POL114 – Lecture – January 12
This is a compilation of
Weber’s State – it is a concept that covers politics and territory reading summaries and
lecture materials combined
A state is a concept of organizing authority across a territory. according to the specified
Weber’s Definition: A human community that (successfully) dates.
claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force
within a given territory.
Example: In practice money is value; in reality money is
paper and sheet metal, so hence we reify money.
The state will remove anyone who challenges their monopoly and can exert their force (i.e.
decimating the Mafia, Drug Cartel, gangs etc.) OR getting a ticket, not paying it, the state seizing your
license and having the authority to place you in jail if you were caught driving without the license OR if
you don’t pay your taxes and the IRS takes your possessions.
Weber would believe Somalia is not a state or it is in question because the state does not successfully
claim the monopoly.
Notion of territory is imperative to the state
Ex. The US cannot go into Mexico to chase a criminal once that person has crossed borders…the
US has no authority unless agreed upon by the 2 states. That’s why it was a contested act when
the US got OSAMA in Pakistan without the permission of the Pakistani government) --- this must
be sanctioned in some type of agreement. THE MONOPOLY OF THAT STATE IS ONLY IN ITS OWN
States express force, the state itself is dominating because it has a monopoly
a state is an organized domination so why do people obey? --- Because of the following sources of
SOURCES OF AUTHORITY:
Traditional Authority…Anyone ruling by divine right (i.e. kings “deemed by God”)
Charismatic Rule people believe in that person (i.e. Jesus, Hitler, Oprah) individuals that
have followers, who follow because they see something special in them.
Legal Rational – ruled by people’s belief, “I follow the rules because I believe in them”
Bureaucratization of a state: In a state there are:
Professional politicians (president etc.)
Professional administrators (work for state not president)
Expertise (president’s cabinet i.e. Bush administration, Obama administration that work FOR
president and leave when the president’s term ends) Limited political appointee (person is there b/c the president wants that person there i.e. Hilary
Clinton is Obama’s appointee of foreign relations because he wants her there)
Notes / Jan 19 Readings Chapter 2 - From Phnom Pehn to Sarajevo
Kahmer Rouge (KR) – Was responsible for massacres (Chinese assisted to help by not giving the KR
Phnom Pehn – Was not as bad, but was a hard line that imprisoned and tortured political opponents
(the PP was supported by Russia and India)
KR didn’t do its part it in assisting the Cambodian electorate, since it did not allow the UN into
its territories because they claimed Vietnamese were still in Cambodia. They intimidated many
nations, and those other nations became weary of deploying their soldiers (alike Netherlands
who prolonged sending battalions and the French refusing to occupy “wild” and remote areas
often guarded by the KR). This made the KR seem more powerful “could lead the KR to believe
that the international community will give in to pressure from them” (58).
But there were distractions from Yugoslavia that prolonged assistance. EU wanted recognition
of countries (independence) from Croatia (since the Serbs ruled there the UN ordered a
protection force), Bosnia and Macedonia.
In Bosnia Serbs demanded “ethnically pure areas” by killing Croatians and Muslims, and they
got away with murder since the UN was not present at the time. When the UN got there
Boutros-Ghali ordered an evacuation for most of UN officials since the Serbs were not
participating and there was no will to proceed in a seize fire – or even to attempt and make
POL114 – Lecture- January 19, 2012
Where do states come from?
The “state” Multiple criteria for state-ness
State = relation of domination (they put authorities in a society in domination)
Why do people obey states?
Traditional, charismatic, legal ration (explained in detail in following lectures)
Tilly Today (analyzing states from past to present)
Where do weberian states come from WARS (wars make states). Centuries of war making
allowed regulations of financing the wars through taxation. War making lead to bureaucracies
(Tilly called apparatus) – (i.e. ministers etc.)
How did kings get money from war they borrowed money (presently, the US borrows from China in
order for the US to have money to spend in the Iraq war). They also extracted the money (taxes and
raised taxes), kings borrowed money from large banking families in Europe. The tax levels rarely went
down after the war ended. (At times people revolted and when they did the state made concessions –
and it worked at times).
The statehood of Africa/Asia was granted through colonialization (Brits, Belgians, Dutch)
other states acknowledged these states and they gave them money (Cambodia, Somalia). These
states are given money by outside states. How did kings get more efficient? They started to raise their own armies by buying them off,
exempting them from taxation—turning rivals and predators into friends. In 100 yrs time monarchs had
better armies, most monarchs had their own armies, they didn’t have to rely on other people to bring
Tilly’s Argument: Emerging states used violence for war making (eliminating internal rivals). According
to Tilly, the more costly the activity, the bigger the bureaucracy.
Why are states like rackets? ***CLIP SHOWN IN CLASS*** (Racket = clip illustrates a shop owner and a
mobster going into business, the shop owner hands the mobster cash and more to come next week)
What makes that a racket? Extortion for protection, (paying mobster so he doesn’t hurt owner) -- if
owner does not pay the mobster, the mobster may do benevolent things to the owner.
A racket in the context of a state: As Tilly puts it the government often symbolizes the biggest
threat to their people. USA vs. IRAQ - protecting the American people…they fund the war.
When the state goes to war it takes revenues that could have gone to schools, healthcare etc.
(it rechannels revenues).
POL114 – Lecture and Notes January 26, 2012
What Do States Do?
Notes and Tutorial January 26
Politics of Measurement
Land is evaluated according to what it yields (The amount of seed sown to a field is in fact a relatively
good proxy for average yield) – the amount of seed sown would indicate how productive a field has
been or is – essentially its ability to provide subsistence.
States also standardize and have uniform measurements (extract exact amount of taxes – this gives
the state legitimacy, not taking too much or too little. In fact, states gave surnames to people so it would
be easier to track the people and hence track individual taxes and family taxes
-- Benefits of standardization effective trading (monetary value, grater economy)
POL114 – Lecture – January 26
Once modern states come into being, what do they do?
Challenge particular ways of doing everything, they have their own ways…own ways of buying, of
inhabiting houses, building houses, estimating distances, own way of assigning spaces for common use,
They use measures that are meaningful to them. This enables bureaucrats to know
everything – like revenue, how many student graduates, power to know everything under the
standardized care. Also, standardization allows bureaucrats to see what is going on in their
administrative area/sector without trouble. Systems of measuring were marked by power relations – (i.e. baker example – increasing price
but decreasing proportions)
States Objectives raise revenue (taxes- states come up with schemes to enhance taxation limits [i.e.
age 18 example so people won’t try to cheat the system), raise army (expand territory) and keep local
peace --- if they don’t do this they lose revenue, they lose a border when attacked.
States keep records – through census other information to know how many people are paying
taxes, how much tax revenue is approximated, how many births there will be, how many
projected schools should be built to support growing population, what will be in demand. States
impose systems so they can see who you are.
Katherine Duburry (Article on Rwanda)Talked about policy of forced villagization so the state can
access those people efficiently.
States like systems that are uniform, things that are stable – don’t change:
How states see people adaptable, customary, universal, static, rational, legible/illegible
POL114 – Lecture and Notes – February 02, 2012
WHAT A DEMOCRACY IS (and is not) - Lecture
Schmitter and Karl’s definition….rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by
citizens acting through the competition and cooperation of their elected representatives. (p.76)
There are different forms of democracy in different countries but despite their differences they are still
democracies (i.e. US and Canada)
What they all have in common? ( notions as listed in Schmitter and Karl)
Rulers coming from a competitive system/process…then once ruler is in power they are held
accountable for their actions. Majority rule concept, but has interests concerning minorities. Democracy
involves cooperation, not only leaders but citizens. They also include representatives (reps of the
people) also chosen through competitive means and also held accountable.
Below are features that distinguish democratic from non democratic
Procedures in Democracy…
Conditions that must be present for modem political democracy ("polyarchy") to exist:
1) Control of policy is vested