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Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Robert Stanfield, Liberal Conservatism, Traditionalist Conservatism

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Peter Fragiskatos

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Political Science September, 23 2013
Political Science is a branch of philosophy
Normative questions: aspirations, subjective, matters of taste (Examples: why
should I obey the government, what is a good law, should there be limits to
Plato and Aristotle founders of normative questions.
John locke and david hume, switch develops because of the idea of empiricism
(observation and experimentation.. key themes of the enlightenment (revolution of
ideas, get away from religious belief as a source of truth, implement reason (ability
to think and act)). Plants the seeds which leads to much less of a focus (pushes
towards the non-normative side)
Politics can’t be based completely on science.
The state
Concepts in the study of politics
-concepts give us common characteristics about something. The function of
concepts is to provide clarity. Make things simpler, one word with many meanings.
Key concepts:
concepts are ideal types (clarify but never 100% accuracy)
example: war (violence, intra-state (civil war) inter-state (between two states)
Democracy: representative, participatory
Country: land that belongs to a specific state
State: independent, self governing community. Refers to a specific and large
territory, enclosed by boundary lines. In that area the state has sovernty for those
who live in that territory.
The strong do as they will, while the weak suffer as they must (Thucydides)
Easy to maintain the sovernty if you have a strong military power to defend it.
Key characteristics of a state:
Collection of institutions whose decisions and actions have a social impact.
States’ main institution is the government, makes decisions that impact that society,
monitors how the decisions are put into place (rules and laws)
These rules are meant to promote local interest or particular interest.

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In Canada the government is made up of:
Prime minister, cabinit that serves the minister, the civil service.
Other organizations in the state that impact the state by enforcing the law (courts
and police, military,
Three different states in canada: three forms of government- national, federal,
What the state represents;
Plato - upholding morality
John locke defend property, and maintain order (Free of violence)
Carl marx instrument of one class, tool used to rule over other classes (Business
class over the proletariat)
Max weber maintain order, ensure that morality is upheld, instrument of power
(ensure dominance), the state is concerned with power, 1. Laws are maintained by
threat or physical force, state has a monopoly on determining who use violence.
(police, agent of the state), the stick is never enough (physical force) to ensure that
the state’s rule is in order, the state’s rule is maintained only if it is seen as legit in
the eyes of the people.
Legitimacy: the ruled see the state and its rulers as acceptable. A state and its rulers
gained legitimacy on religious or hereditary grounds.
Authority: power that is considered legit (ruled and rulers)
Traditional authority
Legal authority:
Charismatic authority: special character, supernatural power. example prophet,
Obama, pierre trudaue (emerge during times of crisis, when the traditional ways of
doing things seem inappropriate, inadequate)
Maning: example of a figure who is not charismatic
Putin: tries to create a charismatic personality
Internalizing the state: people policing their own thoughts (the state’s rule is legit.
School, church, media). Help Preserve the state’s rule.

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Conservatism and the state
October 21, 13
- traditional conservatism
- paternalistic conservatism
- liberal conservatism
liberal party of Canada: mix of classical and reform liberalists.
Classical liberalism: influenced the economic policy in great Britain and
Economic crisis in the US: root of the crisis stems from classical liberalism.
Greed in wallstreet
Occupy Wallstreet movement: oppose classical liberalism.
Conservatism: fears change, (??)
Key principals: nature of human beings to conserve, natural resistance to
change, distrust the unknown.
Conservatism as an ideology:
Traditional con: developed as a reaction to the French revolution (1792)
Key philosopher: Edmund burke (1729-1797)
Ideas: reason can be used to reorder society so that everyone can be equal.
Pierre: saw himself as a “God”, god of reason.
Burke: the French revolution is an example of the result of a rushed changed.
This emphasis of liberalism as an ideology is very dangerous, emphasis
individual freedom, sacrifice the ??
Breakdown of family
Religion is important because the world reflects god’s will. ??
Order: once the king is overthrown, stability peace and protection will be ruined
Tradition: values practices and institutions that have endured through time
TC Embrace tradition: tradition exists for a reason, the fact that these istitutions
have been around for so long is because they reflect the stored up wisdom of the
past, they have survived the test of time, provide a purpose, if there is a radical
change in tradition, what will fill the void?
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