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Political Science
POLI 100
Christopher Erickson

Chapter 1 – Politics and the State The Sovereign State -The most high, absolute, and perpetual power over the citizens and subjects in a Commonwealth. -Comes from Europe – 15 and 16 centuries. -Authority is divided between the aristocracy, the guilds, and the Roman Catholic Church. -Highest form of authority in a given territory. -Most countries use this model. A Typology of the State -States can be categorized based on how much the intervene in society and the economy. -Night-Watchman State. -Developmental State. Night-Watchman State -Sees the role of the state as minimal. -Restricted to provision of security and property rights. -Favoured by both liberals and New Right thinkers. -Minimization of state interference to maximize freedom. Developmental State -Government and private business partner together to concentrate on rapid economic growth, or on greater social and economic equality through growth. -East Asia after World War 2. A Typology of the State -States can also be classified according to how subject the leaders are to the will of the people. -Liberal democracy. -Illiberal democracy. -Authoritarian State. -Totalitarian State. Liberal Democracy -Free and fair elections, universal suffrage, personal liberty, and the protection of individual rights. -Canada, USA, India. Illiberal Democracy -Elections are held, but little protection for right and liberties. -Opposition parties are at a distinct disadvantage due to state control of media outlets. -Russia, Malaysia. Authoritarian State -Absence of fair elections; rulers generally unaccountable to the citizens; can be centred on an individual, family, military, or ruling party. -Up to 1/3 of the world’s population lives in an authoritarian state. -China, Saudi Arabia. Totalitarian State -Extreme form of interventionist state. -Absence of public/private distinction; repression of civil society. -Total control exercised through police and other forms of violence. -First emerges in the 20 century along with the rise of mass communications technology as a means for the dissemination of propaganda. -Nazi Germany, Stalinist USSR, Maoist China. Theories of the State -Pluralism -Elitism -Marxism -The New Right Pluralism -Dahl. -Society is made up of many competing groups. -What governments do reflects the balance of power of those groups. -No one group is predominant. Interest Groups -Organization for defence or promotion of an interest or cause. -Sectional groups protect the interests of their members. -Cause groups promote a particular group or ideal. Pluralist Fragmentation of Power -Different groups prevail in different issue areas. -Not all groups are equally influential in all areas. -Group competition works to keep influence in check. Elite Pluralism & Corporatism -Elite pluralism argues that interest groups are themselves under the control of elites. Corporatis
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