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Introduction to Political Science 1.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL1101
Professor
Luc Turgeon
Semester
Fall

Description
Introduction to Political Science (Politics and Political Science) Class 1 Luc Turgeon Test/Exams: Define key terms!! (Every class starts with key terms/key questions) Key Terms: ­Politics ­Political Science ­Power Key Questions: ­Why do we talk about political science? ­What is the difference between a normative/prescriptive and an objective/empirical  perspective on political life? Midterm: ­Definitions – key terms (definition, significance) ­One Essay – two choices Essay: ­Choice of four topics (to be distributed next week) ­Around 8 pages Final Exam: ­Definitions and essays (2) ­Focus of the definitions will be the second half of the course, but themes for essay may  span the entire course (one essay whole course, one essay second half of course)   Weeks we have group discussions, lectures end at 6:50  ­Questions are on the back of the syllabus Course is organized around the theme of Democracy What is politics? Mintz et al. “ Activity related to influencing, making or implementing collective  decisions for a political community Max Weber “Politics for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the  distribution of power, either among states of among groups within a state” Harold Laswell “Who gets what, when and how?” Distribution of power (what all these definitions have in common) Power: ­The ability of A to make B do something that they would not have done otherwise ­More formal definition: “The ability to achieve and objective by influence the behavior  of others, particularly to get them to do what would not have otherwise done” ­“Fight for political power is a zero­sum game” ­Marxist view ­Power of an actor or a group of actor cannot be increased without taking power  from someone else ­So politics generates winners and losers ­One view: zero­sum game, another view fighting for the greater good ­People are very cynical about politics Politics defined… a cynical view ­“Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic  organization of hatreds” – Henry Adams ­Assassination of Abraham Lincoln ­Politics can enrage people, to the point of br
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