POL SCI:Domestic Institutions and National Performance

Do democracies and autocracies behave similarly in international affairs?

-If the domestic arrangements of a regime are irrelevant to international politics, then the strategic perspective is wrong-If democracies and autocracies behave differently in similar circumstances, then structural theories are wrong

Leaders do not benefit equally from

from seeking peace and prosperity-Democratic leaders find it essential to pursue peace and prosperity, while autocrats do not

But few democratic leaders last as long in office as

dictators-Democratic leaders average 3.7 years in office while autocrats remain in office an average of 8.6 years

Every country has

fundamental institutional arrangements or rules


the set of people in a country who have a legal right to participate in the selection of the government leadership-The selectorate does not have to involve voting-Everyone else is disenfranchised

Winning Coalition:

those members of the selectorate whose support is essential to the incumbent government

The sizes of the selectorate and the winning coalition distinguish between different:

regime types

Regime Types: Small selectorate, small winning coalition:

-Few people select leader; few needed to retain power-Monarchies; military juntas

Regime Types: Large selectorate, small winning coalition:

-Large group participates in selection; few needed to retain power-Communist systems; rigged-election autocracies

Regime Types: Large selectorate, large winning coalition:

-Large numbers participate in selection; a subset (but a large number) required to maintain power-Modern democracies

Political Institutions:

-Those who get to pick these institutions influence the size of the selectorate and the winning coalition-The size of these institutions influences the foreign and domestic performance of the state

The Logic of Political Survival:

-All leaders care first about maintaining themselves in office-But don�t need to satisfy everyone to do this-Just need to do what is necessary to keep those whose support they need to stay in office satisfied -A leader has resources with which to accomplish this

Tools for Staying in Office:

Leaders stay in office by distributing a mix of private and public goods-Private goods: can be limited to a select group of citizens-Public goods: benefits enjoyed by all citizens in the state (component of good public policies)

Tools for Staying in Office: Tradeoff:

resources spent on public goods/ good public policy cannot be spent on private goods -The manner in which these resources are allocated depends on the sizes of the selectorate and the winning coalition

The Logic of Political Survival:

To stay in office, a leader needs to make sure that members of the winning coalition are receiving greater benefits than they can expect from a rival/challenger

The Logic of Political Survival:

-Can keep winning coalition happy by providing the members of �W� with private goods-But as the size of �W� increases, the amount of private goods received by each member of �W� decreases-At some point, leader has to switch to allocating resources towards public goods

The Loyalty Norm: not being essential to

new government (and therefore not receiving private goods)

Defection is

risky-The odds of being in the new winning coalition after defecting is equal to the ratio of size of the winning coalition to the size of the selectorate (W/S)-The risk of not being in the new winning coalition increases as the winning coalition gets smaller and the selectorate gets larger

The ratio _____ is the loyalty norm.

The ratio (W/S) is the loyalty norm.-it captures how loyal a member of the winning coalition will be to the leader

Ratio of Loyalty Norm:

-If both W and S are large: members of the winning coalition won�t be very loyal-If W is very small and S very large- members of winning coalition will be very loyal

Winning Coalition Allocation: When W small and S large

-autocracies, members of W are very loyal to the leader: -The leader provides just enough private goods to keep them satisfied -Will remain in office longer, even when producing failed policies

Winning Coalition Allocation: When W large and S large:

-democracies: members of W not very loyal -Leaders have incentives to provide good public policies

The Selectorate Theory: Evidence:

-That leaders in democracies have high incentives to provide public goods explains why democracies perform much better than autocracies in many areas: -Have higher economic growth, longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, higher literacy rates, higher educational attainment, etc. -Also explains differences in foreign policy: Good foreign policy is good public policy

Economic Policies & Trade: In democracies, leaders have stronger incentives to provide effective economic policies

-Produces national wealth-Higher economic growth

Economic Policies & Trade: In democracies, leaders have incentives to pursue free trade:

-Free trade (low tariffs) is a public good; protection is a private good-Average tariffs lower in democracies; economic openness higher

National Survival:

-Democratic leaders need to pursue policies that are good for the nation as a whole; autocrats do not have this incentive-Democracies will be more careful about going to war not likely to get into wars they are likely to lose-When democracies do get involved in wars, put more resources into winning the war-Explains why democracies win more wars

The Democratic Peace: Democracies do not fight each other because:

-They are selective about the wars they get into and they know democracies are hard to defeat (democracies make really bad targets for other democracies)-Hence democratic states rarely attack other democratic states (not impossible, just not likely)

The Democratic Peace: All of the democratic peace regularities are consistent with the

selectorate theory

The Democratic Peace: There are also novel hypotheses:

-Democracies try harder in war-The political incentives in democracies do not make them immune from wars of imperial expansion

Foreign Aid:

-Donor countries tend to be wealthy democratic countries

Variations in domestic political institutions explain a lot about

international relations and domestic politics

All else being equal, large winning coalition systems create

incentives for leaders to shift public policy away from private benefits and toward the provision of public goods