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Lecture 2

week 2 Hira States in Essentials of Comparative politics (1).docx

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Political Science
Paul Kingston

States in Essentials of Comparative politics  The state is a central institution in comparative politics as the centralization of violence over a territory  Regimes guides states by serving as the fundamental rules and norms of politics  Government leadership or elite in charge of running the state  Political legitimacy can take many forms charismatic, traditional and retional legal  States can vary in autonomy and capacity and this can shape their power at home and abroad  When Americians think of the word state they think of local not centralized authority the locus of power  What exactly does the term state mean? Defined by Max Weber the state in its most basic terms as the organization that maintains a monopoly of violence over a territory  An important element of the state is sovereignty or the ability to carry out actions or internal rivals  A state needs to act as the primary authority over its territory and the ppl who live there, setting laws and rights and resolving disputes between ppl and organizations and generating domestic security  For a state to achieve all of this it needs power, physical power  If a state is not able to defend its own state from other states it runs the risk that those rivals will interfere, causing damge, taking the territory and destroying the state  A state needs to be armed, to protect international rivals, they need armies, need police force  The state provides security for its subjects by limiting the danger of external attack and internal crime and disorder both of which are seen as threats to state and its citizens  State is like a protection racket- demands money in return for security and order, defends its clients from rivals, settling internal disputes and punishing those who do not pay  A state is made up of large institutions that enage in the process of turning political ideas into policy  Laws, health, property rights, labor these are few things that fall under the sate  Not only that but a state is also a set of institutions ( army, police, offices) that society deems necessary to achieve basic goals regarding freedome and equality  State can resolve matters related to equality and freedome  According to social scientist a state is an important casual variable in such htings as variations in economi development or the rise of democracy  Regime: fundamental rules and norms of poltics, a regime embodies long term goals regarding individual freedome and collective equality where power shuld reside and how it shuld be used  Democratic regime: rules and norms of politics focus a large role for the public in governanace as well certain individual rights or liberties  Nondemocratic regime will limit public participation in favor of those in power  Regimes are impt componenet of larger state  Regimes can be transformed or altered by dramatic social events like revolution or a national crisis  What is a regime: norms, rules regarding invididual freedome and collective equality the locus of power the use of that power  categorized as the most basic level as either democratic or authoritarian  often embodied in constitution  What is a state: monolpoly of force over a given territory, set of poltical institions to generate and carry out policy, highly instutionalized, soverign, characterized by institutions as an arm, police, taxation, judiciacy and scial welfare system  A third term used soo we can understand the state which is government that is defined as the leadership or elite in charge of running the state, if the state is the machinery of politics and the regime its programming then the government acts as its operator  Government is made up of democratically elected legislators, presidents and PM or even leadeers who gained office through force or other nondemocratic means  The term country which can been seen as shorthand for all the concepts discussed so far ( regime, government, state)  Trying to answer the question where did the states come from, and wt have they displaced all other forms of political organization, why are there no longer parts of the world controlled by city states, tribes or eimpires?  Archeology and history tells us that humans have long organized into political units  There are many explanations to why humans organize beyond family or tribe and one impt factor is probably environment and agriculture where ppl were able to domesticate plant and animals, they moved from a nomadic hunter gatherer to sedentary living  Rise of agriculture and domestication allowed for creation of food surpluses, during this time period is when political organization had its beginning  As the society grew larger, more speacialized, and handle disputes were needed  One thing which is unclear is that did the political system develop because some ppl managed to impose their will on others, installing themselves as chiefs, or kings using violence to impose their will??? Or did ppl willingly form political systems as a way to over come the anarchy that would otherwise result in a world that lacked central authority?  Many ph
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