Question Set for Pol S 340 Test #2 (27 Oct)


Eight of these twelve questions will be on Friday’s test. Each question will be worth 12 points (students are granted 4 points so the total points will equal 100). Partial credit will be given, so leaving a question blank on the test means a sure loss of 12 points.


 Each question presumes that lecture is a source. Authors are mentioned by name to aid students in identifying which readings are relevant to answering the question.



Sample Question: “How does rule under a neo-patrimonial regime differ from rule under a democratic regime? How does the capacity and autonomy of the state differ under each regime-type?”


Sample Answer: Under a democratic regime, citizens in society vote a government into power, and that government commands the state apparatus. While the government is accountable to the people via elections, the state apparatus is should be autonomous from societal interference. Otherwise, unelected people would be determining what the state does, not the government that people elected. Under neo-patrimonial rule, the government is highly autonomous from society because patrons control citizens’ access to the government and state apparatus. Citizens depend on patronage rather than see the states provide them with services. An example would be villagers seeking assistance from tribal elders, rather than state officials. The state apparatus usually lacks capacity. 


  1. Is civil society a necessary component to the creation of a stable democratic state? How did variations in civil society affect ethnic conflict in India? Are there any reasons or conditions under which civil socity might harm democracy?
  2. What are two reasons to consider market institutions, like firms and unions, as part of civil society? What are two reasons not to?
  3. In Cooper's discussion of civil society in China, what role do environmental NGOS play in effecting political change? What is the relationship between the NGOs and the state?
  4. What role did civil society and market actors play in the rise of Thaksin's TRT party according the article "“‘Business Populism’ in Thailand”? How did the Thaskin government act toward the press and what does this say about the importance of vibrant civil society for democracy?
  5. What are three "key drivers" causing state failure according to the State Failure Task Force? What are two of Herbst's proposals for dealing with failing states in Africa?
  6. According to Reno, why did the "Bakassi Boys" become predatory while the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) was less predatory as the Nigerian state began to collapse?
  7. Are civil wars more or less common since the end of the Cold War? If so, why? If not, why not? What is the relationship between civil war and ethnic diversity in causing civil wars, according to Fearon & Laitin? What is the relationhip between wealth measured as per capita GDP and civl war?
  8. Accoding to lecture, which of Ross' pathways to civil war has the most support from statistical studies? Explain what one of the other pathways is and why it lacks support.
  9. Explain the role that natural resources play in the outbreak of civil war in developing states. Do Pearce and Collier & Hoeffler agree on what this role is? Why or why not?
  10. Explain the difficulty of securing a negotiated settlement to end a civil war in the developing world. What are two strengths and two weaknesses of favoring partion over settlement?
  11. According to Chirot's article on the Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire, what role did economic factors, ethnic divisions, and democratization play in the civil war there? Does Chirot's account support or undermine any other theories we have examined?
  12. What does Barnett mean by "republicanism" and "liberalism" as applied to post-conflict reconstruction? How have reconstruction policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Barnett, differed in terms of republicanism or liberalism?