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Political Science 14 (Alicor Panao, PhD)

Notes, Introductory chapter on syllabus


Politics can be defined in a number of ways
a. To make, preserve, or amend general rules under which people live.
b. This definition recognizes 1) that there is diversity; ) there is scarcity
Politics is a loaded word !meaning, it comes with a preconception that is neither always flattering
nor positive). "Politics# connotes something dirty !e.g. mapulitika, pinupulitika).
$f you notice, this is %uite ironic because "polis# from where the word politics was derived refers
to the highest and most desirable form of social organization.
&cholars generally look at politics as either'
Politics as arena Politics as process
definition ( act of government; public affairs ( compromise and consensus; distribution
of scarce resources
)pproaches *ehavioralism, +ational ,hoice,
$nstitutionalism
-ar.ism, Post Positivism
Other definitions
a. Politics as art of government. )n e.ample is defining politics as the authoritative
allocation of values !/aston). This definition pertains to how government responds to
pressures from the larger society by allocating benefits, rewards, or penalties.
i. This is a restricted view of politics
ii. Power 0 the ability to influence others
iii. )uthority 0 the right to influence others
b. Politics as public affairs
c. Politics as compromise and consensus
d. Politics as power
i. Power as decision making
ii. Power as agenda setting
iii. Power as thought central
iv. Politics 0 production, distribution and use of resource in the course of
social e.istence
Approaches
Politics is one of the ancient spheres of intellectual in%uiry
a. Philosophical tradition
b. /mpirical tradition
c. *ehavioralism
d. +ational ,hoice
e. 1ew $nstitutionalism
f. ,ritical approaches
i. ,onstructivism
ii. Post structuralism
iii. Post modernism
Analytical tools
,oncept 0 a general idea about something, usually e.pressed as a single word or short phrase;
e.ample, e%uality. )s you will notice, there is a difference between a) talking about e%uality and
b) the concept of e%uality.
a. ,oncept, in a broad sense, refers to the tools with which we think, criticize, argue,
e.plain and analyze.
b. ,oncepts can be shifting and comple.. 2ence, scholars such as -a. 3eber suggest ideal
types.
c. $deal types 0 a mental construct in which attempt is made to draw out meaning from an
otherwise almost infinitely comple. reality through the presentation of a logical e.treme.
i. $n the 3eberian sense, ideal types are e.planatory tools, 14T
appro.imations of reality
ii. &o don5t think of ideal types as true or false, only as being more or less
useful.
Politics can be a struggle between legitimate meanings of terms and concepts !e.g. who is really
defending freedom between rebels and government forces; one person5s terrorist is another
person5s freedom fighter. 3hat is true 6ustice7 True 8reedom7 True democracy7)
-odel 0 representation of something, usually on a smaller scale
,onceptual model 0 analytical tools
( Theoretical representation of empirical data that aims to advance understanding by
highlighting significant relationships and interactions.
Theory 0 a systematic e.planation of empirical data usually !unlike a hypothesis) presented as
reliable knowledge
Paradigm 0 eg. 9iberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism, feminism, etc.
Gien all these (discussed aboe), !hat "ind of political syste# is the Philippines$
%ui#po&s thesis
( predatory regime controlled by a rapacious elite that held sway during the years of
-arcos and is making a comeback in the Philippines
( Philippines is a predatory regime as traditional clientilism has given way to pervasive
corruption, systematic plunder and corrosion of public institutions.
( There is growing authoritarian tendencies although not comparable to -arcosw regime,
as manifested by centralization of power in the e.ecutive, rigged election, increased
influence of the military, etc.
Predatory state
0 one where the behavior of elites is cynical and opportunistic; ordinary people are not
citizens but clients of powerful local bosses, who are themselves clients of still more
powerful patrons !:iamond ;;<).
0 There is a chain of dependency secured by patronage, coercion, and demagogic electoral
appeals to ethnic pride and pre6udice.
0 The state e.ists to produce private goods for officials, their families and cronies.
'utchcroft&s ie! of the Philippines
( patrimonial oligarchic state 0 a weak state preyed upon by a powerful oligarchic class
that has an economic base outside the state but relies on particularistic access to the state
apparatus as the principal means of private accumulation.
1ote that =uimpo uses regime instead of state as unit of analysis because'
( it is "too facile to label a certain state as predatory simply on the basis that for a certain
period the behavior of elites has turned cynical and opportunistic.
( $t is only after a long period of predatory politics, after public institutions have been
thoroughly corrupted, that a predatory state can be said to be in place.
*ut he agrees with most of :iamond5s description, particularly'
( that corruption is the core phenomenon in predatory states !or regimes)
(arcos& #artial la! re)i#e
( patrimonial or neopatrimonial authoritarianism !3urfel 1><<)
( -arcos %uashed all opposition and controlled political patronage from top to bottom.
( ,lientilistism had been given a predatory twist with the authoritarian centralization of
political patronage.
3hy was it difficult for the Philippines to consolidate democracy after martial law7
( )ccording to 2untington, it is because the Philippines is saddled with'
o -a6or insurgency
o /.treme poverty
o &evere socioeconomic ine%uality
o &ubstantial e.ternal debt
o /.tensive state involvement in the economy
'o! can the Philippines rebuild its de#ocracy$
( 2utchcroft and +ocamora5s argument 0 reform of democratic institutions, particularly the
creation of stronger political parties.
4rigins of institutional deficiencies
). 3illiam 2oward Taft5s policy of attraction 0 gave opportunities for political power to
elites who had already developed a strong economic base throughout ma6or regions in the
latter part of the &panish era.
i. Political tutelage limited to very small elite segment of population
ii. 9imited the right to suffrage
*roissant&s ie!
( has tendency to become delegative democracy !Philippines in the late <;s and >;s)
3hat is a delegative democracy7 $t is one characterized by'
a. lack of parliamentary control over the e.ecutive
b. impaired 6udicial independence, especially from governmental interference, and
c. absence of 6udicial review.
$t is so called because it aims at the full delegation of political representation of the citizens to
the president, thus effectively bypassing the institutions of liberal representative democracy such
as political parties and legislatures.
,roissant argues that two factors are crucial in determining the vulnerability of presidential
systems to delegative democracy'
a. the president5s legislative powers and
b. the number, ideological distance and internal coherence of veto players
+ationalist perspective
( delegative democracies are outcome of intentional process initiated by presidents as
rational strategy to effect a preferred alteration of the balance of political power.
( Power of the president may be classified into'
o +eactive powers 0 power to block political decisions by legislature?parliament
o Proactive powers 0 e.g. agenda setting and decree powers
+hy is such accu#ulation of po!er unhealthy$
( They undermine the liberal principle of the separation of powers.
@eto player theorem 0 capacity of different political systems to produce policy change is
negatively correlated with the number of veto players, their ideological stance, and their internal
coherence.
( institutional veto players 0 eg. courts, second chambers of parliament, popularly elected
presidents
( partisan veto players 0 political parties that can block government5s decision to effect
policy change.
+hat do studies indicate$
( $n presidential systems, efficient legislation is more likely when president5s legislative
powers are weak, political parties are well disciplined, polarization of party system is
moderate.
( Party system fragmentation and lack of pro government ma6ority increases partisan veto
players.
+here do Philippine presidents )et reactie po!ers$
with respect to agenda setting'
( e.clusive power to draft and submit national budget
( to issue notes of priority to congress concerning certain bills
note' president has no power to initiate legislation !unlike in Aorea)
+ho are the eto players that Philippine president has to deal !ith,
a. bicameral congress !with each house having different motivations or interests)
b. &upreme court
1ote'
( $n the Philippines, no president has had ma6ority control of ,ongress !e.cept )%uino).
*ut most were able to persuade legislatures to shift allegiance to the ruling camp through
coalition deals.
( The 2ouse is more vulnerable to this strategy than the &enate.
3hy is this so7 The answer is in the reality of Philippine party systemB
( presidential parties in the Philippines are not much more than ad hoc creations that
seldom outlive the president
a. governing party alliances lack a common programmatic or ideological core
( the president may en6oy a ma6ority coalition but not working ma6orities
b. parties find it difficult to discipline members or enforce coherent policies because of the
personalistic nature of local party chapters
$n fact, this is where the utility of pork barrel comes in.
Alicor&s ar)u#ent
( The president is able to dominate the legislative process because of the unilateral powers
vested into the office such as the power to set the legislative agenda and prerogatives
over the management and control of the budget. To accomplish their goals it becomes
inevitable for presidents to buy legislators5 support through side payments, concessions,
and pork barrel politics.
( Taking away pork powers from presidents may 6ust leave them virtually spineless and
government in disarray, in the absence of a stron) party syste#-