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State; Ancients to Medieval Ages .doc

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Bruce Morrison

THE STATE • state is ancient with regimes that are led by a specific leader • the government is law and economics • regime is important - the regime is a way to characterize the government and is different from the state • state is the concept of the polis - state see it as an abstract impersonal entity • the government are those officials that exercise the power of the state at any particular moment in time • Nelson makes the case that the state is not available to Athenians and only a bit applicable to the Romans • political and social arrangements, class structure is crucial to the creation of the state • whether or not a state exists is not determined by how many people participate in the system itself • the state is not merely a state of structure its a formula for the legitimation of political authority, but there are different formulations for this • no one is separate from the formula of the state • the government has an office that is perennial that is permanent and people rotate through • the state is the structure of office and the government is the people the government is a step down the road from the state regime • • State - • Regime - defined in reference to the state. abstract, impersonal, separate from society. the regime is the question of how power should be organized within the state. the state is not the regime. who has the right to hold power at any given time and how is this established - definition. • Government - particular holders of power. users of that power as designated by the regime, the holders of power and the exercisers of power. THE STATENESS OF THE ANCIENTS • how important is it to know that you're in a state to be part of the state • Athenians focused a lot on types of state and polities • the greeks generally, there was a sense that the polity was beset described by the social structures. the polity reflected these social structures. • for Aristotle and Plato the polity was a reflection of the social order or the particular social order, class structure and class stratification • Platos conclusion was that power should be concentrated by the best who can rule and Aristotle thought things should be structured so there would be interclass struggle • supernational understanding, their attachment to the forms, allowed them to discern what was true • idea of perfect justice and the allegory of the cave plato accepted that there were different stations in life, and that there were people who • were naturally superior and they were people who were born to lead • aristotle believes that politics itself was important and that participation in politics was important - the superior form of life is the contemplative life • outside of the political order man is either a man or a beast - we become fully human by participation in the polis - this is how we become virtuous • the development of virtue is based in politics, aristotle wants people to become better than who they are because of political engagement • the state was the philosophical state for them, there wasn't an idea of a state being everlasting • you have to be able to see the state apart from society, because the state has sovereignty - greeks didn't conceive of this. refine our concept of the modern state by comparing it to that which preceded it • we are trying to figure out the organization of power and the various ways it can be conceived by looking at those who perceived it before us CLASS STRATIFICATION • greeks only were able to see the state partially because they weren't able to conceive of a state separate from the social strata • states and class stratification are inter-dependent, if the state is merely subordinate to class stratification then the state is incompletely understood, but historically states emerge in association with class stratified societies • the state emerges when people try to create more advantageous economic arrangements, when surpluses come into play thats when states come into play - you need to state to deal with the question of who gets what • the state is rooted in the idea of finding ways to organize class stratification and surpluses - state is always implicated in the stratification of societies • states emerge in societies as a way to justify and deal with inequality • the state has to be more than merely a reflection of distribution of power in society • theres no state before class stratification and yet it is never merely a reflection of that stratification ROMANS CONTRIBUTION TO THE STATE • political activity is the cultivation of moral activity • they create a law governed state • law was the organizing values of society. property rights flowed from the understanding of the law for Romans • law was an organizing institution and it allowd for them to move to abstraction
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