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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 110
Kim Richard Nossal

Operationalizing the Demos  How many of “the people” does it take to make decisions for the political community? o Unanimity, clear majority, plurality, minority? o Each of these options are problematic.  How is their possession of supreme political authority by “the people” to be put into practice? o Direct democracy (citizens exercise authority and power), participatory democracy (citizens participate in the process of decision), non-participatory democracy (referenda, initiatives, elections; what we create to give the people a sense that they are participating in the process of decision, but in reality, it is not really participatory), representative democracy (citizens choose delegates to exercise power and authority on their behalf; no notion of participation in the process of decision. The idea of choosing reps is the only way you can operationalize). o All of these options are also problematic. o Even the representative democracy has difficulties because it involves an idea that doesn‟t actually exist. The idea behind it is that we end up as the demos, being governed by a select few, and the idea is that we allow ourselves to be governed because we give this process our consent. When was the last time anyone was actually approached by the governing apparatus and asked whether or not you consent to the operation of this particular system?  Hypothetical consent. o Consent of the governed, though hypothetical, one part. The other part is periodic accountability, and that is not at all hypothetical.  Periodic accountability: those that make decisions on our behalf have to periodically become accountable to those whom they hypothetically represent.  The importance of assemblies in this democratic option. Assemblies: Variations  Assemblies come in many different forms; o Huge variation in how they were created (elected, appointed, mixture). o Huge variation in accountability o Huge variety in terms of size and activity. i.e. China‟s national assembly (3,000 people). o Variety in internal organization. o Legislative resources. o Political function (not as much variation). Assemblies: political functions  Universal political functions o Representation o Legitimation; serves to legitimize the system. o Political recruitment  Anytime you get a legislature, even in the most authoritarian systems, there will be those three factors. Representation  Types of representation; o Sociological o Geographic  Styles of representation; o Trustee o Delegate  When you look at the assembly and those who populate it, you‟ll see a different way of performing the representative function. Sociological Representation  Needs to represent and reflect the sociological attributes of the many (demos) that the folks who occupy these institutions are supposed to be representing. o “[A representative assembly] should be, in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should feel, reason, and act like them.” – John Quincy Adams, Thoughts on Government (1776).  Lebanon case study; before civil war that wrecked what was a peaceful and wealthy community. Prior to Syrian intervention. Civil war left Lebanon the broken polity that it is today; active effort to try to reflect deep diversity in the community.  Lebnon‟s religious representation; o 1970s: Majils al-„Umma (National Assembly) mirrored divisions of Shi‟ites, Sunnis, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Maronite Christians, Armenian Orthodox, Druze – always with an overall 6:5 Christian:Muslim ratio. o The seats were allocated in different numbers, but always had a 6:5 ratio. o Once the civil war occurred, massive outflow of Christians. o Nice example of how you can have a hugely diverse political community and try and ensure that the diversity is reflected in your national assembly.  Hong Kong‟s “functional constituencies”; o 30 of 60 members of Legislative Council elected by economic/occupational groups. i.e. Agriculture and Fisheries has a seat, hotel industry has a seat, financial services, etc. o Organization of a representative assembly according to the kind of broad structure of the capitalist economy of HK. o Number of voters for these seats vary considerably.  New Zealand‟s aboriginal representation; o An effort is made to ensure that the Mãoris (indigenous group) are represented.  120 seats: 62 “general” electorates (territorial divisions), 51 party lists, 7 seats allocated to the Mãori, elected by a separate Mãori electorall roll.  The idea behind this is to try to ensure that there is some ongoing representation of the original inhabitants of New Zealand.  Fiji‟s ethnic representation (1990 constitution) o Deeply divided political community. o 1990 constitution seeks to try and represent in the parliament the deep divisions within Fijian politics.  House of Representatives has 70 members:  Indigenous Fijians: 37  Indo-Fijians: 27  Rotuman islanders: 1  Others: 5  The idea was that the Fijians are always going to be in the majority. This didn‟t work and Fiji is back into another political cycle.  Nice example of an attempt to try and mirror a deeply divided community within the national legislature.  China (3,000 members in national congress, divided in a way to try to reflect certain attributes of the polity). o NPC has a percentage of seats allocated to a variety of seats.  Workers/peasants: 19%  Intellectuals: 21%  Cadres: 33%  Non-communist parties: 15%; allowed to exist in China provided that they do not challenge article 1 of the Chinese constitution which gives permanent hegemony to Chinese Communist Party.  Peoples Liberation Army: 9%  HKSAR: 1.17%  MSAR: 0.4%  Returned overseas Chinese: 1.2%  Women: 22%  55 ethnic minorities: 14% o What you see here is an effort to ensure that when those 3,000 people meet, they are going to represent certain elements of the PRC.  Remember that in essence, sociological representation as a way of trying to reflect the many is a fundamentally failed way. o Gender o Wealth Geographic Representation  Attempts to divide the community up territorially and have a representative from that area.  Nomenclature differs: district (US), ridings (Canada), electorate (Australia, New Zealand), constituency (UK).  Risk of overrepresentation and underrepresentation. Doesn‟t care about who gets the represent the individuals.  Most common.  What happens when those representatives go to the national assembly? Styles of Representation (Geographic)  Delegate: representatives seek to mirror their constituents‟ wishes.  Trustee: representatives act in what they believe is the best interests of their constituents, knowing that if their choices cannot be justified, the voters will throw them out at the next election. o Classic trustee statement: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” – Edmund Burke, speech to the electors of Bristol, 1774. 1/23/2012 12:22:00 PM Governance Lecture 1 The Essay: A Second Cut  The importance of the puzzle. This is a crucial element of the writing process.  The importance of making the puzzle manageable.  The assignment: Topic of your choice. o Creation of an outline. Take that which puzzles you and work it through. Think about how that puzzle is going to translate itself into an 8-12 page paper.  Cover page: proposed title, name, student number, TA‟s name, date of submission.  2-3 pages of text: outline puzzle and how you propose to address it.  2-3 pages includes bibliography. Number of sources depends heavily on what you‟re doing.  Due 9 February 2012, before lecture.  Consult course outline for all the information about the outline and its submission.  10% of winter term grade. What is Governance?  Making authoritative choices for and about the community.  Regulating the public affairs of the community, not the private affairs of individuals.  Ensuring that decisions are implemented by exercising power, influence, and authority.  These 3 elements are all part of a process. Governance and Government  Governance: The process of decision-making, regulation, and enforcement. o Term is used to essentially draw attention to that it is the process that we are interested in.  Government: The institutions that human beings have created to undertake the process of governance. Sometimes we refer to this as “the state”.  Drawing this distinction allows us to ask the crucial question: Does one need a government to engage in governance?  Governance without government? Governance without Government?  Rebel groups.  Possibility that human beings can regulate their political activity without the institutions? Conditions of anarchy? 26 JANUARY 2012 @ 3:30 PM (LECTURE 2) Governance and Government  Does one need a government to engage in governance?  Governance without government? Anarchy  When everyone does their own thing. Everyone pursues their own interests. Lack of order.  Idea of a dystopia – something negative. Why do we have such a negative view of anarchy when we shouldn‟t? All that anarchy means is essentially a community that doesn‟t have a government.  When you strip it of its emotionalism and pejorative connotation, all we‟re talking about is that condition without government.  An + archy = withour ruler or government.  Global politics – if you have a global government, it wouldn‟t be clear if the industrial north would enjoy their status.  Stateless societies. o A society that lives and reproduces itself for generations without having invented a state form of government. There are political communities that have not invented government. Stateless Societies  There are a number of communities today that live out their lives in an entirely stateless condition. Every stateless society lives a paradoxical existence. Every square metre of land above sea level on the earth today is claimed by 1 or more than the 193 sovereign states. That being said, there are many places around the world where the claims of those governments simply doesn‟t reach. There is a dwindling number of such societies. o The !Kung (Kalahari desert, Namibia/South Africa). o The Yanomamo (northern Brazil). o The Huli (southern highlands, Papua New Guinea). o The Jieng aka Dinka (South Sudan). o The Sentinelese (Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean).  Characteristics of governance in stateless societies (societies having no state or governmental institutions). o No “continuous organization of official functions bound by rules” (Max Weber).  Weber‟s examination of the contemporary state he was living on focused on the importance of the continuous organization of the modern state. In other words, a stateless society does not have any continuous organization; it has governance functions, leaders, systems of decision-making, but these are deeply personal and very much attached to the individual who happen to be in position of leadership at a particular moment in time. o No institutionalization that is separate from the continuous organization. There may be particular norms, but they aren‟t institutional. o No codification of rules for very good reason. Most stateless societies have no written language and indeed their conception of numeracy are extremely limited. There is no need to codify rules and no need for a written language, and so that for the vast majority of stateless societies, there hasn‟t been a necessity to invent a written form of communication. There are many languages in the international system where complex counting is simply not part of the way in which folks conceive of their particular world. This is not to say that there aren‟t any rules or that they aren‟t complex. All societies have rules. It is in how those rules are communicated and reproduced that marks the difference between stateless societies and regular societies. o No monopoly on use of force. There is a mythology that without the oppressive nature of the state, that in effect, life in a stateless society would be fundamentally peaceful and non-violent. On the contrary, violence is essential to stateless societies; it isn‟t random violence, but it is the use of force for the advancement of your particular interests (Thomas Hobbes). The lack of monopoly on the use of force is very much part of how they govern themselves. o No classes; classless society. There isn‟t a particular type of class; that is the consequence of the final attribute of a stateless society. o No separation of governors from governed. There isn‟t a ruling class sustained by a surplus produced by the community. Societies Governed By a State  Characteristics of governance in societies having a state and governmental institutions. o “Continuous organization of official functions bound by rules” (Weber). The state consists of a huge number of offices that are filled with official occupants, bound by certain rules, to do particular jobs for the state. These are both elected (House of Commons) or appointed (governor general) or through birth (monarch). These individuals as individuals don‟t matter. o Highly institutionalized. o Rules codified. They are codified to a high degree of specificity. o Monopoly on use of force. o Classes: division of labour. o Separation of governors from governed.  Ruling class sustained by a surplus produced by the community. Origins of the State 30 JANUARY 2012 @ 2:30 (LECTURE 1) Comparing Societies  Stateless vs. state societies (refer to last lecture notes)  Raises a puzzle. The Puzzle  The appearance of states and the non-appearance of states in other places at other times.  When Europeans arrived on the shores of Australia, why is this what th th Europeans found everywhere in the 17 and 18 centuries?  Representation of an aboriginal community.  Over the course of 10s and thousands of years, we see no development of a state. Why is this the case?  Had Europeans not arrived and settled Australia and defeated the aboriginal peoples and established a European style state, it is likely that aboriginal peoples in 2012 would have looked exactly like they did in that image. It could be argued that 10,000 years ago, aboriginal peoples in Australia would still look like that. Origins of the State  Where does the state come from? If we think about it arriving at a certain moment in time or if we think of it as being invented, why does it appear in some places and not others? o Why do some humans govern themselves in stateless societies while others govern themselves by means of the state?  Six general explanations for the appearance of the state… o Divine o Natural o Voluntaristic o Automatic o Coercive o Environmental Divine Explanations  The notion that the state was ordained by god(s). If you are familiar with the foundation myths of large number of states, you will know that there is often times a linkage made between the god(s) and the creation of the state. o Foundation myths of numerous peoples. o Closely linked to divine claims to authority. Natural Explanations  Simple line of argument.  The state is a “natural” occurrence; the state will be the natural (i.e. inevitable result of humans living together.  The difficulty with this is easily reflected by thinking about the image of the aboriginals of Australia.  If the explanation cannot explain the absence of the state, we pass it by. Voluntaristic Explanations  Focus on the state as a voluntary creation of human beings.  Life without a state is so grim that human beings will actively seek to trade their natural condition (without state) and instead, create a state. o This, is the essential argument for those who read Leviathan literally by English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. o This only captures a bit of what Hobbes was arguing.  Hobbes and the Origins of the State o Humankind in its “natural” state or the “state of nature”…  A hypothesized condition of individuals who live without society or government. o To get to this natural state, one had to assume that all human beings were free and most importantly, equal to one another. This is Hobbes‟ radical contribution to how we think about each other and society. He was asserting that all human beings are equal to one another. o The consequences of all this equality, freedom and vulnerability, Hobbes suggests particular implications in this natural state.  If there‟s no sovereign, everyone defines right and wrong for themselves  Where there‟s no sovereign to “keep them in awe”, everyone is in a state of war.  The Social Contract o I agree as a free and sovereign individual, capable of making my own decisions and standards of justice, along with everyone else, I agree to trade that right, and give it to a sovereign, the Leviathan, and am now no longer able to have that right. And in return, the sovereign will keep everyone in awe. o Comparable explanations  John Locke  Jean-Jacques Rousseau o Further exploration of these ideas occur in POLS 250. Assessing Voluntaristic Explanations  Philosophic, not empirical, explanation.  Hobbes‟ entire account of the state of nature is by a logically impossible. Human beings simply can‟t exist in an atomic state. We don‟t know how far back we have to go before we find an ancestor that didn‟t live in a society.  Not only is it biologically impossible, but there is no historical example of stateless societies voluntarily forming a state. Automatic Explanations  Basically suggest that once agriculture was invented, that the state automatically got invented. In other words, once human beings began to domesticate plants and animals, then the state was something that just automatically emerged.  Universal condition of Homo sapiens sapiens 15,000 BCE. o Hunter gatherers. o No food surplus. o The consequence of this was that the population density is exceedingly thin. o Life was exceedingly marginal. Small bands.  No complex social organization.  No social stratification.  No occupational division of labour.  Agriculture was “invented” at different times in different places. o Food surplus. o Increase in population density. o Conflict management becomes more difficult in larger communities. o Emergence of “Big Men” (chiefs) and governing apparatuses to resolve conflict. o Some members of the community freed from food production. o Division of labour, emergence of distinct occupations (farmers, warriors, artisans). o This all leads to the emergence of chiefdoms. o Chiefdoms expand, conquer other communities to form increasingly larger units. o This leads to the formation of the state. 2 FEBRUARY 2012 @ 3:30 PM (LECTURE 2) The Origins of the State  Coercive theories  Environental theories Automatic Explanations Assessed  When agriculture is invented, when the knowledge of how to domesticate plants and animals is there and practiced, then, automatically, the state emerges.  But if in fact the automatic explanation is correct, it would follow that wherever agriculture is practiced, you will find a state emerging. The problem is that that is just not the case. Many places in the world where we see the practice of agriculture for thousands of years, yet no state emerges. o New Guinea – state was brought to New Guinea by Europeans. o Mississippi basin/eastern North American – agriculture but yet, by the time Europeans arrive to wipe out much of the population, we do not see the emergence anywhere of a state form of governance. Not to suggest that the aboriginal people of this continent weren‟t governing themselves in highly complex ways. But what we don‟t see in N. America until Europeans came, we do not see the appearance of the state. No state in Eastern Latin America. o Amazon basin  We can‟t find an example of the state that emerges without first the invention and practice of agriculture. We simply don‟t have any example at all of where hunter-gatherers emerge immediately and create a state. So, we must think about the question here of universality.  Automatic explanation assumes a universality that is not there. o Food production does not lead to state formation. o No states emerge unless there is food production, increased population density.  In other words, food production is not a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition.   What conditions are necessary and sufficient for food production to give rise to state formation? Necessary and Sufficient Conditions: WAR?  Coercive explanation.  War is this necessary and sufficient condition. War and conquest is crucial to the state. Coercive Explanations  Examples of states that had their origins in war and conquest… o Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, Japan, Rome, northern Europe, Polynesia, Mesoamerica (Aztecs, Maya), Andes in South America (Incas), central Africa.  There‟s a difference between  There seems to be no exception to the rule that states do not emerge without warfare. But…  The problem is universality. o All states emerge from war. o Not all wars lead to state formation. Human beings and their ancestors are/were a deeply violent species. All the mythology to the contrary not withstanding. War is something has always been a feature of a vast majority of people. o War is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition.  What are the sufficient and necessary conditions? Environmental Explanations  What this focuses on is the geographic environment in which states emerge.  Geography is crucial for an understanding in the circumstances in which war between agricultural communities give rise necessarily to the state, while war in agricultural communities do not.  Take a look in the last 7,000 years at where the state actually emerged and focus on the most obvious… o Tigris/Euphrates valley o Nile valley o Indus valley o Valley of Mexico o Coastal valleys of Peru.  Differences: altitude, rainfall, temperature, soils, drainage.  One commonality: the limitation of arable land. Has crucial impacts on the way in which politics in a particular area gives rise to the state.  Contrasting two particular areas that essentially are exceedingly similar in some respects, but give rise to different political results… o Peru vs. Brazil. Amazonia. o Answer found in ecological and political environment of both places. o Ecological: unlimited rainforest (capable of sustaining huge subsistence agriculture). o Political: farming communities, autonomous villages. They were as large of a political unit as you could find. The number of villages kept growing. Part of the political environment of Amazonia was marked by war between these villages. What did they fight over? Women and insults.  Fundamental difference in what wars are fought over. The State and Sovereignty 6 FEBRUARY 2012 @ 2:20 PM (LECTURE 1) From Band to Chiefdom  Consequences of victory and defeat; the price of not being exterminated… o Tribute of food to victor. This frees victors from food production, which is argued to lead to… o The need for administration. o Incorporation of defeated villages into larger political unit: chiefdoms.  We see the emergence of a ruling class; other classes of individuals within the conquering units designed to perform a variety of political tasks.  The creation of different strata within the new chiefdom. In particular, the marks of “rulership”… o Different forms of dress o Accommodation for the leaders. o Difference in terms of treatment.  With the emergence of chiefdoms, comes literacy, numeracy, and administration.  Also an emergence of religion as legitimating ideology; linking the ruler to the divine.  Emergence of public works – things created at the order of the ruling class that aren‟t necessarily necessary for the community as a whole. o The indulgence of the ruling class. o Means of legitimization.  Emergence of slavery as an institution. o Public works need concentrated labour that can be provided by slaves captured in warfare. o In some circumstances, slaves are integral and useful for the requirements of religious belief. i.e. Mayan civilization and the importance of human sacrifice.  The dynamic that transforms a village to a chiefdom gets reproduce at a larger level. Chiefdoms, just like villages, find an expansion of population density that leads to wars between chiefdoms and the argument is that it has precisely the same dynamic, except 1 level up. From a chiefdom, you get a creation of a kingdom. o This leads to the invention of urban centres; people made landless by war gravitate to military administrative centres. o This, then, leads to the formation of the state. Back to the Puzzle  The argument is essentially that Australian aboriginals, having lived in that state for many years, would continue to live in that state because of the lack of agriculture.  Wasn‟t because they didn‟t know about agricultural practices, but because of the unpredictable Australian weather and there wasn‟t anything to domesticate. You could hunt them, but domesticating couldn‟t happen. In Conclusion… Why look at the origins of the state?  To understand its inevitability – path dependency. The logical consequences of the invention of agriculture, there is no going back; the impossibility of de- inventing the state. The best you can do is not practice it.  To appreciate the essential unchanging nature of the state and its power over time. The dynamics of domination are not that different from the first states. The essence is the same, even though the outcome is rather different.  Because of the centrality of the state to politics everywhere. The State: Ancient and Modern  Naming the state o The “states” of antiquity. o The “modern state”  The notion of the state as a particular political form didn‟t emerge as an abstraction until the last millennium. The term that we use today that is reflected in all the European languages emerges out of European experience.  The words must be self-conscious of its European origins. Although it is European in origin, it has spread over the world. The Functions of the State  Define the community. This definition takes place in a number of different ways… o Establishment and maintenance of borders. o Fix membership: define who the Other is. Most essential and binary definition that states always make; who we are, who they are.  Conduct relations with the Other(s) 9 FEBRUARY 2012 @ 3:30 PM (LECTURE 2) th Extra lecture Tuesday Februray 28 , 2012. The Functions of the State  Define the community; the membership of that community, in particular, establishing the most basic duality between us and them. o Establish and maintain borders. o Fix membership: define who the Other is.  Conduct relations with the Other(s). o Defense against attack. o Conquest and war.  Maintain internal order; to maintain order within the political community. Takes different forms. o Articulate and enforce rules. The attempt by the state to ensure that there is a set of understood of informal and formal rules. o Pattern maintenance: Designed to capture the essentially conservative and inertial nature of the state wherever it appears. To maintain certain patterns; patterns of wealth, privilege, status, etc. The state is committed to seeking to ensure that these patterns are continued and perpetuated into the next generation. The reason for stressing this is to underscore the fundamentally conservative nature of the state wherever it appears. Seeking to preserve what is and extending that into the future. o Social reproduction; the state is very committed to what is. States are deeply resistant to serious change.  Engage in economic redistribution (produce, labour, capital, goods, income, etc.) o Tribute o Corvée o Duties and levies. o Taxes of different sorts.  Establish and maintain community infrastructure (“public works”). o Monuments; most common form. Not simply for the indulgence of the ruling class, but also for the politics of the state. o Palaces and other awe-inspiring edifices. o Communications. o Education; concerned with the reproduction of patterns. Every state has interest in how the young are formed in their youth and thus released into the community to establish themselves as adults. This suggests that every state has an interest in how the young are formed. o “Welfare” (i.e. the well-being of the community).  No state is able to perform these varied functions by power (or influence) alone. How does any state manage to operate when the state is a tiny amount of people? How do these people end up performing these functions for hundreds of years for millions of people? Answer: through power and rule of anticipated reaction. The State and Sovereignty 13 February 2012 @ 2:30 PM (Lecture 1) The State and Political Authority  No state able to perform these varied functions by power (or influence) alone.  Authority is crucial. The Rule of Anticipated Reaction  Crucial for our understanding of how power works.  Essential difference between having power and exercising power, which leads to power analysis.  Power analysis: A, B, X, and Y. o The A‟s want X; the B‟s want Y. o Represents the conflict of interest. o We want to understand how the A‟s and the B‟s act towards each
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