against minorities and do not allow them rights to office, or even rights at all. In general, political parties based on gender and ethnicity tend to fare much better in a democratic environment that in an authoritarian one.

 

Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. P337-346.

 

Sayam, M. (2019, January 18). Women’s March 2019: Here’s What to Know if You Can’t Keep Up. Retrieved January 24, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/us/womens-march-problems.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Race and Ethnicity&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection

Homosexuality in the world

In last night’s reading concerning the global divide in homosexuality, it talked about different places and their stances on homosexuality. In general, North America and Europe were most accepted to homosexuality in society, with Africa, Asia, some parts of Russia and the middle east being against it. Latin America is more in-between. As of recently, the United States, South Korea and Canada have made huge strides to becoming more tolerant. Religion has a big role in it too, with predominantly Muslim countries being against it. In general, the more religious a county is, regardless of the religion, they are less tolerant to homosexuality. Age also plays a role, with younger people being more tolerant than older ones.

Even with great strides being made, there are still places in the United States that aren’t accepting. Recently, as reported by the Huffington Post, a marriage venue in Texas rejected a gay couple trying to get married. They based this off of their religious beliefs.

What role does the type of government have in this?

As seen in the first semester, all of the democratic countries were more tolerant towards homosexuality than the authoritarian ones we are learning about today. Even in Nigeria, where homosexuality may be frowned upon, it is still very legal. The more a government is run by the people, it is generally more accepting of homosexuality.

 

Style, Y. (2019, January 29). Wedding Venue Rejects Gay Couple, Arguing Marriage Equality Goes Against God’s ‘Plan’. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-knot-removes-texas-listing-after-venue-refuses-to-host-gay-wedding_us_5c50da4ee4b0f43e410bfce5

The Global Divide on Homosexuality. (2015, June 01). Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality

China

In part of last nights readings, we learned about the Chinese Communist Party and its huge importance in the definition of China. The CCP was created by Mao Zedong and differed from traditional Marxist communism. Mao was very interested in the peasant class, and saw them as the key to a revolution. This differs from Russia and Lenin, who thought that the peasants were worthless. However, in more recent years, the Chinese government has moved away from this and incorporated a lot of wealthy businessmen into the government.

China recently put the Green New Deal into effect. The Green New Deal follows China’s stance on helping the poor. This deal means that the government can establish bureaucracies that would provide public-sector jobs for the unemployed in order to determine who would be eligible for loans. The wealthy people would then be subject to high taxes.

Is it possible for a country to function without the help of the wealthy?

It would be very difficult. Even China, probably the most prominent communist country that is based off of power in the non-elite, has incorporated the elite into their government. Looking at Great Britain’s legislature, while the House of Commons is obviously more powerful, the House of Lords is still prevalent and exists. For a country to keep up with its allies and enemies, it needs the support of the wealthy and the poor to be successful.

Gunter, Frank R. “China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ a Hard Lesson for Green New Deal Advocates.” TheHill, The Hill, 14 Feb. 2019, thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/429675-chinas-great-leap-forward-a-hard-lesson-for-green-new-deal.

Homosexuality in the World

In last night’s reading concerning the global divide in homosexuality, it talked about different places and their stances on homosexuality. In general, North America and Europe were most accepted to homosexuality in society, with Africa, Asia, some parts of Russia and the middle east being against it. Latin America is more in-between. As of recently, the United States, South Korea and Canada have made huge strides to becoming more tolerant. Religion has a big role in it too, with predominantly Muslim countries being against it. In general, the more religious a county is, regardless of the religion, they are less tolerant to homosexuality. Age also plays a role, with younger people being more tolerant than older ones.

Even with great strides being made, there are still places in the United States that aren’t accepting. Recently, as reported by the Huffington Post, a marriage venue in Texas rejected a gay couple trying to get married. They based this off of their religious beliefs.

What role does the type of government have in this?

As seen in the first semester, all of the democratic countries were more tolerant towards homosexuality than the authoritarian ones we are learning about today. Even in Nigeria, where homosexuality may be frowned upon, it is still very legal. The more a government is run by the people, it is generally more accepting of homosexuality.

 

Style, Y. (2019, January 29). Wedding Venue Rejects Gay Couple, Arguing Marriage Equality Goes Against God’s ‘Plan’. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-knot-removes-texas-listing-after-venue-refuses-to-host-gay-wedding_us_5c50da4ee4b0f43e410bfce5

The Global Divide on Homosexuality. (2015, June 01). Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/

Indian Political Parties

In India, there are two main parties, the historically strong INC and the recently strong BJP, and a bunch of smaller parties. These small parties are still very important thought, and make up about 40% of the House. The INC and BJP are still more important though. The INC is more focused on promoting Hindu nationalism and economic reform, while the BJP is more focused on everyone. Recent BJP leaders have been trying to downplay their religious ties and promote the picture of the BJP being a more honest INC. This is difficult though, as they are largely anti-muslim. For example, Modi, the current Prime Minister has been accused of being too tied to hindu nationalism. However, he has made up for this by promising to be the more ‘honest’ INC through promoting growth and limiting corruption.

On October 24th, India Today reported that Sharad Pawar, leader of the NCP spoke about the necessity of small parties joining together to compete politically with the BJP. He says that these parties must form a coalition at a local level in order to have a say, as attempting to take over nationally would be too difficult.

How can such a diverse country such as India have their whole population represented by one major ruling party?

The BJP accounts for 52% of the current House. The leader, Modi, has been under criticism for being a little racist towards non-Hindus. While Hinduism is the predominant religion of India, it is certainly not 100%, and with a population of 1.4 billion people, there are plenty of people not receiving the recognition and support they need. This is crucial, as India is still a impoverished country, and while the government is making efforts, it is still, and probably never will be, entirely representative.

 

Patrick O’Neil, Karl Fields, and Don Share, Cases in Comparative Politics (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2018), 475-484.

Tare, Mayuresh Ganapatye Kiran. “I Will Try to Bring All Non-BJP Parties Together: Sharad Pawar.” India Today, 24 Oct. 2018, http://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/i-will-try-to-bring-all-non-bjp-parties-together-sharad-pawar-1374250-2018-10-24.

Competitive Authoritarianism

Competitive Authoritarianism is a hybrid form of government with values coming from democratic and authoritarian governments. A great example would be Russia under Putin. This form of government is where the regime does not meet the four requirements for democracy (fair elections, right to vote, freedoms of speech etc. and elected officials have real responsibility). In a competitive authoritarian government, there is usually one very strong party, people are not generally allowed freedom of speech and bribes and other things are prevalent.

In 2018, Russians charged over 27 million dollars in bribes, and that is just what was found. This is up from the year before and proves that Russia ranks low in transparency and high in corruption.

How can the distinction be made that a competitive authoritarian government isn’t a democracy or authoritarian?

The main distinction would be that the government does not grant basic rights to its citizens and there is not an opposing party. Mexico’s PRI reign would be characterized as a competitive authoritarian government. While Mexico during this time didn’t necessarily oppress its citizens, it did control the media, accept bribes and there was never a strong opposition party.

 

Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics. Classic and Contemporary Readings ed., Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Russians Charged Over $27M in Bribes in 2018, Prosecutors Say.” The Moscow Times, The Moscow Times, 18 Dec. 2018, themoscowtimes.com/news/russians-charged-over-27-million-bribes-2018-prosecutors-say-63879.

The Importance of the CCP

In part of last nights readings, we learned about the Chinese Communist Party and its huge importance in the definition of China. The CCP was created by Mao Zedong and differed from traditional Marxist communism. Mao was very interested in the peasant class, and saw them as the key to a revolution. This differs from Russia and Lenin, who thought that the peasants were worthless. However, in more recent years, the Chinese government has moved away from this and incorporated a lot of wealthy businessmen into the government.

China recently put the Green New Deal into effect. The Green New Deal follows China’s stance on helping the poor. This deal means that the government can establish bureaucracies that would provide public-sector jobs for the unemployed in order to determine who would be eligible for loans. The wealthy people would then be subject to high taxes.

Is it possible for a country to function without the help of the wealthy?

It would be very difficult. Even China, probably the most prominent communist country that is based off of power in the non-elite, has incorporated the elite into their government. Looking at Great Britain’s legislature, while the House of Commons is obviously more powerful, the House of Lords is still prevalent and exists. For a country to keep up with its allies and enemies, it needs the support of the wealthy and the poor to be successful.

Gunter, Frank R. “China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ a Hard Lesson for Green New Deal Advocates.” TheHill, The Hill, 14 Feb. 2019, thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/429675-chinas-great-leap-forward-a-hard-lesson-for-green-new-deal.

The Welfare State

It is important to start off with the definition of the Welfare State, which is defined in ITMC as “A state that aims to provide a basic safety net for the most vulnerable elements of its population, often accomplished through social insurance, public health care plans and poverty relief.” There are currently three main types of welfare states, with one of them being the liberal welfare state (think US), which tends to have modes social insurance plans and helps lower classes. The second and third focus more on the middle class, and are the corporatist (think Germany), which is conservative and post industrial, and social democratic types (think Sweden), which believes in equality and vast social rights.

The current or relatively current situation in Sweden involving immigration has relation to this. Sweden’s Welfare State is described by the New York Times, not as a safety net, but as a “nest.” That is, the Swedish people and their father and grandfathers built the existing Welfare System. With a population of under 10 million, the addition of 150,000 new immigrants proved harmful to the Welfare State and the once welcoming Swedes are now trying to turn their backs on refugees.

To what extent are immigrants be blamed for hurting welfare states in countries?

In a liberal welfare state like the USA, immigration is hurting it. This is because liberal welfare states tend to help the lower class, and with new immigrants coming in and occupying jobs, it is not helpful for the poorer community. In middle class oriented welfare states, immigration can be problematic because immigrants will apply for welfare and when they recieve aid, it is taking it away from the working middle class.

 

Erlanger, Steven. “Sweden Was Long Seen as a ‘Moral Superpower.’ That May Be Changing.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Sept. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/world/europe/sweden-election-populism.html. James Tyler Dickovick and Jonathan Eastwood, Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 65-69.