PO102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, International Political Economy, New International Economic Order

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3 Jul 2017
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Chapter 1: Understanding Politics
Politics: activity related to influencing, making or implementing collective decisions for a political
community
Usually the most bitter issues are ones that affect us directly and on a local basis. IE) where to put a
garbage dump vs how much $ to give to the IMF
Example: A $5B gift to Laurier
What to spend it on?
How do we decide?
Who gets to make the decision and how?
Is eeoes ote eual?
I Politis…
There are limited resources but many demands:
o Healthcare
o Education
o Foreign aid
o Space travel
We need a process to decide which groups and goals receive support
o Rank their importance
Ex) Quebec religious neutrality
o Banning civil servants from wearing anything religious
Conflicts about values/worldviews not just money
POLITICS = CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Usually peaceful
In Canada there is government at all levels
Global organizations like the UN (not gov)
What actors/processes perform the functions of government at the global level?
Today:
Cyberwar
Health
Climate
Global finance/debt
9/11, taking on USA (an influencing leader) that statement symbollicaly was an attack on the head of
the gloal eoo ho didt thik the ee uleale. Attak as ot detetale o itiate.
Led to the occupation of Iraq
NATO allies US vs France
Increased racial profiling
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Increased surveillance
Increased airport security
The ripple effects are huge
Concept
A general idea, usually a big one
Changeable (debates about the definition)
Tends to be abstract
Involves interpretation.. so can be interpreted in various ways
Examples
o Democracy
o Justice
o Citizenship
o Security
o Power
From Last Class
Government is a conflict manager
In Canada: Democratic Government
o Concern for equality
o Regular elections to choose citizen reps
o Other mechanisms for encouraging citizens to participate in decision making
Democracy tends to fall short though.. because of POWER
Power
“oeod ho has ifluee oe othes ad a ake the do thigs the ouldt oall
do
Achieving an objective by influencing behaviour of others
Often involves a relationship but depends on the circumstances
There are constraints
3 Faces of Power
First: Ability to Affect Decisions
Coercion
Involves using threats of a harmful consequence to get the outcome you want
Law and order system based off of this fines for speeding, taxes, parking etc
Invest a lot of tax dollars in police and other enforcements
Inducements
Instead of intimidating with threats use bribes and offer rewards
ie) subsidizing, tax breaks, bonus marks etc
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Persuasion
you can be convinced if presented with a logical argument
ie editorials
still poe eause ou ae hagig soeoes ideas/atios
Leadership
ie Oprah recommending a book means it will be a bestseller because of her influence
NOT BASED on position- ie beause shes a pof – only about the individual
Mahatma Ghandi
The Pope
David Suzuki
Kanye West
Second Face: Ability to ensure that issues are NOT raised
Why do some problems remain unsolved?
o Its in the interest of some that the power not be solved
o Power is exerted by controlling political agenda and keeping things off it
o Regulation of financial sector kept off the political agenda until financial crisis of 2008
eause it eefitted etai atos aks still hast haged ad ill happe agai
Third Face: ability affect dominant ideas in society
Can be exerted by people, media, corporations, the advertising industry, etc
Women as stay at home moms not it to the in the workforce
s/s ais
its oo sese eas soeod is usuall eetig poer and a social construct has been
uilt that ist eessail tue m factual or right
Distribution of Power
Poe a e a positie idea too. Thee a e poe oe used to dominate and exploit but there can
also e poe to (empowerment)
Power Resources
Wealth
Control over information and expertise
Official position (not necessarily the individual)
People Power: The ability to mobilize supporters (think Trudeau being extremely likeable)
Control of the mans of force (military/police)
The ability to vote
The Free Rider Problem:
A problem with voluntary collective action that results because an individual can enjoy the
benefits of group action without contributing
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