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Political Science
POLI 222
Christa Scholtz

POLI 222 January 10 2013 182013 124100 PMLecture 1 Ways of thinking about the political processWhat is political science What do political scientists do What questions do they askPolitics and the Policy ProcessTerms and definitionso Politics the activity by which rival claims are settled by public authoritieso RivalIndicates that there is competition in politics only finite political resources Money is easiest to understand as a resource that is competed for in politics Time and attention and expertise of those who are in charge of getting the message out the media Maybe less important postblogosphere Public attention what a politician wants action taken on these are all finite political resourcesPolitical will willingness to leverage personal networks leadershipLegislative time once you have everything else you need time and means to put your policies into playAnd many morePolitics is not a spectator sport if youre not in it youre not gonna win ito ClaimsPeople claim and make arguments and demands about thingsDemands formulated to be understood and captivatingFramed strategically to increase likelihood of political success o Framing an inherently political act importance should not be discountedo PublicFundamentally about collective response to demands and challenges in political community Presumably why we have central institutions to provide rules and structures for how decisions are made Also talking to individuals about how decisions are made Need to engage public to be political o Authorities Can talk about politics without the house of commons but to talk about change on alevel youll have to come back to these central institutions Politics and the Political ProcessPolitical process o Problem definitiono Getting organized Where do groups come fromUsed to think it was automatic if theres a need someone will fill it How do groups get to be formed in the way that they haveBuilding a political constituency How do you build a constituencyHow do you get people to back your policies eg childcare Creating a public agenda How do you lobby politicians and policy makers ie energy fieldo Tiny slice of organizations set up to lobby the government for energy interests What is the default action for most peopleWhat resources do they expend Understanding what it takes for groups to get organized behind an issueo Identifying public policy solutions o Agreeing on a way to come to a collective decisiono Implementing a response Thats the slide o Feminism Private is public Women of childbearing age Hours worked deficit Became a public concern and is now taken care of by the state o How many fish youre allowed to catch and fisheries management strategieso Should medical malpractice be covered by private insurance or the state or whatEhWhat are the roles of ideas interests and institutions during each step in a political processIdeas o What ideas inform peoples thinking or motivate their political behaviour o How do ideas change or develop across time o Political culture systems of shared meaning shared group understandings that link individuals to a collective experienceo Tommy Douglas Interestso How do actors understand their interests o How do those interests affect actual behaviourInstitutions o How do our institutions affect political processes and behavioursAre institutions containers in which political processes are played out Does the shape of the container make differences in the way that politics happens
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