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Lecture 2

POL 128 Lecture 2: POL128 – WEEK 2

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Ryerson University
Politics and Public Administration
POL 128
Joseph Zboralski

POL128 – Week 2 Power - Politics is the struggle for power - The central concept of politics - The ability to get what you want regardless of what others want o You can be the individual, government - Power is a relative concept o How much power you have is determined by how much power a different institution/country has o Eg. Canada is a relative powerful country if it is compared to a place like Panama, Cuba (bigger population, stronger economy, respectable community) ▪ However, compared to United States, we do not have power (bigger military, population, etc.) - Power has three dimensions: o Power is influenced ▪ Government tries to persuade us to do something or not do something ▪ Eg. Government persuades us to not drink and drive ▪ You can appeal to: • People’s rationality • Emotions o Power expressed as coercion ▪ Refers to the government either threatening or using force against the population ▪ Dictatorship is coordinated by coercion for government to get its way o Power expressed by authority ▪ Most complex, useful type of power ▪ People do what they are going to do willingly ▪ They recognize government has the right to tell them what to do ▪ No persuasion, force ▪ Combination of legitimacy and obligation to do what we’re supposed to do ▪ Where does this attitude come from? • Sources of political authority o Traditional sources o Charisma o Legal rational factors Traditional Sources - There are still traditional ways in today’s society on who gets power o Eg. 50 year old man is more likely to get elected than a young woman (older man has more wisdom) – cultural bias Charisma - A personal magnetism - Something about a person’s personality - Something special about them that compels them to listen to them, support them - Mobilizes people - Eg. Ghandi, Adolf Hitler Legal Rational Factors - You have authority, you have respect because of the legal office that you hold Three terms: - State o World is divided into about 204 states o Territorial units o Institutions o State are the institutions of political authority that are governed a particular type of territory ▪ Eg. Parliament, prime minister, congress, military, police – exercise political authority in a given country o They have a monopoly with the use force in a given country ▪ Eg. Can lock you up and take you to jail o In order to be recognized
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