[SOLUTION] Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics PSCI 103 Antonia Cucchiara Final Exam 1. (1 paragraph min.) (5 points) Based on the New York Times article and any prior knowledge of this case, ‘Why is Ethiopia at war with itself’ published on 11/5/20 (which can be found under course materials ‘Final Exam (Reading#1)’), what explanation, societal, economic or political, most effectively explains this case of ethnic conflict in Ethiopia? 2. (1 paragraph min.) (5 points) Based on an excerpt of the study called ‘The Care of the Baby: a Family Affair in Italy’ by Sonia Bertolini, Rosy Musumeci, Manuela Naldini & Paola Maria Torrioni, which cluster of welfare capitalism would Italy be categorized within, and explain why with three reasons from this study and your knowledge of the three clusters of welfare capitalism. Despite these family and labour market changes, several factors point to persisting difficulty faced by young women in trying to become parents and to manage family and work. First of all, Italy as whole is characterized by a persistent of traditional gender division of housework. As a matter of the fact, throughout the country sharing housework between men and women remains highly unbalanced, and the gender gap, even among younger cohorts, with respect to domestic chores remains one of the widest in Europe (Eurostat, 2008; Naldini and Jurado, 2013)…This incomplete transformation of gender relations (Esping-Andersen, 2009; Gerson, 2010) is particularly evident in this Country because also labor market policy and more broadly social policies, as we will try to illustrate, remain unbalanced with respect to gender and to generation. First of all, despite an important policy shift in reconciliation policy (Law 53/2000 on parental leave),3 in defining childcare as parental, not maternal-only responsibility, the law shows several shortcomings, especially for parents-to-be who have an unstable job trajectory. The replacement rate is only 30% of pay for a maximum of 6 months for each parent. In addition, non-standard work contracts, which mainly affect men and women in the reproductive age group, are excluded from some measures protecting motherhood or supporting reconciliation, and where entitlement does exist, implementation is difficult (Bertolini, 2006). For instance, a self-employed parents-to-be and the majority of temporary worker parents-to-be are entitled only to 3 months of parental leave instead of 6 months. Moreover, although the new law introduces a “use or lose” quota for the father, the rate of take-up by fathers remains very low. According to recent national data based on the Italian Labour Force survey (Istat, 2011), among working parents having a child under 8 years old, 45.3% of mothers and 6.9% of fathers have taken up parental leave at least once.4 The same survey shows that the number of parents who do not use parental leave is very high and among them respectively 25% of interviewed mothers and 20% of interviewed fathers declared the reason is that they were not entitled.5 Childcare services for children under 3 years of age (asili nido, nursery school) are relatively few (12.7% being the national average in 2008, Istituto degli Innocenti, 2009) and vary extensively in geographical terms. Even in regions, i.e. Northern Italy, and municipalities where coverage is higher, the figure remains well below the 33% “Barcelona target”6. For example, in 2006, the coverage rate in the municipality of Turin was 15.4%, with only 50% parents’ demand for services being met. Pre-primary school services for 3 to 6 year-olds are well developed (by the age of 5, almost 100% of children attend school) but school time is shorter than a normal working day, so that parents who have full time job are unable to combine family and work without some “external” help. Reconciliation policy in Italy is also inadequate at company level, where the flexibilization of work schedules, part-time work and “family-friendly” measures are not widespread and/or many employees are unable to take advantage of them (Den Dulk, 2001; Fine-Davis et al., 2004; Naldini, 2006). Hence, in Italy the dilemma of work versus family is still largely relegated to the private sphere, whilst the tensions between change in women’s life and resistant institutions and the issues of gender imbalance are not addressed. This is not surprising, as the lack of strong state involvement in the welfare system means that the family (and family network) is the main provider of care and welfare. The family is perceived, by both public opinion and policy-makers, as the bottomless resource for the “weaker” members of society. This ‘unsupported familialism’ (Saraceno, 2010), slows down the development of care services, especially for very young children, and the adoption of measures for the reconciliation of work to family life. Work-family reconciliation tensions, as well as gender issues, have figured little in public debate. 7 As it has been argued, along with cultural factors one has to take into account lack of a shared political consensus on priorities, together with a high degree of political and ideological divisiveness, between catholic and no-catholic political forces and political parties, with regard to issues concerning the family, sexuality and equal opportunities (Naldini and Saraceno, 2008). So that, managing family and work continues to be regarded as an issue for women. These factors, together with a strong bias by the welfare state toward supporting childcare a family responsibility, explain why working parents, as the study of parent-to-be will show, depend/rely heavily on relatives (mainly grandparents) and informal support in general. 3 The law has acknowledged an individual entitlement for fathers. It stipulates that working fathers of newborn children are individually entitled to a portion of the parental leave (10 months in total, between mother and father, until the child reaches the age of 8, of which neither parent may take more than 6 months, but if the father takes at least 3 months of leave, then he is entitled to an additional month. 4 Information on take up rate of leave entitlements is full of gaps, however, from a comparative perspective, according to Plantenga and Remery (2005, box 5), take up rate of Italian fathers is higher compared to Spanish, Polish and German fathers (cfr. Ray, Gornick and Smith, 2010). 5 In addition, data coming from administrative records shows that parental leave among fathers was much higher in the in the public sector, where almost half had used some Parental leave at some point. Take-up of Parental leave is also much higher for more educated women: it reaches 49 per cent among women with high school or tertiary education compared with just under 30 per cent for women with secondary education. The take up of leaves is higher for women who are employees (51.7 per cent) and lower for self employed (17.1 per cent) (Moss, 2012). 6 In 2002, at the Barcelona Summit, the European Council set the targets of providing childcare by 2010 to: 90% of children between 3 years old and the mandatory school age and 33% of children under 3 years of age. 7 The reasons of the scant development of welfare state and in particular of social policies for families and for the lack of public debate over time in Italy cannot be addressed here, but have been covered in the literature (see, e.g. Naldini, 2003; Saraceno, 2006). 3. (1 paragraph min.) (5 points) Based on the excerpt above, ‘The Care of the Baby: a Family Affair in Italy’ by Sonia Bertolini, Rosy Musumeci, Manuela Naldini & Paola Maria Torrioni, how might an advocate of the ‘social democratic’ welfare state respond to the policies in Italy? Please explain with three possible responses to this study and your knowledge of the ‘social democratic’ welfare state. 4. (1 paragraph min.) (5 points) Based on your understanding of the movement in Belarus, is it possible for movement actors to use the strategies explained by Deva Woodly to have a successful outcome? If so, how? If not, why? 5. (1 paragraph min.) (5 points) Based on the article ‘The Art of Dissent; Cuba’ from The Economist published on 12/5/20 (which can be found under course materials ‘Final Exam (Reading#2)’), and any prior knowledge of this case, which theory of social movements best explains the emergence, and explain with three reasons.


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[SOLUTION] Comparative Politics
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