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Introduction to Comparative Politics, Part 1

POL 234, fall 2018

Regina Goodnow

on 9 October 2018

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Transcript of Introduction to Comparative Politics, Part 1

“humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction (Douglas North)”
Organizations or patterns of behavior that are self-perpetuating and valued for their own sake – not easily changed!
Also, norms and values – not easily changed!
Influence political actors
Vary across cases
Introducing Political institutions
Inductive or Deductive?

Quantitative or Qualitative?

Assumptions about human actors?
Potential Problems
Correlation versus causation
Contextual diversity
Small “n” and limited information
Selection bias
Hypothesis testing is not as easy as it may seem
You have a theory:
"Democracies do not go to war with each other .... because one could argue that democracies have cultural norms of nonviolence, institutional obstacles to military action, and difficulty defining another democracy as an enemy."

You then derive testable hypotheses from your theory:
Hypothesis: "Democracies are less likely to go to war with each other”
Null Hypothesis: "Democracies are not less likely to go to war with each other”

The empirical evidence
Sovereign states fought 416 wars between each other between 1816 and 1980.
Only 12 of these were fought between democracies.
Hypothesis testing: A simplified example
Political Science: Asking Why
American Politics

Comparative Politics

International Relations

Other fields?
What is Political Science?
What makes states legitimate?

The social contract
The State

Collective identity
who are “we the people”?

The use of “nationalism”

A shared culture?
The Nation State
14 new states post-World War I (1918-1935)

54 new states post-World War II (1945-1965)

23 new states Post-Cold War (1989-1993)

The proliferation of the nation state
The government?
A regime?
Well, yes it's associated with these concepts, but it's also distinct from them

Max Weber’s classic definition:

'The State' is a “human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”
What is “The State”?

What does it mean to be “American?”
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
John Locke (1632-1704)
Why do some countries attain and sustain democracy, while others do not?

- Under what conditions will democracies emerge and consolidate?

Why do countries have different institutions and forms of government?

- What are the consequences of presidential versus parliamentary democracy for education policy?

If states provide the "containers" (or frameworks) for the practice of politics, then what is politics?
State and Politics

Or a noble dignified activity serving the public good?
Three traditions

1) Politics-as-war
2) Politics-as-process
3) Politics-as-participation
State and Politics


"[I]f men were angels, then no government would be necessary....In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
--Publius, Federalist Paper No. 51
Political Liberalism

Karl Marx
Jean Jacques Rousseau
(384 BC - 322 BC)
The "end of politics"?


View of Politics
The struggle for power among antagonistic groups and individuals

View of the State
Coercive institution that seeks to maximize power

View of Politics
"who gets what, when, and how"
the authoritative allocation of value

View of the State
the state is a neutral umpire
the constitution constrains the state; i.e., a "rule-of-law" state

View of Politics
citizens must be involved in the decisions that affect the public interest

View of the State
state should be non-coercive; rather, it is a forum for public deliberation
For e.g., Marx's vision of direct democracy?

Is this remotely feasible?
Niccolo Machiavelli
(1469 - 1527)
"[W]ar is the continuation of politics by other means"
-Karl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831)
Political Realism
Thomas Hobbes
(1588 - 1679)
Direct Democracy
Representative Democracy
Liberal (Libertarian) democracy
Social democracy
Classical Direct Democracy
Marxian Direct Democracy
"...warre of every man against every man....And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."
"The State of Nature"
Social Contract
"This is to think that men are so foolish that they take care to avoid what mischiefs may be done them by polecats or foxes, but are content, nay, think it safety, to be devoured by lions."
(A concept we'll keep returning to...)
FALL 2018

States, regimes, and governments

A regime = the constitutional values, rules, and procedures found within the state
E.g., an authoritarian versus a democratic regime
What is "regime change"?
A government = the day-to-day officeholders who run the state
For example, in democracies, governments can change when there are new elections

The state = the more permanent institutions of authority in society
E.g., the bureaucracy, the military, the polices, prisons, secret police, etc.
All regime types and every government use these institutions of authority to maintain order or to manage conflict
Turning to democratic regimes
Emphasis on Process not Output

Joseph Schumpeter : Democracy is “that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.”
Samuel Huntington: “Elections, open, free and fair, are the essence of democracy, the inescapable sine qua non. Governments produced by elections may be inefficient, corrupt, shortsighted, irresponsible, dominated by special interests, and incapable of adopting policies demanded by the public good. These qualities make such governments undesirable but they do not make them undemocratic.”
Robert Dahl: “Procedural Minimal” Conditions

I. Public Contestation
a. Electoral competition
b. Individual freedoms

II. Inclusiveness
a. Universal Suffrage
b. Universal Opportunity to Run for Office
Liberal Democracy
Closed Authoritarianism
How long has the U.S. been a democracy
A Minimal Definition of Democracy
Democracy as a Continuum
Democracy vs. Constitutional Liberalism
The American diplomat Richard Holbrooke pondered a problem on the eve of the September 1996 elections in Bosnia, which were meant to restore civic life to that ravaged country: "Suppose the election was declared free and fair," he said, and those elected are "racists, fascists, separatists, who are publicly opposed to [peace and reintegration]. That is the dilemma."
Fareed Zakaria: “Constitutional liberalism…is not about the procedures for selecting government, but rather, government’s goals. It refers to the tradition, deep in Western history, that seeks to protect an individual’s autonomy and dignity against coercion, whatever the source – state, church, or society.”
From the American Revolution onward?

Since women won the right to vote?

Since the Voting Rights Act?
Soviet Union

North Korea


Saudi Arabia

United Kingdom

United States



Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
- Winston Churchill
Democracy comes in different varieties
Nazi Germany
Stalinist Russia
North Korea?

What is Democracy?
consensual or majoritarian
liberal (or libertarian) or social democratic
direct or representative
So much depends on our definition of democracy!





Small city states with agricultural surroundings
Slave-based economy creating “free time” for citizens to participate
Women take care of domestic affairs so that men can perform their public duties
Highly restricted notion of citizenship
“Citizens should enjoy political equality in order to be free to rule and be ruled in turn”
Citizens participate directly in legislative and judicial functions of the state
Citizen assembly is sovereign
“Sovereign power” includes all the common affairs of the city
Different methods for selecting candidates for public office
No special privilege for public officials, compared to ordinary citizens
Short term-limits for offices
Public official compensated for their service
What could possible go wrong?
Xenophon's story
Plato's metaphors
Marxian Direct Democracy
Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Friedrich Engels (1820-1895)

"The 'free development of all' can only be achieved with the 'free development of each.' Freedom requires the end of exploitation and ultimately complete political and economic equality; only equality can secure the conditions for the realization of the potentiality of all human beings so that 'each can give' according to his or her ability and 'receive what they need"
The Paris Commune
Class Conflict
Historical Materialism
The state under capitalism
The "end of politics"
"When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."
Some clarification: the different uses of the term “liberal”

When discussing “liberal” (or libertarian) as opposed to “social” democracy:
“Liberal democracy is a form of representative democracy which--out of concern over the abuse of political power--restricts the power of democratic rulers (e.g. through the separation of powers) and limits the intervention in economy and society.
 Liberal democracy is confined to a narrowly defined political sphere.” 

You can compare it to a more “libertarian” style of democracy and to the views of many U.S. Republicans on fiscal issues and the the views of many U.S. Democrats on social issues.

Who is a "neoliberal"?
Liberal democracy is a form of representative democracy which--out of concern over the abuse of political power-- restricts the power of democratic rulers (e.g. through the separation of powers) and limits the intervention in economy and society. Liberal democracy is confined to a narrowly defined political sphere.
The State

Some History


The Reformation
Thomas Hobbes

Defender or opponent of royalism and absolutism?
John Locke
Charles Louis de Secondat,
Baron de Montesquieu
James Madison

Social Contract
"State of Nature"
"...warre of every man against every man....And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Liberal Democracy
"This is to think that men are so foolish that they take care to avoid what mischiefs may be done them by polecats or foxes, but are content, nay, think it safety, to be devoured by lions."
"[I]f men were angels, then no government would be necessary....In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
--Publius, Federalist Paper No. 51
Social democracy
A liberal tradition in America?
Limitations on the Federal Government
Amendments 1-10
First: separation of church and state, freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly, petition
Second: right to bear arms
Third: protection from “quartering of troops”
Fourth: protection from search and seizure, without probable cause
Fifth: right to due process, protection from double jeopardy, self-incrimination, or eminent domain (without “just compensation”)
Sixth: right to trial by jury, right to speedy and public trial, right to counsel.
Seventh: right to civil trial by jury
Eighth: protection from excessive bail, fines, and cruel and unusual punishment
Ninth: protection of other rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution
Tenth: “reservation clause”
The Bill of Rights
"What do the people of America want more than anything else? Work and security. . . . They are the spiritual values, the true goal toward which our efforts of reconstruction should lead."
The Great Depression and the New Deal
How to minimize these risks?
“It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustices of another.”
The Federalist 51
"Checks and Balances"
How it differs from Marxism
Class cooperation instead of class struggle

Democratic Corporatism (compare to pluralism)

The primacy of politics instead of historical materialism
How it differs from
A Third Way Between Marxism and Liberalism?
Social Democracy
A balance of positive and negative liberty
Measuring Social Democracy

-Institutionalized social and economic rights
-A universalistic social welfare state committed to upholding basic rights
-Social expenditure as a percent of GDP
-Coordinated market economy
-Relative poverty rate
-Social stratification in the educational system
-Labor force participate rate
-Income inequality

How do countries compare?
Classical direct democracy
What is Democracy?
Democracy is a political regime in which the possibility of undisturbed public contestation is guaranteed and in which political rule is ultimately based on the renewable empirical consent of the citizens, considered as political equals and defined in an inclusive way.
To define the fundamental principles of the regime

To provide a framework of government

To define the nature of the relationship between the state and citizens
The three functions of constitutions
Federalism in the U.S.
Economic crises (such as the Great Depression) -> more government involvement in national economy, FDR and the New Deal

War-making (Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq, Afghanistan) -> more power in the national government, which is responsible for raising armies and navies, declaring war, financing war efforts

National problems (pollution, civil rights, consumer goods, poverty, competition, natural disasters, etc.) -> national government can manage some of these problems more efficiently and/or effectively
Evolution of federalism
Recognition of same-sex marriages
Licensing (lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers, etc.)
Public education
Family law
Chartering banks and corporations
Regulating business (in state)
Plus police powers (reservation clause)
Interstate commerce
Post offices
Declare war
Coin money
Foreign policy
Plus all “necessary and proper” powers and “implied” powers
Federal and state responsibilities
Some states have legalized same-sex marriages
California (June 28, 2013), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Iowa (Apr. 24, 2009), Massachusetts (May 17, 2004), New Jersey (Oct. 21, 2013), New Mexico (Dec. 19, 2013), Oregon (May 19, 2014), Pennsylvania (May 20, 2014)
State legislature:
Delaware (July 1, 2013), Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), Illinois (June 1, 2014), Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (July 24, 2011), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009)
Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012)
Some state constitutions have “Defense of Marriage” amendments (some other states have statutes prohibiting it)
Three US appeals courts
have ruled state laws against gay marriage unconstitutional: including (1) Utah and Oklahoma; (2) Wisconsin/Indiana; and (3) Virginia
Full faith and credit clause (Art. IV) – states must recognize contracts made in other states, unless there is “a compelling public policy reason to the contrary”
U.S. Congress passed DOMA (1996), contradicting the full faith and credit clause
February 23, 2011: President Obama ordered DOJ to stop defending DOMA on the grounds that it is unconstitutional
June 26, 2013: Supreme Court overturns DOMA
June 26, 2015: Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage country-wide
Some denied powers
No compacts between states (without Congress’ approval)
No duties on exports from states
Congress can’t show favoritism toward one state
No bill of attainders
No ex post facto laws
Levy taxes
Protect well-being
Borrow money
Establish courts
Make laws
Enforce laws
Concurrent powers
Frameworks of Governance
Types of Federalism
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Habeas corpus

"No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go against him or send against him, unless by legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land" -Magna Carta 1215
Bicameralism is common feature in federal states, which makes sense because an (upper) chamber can give a voice to the interests of the sub-national region (e.g., a state or a province).
E.g., U.S. senators represent the states, whereas congressmen (and women) represent congressional districts within states.

However, many unitary states also use bicameralism

All U.S. states except Nebraska also have bicameral legislatures
Federalism and Bicameralism
Senates as contested institutions
To compare governments we can look at:

in place about what kinds of laws they can pass and the procedures they must follow in making and passing them; and

in place to allow established, new, and returning government to perform their fundamental task of governing

Recall, the concept of "political

The most fundamental institutional level in a democracy is the

How Government Works
A fundamental set of rules that undergird democratic governments
The “rule of law”
Governments cannot arbitrarily pass any laws they want; nor can they deprive citizens their constitutionally guaranteed rights
New constitutions usually result from major historical turning points, such as wars, revolutions, or military coups; e.g., when “regime change” occurs.

“The constraining of government in order to better effectuate the fundamental principles of the regime (Whittington 2008)”
Types of Constitutions
Structures of Governance

or merely a façade?

or uncodified?
The "Separation of Powers" into "Branches" of Government
Frameworks of Governance
Unitarism versus Federalism
The Horizontal Power-Relations
The Vertical Power-Relations
Unitarism is marked by hierarchical structure of governance
Historical origins
Federalism allows regional autonomy and self-governance
Key characteristics
Geopolitical divisions
National and sub-national governments must have independent bases of authority
Direct governance

Federal law is the supreme law of the land.

Federal courts are the highest court of the land.

The federal government controls interstate commerce.

States administer all elections.

States have primary control over law and order and education.
Supremacy Clause, Article 4, Paragraph 2

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Reservation Clause, Tenth Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Federalism in the U.S. Constitution
The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall (1801-1835) was very influential in delineating the balance of national and state powers

Key cases:
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Balancing national and state power
The U.S.

What is the purpose of bicameralism?
A different avenue for representation
Can vet the work of the other chamber by providing a "second opinion"

Redundancy and Representation

In some bicameral legislatures, the upper and lower houses provide a "checking and balancing" of each other
E.g., the U.S. and Italy
In others, the upper house is subordinate to the lower house
E.g., the U.K.
Are they really necessary?

What is the biggest justification for having a senate?
"minoritarian" compared to "majoritarian" democracy
Another major set of political institutions

Horizontal Power-Relations

Executive-Legislative Relations

How about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington State?
“a political regime is considered as semi-presidential if the constitution which established it, combines three elements: (1) the president of the republic is elected by universal suffrage, (2) he possesses quite considerable powers; (3) he has opposite him, however, a prime minister and ministers who possess executive and governmental power and can stay in office only if the parliament does not show its opposition to them”
–Maurice Duverger (1980)

France’s Fifth Republic


Separation of powers (presidentialism)

Fusion of powers (parliamentarism)

Hybrid systems: dual executive system, semi-presidentialism, president-parliamentary, premier-presidential, mixed system

Immense variation within these types

Institutions: Executive-Legislative Relations
Presidential systems contain the following key elements:

Separation: Origins and survival of executive and legislature are separate due to direct election of the chief executive and fixed terms.
Checks and Balances: A certain interdependence or overlap of powers between the two branches so they can check the power of the other.

By contrast, parliamentary systems are marked by:

Fusion: Origins and survival of prime minister and legislature are mutually dependent due to no direct election of the chief executive and the vote of confidence.
Legislative predominance: Rather than checks and balances, the legislature holds ultimate authority in the system and can remove the PM when he/she does not have majority support.
Key Elements of Presidentialism and Parliamentarism

Source: Lijpart 1984:70 in Mainwaring and Shugart 1996:16 (adapted)

Defining presidentialism and parliamentarism

Frameworks of Governance I

Chief Executive

National Assembly

Congress (US)

Secretaries (US)
Frameworks of Governance II
Chief Executive
Cabinet of Ministers

National Assembly

Legislative Assembly
Prime Minister


Chancellor (Germany)

Frameworks of Governance III

Prime Minister
Who Selects the Chief Executive?
Does the Chief Executive Serve a Fixed Term?
In which system are the two branches of government mutually dependent?
In which system are the two branches of government mutually independent?
Effects on policymaking in Parliamentary Compared to Presidential Systems?
Can be unicameral or bicameral
Decisiveness and Governability

Common institutions:
Presidential systems
Single member district elections

Two-party systems
Single-party governments
(Adversarial) Democracy
Consensus Democracy
Inclusion and Proportionality
Bargaining and Compromise

Common institutions:
Parliamentary systems
Proportional representation elections

Multiparty systems
Coalition governments
  Dahl: “No constitution will preserve democracy in a country where the underlying conditions are highly unfavorable. A country where the underlying conditions are highly favorable can preserve its basic democratic institutions under a great variety of constitutional arrangements. Carefully crafted constitutional design may be helpful, however, in preserving the basic democratic institutions in countries where the underlying conditions are mixed, both favorable and unfavorable.”

The Importance of Context!
Answering Linz: Advantages of Presidentialism

Unifying National Symbol
Decisive Leadership
Arbiter/Flexible Alliances
“Perils” of Presidentialism (Juan Linz)
Dual democratic legitimacy
Rigid, not flexible
Office easily personified (political outsiders/weak parties)
Winner-takes-all office (majoritarianism/exclusion)
Is one system better than the other?
Is one system better than the other?
What is inductive reasoning?
a. means by which we go from a hypothesis to studying a number of cases
b. means by which we go from studying a single case to generating a hypothesis
c. the means by which we test evidence using logic and mathematics
d. the means by which we test evidence using extensive field research

As a political ideology, liberalism places a strong emphasis on:
a. individual freedom and a weak state
b. collective equality and a strong state
c. individual freedom and a strong state
d. collective equality and a weak state
First Midterm Exam -- Wednesday, October 12th
Is the U.S. somehow unique?
Medicaid Coverage Expansion
On October 1, 2013, uninsured people started to buy plans on the new marketplaces. The roll-out was super bumpy due to technical problems with the website www.healthcare.gov.

Republicans in the House of Representative managed to shut down the government (through budgetary control). They wanted the rollout of the marketplaces to be delayed a year and if other changes weren’t made, including a reduction of employer responsibilities. (There were also unrelated budget disputes, not about the ACA.) Some members of the Senate agreed with them (such as Ted Cruz, who symbolically filibustered the project, partly by reading “green eggs and ham”), but the Democratic majority and several centrist Republicans in the Senate were refusing to agree to their plans.

June 30, 2014, The "Hobby Lobby" decisions: The Supreme Court ruled that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the ACA violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

On February 3, 2015, the House voted for the 56th time to defund or undermine the ACA, none of the measures were liable to pass in the Senate.

The 2012 NIFIB v Seleblius case

June 28, 2012: The Supreme Court upholds the individual mandate, but allows individual states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, which would expand coverage specifically to low income individuals. (These individuals are still required to have health insurance, which means they must purchase it.)

Where state currently stand on Medicaid expansion:

The 2015 King v Burwell

June 25, 2015: The Supreme Court upheld state subsidies declaring them legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them" -Chief Justice John Roberts
The Constitutional Question Resolved.
January 19, 2011: The first vote by the House of Representatives to repeal the ACA. The title was "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” (The 56th time was on February 3, 2015!)

January 31, 2011: A federal judge in Florida rules that the ACA is unconstitutional. The argument hinges on the "individual mandate" and whether the federal government has a right to insist upon this.

The Post-Passing Contestation Begins
January 19, 2010: A Republican, Scott Brown, is elected to fill Ted Kennedy's seat, which gives Republicans control over 41 Senate seats--enough that Democrats cannot end a filibuster.

February 2010: President Obama brings members of the House and Senate together to determine how to consolidate the differences between the bills. The easiest route, given the lack of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, would be for the House to vote for the Senate bill; however, a technical work-around was found, which allowed for the two bills to go through the "reconciliation process," which was not eligible for filibuster.

March 2010: Bart Stupak, author of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, drops his insistence on it in exchange for an executive order reaffirming the Hyde Amendment, an earlier policy that forbade federal funding for abortion. (Note contraception coverage.)

March 21, 2010: The House passed the Senate bill. (Potential grounds for a challenge?)
Merging the Two
November 7, 2009: The House passes HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for Americans Act. It includes both the public option and the individual mandate.

December 24, 2009: The Senate passes its version of the bill, which contains the individual mandate but not the public option.

The Bills Pass
In October 2009, one Democrat and one Republican in the House introduced the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would forbid the federal government from paying for abortions under any law passed.

September-December 2009: Internal negotiating in the Senate over the bill. Republicans said they would filibuster any bill they did not approve of; this means supporters of the bill needed 60 votes for 'cloture,' or to end a filibuster; in essence, they needed 60 votes to support the bill.

Whether they had the 60 changed at several points, because of a recount, a party defection (with a Republican, Arlen Specter, becoming a Democrat), and the death of a Democratic senator (Ted Kennedy) with his seat going to a Republican (Scott Brown). In the end, getting all 60 votes required getting rid of the public option in the Senate bill.

What was the "public option"?
March 23, 2010: President Obama signs the ACA into law.

A variety of elements entered into effect immediately; many of them involved executive-branch bodies (such as the Internal Revenue Service, which managed the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, and the Department of Health and Human Services, which organized community health centers funded through the ACA).
The ACA is Law
March 5, 2009: Obama hosts a group of leaders to formally launch the conversation. The White House does not submit a draft, but leaves this up to Congress.

March-October 2009: The House of Representatives draft and debate bills, with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the House Committee on Education and Labor in the lead.

June-September, 2009: The Senate Finance Committee develops their own health care bill.
The Beginnings: Horse-Trading and Negotiation
This budget builds on these reforms.  It includes an historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform – a down-payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American.  It’s a commitment that’s paid for in part by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue.  And it’s a step we must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come. 

Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform, and that is why I’m bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week. 

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process.  It will be hard.  But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough.  So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.     
Excerpts from Obama’s Speech
February 24, 2009: Newly-inaugurated President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress to state that he is prioritizing healthcare reform (along with other economic programs designed to kickstart the economy after the 2008 crash).
The Beginnings: Consultation and Drafting
Understanding the Executive/Legislative Relationship under Presidentialism Through a Pivotal Piece of Policy
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare, 2010
Map from the Brookings Institute.
The health care exchanges where individuals will buy health insurance are run at the state level; either they can join the federal marketplace, or run their own. States begin to organize these as early as 2011.
Meanwhile, in the states…
As it Stands, What does the ACA Do?
Chief Executive
Prime Minister
Who Selects the Chief Executive?
Does the Chief Executive Serve a Fixed Term?
Social context
Continuity of experience?
Core group of moderates?
Democratization: Good and Bad Factors Tend to Come in Bunches



Source: www.electionresources.org
May 2014 election: BJP won 31 percent of the vote but 282 of 543 seats in parliament.
Presidential (or semi-presidential) with or without checks and balances
Is this a deductive or an inductive approach to hypothesis testing?
Can you detect any problems with this approach?
Hypothesis testing: Approaches
Cause Effect

Independent Variable Dependent Variable

X Variable Y Variable

Explanation Outcome
What are we trying to get at?
Where states currently stand:
What about in a democracy? Government shutdown?
The October 1, 2013 federal exchange rollout fiasco (as a bit of an aside): https://www.healthcare.gov/
Induction – The logical model in which general principles are developed from specific observations.
Imagine you know nothing about the forest, so you set out to discover something about it by examining the individual trees one by one.

Deduction – The logical model in which specific expectations of hypotheses are developed on the basis of general principles.
Imagine you have a hypothesis about the forest, and you go out to see if it is correct though a systematic examination of the trees.
Hypothesis testing: Approaches
Independent Variable
The cause
A change in the variable will produce a certain amount of change in the dependent variable
The Xs in an equation / The horizontal axis

Dependent Variable
The effect/outcome
This variable changes in response to changes in the independent variable(s)
The Y in an equation / The vertical axis
Thinking in terms of variables
Hypothesis testing: Approaches
Qualitative Data – non-numerical data
“John is intelligent”

Quantitative Data – numerical data
“John has a IQ of 125”

you can study the social world scientifically

Asch experiment:
reconsidering human rationality
Who is the "head of state"?

Who is the "head of government"?
Formulating an Argument
What is an argument?
Placing evidence in a logical form in support of a position or claim

Empirical versus Normative Arguments
Why are some country democratic and others authoritarian?
Why is democracy preferable to authoritarianism?
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