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01_sept 9_pol WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE.docx

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Monday September 9 2013 POL – LEC 1 Aim of POL 101 is to provide best argument for one’s point of view (POV) Nature of Politics Aristotle quote “man by nature political animal” Who is unable to live in society, or has no need must be either beast/god Big Themes of Class Power Violence Knowledge Charisma Justice Peace Ignorance Democracy, dictatorship, war, peace Social science point: understand the world we live in how do we make sense of the world simplify by focusing on what matters & ignoring what doesn’t: less scary and reduces complexity – makes yourself smarter and a good citizen Democracy war peace World becoming more democratic & more peaceful Francis fukuyama: centrist thinker Summer 1989 Hegel: German philosopher history – understandable, structured, has beginning middle end fukuyama: believed fall of Berlin wall end of history History of human consciousness history of philosophy: human history (human capacity of understanding the world) not kings, queens, presidents, PMs, celebrities: they steal ideas, big ideas see war, seeing people dying but really happening is clash of ideas Individual, economy, nel practice material manifestation really is ideas that inform practices Big ideas organize human society Ancient society: Aristotle Medieval society: churches, kings, queens Liberal democratic state: individual rights, law Hegel and Liberal State End of history: no more big ideas, reached ultimate idea No new ideas Hegel: need to have a theory For each age study human consciousness Fukuyama said: Hegel slightly correct: not 1806 but 1989 history comes to end Challenger to liberal democracy defeated in realm of ideas (fascism + communism) – REAL REALM World is becoming more peaceful, people more democratic Challengers Communism exits but outside of Cuba, north Korea nobody willing to die/betray for it – powerless idea Fundamentalism: exists but not universal therefore not a challenge Leave OS? World of peace, trade, democracy Still have wars but not wars of big ideas – if they are liberalism wins i.e. Russia Look for big idealogical challenges In this sense history over since there are no big ideas Clash of civilizations End of cold war to early 90s: big? – what will world look like next (
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