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Week 1: Introduction to Concepts

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jaclyn johnson

on 9 September 2015

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Transcript of Week 1: Introduction to Concepts

What is the Constitution?
the constitution of a nation establishes its governing institutions and the set of rules and procedures these institutions must (and must not) follow to reach and enforce collective agreements"
Does every country have a constitution?
government, then, consist of these institutions and the legal process for making and enforcing collective agreements
elections- one of the core values of modern, liberal democracies

authority must periodically stand before the citizenry

citizens are able to electorally punish elected officials who are not carrying out "the social contract"
Should institutions be durable?
For the sake of democratic norms, should institutions be easy or hard to change?

Take 5 minutes to discuss with your neighbor. We will then have a discussion with the entire class. Be prepared to speak.
Week 1: Introduction to Concepts
So what?
Collective action is really hard to realize. This is for two main reasons:
"the process through which individuals and groups reach agreement on a course of common or collective action"
"who gets what, when, where and how"
"the practice or theory of influencing other people"
What are politics?
Bargaining, compromise, and preferences
bargaining - dividing up some good (e.g. diffuse good, like a policy preference
compromise - achieving a bargain that is satisfying (at least for the time being) to both parties involved
Preferences - actors have outcomes that they would rather have happen than other, actors know what they want.
What are institutions?
"rules of the game"
"organizations or activities that are self perpetuating and valued for their own sake"
"les and procedues that are often created to help overcome competing preferences"
"the efforts of a group to reach and implement agreements"
"action taken together by a group of people whose goal is to enhance their status and achieve a common objective"

What is collective action?
Coordination Problems
coordination games are a class of games with multiple pure strategy Nash equilibria in which players choose the same or corresponding strategies.
Prisoner's dilemma
coordination games are a class of games with multiple pure strategy Nash equilibria in which players choose the same or corresponding strategies.
Free rider problem
receiving benefits while not paying into the collective activity
Tragedy of the Commons- public, non-excludable good effected by individuals' costless consumption
Choices invariably breed conflict, for example:
conflicting interests
conflicting values
conflicting ideas about how to allocate limited resources

So how can we solve these types of problems?
Take five minutes to chat with your neighbor. Be prepared to discuss with the whole class.
Costs of Collective Action
Transaction costs- the time, effort, and resources reqiured make collective decisions
Conformity costs- the extent collective decision obligate participants to do something they prefer not to do
Prisoners dilemma example
Full transcript