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Lecture 7

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Political Science
Rebecca Kingston

POL 200 Lecture 7 Aristotle III. Evaluating less than perfect regimes in Aristotle. I. Citizenship. What is it? II. Aristotle’s classification (or typology) of regimes: Ruling for the common good Ruling in the ruler’s interest (or justice) Rule of one Monarchy Tyranny Rule of a few Aristocracy Oligarchy Rule of many Constitutional Government Democracy (or Polity or Mixed Regime) III. Other factors to consider: Rule of law; the degree of participation; the class composition of the society and the occupations of the citizens; the process of political decline IV. The Mixed Regime: in practical terms, the best possible Argument of the lecture: With reference to the particular case of attempted state-building in Afghanistan, this lecture will highlight some of Aristotle’s insights with regard to questions of a more practical nature related to the creation of a relatively stable and marginally just regime. Aristotle brings to us considerations about politics and regime building that combine considerations for justice with recognition of the need to respect context and established social and economic traditions. Polity/the Mixed Regime offers the paradox of being both Aristotle’s choice of the best practical alternative for a good regime, and the result of a mixture of what he regards as two worse forms of government (oligarchy and democracy). While the precise outlines of polity are not absolutely clear (it could refer to a spectrum of possibilities), it may be that the legacy of past political practices and traditions help to determine the type of mix that is needed to build a more stable regime. Central Concepts of Aristotle’s Politics • Citizenship, Regime, Constitution • What is a regime?  Isn’t merely an agreement to provide for our own security  Isn’t just geared solely for financial/commercial benefit  Central to a regime: an attempt to live in friendship/ good political relationship (a degree of affection/loyalty)  In looking at different regimes: pay particular attention to conception of the good • What is a constitution?  Politiea: constitution affects the hierarchy embodied in a shared life.  A constitution is the organization of offices in state that determines what is to be the govern
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