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Lecture 2

POL114H5 Lecture 2: Jan. 15, 2015 What is a “state?”


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL114H5
Professor
Lee Ann Fujii
Lecture
2

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Tayyaba Shahzad POL114 Jan. 15, 2015
Lecture 2: What is a “state?”
Readings:
1. http://www.petermaass.com/articles/the_accidental_warlord/
2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/world/asia/cambodia-bids-farewell-to-king-
sihanouk.html?_r=0
3. Drakulic chap 9 (pdf)
4. Weber vocation pages 1-4 (pdf)
Opinion:
Anyone can have an opinion about something.
There is no logic, no evidence and no analysis.
Argument:
Prior knowledge needed.
Weighing evidence (pros, cons)
Requires logical analysis.
Defining “State”
Number of members (population) Facebook, China and India would be states but not
Canada.
Size of economy, size of territory?
Criteria that includes and excludes (try to make a distinction)
Symbolic criteria: issue own passports, use own currency, issue stamps?
What’s wrong with criteria?
There’s too much criteria
We cannot distinguish between Facebook and twitter
Therefore State:
Cannot be defined by “ends”
Can only be defined by “means” (the way in which it governs)
Weber’s definition of State
*A human community that successfully claims monopoly of the legitimate use of physical
force within a given territory.
It is created to govern a certain area (societies, clubs, and associations)
Weber says that only states have the right to use physical force.
Ex. Texas execution, death penalty
State regulates movement (Americans can’t go to Cuba)
Mafia (street gangs) are considered rivals, we call them criminals not a state because they are not
legitimate. States eliminate rivals
Use of force examples:
Don’t pay your taxes, don’t go to school etc, then government comes after you.
Owning property property taxes, mortgage they protect your property but they can also
take it away if you don’t pay taxes.
Driver’s license can be suspended.
*State is always operating with the idea of using force.
Within a given territory (Texas is the only state in the US that has death penalty and forbids
people from going to Mexico.
Is Somalia a state according to Weber’s definition?
NO, because there’s no single actor to claim monopoly. Monopoly means no rivals.
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