POL607-L2.docx

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Department
Politics and Public Administration
Course
POL 607
Professor
Joseph Zboralski
Semester
Winter

Description
POL607 Lecture 2 Basic political concepts:  Aristotle said that politics was “the master science”  Its because it impacts/governs everything in our lives  Origin of “Politics” comes from ancient Greek word Polis  Polis was a city state where initial arguments and votes began  Modern democracy began within Polis, Athens  Democracy lasted about 100 years until Sparta gained control  Initial problem/criticism with democracy was that voters weren’t knowledgeable Polis (Different ways to look at politics/Different definitions) (1)Decision-making  Parliaments, councils and leaders have control  Democracy gives some power to the people (2)Conflict Resolution  Focuses on the idea that humans are prone to conflict due to human nature  Constitutions, laws, police and courts are processes in place to resolve conflicts (3)Authoritative allocation of values  Values in the sense of “things” of values – health, wealth, status are all desired by people  This is the process of how these things are allocated  Authoritative implies that the allocation is done through legitimate institutions  Example: - The taxes of rich vs. poor vs. middle class - Governments and politics allow rich to not pay high taxes and is not an accident  Democracy isn’t as fair or as equal as there made out to be. Rich have upper hand (4)Just Society  There are different perspectives  Those who emphasize equality would not say that we live in a just society…homeless people on streets  For others it’s about freedom (economic) – Conservative  NDP would ensure that government has a greater role to better control authoritative allocations for a just society POL607 Lecture 2 Concept of Power:  Some would argue it’s the central point of politics  Looking at different definitions of politics, you need power to lead each one  Power is the currency of politics  Definition: Power can be defined as the ability to get what you want regardless of what others want – t
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