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POLS 110 Lecture Notes - Stateless Society, Ruling Class

5 pages78 viewsWinter 2013

Political Studies
Course Code
POLS 110
Rob Beamish

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January 14, 2013
Thinking about the political
Beyond a monadic definition
Heuristic framework- to provide us with a framework created to give us the
opportunity to think analytically about the political might be, a framework of
politics in different ways
What is politics about
Political ideas
The community and its affair- about the community rather then the
individual, the business of the community
Interests and their intersection- everyone has interests that they want
expressed, how everyone’s interests connect to each other
o There are connections between what I want and what you want
o Example. Ownership of something that is our ownership that stops
someone else from having it, interests that are of conflict of each
o There are interests that co exist with each other, those that intersect
and cause conflict, others that don’t effect other interests in any way
and so on.
o Although everyone has a conception of his or her interests and
everyone will try to pursue their interests, all these can not be
completed as desired due to problems that come up against these
o Where will thee interests and intersections be and what will be their
Power, influence, and authority
o Political science isn’t interested in harmony and happiness but instead
where interests intersect with each other
o It is politics that determines when interests that are in conflict come
into conflict with one another
o Who’s interests overcome others, who is gaining advantage?
o The process by which some get their way and other do not, how some
have their interests reflected in outcomes and others do not
o Power is a process that is useful as is lets us look at how these
conflicts of interests are prevailed
o The tools of influence are used to change interests so conflict is
o Authority can be used to influence people and use power to get what
is wanted
o Its never in our interest to be threatened with negative consequences
so therefor because at the end of the day our interests remain in
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conflict even though we comply with the threat, it is power that is
implied to this
Rules- rules that are written down in law that we must follow
o What we really want to do is talk about how communities are
organized which has much more to do with informal rules rather then
formal rules of law
o Rules generically are usually rules of the game of how communities
work, politics is therefor always about those informal rules to be
Governance: choosing the rules- politics is about choosing the rules of the
game to benefit the community
o The making of certain rules effects how people go about
o It basically encourages us to think about the interconnections
between these different elements
Multidimensional definition encourages analysis of interconnects
Community shaped by ideas and rules
o How communities are invariably shaped by the ideas and rules that
encapsulate those ideas at any particular time of day
o How we see these ideas leads to set of rules that will be ahead in any
o The rules and shape of the community will change over time and we
cant expect these to stand over decades
o Ideas are constantly changing
o People don’t generally like change but time causes these ideas to
o A change how a community decides to deal with a set of ideas
o If there is one element that is most clearly indicated by the passage of
time don’t change but then suddenly are replaced by others
Rules reflect interests
o A reflection of interests that last and those that don’t
Interests and power
o Who is getting their interest served and those who aren’t is seen from
Governance and power
o Revenues aren’t meeting expenditures
o How to government expresses their power through taken measures
o Example how a university ups its prices or course load
What is governance?
Making authoritative choices for and about the community
It is a process that makes choices for the community that are backed up by
authority and power
Regulating the public affairs of the community
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