Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Short-Answer Concept questions 3-5

Here are three more Short-Answer Concept questions. You can submit responses for evaluation as comments.

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.

4. Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
  1. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
  2. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
  3. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?
5. The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
  1. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
  2. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
  3. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?

32 comments:

alvaroCGP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex Astruc said...

3. Political culture is the result of norms that rule the political process in a country. It is affected by many inputs, internal factors including tradition and separation of powers and external influences like membership to supranational organizations. Take for instance Nigeria; the political culture of the country is plagued by massive corruption, bribes to government officials and a predominant patron-client system. In a country like Nigeria the political culture would be more threatened by an enforceable demand by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for greater transparency because it would go against the existing system, patron and clients would oppose it and it would meet resistance even in the highest levels of government. The federal government bases its legitimacy in part from elections and on the other hand from government handouts, both processes greatly affected by illegitimate practices, thus the implementation of the IMF policies would affects the stability of the country. Although a country like Iran would also be greatly affected, Nigeria would be threatened more.

4.The change from the plurality system to proportional representation in the Duma affected political parties because it strengthened Putin’s United Russia. In 2007 they won more than half of the majority of the seats in the Duma. This in turn affected the political power of the Duma because it weakened it, and consequently increased the power of the president.

5. The underdevelopment, poverty and income inequality that strike rural areas in China is a clear demonstration of the rural-urban cleavage now. The persistence of this cleavage affects Chinese politics today because the CPC is forced to allow local elections at the grass root level in rural areas to appease the frustration of the people and maintain their grip of power. The remoteness and diversity of these areas are factors that affect how efficiently the state deals with this cleavage.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Daniel Montealegre
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.
Nigeria’s political culture would be threatened by the International Monetary Fund because the IMF will not bail out Nigeria from its economic troubles If Nigeria continues its undemocratic ways. Nigeria is a country full of oil riches but these riches are being enjoyed by a minority of Nigerians and by international oil companies. It is because of a huge network of corruption that Nigeria is such a rich country in minerals but yet a very poor country. So the IMF would only help Nigeria if Nigeria starts becoming more democratic, this will be a threat to the present system of corrupt bargains, parent client system, and to the non-transparent government. The IMF would only help Nigeria if it sees a change in its governmental system, so there would have to be a lot of change in Nigeria in order for it to be eligible for a loan from the IMF.

4. Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
It made it more difficult for reform parties to run, it strengthened the ruling party (United Russia), and it decreased the different viewpoints in the Duma. It made the Duma be almost all pro Putin, these elections fortified Putin’s rule and decreased almost all opposition to Putin.
What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
By eliminating single member districts for election in the Duma Putin eliminated opposition. The 2007 elections eliminated almost all checks and balances in the government by eliminating ideological diversity.
What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?
The 2007 elections gave Putin a majority in the Duma thus absolute control, he eliminated the institutions that would check on his power. Without checks and balances in Russia Putin can do anything he wants.
5. The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
The major cleavage in China is that of monetary inequality, This is affecting Chinese society immensely.
There is a huge income inequality between the urban and the rural population.
Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
The Chinese people who live in rural areas are protesting against the high taxes , against the corruption , against the lack of governmental spending in rural areas. These are present themes of Chinese politics , they were once ignored but they are becoming more and more heard, The political leaders tend to ignore this problem but there will be a time when they have to face it and this time will be fast forwarded if there is more protest.
What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?
The corrupt Chinese government and the lack of care from the government. Since the urban areas are the areas that make money they are more concerned with them than with the rural areas that make less money.

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.

AA wrote:
3. Political culture is the result of norms that rule the political process in a country. It is affected by many inputs, internal factors including tradition and separation of powers and external influences like membership to supranational organizations.

Take for instance Nigeria; the political culture of the country is plagued by massive corruption, bribes to government officials and a predominant patron-client system.

In a country like Nigeria the political culture would be more threatened by an enforceable demand by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for greater transparency because it would go against the existing system, patron and clients would oppose it and it would meet resistance even in the highest levels of government.

The federal government bases its legitimacy in part from elections and on the other hand from government handouts, both processes greatly affected by illegitimate practices, thus the implementation of the IMF policies would affects the stability of the country.

Although a country like Iran would also be greatly affected, Nigeria would be threatened more.


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

The first paragraph of definition is unnecessary, but if writing it down helps you get your thoughts in order and get started writing, it's a good thing to do -- as long as it doesn't use time you need to respond to the question. In this case, the introduction is short, accurate, and unlikely to have caused problems.

While the second paragraph is, in fact, part of the explanation, it precedes the identification of Nigeria as the country most likely to be affected. That's fine and it does amplify to the explanation. The rest of the explanation is accurate and well done.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

AA wrote:
4.The change from the plurality system to proportional representation in the Duma affected political parties because it strengthened Putin’s United Russia. In 2007 they won more than half of the majority of the seats in the Duma. This in turn affected the political power of the Duma because it weakened it, and consequently increased the power of the president.


If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

This response is very good on the "how" sections and pretty light on the "why" sections.
a. Putin's party was strengthened because it won a majority of seats. What's the connection between the election results and the change in electoral methods?
b. The Duma was weakened because ______?
c. The executive was strengthened because ______?

This response earns 3 points.

klv said...

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.


4. The change to proportional representation gave more votes to Putin’s United Russia and thus strengthened the power of such. Since, this party gained the majority of seats in the Duma, such became dominated by United Russia; meaning the power of check and balances that such offered decreased. Having a weak Duma or better said, if the Duma is under the control of United Russia, that gives Putin more power to do as he pleases.


5.
a. The government has recognized the rural-urban cleavage and acknowledged its impact on society and the economy. Hence it has created ways to reduce the division, like the implementing of the Four Modernizations, which calls for the raising of rural incomes. Nevertheless, some of these reforms backfired, like the relaxation of residency restrictions, which created “floating populations”. These “floating populations” or massive movement of urban residents to cities in look for jobs, demonstrates the persistence of the rural- urban cleavage.
b. The persistency of the cleavage has led the government to focus on creating policies that reduce it, like the Four Modernizations. Likewise, as long as this cleavage remains unsolved the legitimacy of the government (and thus of the Communist Party of China) will be impacted negatively.
c. The large size of China makes monitoring populations hard (hence the floating populations) and makes accommodating policies to the needs of the regions challenging.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

AA wrote:
5. The underdevelopment, poverty and income inequality that strike rural areas in China is a clear demonstration of the rural-urban cleavage now. The persistence of this cleavage affects Chinese politics today because the CPC is forced to allow local elections at the grass root level in rural areas to appease the frustration of the people and maintain their grip of power. The remoteness and diversity of these areas are factors that affect how efficiently the state deals with this cleavage.


This short answer is very good. Each of the three parts of the question are accurately and adequately addressed.

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.

odmAPComparative wrote:
3. Nigeria’s political culture would be threatened by the International Monetary Fund because the IMF will not bail out Nigeria from its economic troubles If Nigeria continues its undemocratic ways.

Nigeria is a country full of oil riches but these riches are being enjoyed by a minority of Nigerians and by international oil companies. It is because of a huge network of corruption that Nigeria is such a rich country in minerals but yet a very poor country.

So the IMF would only help Nigeria if Nigeria starts becoming more democratic, this will be a threat to the present system of corrupt bargains, parent client system, and to the non-transparent government. The IMF would only help Nigeria if it sees a change in its governmental system, so there would have to be a lot of change in Nigeria in order for it to be eligible for a loan from the IMF.


I've divided this response into paragraphs to make it easier to read and comment upon. I assume that the phrase "parent client system" means "patron-client system." In this context that assumption makes sense, but it's one of a small set of examples where a reader might or might not make that assumption. However, because of the other good examples offered, even if the reader ignored "parent client system," this response would earn all possible points.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪odmAPComparative‬ wrote:

4. a. It made it more difficult for reform parties to run, it strengthened the ruling party (United Russia), and it decreased the different viewpoints in the Duma. It made the Duma be almost all pro Putin, these elections fortified Putin’s rule and decreased almost all opposition to Putin.

b. By eliminating single member districts for election in the Duma Putin eliminated opposition. The 2007 elections eliminated almost all checks and balances in the government by eliminating ideological diversity.

c. The 2007 elections gave Putin a majority in the Duma thus absolute control, he eliminated the institutions that would check on his power. Without checks and balances in Russia Putin can do anything he wants.


I added letters to make it clear which responses were connected to which parts of the question. (It was clear in the submitted response because the responses were inserted after each part of the question.)

If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. "made it more difficult for reform parties to run…" because?
b. "By eliminating single member districts for election in the Duma Putin eliminated opposition…" Yes, that eliminated checks and balances, but how or why?
c. This part of the response is good for both the "how" and the "why."

This response earns 4 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

‪odmAPComparative‬ wrote:
5. a. The major cleavage in China is that of monetary inequality, This is affecting Chinese society immensely. There is a huge income inequality between the urban and the rural population.

b. The Chinese people who live in rural areas are protesting against the high taxes , against the corruption , against the lack of governmental spending in rural areas. These are present themes of Chinese politics , they were once ignored but they are becoming more and more heard, The political leaders tend to ignore this problem but there will be a time when they have to face it and this time will be fast forwarded if there is more protest.

c. The corrupt Chinese government and the lack of care from the government. Since the urban areas are the areas that make money they are more concerned with them than with the rural areas that make less money.


This response is very good. Each of the three parts of the question are accurately and adequately addressed.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
(see above for the text of the question)


This is a 3-point question.

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

‪klv ‬wrote:
5.
a. The government has recognized the rural-urban cleavage and acknowledged its impact on society and the economy. Hence it has created ways to reduce the division, like the implementing of the Four Modernizations, which calls for the raising of rural incomes. Nevertheless, some of these reforms backfired, like the relaxation of residency restrictions, which created “floating populations”. These “floating populations” or massive movement of urban residents to cities in look for jobs, demonstrates the persistence of the rural- urban cleavage.

b. The persistency of the cleavage has led the government to focus on creating policies that reduce it, like the Four Modernizations. Likewise, as long as this cleavage remains unsolved the legitimacy of the government (and thus of the Communist Party of China) will be impacted negatively.

c. The large size of China makes monitoring populations hard (hence the floating populations) and makes accommodating policies to the needs of the regions challenging.

a. This response describes two facts demonstrating the persistence of the rural-urban cleavage. The Four Modernizations reference is indeed accurate, but is nearly too old to be of value (1978 is a long time ago in terms of the politics of China). The reference to residency restrictions and a floating population is more current and a better example.

Be reminded that when asked for "one fact," you risk losing a point for a correct response if you offer a second fact that is not correct. In this case both examples are correct.

b. Here, the reference to the Four Modernizations is more of a problem, although it was the first post-Mao effort to improve things for rural people. There have been more recent policy announcements (not necessarily actions) about the cleavage addressing income inequalities, land ownership, and equal treatment. Four Modernizations was not on my rubric, but I'm inclined to give credit for it. I don't know if a rubric for AP readers would do the same.

I'll repeat one of my "rules of thumb:" Don't discuss anything from more than 25-30 years ago unless you're specifically asked to do so. Political science is not the study of history. (Rules of thumb are meant to be broken when you have a good reason.)

c. The size of the country is a good example of a limitation on the capacity of the state.

There is a line from a 14th century Chinese poem, 天高皇帝远 (tiān gāo huángdì yuǎn “Heaven is high and the emperor is far away... ”) that became a proverb, epitomizing the condition that unchecked freedom is enjoyed by those far away from the authorities. [See: http://mychinaconnection.com/chinese-proverb/%E5%A4%A9%E9%AB%98%E7%9A%87%E5%B8%9D%E8%BF%9C-%EF%BC%8D-heaven-is-high-and-the-emperor-is-far-away/]


This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4. Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪klv ‬wrote:

4. The change to proportional representation gave more votes to Putin’s United Russia and thus strengthened the power of such. Since, this party gained the majority of seats in the Duma, such became dominated by United Russia; meaning the power of check and balances that such offered decreased. Having a weak Duma or better said, if the Duma is under the control of United Russia, that gives Putin more power to do as he pleases.

If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. "gave more votes to Putin’s United Russia and thus strengthened the power… " And why did that happen? It was true for 2007, but not for 2011. Why not?
b. "gained the majority of seats in the Duma, such became dominated by United Russia; meaning the power of check and balances that such offered decreased… " Since the respondent mentioned that United Russia was "Putin's" party, this answers both how and why.
c. Similarly, this part of the response is good for both the "how" and the "why."

This response earns 5 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 good 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.

Anonymous said...

3. Nigeria has a huge history with corruption, this has surged from its oil industry in the South and its large patron client network. Bribes in the government are common making it unstable and unfair. If the IMF were to ask Nigeria to increase their transparency it would be greatly affected, fraud in elections would be unveiled, bribes and corrupt officials would be exposed, and the system would collapse. The government would be the first to oppose the IMF’s demand since it would lead those involved in corrupt practices to be charged and removed from their positions. These investigations would lead to turmoil in Nigeria much greater than it would if the demand of transparency in Iran would create.

4. Proportional elections greatly favored Putin’s party since it allowed him to win a majority of seats in the Duma, this expanded Putin’s power even further and decreased the possibility of other parties of implementing their ideals into the government.
The Duma has lost much of its power due to the shift, because it is supposed to be the parliament aspect of the Russian Federation, and in such other parties should have a certain amount of power to apply the ideals of their party as well; however, when the Duma is ruled by the president’s party it is indeed allowing such party and its leader to take over the decisions of the State Duma. The executive power on the other hand, was able to gain more power due to the fact that any laws needing approval of the Duma or that can be executed only by such will be accomplished more efficiently, due to the fact the ruling party will also control such aspect of the government, giving Putin power over both the executive aspect of the government and now the legislative as well.

5. A cleavage between rural and urban still exists in China and it is reflected on the percent of the population found in poverty, the inequality rates, and the commonality of migration from rural to urban areas. The Communist Party has been forced to increase village elections, to provide representation and power to the rural areas, thus involving them more in policy making as well as giving them a voice to expose their needs. However, the state has had difficulty dealing with this deep division due to the fact these areas are found in remote areas of the country and differ incredibly from urban areas, providing the government with hardships in attempting to merge them or even create equilibrium.

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.

mcastro wrote:
3. Nigeria has a huge history with corruption, this has surged from its oil industry in the South and its large patron client network. Bribes in the government are common making it unstable and unfair. If the IMF were to ask Nigeria to increase their transparency it would be greatly affected, fraud in elections would be unveiled, bribes and corrupt officials would be exposed, and the system would collapse.

The government would be the first to oppose the IMF’s demand since it would lead those involved in corrupt practices to be charged and removed from their positions.

These investigations would lead to turmoil in Nigeria much greater than it would if the demand of transparency in Iran would create.


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 corruption and the patron-client system. Both are good reasons. And the explanation about uncovering the fraud and bribery of those two characteristics is good.

I'll repeat what I said earlier. Overly broad claims can be dangerous. Corruption and patron-client networks in Iran are wide-spread. 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. In this case, the claim that Nigeria would be more seriously affected is believable.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪macastro ‬wrote:

4. Proportional elections greatly favored Putin’s party since it allowed him to win a majority of seats in the Duma, this expanded Putin’s power even further and decreased the possibility of other parties of implementing their ideals into the government.

The Duma has lost much of its power due to the shift, because it is supposed to be the parliament aspect of the Russian Federation, and in such other parties should have a certain amount of power to apply the ideals of their party as well; however, when the Duma is ruled by the president’s party it is indeed allowing such party and its leader to take over the decisions of the State Duma.

The executive power on the other hand, was able to gain more power due to the fact that any laws needing approval of the Duma or that can be executed only by such will be accomplished more efficiently, due to the fact the ruling party will also control such aspect of the government, giving Putin power over both the executive aspect of the government and now the legislative as well.


If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. "Proportional elections greatly favored Putin’s party… " And how did that electoral system favor Putin's party? How did it disadvantage other parties? Were the results of 2011 the same as the results of 2007? Why not?

b. "Duma has lost much of its power due to the shift … when the Duma is ruled by the president’s party it is indeed allowing such party and its leader to take over the decisions of the State Duma" This answers both the how and the why.

c. "… giving Putin power over both the executive aspect of the government and now the legislative as well." This is good for both the "how" and the "why."

This response earns 5 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

‪macastro ‬wrote:

5. A cleavage between rural and urban still exists in China and it is reflected on the percent of the population found in poverty, the inequality rates, and the commonality of migration from rural to urban areas.

The Communist Party has been forced to increase village elections, to provide representation and power to the rural areas, thus involving them more in policy making as well as giving them a voice to expose their needs.

However, the state has had difficulty dealing with this deep division due to the fact these areas are found in remote areas of the country and differ incredibly from urban areas, providing the government with hardships in attempting to merge them or even create equilibrium.


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

The first paragraph is a good response to part "a." of the question.

The second paragraph is a good response to part "b." of the question.

The third paragraph refers to "remote" areas, but many rural areas are not remote. And the ideas of merging and creating equilibrium are vague and require a lot more explanation.

This response earns 2 points.

alvaroCGP said...

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.
Nigeria would be more threatened by an enforceable demand by the IMF for greater transparency because Nigeria is very corrupt in the measures of distribution of wealth gained from the oil in the country. This would threaten the large patron-client system political leaders in Nigeria follow.
4. Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?
One major effect the change had on Russian political parties was that it strengthened the power of the United Russia party, which won 70% of the 450 seats. Parties had to win at least 7% of the elections in order to elect any deputies to the Duma.
One major effect the change had on Political power of the Duma was that the Duma was now able to pass a resolution of no confidence.
One major effect the change had on the political power of the president is that he can now reject the resolution of no confidence and must respond only if the Duma passes another resolution of no confidence.
5. The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?
A fact that demonstrates the persistence of the rural-urban cleavage in China is that in the eastern region of China, lives the poor farmers and peasants that barely make enough to survive in their small cities, while in the West, huge industrial cities have been built where businessmen, politicians, and greater education exists.One way in which the persistence of the cleavage affects Chinese politics because of the different rebellions and disagreements that are now happening in the different regions in which there are rural and urban societies. Politicians must now seek ways to maintain popularity in both rural and urban areas because both of them together are of such great importance to the economy. One way in which the persistence of the cleavage limits the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage is because of the "floating population". A huge amount of migrants from China move into the big cities but live on the streets because they have no money, causing no organization in the cities.

Claire said...

3. The political culture of Nigeria would be more threatened by a demand by the IMF for greater transparency because the political culture is defined by patron-client relationships and there is a lot of corruption involving oil in the delta region.

4. a) One major effect that the change provided for political parties in Russia was that proportional representation allowed for more parties to be represented in the Duma because they receive a number of seats proportional to the number of votes they received in that election.
b) One major effect on the political power of the Duma is that the Duma is less likely to simply become a rubber stamp parliament because of the opposition parties that will gain seats in Parliament.
c) This change gives the President less power because the opposition parties in the Duma might oppose what legislation the president might want to pass and the Duma becomes less and less of a rubber stamp parliament.

5. a) One fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage is the income inequality between those in the city and those in rural areas.
b) One way that the persistence of that cleavage affects politics in China today is that the government does not provide health care or education to those from a rural area if they move to a city.
c) One major factor that limits the capacity of the chinese state to deal with this cleavage is the rapid growth of the economy especially in the SEZ's. All of the growth is happening in the urban areas and not in the rural farmland.

Rachael said...

3. Nigeria would be threatened more than Iran if the IMF demanded greater transparency. Though both countries would be greatly affected by it, Nigeria’s system depends more on the lack of transparency than Iran. For example, in Nigerian elections, the lack of transparency greatly influences it while in Iran more transparency would most likely not change it as much. Iran would control it by vetting whether it was transparent or not, it would still have a supreme leader, etc. In Nigeria, the elections would be greatly swayed by transparency.
4. By changing to proportional elections, Russia had the opportunity to develop smaller parties rather than be ruled by one of two large parties. With proportional representation rather than a winner take all system, the smaller parties had a chance to get some representation rather than none at all. The power of the Duma, already a rubber stamp parliament, changed. In some ways, the power increased. It was more diverse with more ideas, but it also kept things from getting done. Due to the diversification, there was more conflict, and it was also made more of a rubber stamp party due to the majority of United Russia, Putin’s party. The political power of the president increased. Though smaller parties provided opposition, his party in majority allowed him to have more control.
5. The sheer number of immigrants coming from rural areas into urban areas demonstrates the rural-urban cleavage. The poverty and income inequality show it as well. Those who immigrate into the urban areas do not receive many rights that they would if they had remained in their hometowns such as healthcare. This cleavage still affects China today. The poverty levels in many of the rural communities spurs on the immigration into the big cities, often times causing desperate workers to accept cheap labor in an effort to make some money. The industrialization makes it difficult for the Chinese state to effectively deal with these issues. China is much more focused on the larger cities that bring in GDP than the issues in rural areas. Therefore, the rural areas do not receive the help they may need.

lepetitsarkozy said...

3. An IMF demand for greater transparency would threaten Iran’s political culture more than that of Nigeria. This is because Iran’s political culture is non-transparent and the Iranian economy needs help from organizations like the IMF because of the U.S. trade embargos. The Guardian Council vets candidates before they can run for office, and the unelected Supreme Leader has the ultimate say on foreign policy and appointments of council members, which limits transparency. Thus, an economically-backed demand for more transparency would disrupt the current political culture in Iran.
4. The 2007 Duma election change has affected Russian political parties by preventing any one party from reaping all the power in the legislature with plurality “winner takes all” votes, leading to greater representation of minority parties in the Duma. This change has affected the Duma’s political power by making it less efficient because more opinions are represented and must be debated, leading to a decrease in applicable power but an increase in political legitimacy. This change has reduced the President’s power because his party, United Russia, might hold a majority of the seats, but it must now compete with any party that reaches the 7% threshold. This competition spreads out the votes and, subsequently, the power among the parties.
5. Today, the rural-urban cleavage is demonstrated by the lack of infrastructure development in rural areas. Urban areas have far better roads, electricity access, and communication mediums than the rural areas, showing that a cleavage still exists. This cleavage affects current Chinese politics because the Chinese communist leaders feel they need to make up for a lack of infrastructure by allowing voting for local candidates in villages across China, giving peasants a little bit more say in the government. The Chinese state is limited in how it can deal with this cleavage because high income inequality, due to unequal economic growth between the urban and rural regions, has fostered resentment among the farming peasantry, leading to further tension and a deeper cleavage.

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.

‪alvaroCGP‬ wrote:
3. Nigeria would be more threatened by an enforceable demand by the IMF for greater transparency because Nigeria is very corrupt in the measures of distribution of wealth gained from the oil in the country. This would threaten the large patron-client system political leaders in Nigeria follow.


Greater transparency would threaten the patron-client system because…??? And how is that system different from the one in Iran?

I'll repeat what I said earlier. Overly broad claims can be dangerous. Corruption and patron-client networks in Iran are wide-spread. 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 2 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.

‪Claire‬ said...
3. The political culture of Nigeria would be more threatened by a demand by the IMF for greater transparency because the political culture is defined by patron-client relationships and there is a lot of corruption involving oil in the delta region.


And how would that system be threatened by greater transparency? And why more than the Iranian system?

This response earns 2 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.

‪Rachael‬ wrote…

3. Nigeria would be threatened more than Iran if the IMF demanded greater transparency. Though both countries would be greatly affected by it, Nigeria’s system depends more on the lack of transparency than Iran. For example, in Nigerian elections, the lack of transparency greatly influences it while in Iran more transparency would most likely not change it as much. Iran would control it by vetting whether it was transparent or not, it would still have a supreme leader, etc. In Nigeria, the elections would be greatly swayed by transparency.


Good comparison and argument.

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.

‪lepetitsarkozy‬ wrote…

3. An IMF demand for greater transparency would threaten Iran’s political culture more than that of Nigeria. This is because Iran’s political culture is non-transparent and the Iranian economy needs help from organizations like the IMF because of the U.S. trade embargos. The Guardian Council vets candidates before they can run for office, and the unelected Supreme Leader has the ultimate say on foreign policy and appointments of council members, which limits transparency. Thus, an economically-backed demand for more transparency would disrupt the current political culture in Iran.


Good comparison and argument.

This response earns 3 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪alvaroCGP ‬wrote:

4. One major effect the change had on Russian political parties was that it strengthened the power of the United Russia party, which won 70% of the 450 seats. Parties had to win at least 7% of the elections in order to elect any deputies to the Duma.

One major effect the change had on Political power of the Duma was that the Duma was now able to pass a resolution of no confidence.

One major effect the change had on the political power of the president is that he can now reject the resolution of no confidence and must respond only if the Duma passes another resolution of no confidence.



If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. The assertion is correct, but did United Russia win 70% of the seats because of the change? Why or how?

b. A change similar to what you're referring to is that United Russia could easily amend the constitution in the Duma, but did that affect the political power of the body? A motion of no confidence only took a majority. Constitutional amendments took a two-thirds vote, and United Russia had that.

c. That response describes the situation before and after the electoral changes.

This response earns 1 point.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪Claire ‬wrote:

4. a) One major effect that the change provided for political parties in Russia was that proportional representation allowed for more parties to be represented in the Duma because they receive a number of seats proportional to the number of votes they received in that election.

b) One major effect on the political power of the Duma is that the Duma is less likely to simply become a rubber stamp parliament because of the opposition parties that will gain seats in Parliament.

c) This change gives the President less power because the opposition parties in the Duma might oppose what legislation the president might want to pass and the Duma becomes less and less of a rubber stamp parliament.



If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. The number of parties represented in the Duma actually declined.

b. Wasn't true, since the number of parties represented declined.

c. True if the contention in part "a." was true.

This response earns 0 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪Rachael ‬wrote:

4. By changing to proportional elections, Russia had the opportunity to develop smaller parties rather than be ruled by one of two large parties. With proportional representation rather than a winner take all system, the smaller parties had a chance to get some representation rather than none at all.

The power of the Duma, already a rubber stamp parliament, changed. In some ways, the power increased. It was more diverse with more ideas, but it also kept things from getting done. Due to the diversification, there was more conflict, and it was also made more of a rubber stamp party due to the majority of United Russia, Putin’s party.

The political power of the president increased. Though smaller parties provided opposition, his party in majority allowed him to have more control.



If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

a. Smaller parties had a theoretically better chance to win seats, but in fact the number of parties in the Duma declined.

b. This response seems to argue that the power of the Duma increased and decreased. Only one choice can be given credit.

c. This assertion is correct and the explanation is adequate.

This response earns 2 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fourth question is:
4.   Under the 1993 constitution, half of the delegates to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were elected by a plurality system. In 2007, those plurality elections were eliminated in favor of electing the entire Duma by proportional elections.
a. What is one major effect the change had on Russian political parties? Why?
b. What is one major effect the change had on political power of the Duma? Why?
c. What is one major effect the change had on the political power of the president? Why?


This is a 6-point question. It's unlikely that a short-answer concept question on the AP exam would be this long or offer this many points. I probably got carried away with this one. (Sorry.) It should probably be considered an example of "Country Context" question.

You are being asked how well you know about the major political parties and the regime in Russia as well as differences between plurality and proportional electoral systems.

Two points can be earned for each of the three parts: one for an identification and one for an explanation. The rubric for part "a." is a very short list; for part "b." is also very short; the rubric for part "c." is as short.

‪lepetitsarkozy ‬wrote:

4. The 2007 Duma election change has affected Russian political parties by preventing any one party from reaping all the power in the legislature with plurality “winner takes all” votes, leading to greater representation of minority parties in the Duma.

This change has affected the Duma’s political power by making it less efficient because more opinions are represented and must be debated, leading to a decrease in applicable power but an increase in political legitimacy.

This change has reduced the President’s power because his party, United Russia, might hold a majority of the seats, but it must now compete with any party that reaches the 7% threshold. This competition spreads out the votes and, subsequently, the power among the parties.



If there are two points possible for each of the 3 parts of this question, the respondent must offer two bits of answer: a fact and an explanation.

How and why were Russian parties affected by the change?
How and why was the power of the Duma affected?
How and why was the power of the executive affected?

Ah, the differences between theory and specific reality.

a. The number of parties in the Duma declined.

b. The assertion about "a decrease in… power" of the Duma, but the explanation is in error. Thus the assertion cannot earn any points.

c. In fact, United Russia's super majority made the president's power greater than ever.

This response earns 0 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

‪alvaroCGP ‬wrote:

5. A fact that demonstrates the persistence of the rural-urban cleavage in China is that in the eastern region of China, lives the poor farmers and peasants that barely make enough to survive in their small cities, while in the West, huge industrial cities have been built where businessmen, politicians, and greater education exists.

One way in which the persistence of the cleavage affects Chinese politics because of the different rebellions and disagreements that are now happening in the different regions in which there are rural and urban societies. Politicians must now seek ways to maintain popularity in both rural and urban areas because both of them together are of such great importance to the economy.

One way in which the persistence of the cleavage limits the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage is because of the "floating population". A huge amount of migrants from China move into the big cities but live on the streets because they have no money, causing no organization in the cities.



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

The first paragraph is an acceptable response to part "a." of the question, although it contains a confusion about east and west. The eastern part of the country (on the China Sea and the Pacific) is the most developed and the richest. This kind of mistake will usually be ignored by exam readers since the basic point about unbalanced development and wealth is accurate.

The second paragraph is a vague and example-less analysis. It needs an example of "rebellions and disagreements" to earn a point.

The third paragraph refers to the migratory "floating population," which is good. But why is that difficult for an authoritarian system with required residence permits (hukou)? I'd be tempted to give this a half point if that were possible, but floating population was on my rubric. Still a bit more explanation would ensure earning a point.

This response earns 2 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

‪Rachael ‬wrote:

5. The sheer number of immigrants coming from rural areas into urban areas demonstrates the rural-urban cleavage. The poverty and income inequality show it as well.

Those who immigrate into the urban areas do not receive many rights that they would if they had remained in their hometowns such as healthcare. This cleavage still affects China today. The poverty levels in many of the rural communities spurs on the immigration into the big cities, often times causing desperate workers to accept cheap labor in an effort to make some money.

The industrialization makes it difficult for the Chinese state to effectively deal with these issues. China is much more focused on the larger cities that bring in GDP than the issues in rural areas. Therefore, the rural areas do not receive the help they may need.


It would have helped to label the parts of the response as they are labeled in the question.

The first question seems to be answered twice: migration and "poverty and income inequality."

The second question is about the effects the cleavage has on politics. Some of the response is about reasons for the migration and the effects on the migrants. Politics?

The last bit of the response is an adequate explanation for the limitation on the Chinese state, although it would be better if it pointed out that industrialization and recruiting cheap labor are policy goals that aggravate the cleavages.

This response earns 2 points.

Ken Wedding said...

The fifth question is:
5.   The historic cleavage between rural and urban Chinese citizens led Mao Zedong to base the Communist Revolution in China on the peasantry, not the working class.
a. Briefly describe one fact that demonstrates the persistence of that rural-urban cleavage now.
b. Briefly describe one way in which the persistence of that cleavage affects Chinese politics today.
c. What is a major factor limiting the capacity of the Chinese state to effectively deal with this cleavage?


This is a 3-point question. This may also be a more complex question than you will find on the Short-Answer Concept section of the FRQ test. It's more realistic than number 4, but… (This question writing project is difficult.)

You are being asked about how well you understand the concept of cleavages, cleavages in China, the effects of those cleavages on Chinese politics, and limitations on the capacity of the Chinese state.

You can earn one point for each of the three parts of the item. The three questions are pretty straight forward. The rubric for part "a." is a short list; the rubric for part "b." is even shorter; the rubric for part "c." a bit longer.

These multi-part questions are nearly objective questions, but ones for which you have to supply the answers.

‪lepetitsarkozy ‬wrote:

5. Today, the rural-urban cleavage is demonstrated by the lack of infrastructure development in rural areas. Urban areas have far better roads, electricity access, and communication mediums than the rural areas, showing that a cleavage still exists.

This cleavage affects current Chinese politics because the Chinese communist leaders feel they need to make up for a lack of infrastructure by allowing voting for local candidates in villages across China, giving peasants a little bit more say in the government.

The Chinese state is limited in how it can deal with this cleavage because high income inequality, due to unequal economic growth between the urban and rural regions, has fostered resentment among the farming peasantry, leading to further tension and a deeper cleavage.


It would have helped to label the parts of the response as they are labeled in the question. The topic sentences are adequate replacements for the paragraph returns.

The first point about infrastructure development is very good.

The second point is also very good.

The third point begs the question of why an authoritarian system can be limited by resentment or deeper cleavages. More explanation is necessary.

This response earns 2 points.