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POL 1101 Lecture Notes - Consociationalism, United States

Political Science
Course Code
POL 1101
Luc Turgeon

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Introduction to Political Science
Class 2
Term Paper – Guidelines on Blackboard
-Question 3 or 4
-Peer reviewed sources
-More details about Term Paper to come
State, Nation, Nationalism
Key Terms
-The State
-Failed State
-Treaty of Westphalia
-Multi-national state
Key Questions
-What are the defining elements of the modern state?
-What are the different interpretations of the role of the state in political science?
-What is Renan’s conception of the nation? Fichte?
-What is the difference between a nation-state and a multi-national state?
-What are the different strategies to “manage” diversity in multi-national and multi-
cultural states?
-What are the different models of citizenship?
-Spotlight on: Somalia (Failed State), Germany (Citizenship), Canada
Definition of the state
-Mintz et al.: “An independent self-governing political community whose governing
institutions have the capability to make rules that are binding on the population residing
within a particular territory”
-Max Weber: “(…) a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the
legitimate use of the force within a given territory”
-State VS Government: State stays in place, government can change
-Different levels of government within the state
The Treaty of Westphalia And The Modern State
-War between Catholics and Protestants
-Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
-Embrace the notion of sovereignty – the authority of the state based on
recognition by other states and non-state actors to govern matters within its own borders
that affect its people, economy, security and form of government
-Stop messing in each other’s affairs

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-Establish the foundations of national armies that cover their entire territory –
(before local militia)
-Emergence of core group of states that would dominate European and World politics
until the early 20th century
-Italy is a product of the 19th century – used to be a bunch of little empires
-Emergence of capitalism after the Treaty – use resources, extract resources
-Characteristics of the modern state
-Monopoly control over the means of violence
-Territoriality – nobody is challenging the borders of the state
-Sovereignty – nobody messes with them
-Constitutionality – took more time to impose itself – basic law that governs
everything, rather then the wishes of the kings/god
-Impersonal power – once a king dies, the state remains in place
-Public bureaucracy – organized. Perform a number of functions
-Taxation – Central state imposes the tax – responsibility of the bureaucracy
-Citizenship – took more time to impose itself – provide habitants of a territory
with rights and responsibilities
Political Science And The Modern State
-Pluralist interpretation – Most common interpretation of the state (Mostly in America) –
State is a neutral umpire between the competing forces in society to ensure equality
-Marxist interpretation – State is a coercive instrument of the ruling class. Ensure/Protect
the interest of the wealthy
-Weberian interpretation – Has its own interest – cannot be neutral or only serve one class
– not above playing politics
Why Is The State Necessary?
-“Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep
them all in awe they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war is every
man against every man”
-Thomas Hobbes
-Strong central stability will avoid civil war…
-Need someone to impose order and law
-4 reasons why we need a state:
-To create order
-To protect life – The state is essential to protect the lives of citizens
-To defend property rights – protect private property
-To enforce contracts
-Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every
man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what
their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition
there is not place for industry because the fruit thereof is uncertain; (…) and which is
worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish and short”
A Failed State? The Case Of Somalia
-A state that no longer has the capacity to maintain order
-4 characteristics
-Loss of physical control over its territory
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