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Pols 241 Lecture Sept 9 week 1 lecture 1.docx

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Political Studies
POLS 241
Dru Lauzon

Pols 241 Lecture Sept 9/2013 : Week 1 Lecture 1  Comparative politics is about the moments that move countries from one political system to another.  It is about competing events, political systems and countries  Few Premises o 1) society is chosen  However these choices have a lot of consequences. o 2) parameters of action  Choices do not bring about necessarily good consequences.  Ex,1964 brazil – President made choice to nationalize a fruit company’s land which equaled bad consequences. o 3) Heart of course is THE STATE (Pg. 7 in Alfred Stepan’s book)  Paul Ricoeur: state= most important development in human history.  The state today employs 1/5 of the entire population (teachers, nurses, police, ect)  Stabilizer of aggregate demand.  Creates basis for the demand of our economy  Prevents companies from going bankrupt  In developing countries government jobs are the most stable  Most of our income goes to the state but half of our benefits we will in our lifetime get form the state in return.  Its everywhere but mostly invisible  When there is no state, alternatives emerge o Warlords, crime, etc.  Problem with the state: How do you control it?(its too powerful to ignore) o One of the central questions  Answer: Political systems( democracy emerged because state was too powerful therefore it emerged to control the state.) o Problem is similar to science fiction stories.  Democracy  Civil society: Used to control the state o It is associations, groups, individuals, companies, unions, ect. o Political society (subset of civil society)
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