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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

POL101Y1: Democracy, War, Peace and Dictatorship. Lecture One: The nature of Politics – pioneered by Greek philosopher Aristotle. - Exemplified through “Man by nature is a political animal, and he who is unable to live in society or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be a God or an animal.” Typically political systems are systematic in nature: organized to promote order within society. - Democracies - Dictatorships The whole point of social science within politics as a field is therefore to make sense of the world we live in, the world we are governed in. As well as to encourage us, how to make sense of it, through a simple procedure: Simplification of concepts down to key propositions, which in turn make the world less scary. Democracy and War – two very distinct concepts present in our world. - Questions the measure of peace present in the world today. If it is present at all? - Introduces Francis Fukuyama- focused on Communism within Eastern Europe. Also on it’s impact in the world. - In the summer of 1989, Hegel was introduced. History of Human Consciousness – Hegel. th - Believed that the history of the world was the history of philosophy; 19 Century German philosophers. - Ideas were typically stolen from the big thinkers. - It wasn’t the people who made the progression of world history- - War is continually portrayed as the clash of ideas: A representative of the fundamental belief systems and what was occurring within them. - Industry, Economy and Material – key manifestations of what is actually occurring, ideas for practice. Ideas and Organizations of Society. - Big ideas are those who organized society. - Society was typically divided into: Ancient, Medieval. (further linked to Benjamin Constant) - Usually had big liberal thinkers, promoting the liberal democratic state. Hegel and Liberal State - Hegel and the Battle of Jena “victory of liberty, equality and fraternity” This contributed to the basic idea of what people fought for. - Argues that this could be “the end of history” -> if this was the best of ideas then there were no more big ideas that would be forthcoming -> “essentially the idea of human history was over” Therefore, there were no more big ideas that were forthcoming that would challenge the big BIG idea. - Hegel says not to focus on the irrelevant – to instead focus on the theory – The Philosophy of the Right. “Too often the unyielding … of the human condition.” Fukuyama – PhD professor in Political Science. - Challenged Hegel’s ideas. - Stated it was no longer 1806, instead 1989 (essentially challenging the relevance of his theory in the future years) – ideological challenges of the 20 century. (Hitler, Stalin – Focus on Nazism and Communism, the ideas that people represent) - Importance of discredited ideas - Big challengers to liberal democracy had been defeated in the realm of ideas. Challengers – Kim Jong Il - The presence of Communism in Cuba, North Korea. However, is a near-discredited and powerless idea since there will be no one willing to betray their country for the ideals of an individual. - Christianity, Judaism, Islam fundamentalism may be present but are no longer universal and thus are no longer a challenge. - The art of history towards liberal democracy are therefore decreasing in number. Leaves Us - With our present world – a world of peace, trade and democracy. - Of people who wish to live in an organized world – a liberal democracy, just small differences in the margins. (The style of the regime) - Fukuyama’s ideas - They are not wars of big ideas or even if they are, then liberalism triumphs over all. - Must discover/ look for big ideological challengers – finding THE compelling idea to organize human society. Therefore, in a sense this leads to an end of history. - Hegel makes a prediction – of the unfolding of these ideas. (Typically, these concern big permanent trends that will not be discredited so easily) Lecture One and a Half: Clash of Civilizations: Which focuses on an e
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