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Wilfrid Laurier University
Political Science
Christopher Anderson

WHAT IS POLITICS? Sept 11/12 ―An understanding of politics is not a gift, it is an achievement‖ Lecture Objectives:  Define politics for ourselves  Contrast different definitions of the work ―politics‖  Recognize how defining ―politics‖ is a political act  Understand course requirements and responsibilities What is Politics? Complex, infinite layers Contested – rebellion, civil unrest, ideas clash Co-operative – cooperate in ways to get things done Crucial – these things matter to all  Ideas and debate of ideas  Revolution & overthrowing of ideas  Some parts are very formal – elections  Some parts are informal – decentralized, no actual leader, but still defines an idea, eg. Occupy movement  There are different types of systems  What is legitimate power?  Some aspects are mythical/traditional  Distance between leaders and led o How much distance between the leaders and led until the leader doesn’t represent the led  Subjective, you are always part of it Defining Politics – shape how you view politics  Science and art of government; dealing with the form, organization and administration of a state or part of one, and with regulation of its relation with other state  A process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is observed in all human (and many non-human) group interactions POLITICAL SCIENCE & POLITICAL STUDIES SEPT 13/12 Political Science  Systematic study of government and politics  Studying political science means studying polities (a group of communities) and the human being who live in them at all levels o Political science – evolving, pluralistic o Relate political science and political studies o Evolution of Political Science  Politics and human society are deeply embedded  Society has never existed without politics Aristotle – wrote ―Politics‖  politics as an actual study  Man is by nature a political animal  All people are political, it is an unavoidable master science  Perfect political form would allow an ideal life  Be rational and critical  fulfill perfect political form  Greece, 431BCE was unstable, war going on o Aristotle interested in organizing affairs politically to avoid this instability and achieve ideal state Typology of Regimes Interest in… Rulers Citizens Rulers One Monarchy Tyranny Few Aristocracy Oligarchy Many Polity Democracy  Collected constitutions to find best system of government  Looked at rulers, and governments for the good of public or self- interest  Saw enlightened monarchy as most stable, but studied and proved to be false – monarchy falls to tyranny, aristocracy to oligarchy  Polity as ideal, can navigate through uncertainty Methodology – body of methods, rules & postulates employed by a discipline; a particular procedure or set of procedures  Analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field Normative Political Analysis – discussion of ideas & values and with prescription of what should be done or avoided in the area of politics Empirical Political Analysis – description and explanation of observable events, structures, or patterns of behaviour Behavioural Revolution  Focus on behavior of political actors (as opposed to institutions within they operate)  human behavior vs. laws  Commitment to uncover patterns or regularities in political behavior, to creating a science of politics on testable propositions  Claim of objectivity What Do Political Scientists Do? Decline in Youth Voting Non-voting might: cause an imbalance in representation  Does not represent a majority  Weakened government mandates  Limit types of candidate elected  Increase public cynicism  Diminish public agenda  Negatively affect particular group Possible Solutions  High school civics classes  Mandatory voting  Lowering voting age  Increase contact between politicians/political and young Canadians  Changing the electoral system  Increased use of social media POWER SEPT 20-25/12  Power is extensive, pervasive, always existent  Every act is an act of power, every social relationship is an exchange of power  Power is to politics as money is to economics  Are all forms of power political?  Is politics always a question of power? Lecture Objectives  Conceptual thinking  Power over, power to, 3 faces of power  How different approaches to politics and political science conceptualize power Concept, Essentially Contested and Otherwise  Concepts are to the students of politics what maps and compasses are to the navigator Concepts can:  Help us to describe, understand and explain political phenomena  Help us to not simply interpret the world but to seek to change it  Hinder us by closing off avenues of investigation Concept (n.) – something conceived in the mind; thought, notion  An abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances Walter Bryce Gallie’s Concerns Dogmatism: sticking to what you believe in and refusal to accept other beliefs Relativism: avoidance of the issue Eclecticism: bargaining with different ideas to get along Power as an Essentially Contested Concept  A concept about which, despite some consensus as to its basic definition, there can be widespread disagreement as to how best to identify or realize it in practice, disagreement that ―cannot be settled by appeal to empirical evidence, linguistic usage, or the cannons of logic alone.‖  Complex, changing, affected by values  Every concept of political science is open to debate Elitist Challenge (Floyd Hunter/C. Wright Mills)  Political power concentrated in the hands of the few  This few occupied ―strategic command posts of the social structure‖  this curtailed the democratic politics  produced a passive citizenry Pluralistic Rejoinder (Robert A. Dahl)  Can elites be identified as a group?  Do elites and non-elites differ in terms of policy preferences?  Do elite interests regularly prevail?  (Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?) The Three Faces of Power First Face of Power  A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do o Get someone to do something Second Face of Power  When A devotes his energies to creating or reinforcing social and political values and institutional practices that limit the scope of the political process to public consideration of only these issues which are comparatively innocuous to A Third Face of Power  A may exercise power over B by getting him to do what he does not want to do, but he also exercises power over him by influencing, shaping or determining his very wants From “Power Over” to “Power To”  Thomas Hobbes – power as a person’s ―present means… to obtain some future apparent Good.‖  Power as ―the human ability not just to act but to act in concert  ―Power to‖ – ability to do something, empowerment, resists ―power over‖ DEMOCRACY SEPT 27-OCT 2/12  Democracy not static, evolve; is complex o How you navigate this complexity is affected by your values  Prior, democracy = mob rule; people can’t be trusted  Western society is democratic Guillermo O’Donnell on Democracy as  The reference point for hope  Perpetual absence of something more o Not quite achieving, fulfilling aspiration  Democratic deficit – disconnection between government and people o Gap between what is and what ought to be o Deficit between what the system is doing and should be doing Lecture Objectives  Compare democracy in ancient Greece and American Revolution  Looks at certain essential characteristics of democracy today  Consider how universal democracy is as an ideal and as a practice Some Basics of Democracy Demos ―the people‖ + Kratos ―the rule of‖ Republic  A system of government ruled by a head of state who is not a monarch (generally, in modern times, a president), in which citizens are entitled to participate in decision making Greek Democracy  Direct participation of an equal citizenry o Participation restricted to free adult males  Relatively small scale  Participation not quite voluntary o More focus on responsibility of citizens, rather than rights  Broad understanding of the public sphere  More focus on community good than individual rights Declaration of Independence  All men are created equal  Unalienable rights  Liberty  Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed  The right of the people American Democracy  Delegated representation of an equal citizenry  Relatively large scale  Participation voluntary  Soon defined by parties and a growing bureaucracy  Participation restricted white, adult tax-paying/property owning males  More limited idea of the public sphere  More focus on individual rights over community good Modern Democracy  Ruled by many, characterized by…… Larry Diamond’s Components of Democracy  A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections  Active participation of the people, as citizens in politics and civic life  Protection of the human rights of all citizens  A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens The Universality of Democracy? Is democracy a universal idea? Is there a life after democracy? Is democracy the end game?  Democracy as a mean  Non-democratic countries: Saudi Arabia, Burma, Vatican, Brunei  Can only measure democracy so much, ex. Electoral stats, freedom, elections (free and fair)  Universal consent is not required for something to be a universal value. Rather, the claim of a universal value is that people anywhere may have reason to see it as valuable Xenophon, Memoirs of Socrates (this is a dialogue)  What is law?  It is whatever the people decides and decrees  Even when it decrees by fiat, acting like a tyrant and riding roughshod over the views of the minority – is that still ―law‖?  Certainly  So democracy is really just another for of tyranny? Democracy as a mean Democracy as an ideology IDEOLOGY OCT 2-4/12 What Is An Ideology and What Does It Do?  Study of ideas and thought  Systematic study of ideas, diverge of principles  Believing all assumptions, distortion of reality  Define what issues are to be debated  Shape what we think we should do  Inform our behavior  Concerned with Utopia Utopia  A place, state, or condition ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions  An impossibly ideal scheme, esp. for social improvement Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy  Study of human consciousness in all its aspects  A new science of the human mind An Ideology Is…  Not personal, not random  Never static o Expressed in a different way, expand & contract  Gross simplification  A mix of factual and moral beliefs about how things are/ought to be  A perpetual screen  Always plagued by internal contradictions/tensions IDEOLOGY: A reasonably consistent system of political beliefs that aspires to explain the world to justify certain power relationships, and to maintain or transform existing institutions  Give a list of things to do  How you explain the world  Breed conflict  Protecting or transforming  Co-operation – share  Oppressive, liberating  Orient ourselves in the world  Different concepts of liberty and equality Left – Right Political Continuum Radical Liberal Conservative Reactionary Left Right  How to radically change the status quo  Political order o Stay in your own position (ex. Peasants as peasants) o Classical conservative order o Noblesse oblige  Obligation to help others to keep place, ought to John Locke on State of Nature  State of perfect freedom to order their actions … as they think fit… without asking leave or dependency on the will of any other Man J. S. Mill on the State of Nature  The a priori assumption is in favour of freedom (in human relations)  Liberty and equality as ends, but our debates about what they mean Negative and Positive Liberty  Liberty: freedom of speech, action, thought, conscience, religion o Sense of equality  Negative o Lack liberty if you are kept from doing what you want o Absence of restrictions, obstacles o Freedom from oppression o Power over  Positive o Freedom to, empowerment, opportunity, potential o Problems:  Limits?  Often conflict with others’ needs Formal to Substantive Equality  Basic sense of equality  Political equality more difficult to navigate  Formal Equality: o All people subject to rule of law; equal under law o Related to Negative Liberty  Substantive Equality o Notion of equality… o Empowering people by leveling people’s social and economic status Individuals/ Rights and The State Society Freedoms Conservatism - individuals  individual rights  free market important, born  negative (from free liberties regulation) - inequalities  formal  obedient to - competition in equalities state, respect life  success  private sphere, for authority  rational – use private property and institution reason to  individualized  small state, determine sense of hesitant to wants responsibility reform  stability  support charity  military/  traditions, nationalism values, norms Reformed  individuals are  private property  welfare state, Liberalism of primary focus  more positive intervening the  competition liberty, but a free flow of  more emphasis balance citizens to on overcoming between + and create fairness social hierarchy –  controlled  social equality  policies like private sector  rationality of equal  ought to reform individual opportunity to increase  ―progressive‖  emphasis on equality values private sphere  internationalism  co-operative is a little narrow  social fairness, try to undo social hierarchy Social Democracy  emphasis on  focus on  mixed economy society  co- positive  intervention operation liberties, state  heightened negative not  question sense of irrelevant traditional solidarity & co-  private property authority operation still important,  internationalism  individuals but nationalize matter but in some industries the end don’t for the good of succeed unless society other people  social support them responsibility is  success not a a public sphere function of  markets – individual, but efficient, but of society create problems  progressive for equality values  greater social  egalitarian justice Communism  potential to be  positive liberty, - nationalize liberal  false negative liberty everything consciousness problematic for  progressive  leader egalitarian  economic rights  class rights, class struggle Fascism  individuals are  responsibility to  collective emotional people welfare,  conflictual,  responsibility to capitalism competition traditions  propagandist,  social hierarchy  fragmented no free press  tradition – sense of  militaristic, cohesion reflect equality internal sense of people enemies,  co-operation – suppression united society Libertarianism  focus on - give freedom to  smaller state, people, born people minimum into liberty - lots of negative control  competition liberties  set up state – progress give people  reject tradition choice  more state = less freedom to individual, impose on individual’s freedom Anarchism  community is - negative liberties  reject the state important, are core  no need for freedom of - commitment to state because of individuals positive liberties - the strength of (liberty) best in interactive community co-operation  state is violent  progress by  reject political group effect authority Political Continuum Social Democracy Conservatism Libertarianism Anarchism Reformed Liberalism Neo- Cons/Lib Communism Classic Liberalism Fascism Left Right Fascism Conservatism Neo-Cons/Lib Libertarianism Reformed Liberalism Classic Liberalism Communism Social Democracy Anarchism More State Control Less State Control THE STATE OCT 11/12 Governance: a dynamic process through which the means are found to make choices for collective adaptation to the surrounding economy and society Lecture Objectives:  Look at concept of a political regime, establish a framework for next few lectures  Examine political authority, its definition by Weber & how it raises in modern politics  Define institutions, civil disobedience  Explore meaning and functions of government Political Regime  Politics are not random, patterns and structures  The whole decision-making apparatus of the state; the constitutional principles & arrangements according to which government decisions are made; fundamental rules of the game  Organized governance experience Institutions  Deliberate, formalized and expected patterns of behavior  Like rules of the game, structure or behaviours State Market Liberal Capitalism Democracy Global- Multicul- Global Society ization turalism Political Authority Definition: The imposition of one’s will on another by reason of legitimacy – because the subject regards the decision make as having a right to make such a binding decision  Who has political authority? o Police o Courts o Government legislature o Monarchy  ―It is the responsibility of every citizen to question authority‖ Maximillian Weber on Authority  The authority of the eternal yesterday, of the mores sanctified through the unimaginable ancient recognition and habitual orientation to conform o Traditional Authority  The authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace, the absolutely personal devotion and personal confidence in revelation, heroism, or other qualities of individual leadership o Charismatic Authority  Authority by virtue of legality, the belief in the validity of legal statute and functional competence based on rationally created rule Legal / Rational Authority Civil Disobedience  The conscious violation of a law as a form of protest  When political authority is very concentrated, only way to change is to revolt  Or to change a law, social services, distribution of wealth/power Velvet Revolution (1989)  Fall of Berlin Wall, end of Cold War  Nov. 17, Czech students protest  Next day, artists protest  Nov. 27, 2 hr strike across nation  Nov. 29, Communist Party removes self from power  Dec. 10, first non-communist party - democratic system  Jan. 1990, restructure of entire political system Saffron Revolution (2007)  Removed subsidies from economically fragile nations  Buddhist monks stand up to protest Occupy Movement and Tahrir Square Civil Disobedience and Democracy  Civil disobedience cannot be justified in a democracy. The existence of lawful channels of a change make civil disobedience unnecessary  Civil disobedience lies at the heart of democracy. It is the duty of every citizen to disobey an unjust law – to wait is to perpetuate an injustice Less Democratic Regimes  There is no system for choosing and replacing the government free and fair elections  The protection of human rights of all citizens is less likely to be ensured, especially in civil and political rights  A rule of law, in which the law and procedures apply equally to all citizens exists to a lesser degree What is a State?  Product of humans  The state is the core concept in political science that defines where the formal and institutional terrain of politics begins and ends Independent States  193 states part of United Nations  non-states: Vatican, Palestine, Kosovo, Taiwan, Cyprus, Antarctica What is a State?: Criteria  Recognition by other states, being a state is like ―club‖  People  Land that is yours  Rules and institution  Effective control of territory  Weber on the State o ―a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory‖  Montevideo Convention o ―a) permanent population, b) defined territory, c) established government, d) capacity to enter into relations with other states  state is the car, government is the driver Government  The set of institutions that makes and enforces collective public decisions for a society Thailand  September 2006 Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ousted  Surayud Chulanont (retired General) appointed PM  Democratic elections December 2007  Continued unrest to the present – Red Shirt Opposition  2011 elections bring Shinawatra’s sister to power Somaliland  Joins United Republic of Somalia in 1960  Military regime of Siad Barre (1969-91) represses population  Barre flees in 1991, Somaliland declares itself independent  2001 referendum confirms independence  2003 and 2010 Presidential and 2005 Parliamentary elections; local elections in 2012 Sovereignty  A legal (de jure) and actual (de factor) condition whereby states recognize no higher authority either domestically or externally and are thus free to act as they wish o Captures the idea of the state  East Timore o Former Portuguese Colony, declared independence in 1975 o Annexed by Indonesia in 1975 o Estimated 150,000 of 650,000 die during late 1970s-early 1980s o 1999 Independence through UN When Is A State Not A State? Criteria For a Failed State  Loss of physical control of territory or a monopoly on legitimate use of force  Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions  Inability to interact with other states as a full-member of the international community Social Characteristics of Failed States  Child mortality, life expectancy Political Characteristic of a Failed State  Economic characteristics lead to the loss of political power Economic Characteristics  Rates of inflation rise State Failure in Tuvalu  Polynesian country became independent in 1978 th  Consists of 4 reefs and five atolls – least populated, 4 smallest UN country  Constitutional monarchy with democratic institutions  Physically threatened due to rising sea levels – global warming The Evolution of the Liberal-Democratic State  These changes in state form are significant because they reflect a reordering or rebalancing of power within a society and, as such, indicate the parametric framing citizen participation in their own governance Types of Liberal-Democratic States Type Events/ Ideas Political Collective Liberty State Intervention Participation Objectives Emphasis Night  Industrial revolution  property - economic - negative - minimal intervention Watchman  Laissez-faire owners growth for liberty as possible in economy State  labour for capital - liberty – and business inclusion people can - minimum gov’t achieve regulation, laissez- progress faire -individual liberty Welfare  stock market crash in  franchise  regulate - Positive - state implemented State 1929 –dramatic challenge extended economy liberty social services to political and economic  Equality  citizens to - intervene in order struggles maintain a economy and society  implement social welfare &  Identity minimum - regulate and spend employment insurance politics standard programs  Equal of living  great depression, WWII citizens,  growth –  Keynes/debt – Economic can vote recovery Crisis  social economic welfare  equal opportunit y Neo-  globalization  new rights  trade -negative and - less state Liberal  end of Cold War  less access liberty positive liberty intervention State  Neo-liberalism for smaller  individual - security groups social economic welfare (targeted) THE MARKET Lecture Objectives  Contrast Smith and Marx on the market and the state  Define markets (market society)  Identify pros/cons of market/control economies  Explore Polanyi’s notion of ―the double movement‖  Explore market as liberator or oppressor debate through Milton Friedman and Charles Lindblom Political Economy The study of the intersection of political and economic forces; the connection between states and markets, power and wealth, or the world of politics and economics What is a market? What kind of politics emerge from the market? Adam Smith  Liberal thinker  Individual is born free, is rational  determine self-interest o Free market economy  interest of the community  Invisible hand – aggregate force, affects all individuals o All aggregate forces of buying/selling create the invisible hand o Can reward and punish o Allows for efficiency, determines costs, low cost o Invisible hand is based on laissez-faire  Is progressive o Minimal state – more it intervenes, further from community Karl Marx  Not individual, but of class  Class interests drive behaviours o Capitalist  private property o Don’t care about efficiency, more focus on profit  Interest of the bourgeoisie  Capitalist state  profit o Limiting and repressing  Keep you in your class (workers) to optimize profits  Market competition o More class division  Only way to get rid of division is class war The Market  The aggregation of individual transactions, or purchase and sale by individuals of goods, services, and labour Market Economies  Private property/transactions  Market determines production, cost, distribution  Labour market free  State
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