Monday, May 6, 2013

Short-Answer Concept questions 1-2

Here are two Short-Answer Concept questions. You can submit responses as comments and I'll try to find time to apply my rubric to them. Or you can do some research and write your own rubrics.



1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.



27 comments:

alvaroCGP said...

1. One way that "The more democracy the better" could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist is that democracy allows greater rates of transparency which maintain citizens in agreement and trustful of their government. Another way it could be used is that democracy tends to provide a greater economy and equal distribution of wealth for a country.

2. The United kingdom has a great cleavage which has to due with regions. Fighting between the Northern Irish, the Scotts, the Welsh, and ofcourse, the English are greatly present issues the regime faces. Because of this problem, it is essential for the United Kingdom to have a great balance in their granting of devolution in order to maintain each nation unified so that the effects of the government are only positive ones.

klv said...

1.In an empirical study, were information or observations have been collected, a normative assumption could be used to find ways to prevent mistakes or catastrophes (wars, dictatorships, coups, ect.). Also normative assumptions, encompass social values and thus it can increase legitimacy for such are being respected or considered.

2.In the United Kingdom, devolution is essential. After all, in the UK tradition dominates and thus a change like devolution (which was endorsed in 1997) wouldn’t have been made, if it had not been necessary. In addition, devolution creates legitimacy within Ireland, Scotland and Wales and reduces national protests and violence.

Alejandro Caldera said...

1. Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.
Economy in democratic regimes has proven to be much better than in authoritarian regimes. The GDP is higher in democratic nations than other. Another example of why the more democracy the better is that in more democratic regimes people participate more in the government and there is more people liking the government, getting involved, and affecting government decisions, rather than having a population dethatched from the government.

2. Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.
The common law principles followed in United Kingdom contribute immensely to the way things go in the kingdom. Common law is essential since it has made it possible to be so stable and healthy for so many years without a written constitution. Common law has provided firmness and common sense of what is right and wrong to the people and judges. It helps the population keep their values.

Anonymous said...


1. Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.
There can never be such a thing a country that is way to democratic, this is because even countries that are fairly democratic can become more transparent, can further its economic growth and sprout more development. In other words the sky is the limit, with democracy countries can never get enough. Democracy brings economic growth, rule of law, development , peace and the betterment of society. All these things are necessary and crucial in order to have a stable government with a happy population. Countries like Great Britain which are very democratic can always become more democratic, Great Britain still has an old tradition of hereditary rule in the House of Lords. So even though a country might have democratic values it can never have enough because there is always room to improve. Countries like Nigeria , Iran and Russia that are not that democratic would benefit immensely from democratic values that would help them have a more stable government and rule of law. To conclude it is paramount to mention that democracy is not perfect but as Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.


2. Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.
An essential element of the United Kingdoms regime is common law and the British parliament. An essential element that is lacking is a written constitution . Common law is an essential aspect of the UK because many laws are not written down but they are commonly accepted and are backed by previous court casings, by precedent. British Parliament is also a vital element to the UK , it is were all decisions are made and were power relies.

Anonymous said...

1. An empirical study could be greatly influenced by a normative assumption due to the fact that such, is defined as a theory. Narrative assumptions allow formulating ideas and standards of how things should be, when this is implemented into an empirical study it helps since it shows where the flaws in the system are and provided guidelines to perfect it. Also, the vagueness of it gives space to adjust to the needs of certain governments.

2. In the United Kingdom’s regime a factor that allows it to continue functioning as it is now is the existence of the Common Law, due to the fact there is no existent written constitution. The Common Law in the UK is based on tradition and customs; it is not necessarily written the people due to common sense know it. The existence of such is essential to maintaining order due to the fact there is a need for guidelines.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).


alvaroCGP wrote:
1. One way that "The more democracy the better" could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist is that democracy allows greater rates of transparency which maintain citizens in agreement and trustful of their government. Another way it could be used is that democracy tends to provide a greater economy and equal distribution of wealth for a country.



The first description is "One way that "The more democracy the better" could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist is that democracy allows greater rates of transparency which maintain citizens in agreement and trustful of their government."

Does it distinguish between normative and empirical ideas? The difference is implied, but not clearly stated.

Does it describe a scientific (empirical) method for testing the assumption? It comes close. This response nearly states a hypothesis that could be used in a scientific study ("… democracy allows greater rates of transparency which maintain citizens in agreement and trustful of their government."). It doesn't, however, describe how that hypothesis could be tested.

The second description is "Another way it could be used is that democracy tends to provide a greater economy and equal distribution of wealth for a country."

Does this response describe a difference between normative and empirical statements? No. In fact, it uses a normative assertion as the response. Does it describe how a political scientist could use the original normative statement to reach a scientific conclusion? Again, the response is nearly a hypothesis that could be tested in a research project leading to an empirical conclusion.

Thus this response earns no points.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

alvaroCGP wrote:
2. The United kingdom has a great cleavage which has to due with regions. Fighting between the Northern Irish, the Scotts, the Welsh, and of course, the English are greatly present issues the regime faces. Because of this problem, it is essential for the United Kingdom to have a great balance in their granting of devolution in order to maintain each nation unified so that the effects of the government are only positive


What element of the regime is identified? Cleavages are not part of the regime. Political conflict within the regime is not part of the regime. The process of devolution is not part of the regime (although the elected bodies created by Parliament in the process of devolution are now part of the regime).

Without identifying an essential part of the regime, this response cannot earn any points.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).


kiv wrote:
1.In an empirical study, were information or observations have been collected, a normative assumption could be used to find ways to prevent mistakes or catastrophes (wars, dictatorships, coups, ect.). Also normative assumptions, encompass social values and thus it can increase legitimacy for such are being respected or considered.


I am proceeding under the assumption that "were" in the first sentence should be "where."

The first description is "… a normative assumption could be used to find ways to prevent mistakes or catastrophes (wars, dictatorships, coups, ect.)."

Does it distinguish between normative and empirical ideas? No.

Does it describe a scientific (empirical) method for using the assumption? It suggests that such a use is possible by suggesting that the normative assumption might "prevent mistakes…" But, there is no description of how that might happen.

The second description is "Also normative assumptions, encompass social values and thus it can increase legitimacy for such are being respected or considered."

Does this response describe a difference between normative and empirical statements? No. Does it describe a scientific use for a normative assumption? A use is implied, but is not described.

Thus this response earns no points.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

klv wrote:
2.In the United Kingdom, devolution is essential. After all, in the UK tradition dominates and thus a change like devolution (which was endorsed in 1997) wouldn’t have been made, if it had not been necessary. In addition, devolution creates legitimacy within Ireland, Scotland and Wales and reduces national protests and violence.


What element of the regime is identified? The process of devolution is not part of the regime (although the elected bodies created by Parliament in the process of devolution are now part of the regime). However, klv makes a pretty good case for the indispensability of the process ("…a change like devolution… wouldn’t have been made, if it had not been necessary."). It just doesn't quite get there. Even in a tradition-bound system, regime changes might be made to make things easier, not for the survival of the system. Only in Northern Ireland could a case be made that devolution was "essential," but ending violent conflict had to precede devolution.

Without identifying an essential part of the regime, this response cannot earn any points.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).


‪Alejandro Caldera‬ wrote…
1. Economy in democratic regimes has proven to be much better than in authoritarian regimes. The GDP is higher in democratic nations than other. Another example of why the more democracy the better is that in more democratic regimes people participate more in the government and there is more people liking the government, getting involved, and affecting government decisions, rather than having a population dethatched from the government.


The first description is "Economy in democratic regimes has proven to be much better than in authoritarian regimes. The GDP is higher in democratic nations than other. "

Does it distinguish between normative and empirical ideas? No. There is an assertion about the relationship between economic performance and democracy, but it's just an assertion. It begs to become a hypothesis for scientific study.

The second description is "The GDP is higher in democratic nations than other."

Does this response describe a difference between normative and empirical statements? No. Does it describe a scientific use for a normative assumption? No. It is a rephrasing of the first assertion and would be a better hypothesis for scientific study.

Thus this response earns no points.

Alex Astruc said...

Normative theories (the key word here being norms, generally accepted behaviors or attitudes) focus on what things should be like; they are a manifestation of the morals and values of a society. On the other hand, empirical assumptions ask what happened and why. The normative assumption “The more democracy the better” could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study to determine how legitimate the public holds a government to be. Then the political scientist should identify why the public thinks this way and if they manifest this belief in the form of interest groups or other organizations. He should also add to the study a comparison (comparing GINI index, human development, literacy rates, GDP per capita…) between established democracies and emerging democracies and non-democracies. He should take into account what forms of government surround the country, local factors that might affect the political process as well and of course cleavages.


Common-law is an element that is essential to the United Kingdom’s regime. Since Great Britain does not have a written constitution, precedent is very important to determine what is acceptable behavior for the government, politicians and citizens.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

‪Alejandro Caldera‬ wrote:
The common law principles followed in United Kingdom contribute immensely to the way things go in the kingdom. Common law is essential since it has made it possible to be so stable and healthy for so many years without a written constitution. Common law has provided firmness and common sense of what is right and wrong to the people and judges. It helps the population keep their values.


What element of the regime is identified? "common law principles" They might not be material, but they are part of the regime (as material as Prime Minister's Questions).

Does the response explain why common law principles are essential? AC contends that common law has been essential for stability and health and it has "provided firmness and common sense of what is right and wrong…" Stability is clear, but how common law (precedents) contributes to stability is not explained. Firmness might be considered similar to stability, but I'm not sure. Common sense is a slippery term that can have many meanings, usually determined by culture or subculture or personal experience. The explanation is lacking a description of the link between common law and the results that make it essential.

This response earns 1 point.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).


odmAPComparative wrote…

There can never be such a thing a country that is way to democratic, this is because even countries that are fairly democratic can become more transparent, can further its economic growth and sprout more development. In other words the sky is the limit, with democracy countries can never get enough. Democracy brings economic growth, rule of law, development , peace and the betterment of society. All these things are necessary and crucial in order to have a stable government with a happy population. Countries like Great Britain which are very democratic can always become more democratic, Great Britain still has an old tradition of hereditary rule in the House of Lords. So even though a country might have democratic values it can never have enough because there is always room to improve. Countries like Nigeria , Iran and Russia that are not that democratic would benefit immensely from democratic values that would help them have a more stable government and rule of law. To conclude it is paramount to mention that democracy is not perfect but as Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.


The descriptions of "two ways that a normative assumption… could be used in an empirical… study by a political scientist" are perhaps buried in this paragraph, but I cannot determine what they are.

There are many assertions about the relationship between democracy, "economic growth, rule of law, development , peace and the betterment of society," but none are descriptions of methods that might be used by a political scientist. I am afraid the example of a normative assumption in the question distracted odmAPComparative. While this question could be answered using that example, you can see from the basic rubric above that the question is not about democracy.

Are there any distinctions drawn between normative and empirical ideas? No.

Thus this response earns no points.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

odmAPComparative wrote:
An essential element of the United Kingdoms regime is common law and the British parliament. An essential element that is lacking is a written constitution . Common law is an essential aspect of the UK because many laws are not written down but they are commonly accepted and are backed by previous court casings, by precedent. British Parliament is also a vital element to the UK , it is were all decisions are made and were power relies.


I assume that the use of "were" is meant to be "where," and that "casings" was intended to be "cases." (AP readers often have to make these assumptions. But, if your misspelling is misinterpreted by a reader, you could fail to earn points. It's a whole lot better not to give readers the opportunity to assume what you meant.)

What element of the regime is identified? There are two: common law and parliament. Luckily both are in the rubric as essential elements. If asked for "an element" and you offer two examples, they must both be on the rubric to earn any points. If one of the examples is incorrect, no points can be earned according to the grading standards of the College Board. Also, the inclusion of a negative example ("An essential element that is lacking is a written constitution.") complicates this response. It should not be there. In addition, how could the system work if an "essential element" was "lacking?"

This response earns a point for the example.

Does the response explain why common law principles are essential? The explanation about unwritten laws, court cases, and precedents is on the money.

This response earns two points for the explanation and thus earns all 3 points that are possible.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).

These ideas are included specifically in the first section of the AP course description and outline.


macastro wrote…

1. An empirical study could be greatly influenced by a normative assumption due to the fact that such, is defined as a theory. Narrative assumptions allow formulating ideas and standards of how things should be, when this is implemented into an empirical study it helps since it shows where the flaws in the system are and provided guidelines to perfect it. Also, the vagueness of it gives space to adjust to the needs of certain governments.


The first description of a way that a normative assumption… could be used in an empirical… study by a political scientist" appears to involve something about standards. I am not sure. Was the phrase "Narrative assumptions…" in the response meant to be "normative assumptions?" If standards offer guidelines for perfecting a system, this response seems to be describing an engineering project rather than a research project.

Is there a second description in this response? There is a statement about "vagueness" and the "space to adjust to the needs of certain governments." But is that a description of methodology or a difference between normative and empirical?

Are there any distinctions drawn between normative and empirical ideas? No.

Are there descriptions of empirical research in political science? No.

Thus this response earns no points.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

macastro wrote:
2. In the United Kingdom’s regime a factor that allows it to continue functioning as it is now is the existence of the Common Law, due to the fact there is no existent written constitution. The Common Law in the UK is based on tradition and customs; it is not necessarily written the people due to common sense know it. The existence of such is essential to maintaining order due to the fact there is a need for guidelines.


What element of the regime is identified? Common law.

This response earns a point for the example, which is included on the rubric.

Does the response explain why common law principles are essential? The explanation about the unwritten constitution and "tradition and customs" is accurate. The idea of stare decisis (precedent) needs to be added to that.

Once again, the idea of "common sense" distracts from the response. Common sense is learned by experience and through "tradition and customs," but it's not some magically shared wisdom. Think about the differences between the common sense of a British citizen and the common sense of an Iranian citizen.

This response earns two points out of the 3 points that are possible.

Ken Wedding said...

The first question is:
1.   Briefly describe two ways that a normative assumption, e.g., "The more democracy the better," could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study by a political scientist.


This is a four-point question. Two points are possible for each description. The question is asking whether the responder understands the difference between normative and empirical ideas AND whether the responder understands the basic scientific method used in political science.

Thus each description can earn a point for describing the normative-empirical difference and a point for describing a scientific use of a normative assumption.

The normative-empirical difference can be summed up as the difference between a statement of values and a statement describing observable fact.

The scientific method part of the response should describe how a political scientist starts with a normative assumption and proceeds to observable fact(s).

These ideas are included specifically in the first section of the AP course description and outline.


Alex Astruc wrote… [I added paragraph returns to make it easier to read.]

Normative theories (the key word here being norms, generally accepted behaviors or attitudes) focus on what things should be like; they are a manifestation of the morals and values of a society. On the other hand, empirical assumptions ask what happened and why.

The normative assumption “The more democracy the better” could be used in an empirical comparative government and politics study to determine how legitimate the public holds a government to be. Then the political scientist should identify why the public thinks this way and if they manifest this belief in the form of interest groups or other organizations.

He should also add to the study a comparison (comparing GINI index, human development, literacy rates, GDP per capita…) between established democracies and emerging democracies and non-democracies. He should take into account what forms of government surround the country, local factors that might affect the political process as well and of course cleavages.


The first paragraph accurately distinguishes between normative and empirical ideas.

That earns the responder 2 points.

The first description focuses on defining legitimacy and empirical ways of assessing public belief.

That earns a third point.

The second description details ideas for using empirical data to compare various kinds of democracies.

That earns a fourth point.

Thus this response earns 4 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

Alex Astruc wrote:
Common-law is an element that is essential to the United Kingdom’s regime. Since Great Britain does not have a written constitution, precedent is very important to determine what is acceptable behavior for the government, politicians and citizens.


What element of the regime is identified? Common law.

This response earns a point for the example, which is included on the rubric.

Does the response explain why common law principles are essential? The explanation about precedent is clear and to the point.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The third question is:
3.   Would the political culture of Iran or Nigeria be more threatened by an enforceable demand by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for greater transparency? Explain briefly why the political culture of the country you chose would be more threatened.


This question is asking whether the student understands the concepts of political culture and transparency AND how well the student knows the basic facts about Iranian and Nigerian political culture.

This is a 3-point question. You can earn a point for your choice of either Iran or Nigeria IF you offer an accurate and adequate explanation in the second part of the question to earn at least one point. The explanation is worth 2 points, although a single point can be earned with a partial or mostly accurate explanation.

klv wrote:
3. The political culture in Nigeria would be more affected than that one in Iran if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were to push for transparency.

Whereas, in Iran political culture is based on religion that in Nigeria is the patron client system; though both offer opportunities for corruption, Nigeria’s system allows for greater monetary or financial corruption (and finance is what the IMF focuses on). After all, the whole base of the patron client system is doing favors in exchange of benefits (which usually means money or positions that pay well).

Likewise, in Nigeria the rentier economy is stronger than that one in Iran and it is well known that oil profits tend to “disappear”. Hence the IMF would have an area to focus on and if investigations were to be made on these “disappearances”, it would most likely be discovered that the culprits are part of the patron client system; thus the IMF would push for change in this area. Perhaps the IMF would push for radical reform or elimination of the patron client system meanwhile it would not find convenient or possible to totally eradicate the influence of religion in politics in a theocratic state.


I've divided this response into paragraphs to make it easier to read and comment upon.

The reasons given for why Nigeria would be more threatened are the patron-client system and the financial aspects of oil money and its "disappearances." Both are good reasons and reinforced by the reference to the role of religion in Iran.

While backing up the main point, however, it can be dangerous to ignore counter evidence. Corruption in Iran is wide-spread. Many of the goods sold in the bazaars are illegal imports (smuggled items). The "charitable foundations" (bonyads) are exempt from taxes and public auditing. They are controlled by senior clerics who offer jobs and opportunities for great wealth to their relatives and supporters (e.g., the Rafsanjani or Larijani families). The foundations control nearly half of the Iranian economy.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Wedding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

2. One element of the UK's regime that is essential is the Scottish Parliament. This is essential because it is an effective form of devolution that gives the government more legitimacy and appeases the Scottish people.

Rachael said...

2. The Parliament, including the Prime Minister, is essential to the way the Uks regime is right currently. This element is essential because the regime currently exists based on that system, and the regime gets its legitimacy from rational-legal. If the system became something other than a parliamentary system, the regime would change and it would cease to function as it now exists.

lepetitsarkozy said...

T2. he fusion of the legislature and executive is an essential element of the UK’s regime because the existence of parliament depends on that cooperation. Without that fusion, the regime would have to change the legislature’s ability to remove the current Prime Minister and government with a simple vote of no-confidence, along with many other things.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

Claire wrote:
2. One element of the UK's regime that is essential is the Scottish Parliament. This is essential because it is an effective form of devolution that gives the government more legitimacy and appeases the Scottish people.


Like the new Supreme Court, the UK has functioned well and had high levels of legitimacy for a few hundred years. Why, now, is the Scottish Parliament essential. To make the case requires more explanation.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

Rachael wrote:
2. The Parliament, including the Prime Minister, is essential to the way the Uks regime is right currently. This element is essential because the regime currently exists based on that system, and the regime gets its legitimacy from rational-legal. If the system became something other than a parliamentary system, the regime would change and it would cease to function as it now exists.


The identification of Parliament earns a point, since that is on my rubric. But the explanation is confusing. It's essential because it exists? Plurality elections exist too. Does that make them essential? And what is the meaning of "the regime gets its legitimacy from rational-legal"?

This response earns 1 point.

Ken Wedding said...

The second question is:
2.   Identify an element of the United Kingdom's regime that is essential (i.e., necessary for its continued functioning as it now exists). Explain briefly why that element is essential.


This is a three-point question. One point is earned by correctly identifying an element of the UK regime that is deemed essential in the rubric. The list is extensive. Two points can be earned by an explanation of how the element identified is essential to the functioning of the regime.

A key to a successful response is understanding the concept of regime (structure). Another key is understanding enough about the functioning of the UK's regime to know what is essential.

For instance, the newly-created supreme court could be considered non-essential because the regime functioned successfully for hundreds of years without one. And while the House of Lords was once essential, the discussions about eliminating it or making it an elected body with real political power suggests that today Lords is not essential.

‪lepetitsarkozy‬ wrote:

2. The fusion of the legislature and executive is an essential element of the UK’s regime because the existence of parliament depends on that cooperation. Without that fusion, the regime would have to change the legislature’s ability to remove the current Prime Minister and government with a simple vote of no-confidence, along with many other things.


The identification of fusion of powers earns a point, since that is on my rubric. But why is that essential? Question time is also one of the ways things are, but is it essential? It seems to me that there has to be some explanation about how the power of national representation (Parliament) has to be at least equal to the power of the executive.

This response earns 1 point.