Political inequality and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections


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Political inequality and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections

  1. 1. Political Inequalityand the U.S. Presidential Elections of 2012
  2. 2. Let’s start by defining power and power inequalityPower is a relational concept, meaning that itcharacterizes the relationship between two or moreentities.Power is the capacity one has to realize one’s willdespite the resistance of others (Weber), or A getsB to do something that B did not want to do (Dahl).
  3. 3. How is power inequality defined? There are two schools of thought:Power Resource Distribution Approach:Power inequality refers to structured differences in thedistribution and acquisition of power resources.-- “Power resources” is used to describe any resourcesused in the exercise of power. Potentially anything can beused as a power resource.-- Resources are distributed unequally.-- Assumes power is an attribute of people; it is somethingone person/group has.
  4. 4. Interdependency Approach:Power inequality is when one person or group realizes theirwill despite the resistance of others more often thanothers, and more often than not.-- Power is an attribute only of relationships, not people.-- There is no set of “power resources” that are fixed across allinteractions.-- Resources can take the form of anything actors can do withinan interaction.-- The nature of the interdependent relationship reveals thetypes of actions (resources) available to each participant.-- Power inequality occurs when one group does not use theresources at their disposal.
  5. 5. What is POLITICAL inequality? In the distributional approach, political inequality refers to structured differences in the distribution and acquisition of political resources. In the interdependence approach, political inequality is when one person or group influences government legislation and policy more often than others, and more often than not. Let us define political inequality this way:Political inequality is the extent to which groups differin influence over decisions made by decision-makingbodies.
  6. 6. Democracy and Political Inequality „Ninety-five (95) projects are listed, each of which establish, or heavily rely on, a particular index of governance across [ten]categories.” They list 52 publications on „democracy.”1 democracy Peter Nardulli: „I think I am on the polar opposite of most2 elections here about where we should go in the future...”3 press freedom4 human rights Dani Kaufmann: „Let’s be realistic. Tomorrow there will be5 state fragility consensus on what democracy really is?”6 corruption Tom Melia: I certainly understand better why some of you are7 rule of law disappointed with some aspects of the [Freedom House]8 delivery of services surveys...9 business and labor climate Melissa Thomas: „These indicators have a really [big]10 economic freedom impact. Hundreds of millions of $ spent in aid based on them.”
  7. 7. American Political Science Association Task Force on Inequality andAmerican Democracy (2004): Ideals of democracy “may be undergrowing threat in an era of persistent and rising inequalities.” APSATask Force identified three main dimensions of political inequality:(1) citizen voice, (2) government responsiveness in terms of decision-making, and (3) patterns of public policy making. APSA Task Force Committee Benjamin R. Barber, University of Lawrence R. Jacobs, University of Minnesota, Maryland-College Park Chair Larry M. Bartels, Princeton Claire Jean Kim, University of California- University Irvine Michael C. Dawson, Harvard Suzanne B. Mettler, Syracuse University University Benjamin I. Page, Northwestern University Morris Fiorina, Stanford University Dianne M. Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University Kay Lehman Schlozman, Boston College Hugh Heclo, George Mason Theda Skocpol, Harvard University University Rodney E. Hero, University of Notre Dame
  8. 8. POLITICAL INEQUALITY VOICE RESPONSEParticipation Representation Symbolic PolicyElectoral Non- Government Non- Formal Informal Electoral Governmental
  9. 9. OCCUPYTEA WALLPARTY STREETest. 2009 est. 2011