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POL 100 (71)
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Political Science
POL 100
Logan M.

12 JUN 2013 3 -Lecture 1: Studying Politics 4 - Politics: An Introduction  Politics surrounds and affects our daily lives  Cynicism is common, but healthy skepticism leads to better informed citizens  Politics is actually a progressive discipline  This course will look at politics critically, but will consider how politics could improve our lives at home and abroad 5 - What is Politics?  Political Studies, Political Science, Politics …  Political studies: formal study of politics within and among nations  Several names for the discipline, but all are concerned with the same study 6 - Politics  Politics is part of the social sciences  Social sciences: scientific study of human society and social relationships  Not a ‘trade’, but a discipline  It teaches analytical thought, critical analysis, description, argumentation, and importance of balanced research  It shows us why events take place, how situations can be improved, and how it is we come to know what we do 7 - Questions of Politics  What do governments do?  Rights and responsibilities  What do citizens want?  Rights and responsibilities  Who has power?  How do individuals and groups participate? 8 - Questions of Politics  How do we distinguish political systems?  Why is conflict so prevalent in the world?  How is wealth distributed?  Why does such inequity exist?  Harold Lasswell neatly described the fundamental question of politics in his book Politics: Who Gets What, When, How? 1 2 9 - Liberal Democracy?  How decisions are made and carried out depends on your political system  Two main types looked at in this course:  Liberal democracy: a political system based on freedom, individual liberty, and the principle that governance requires the assent of all citizens through participation in the electoral process, articulation of views, and direct or indirect representation in governing institutions  Authoritarianism: political system requiring absolute obedience to a constituted authority 10 - Political Systems  Authoritarianism? Public has little say in decision-making – and ultimately the direction – of their political system  Liberal democracy? Governments more responsive to citizens’ needs 11 - Approaches to Politics  Like any field, politics has many different methods and approaches  These are based on the rich history of political thought and ideologies  Aristotle said humans possess ‘logos’ which means we reason, and we communicate  Justice in society is our goal  Injustice often exists instead 12 - Analytical Approach  Also called the ‘traditional approach’  Analytical approach: perspective that views politics as an empirical (that can be observed) discipline, rather than a science; politics cannot be broken down into parts, but must be seen comprehensively  Oldest approach in politics  Sees politics as a comprehensive study, based
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