POLS 110 Lecture 1: pols 110- first intro week
Course CodePOLS 110
ProfessorKim Richard Nossal
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Friday sept 7, 14 30 (nov); selected
Two minute papers; demonstrate/ communicate thoughts to myself and prof
Tutorials; 1 hr sessions led by grad students, do NOT begin until registration has settled
down (they begin week of the 24th)
Readings; intro to politics Canadian 2nd edition & making sense of writing for social
science students (both required)
Essays; outline and essay proper
Mid term take home exam; 22nd of October 9 am, due the next day (23) at 6 pm
End of term exam; only examined on whats on THIS term
Doing readings- 0%
Office hours- Tuesdays 2-3pm or by appointment
Two minute papers- 0%
Essay outline- 10%
Take home exam- 15%
Fall essay- 35%
Mid year exam- 40%
Tutorial bonus- contributing and attending can result in a recommendation of bonus mark
up to 5%
First 2 min paper
•How do you conceptualize this particular subject?
•25 words or less, what do you think politics is about?
•Email to firstname.lastname@example.org within hour
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Sept 7th- “Thinking about the political”
Monadic; focusing on one primary element as the most important for understanding a
What is politics about?
•Politics is the process by which societies are governed
•Politics is about the institutions and structures put in place to govern communities
•Ideas, and which ideas will be acted on and how those ideas influence issues
(difference and debate)
•Who has powers and how it is exercised
•Pursuing ideas of goodness, justice, and rightness
•Distribution of ‘good things’, e.g. scare resources (who gets what, when, how and why-
Harold Lasswell). How do we deal with members of society that decide to act in
•“Creating laws and regulations that ensure societies and nations are safe and equitable
for all it’s citizens”. The barrier between order and chaos. Establishes rules and laws for
•“Politics is the application of rules over a group of people within a defined
territory” (Max Weber)
•Politics is how conflict within society is resolved
•The dynamics of leadership: how and why people follow political leaders (Hitler, Mao)
•It is a common view that politics involve corruption, manipulation and selfish
politicians who use positions of power and wealth to aid them selves and friends.
•Politics is about why some people hate others, and are willing openly manifest that
hatred. We cannot understand politics without understanding hate. Why do some people
hate others enough to derive pleasure from humiliating them?
•Politics is about the willingness of some to dominate and enslave others. Why do some
people hate others enough to kill them?
•Why are some people at war with each other, while others are at peace?
•Why do some people live in luxury and privilege while others must endure poverty and
•Politics is about how societies deal with the long term consequences of the acts that led
to their founding (e.g. land acknowledgements); original acts of conquest, domination
and incapacity of those who once owned the land to properly challenge those who
arrived (natives v European settlers, South Africans v the Dutch).
•How societies that have been colonized cope with the consequences of having been
governed by others.
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