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Lecture 11

POL 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Green Politics, Sarah Palin, Fundamentalism

Political Science
Course Code
POL 1101
Matthew Paterson

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POL1101 – Introduction to Political Science
November 10, 2015
Challenges to State Legitimacy
Part One: Ideologies - Competing claims to authority, and current challenges to state legitimacy
Prof’s Notes - Remember in opening class on this theme, I distinguished between two notions of
ideology. Ideology as description of set of political ideas, vs ideology as masking ‘reality’. Well
in the previous class, we dealt with the latter conception of ideology - the notion of hegemony in
Gramsci, and Frank’s account of the ‘market populism’ idea, is clearly a good example of that
type of argument. Here we will deal with the first notion of ideology - as a more simple
description of a set of ideas about politics which animates people to act. So effectively, when we
discuss ideology, we’re describing empirically a set of ideas which can contain both empirical
and normative elements, but are mostly normative, because what we’re interested in is how it
shapes the motivation to act in politics.
Ideology in this terms are the sets of ideas through which people judge whether a State, or any
particular political leader, is legitimate or not.
State Legitimacy Stories:
“The State Protects Us”
“The State Binds Us Together”
“The State Makes Us Free”
All face(d) challenges – in the form of different ideologies
Ideology: What do we mean?
Collection of political ideas around which people organise politically – definition of an
ideology, what follows are characteristics of ideologies
Normative and empirical ideas
Roughly coherent, but not necessarily strictly so – the ideas of someone like Thomas
Hobbes will have this, but the ideas of a political party will not completely follow a
single ideology
The tensions and contradictions are often important – this is the important part of
a political party platform
Overlapping - not always mutually exclusive
E.g. you can be a nationalist and a liberal, or a socialist and an anarchist.
But not always - socialism and conservatism for example pretty much exclusive
Political movements often combine ideologies – relates back to the idea in point two
Lots of tensions result
* Ideology can also mean the ideas used to disguise the truth
Part Two: Older Ideological Challenges to the State
Older Ideologies
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Fascism (as a type of state)
To Discuss Today:
Fascism (as an ideology)
Left Right
Socialism Fascism
Anarchism Conservatism
Critique the state’s legitimacy by either appeals to traditional norms or forward-looking
Our ‘3 Stories’ of Legitimacy can account for this:
Re-Appropriate critiques into their stories
‘Left’ vs. ‘Right’
Part Three: New Ideologies
New Ideologies
Three Stories of Legitimacy from American/French Revolutions
until 1960s
Why 1960s?
Social changes/Immigration mobility
Civil rights movements
Post-colonial independence movements
Emergence and strengthening of globalisation trends
Prof’s Notes - These “older” ideologies have been the terrain around which the legitimacy of
what states do has been contested for much of the last 200 years. Most political parties and other
movements combine one or more such ideology in their rhetoric that they use to appeal to
people. They still continue to be in many ways the main organising ideas around which
politicians compete.
But they have been accompanied in the last 40-50 years by the rise of a whole range of newer
ideologies. These have in some cases - notably the rise of environmentalism, started to break up
the older sorts of party organisations in some countries. More generally, they pose novel types of
problems for the legitimacy of states and of established political leaders.
Cf this list from Garner. I think better not to think of postmodernism or multiculturalism as
ideologies themselves, but rather challenges laid down to all ideologies. Postmodernism really
refers to a claim that we’ve had a general shift in the way that people relate to ideological or
other claims. According to this claim, we no longer believe in ‘grand narratives’, or big claims to
universal truths. We’ve become more sceptical about such claims (emancipation, freedom,
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