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Political Science
Christopher Anderson

INTRO January 3, 2012 What is Politics?  Complex  Contested  Cooperative  Crucial Defining Politics: “The science and art of government; the science dealing with the form, organization, and administration of a state or part of one, and with the regulation of its relations with other states.” Oxford Universal Dictionary “A process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally applied to behaviour within governments, politics is observed in all human (and many non-human) group interactions…” Wikipedia “Who Gets What, When, How” Harold Lasswell (1936) “Bringing The State Back In” Peter Evans “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” Mao Tse-Tung (1938) “Politics is the art of compromise” “A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” Ambrose Bierce (1911) “Politics is made up of two words: “poli,” which is Greek for “many,” and “tics,” which are bloodsucking insects.” Gore Vidal “Politics is the art of carrying out the life struggle of a nation for its earthly existence.” Adolf Hitler (1928) January 5, 2012 Introduction to Modern Politics: The State The world does not consist of a political reality that everyone sees in exactly the same way…because politics is highly complex social behaviour driven by different ways of thinking, living, and governing ourselves. Political science is the systematic study of government and politics Studying political science means studying polities and the human beings who live in them at all levels The Evolution of Political Science Aristotle: Man is by nature a political animal Aristotle’s Typology of Regimes Rulers Government for the good of All citizens (public interest) Rulers (self interest) One Monarchy Tyranny Few Aristocracy Oligarchy Many Polity Democracy Methodology:  A body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline; a particular procedure or set of procedures  The analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field Normative Political Analysis: concerned largely, although not exclusively, with the discussion of ideals and values and with the prescription of what should be done or avoided in the area of politics. Empirical Political Analysis: concerned with the description and explanation of observable events, structures, or patterns of behaviour. Behavioural Revolution  Focus on behaviour of political actors (as opposed to institutions within in which they operate)  Commitment to recovering patterns and regularities in political behaviour, to creating a science of politics based on testable propositions  Claim of objectivity What do Political Scientists Do? What makes political scientists difference is the capacity and the will to make systematic inquiries into a political puzzle. Non Voting Might:  Weaken government mandates  Limit types of candidates elected  Increase public cynicism  Diminish political agenda  Negatively affect particular groups Why Young People don’t vote:  Inconvenience  Feeling of disconnect from the vital issues  Apathy  Not informed  Voting doesn’t matter  Too busy Solutions: - making voting easier and more meaningful for first time voters - making politics more relevant to the young - engaging them more directly in the political process - Civics classes in High School - Mandatory voting - Lowering Voting Age - Increased use of social media “Today’s young Canadians are much less likely to vote than their parents or their grandparents were when they were in their twenties” – Gidengil et el. (2005) POWER January 10, 2012 “every act is an exercise of power, every social relationship is a power equation, and every social group or system is an organization of power” “power is to politics what money is to economics: the medium of exchange, the universal common denominator” Concepts and Essentially Contested Concepts - Concepts are to the student of politics what maps and compasses are to navigators  they are our tools - Concepts can…  help us to describe, understand and explain political phenomena  helps us to not simply interpret the world but to seek to change it  hinder us by closing off avenues of investigation - Concept: to conceive  something conceived in the mind: thought, notion  we have to create it  take a concept and apply it to the world  an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances  example: a woody plant having a single elongated main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part o Answer: Tree  After we have a concept we can compare other like objects together Walter Bryce Gallie’s Concerns - Dogmatism: not going to accept another opinion than what already believes in  “I’m right and your wrong”  no real meaningful interchange; too many debates; no engagement - Relativism: everything depends on something else  “ I am right and your right”  no ones really wrong; based on different views of viewing the world; no debate - Eclecticism: I am right and your right  put two points together and be very right; everyone is satisfied  not necessarily the best or right outcome; more for convenience POWER January 12, 2012 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 canons of logic alone”  Cannot get the consensus because it is an idea; not physical  What goes on in these concepts:  Change: what goes on in that concept constantly changes over time  Complex: boundaries are less clear of what the properties are o A tree is easier to describe than social justice  Value: don’t approach them neutrally, come with baggage; filtering information  allowing some in and some out (selective) Art  The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also: works so produced One of the charms of the discipline of political science is that almost every concept is open to debate Power as an Essentially Contested Concept  Elitist Challenge  Floyd Hunter/ C. Wright Mills o Political power concentrated in the hands of a few o This few occupied “strategic command posts of the social structure” o Dominate public affairs  This curtailed the democratic politics  Produced a passive citizenry o Citizenry that gets used to not having a voice; don’t challenge the elite because feel like they have no affect/influence  Pluralist Rejoinder  Robert Dahl o Can elites be identifies as a group? o Assume military, business people have power o Reputational power o Did not prove it just assert it o Do elites and non-elites differ in terms of policy preferences o Have to be able to show the difference o Do elite interests regularly prevail? o Show that these elite people win  More than just a claim, has to have a justification  Are you or have you ever been a member of the communist party?  The First Face of Power o A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do (Dahl) o “A” is always the same group of people  The Second Face of Power o Power is also exercised 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 those issues which are comparatively innocuous (acceptable/ideal) to A (Baratz) o o B still articulating views but not looked at because A is articulating the agenda  The Third Face of Power o 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 (Lukes) o Difficulty understand own interest o Only some ideas are articulating and enforced; no other ideas cannot get revealed (embedded societal norms) At different times and in different places, to be born black, aboriginal, female, or working-class was already to be born in a position of being subjected to “power over” within the broader historical contexts of racism, colonialism, sexism, and capitalism From “Power Over” to “Power To” Power Over: getting someone to do something you want  Disempowering them and achieving your objectives Power To: the realization of personal re-collective goals  Foucault: power over might often generate a response/empower themselves  Fundamentally lined with our notion of democracy - According to Thomas Hobbes, power was a person’s “present means…to obtain some future apparent good” - Hannah Arendt argued that power was “the human ability not just to act but to act in concert” - the less we use our power the greater it will be – Thomas Jefferson - how much power you see in the social world and where you locate it depends on how you conceive it, and these disagreements are in part moral and political – Lukes DEMOCRACY January 17 & 19, 2012 - democracy is dynamic and changing  was not static before and never the ideal  thought it would undermine individual freedom  mob rule leads to oppression - there are different ways of doing democracy  not just the natural western democracy notion  no one size fits all democracy - Democracy as…  the reference point for hope o people see a lot of potential and think its better than all the others  the perpetual absence of something more o constantly failing us; it doesn’t do what it should o B does not have much as a voice as A does Guillermo O’Donnell on Democracy as.. - The reference point for hope.. - The perpetual absence of something more.. Some Basics on Democracy - Demos “the people” + Kratos “rule of” - Absolute monarchies: god right to rule over the subjects (citizens) - Democracy has no subjects; citizens are active members - Republic: a system of government ruled by a head of state who is not a monarch/head of state (in modern times a president), in which citizens are entitled to participate in decision-making  Canada is a constitutional monarchy; US is a republic Greek Democracy: o Direct participation of an equal citizenry o Relatively small scale o Participation is not quite voluntary o No political parties or bureaucracy o Participation restricted to free adult males o Broad understanding of the public sphere o More focus on community good than individual rights The Declaration of Independence, 1776 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive, these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.. - all men are created equal - endowed unalienable rights - life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness - to secure these rights governments are instituted American Democracy (1800) - delegated representation of an equal citizenry - relatively large scale - participation voluntary - soon defined by parties and a growing bureaucracy - participation restricted to white, adult, tax paying/property owning males - more limited idea of the public sphere - more focus on individual rights over community good The two great points of difference between a Democracy and a Republic: - the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens - the greater number of citizens and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Address (1863) - the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth Democracy Today - Modern Democracy  Rule by the many, characterized by leadership selection through elections, constitutionalism, and the rule of law - Larry Diamond’s Components of Democracy: o A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections o The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life o Protection of the human rights of all citizens o A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens - Needs to be stable; cannot change all the time however the people must be able to have the right to change the laws to make the political system better represent them - Need independent actors, such as courts The Universality of Democracy? - is democracy the answer? - 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 IDEOLOGY January 24, 2012 “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.” – Rand Dyck - creates a notion of false consciousness  don’t realize what own interests are because dominant ideas are imposed on us - inevitable  unable toe escape this notion Utopia - an imaginary island, depicted by Sir Thomas More - a place, state, or condition ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions - an impossibly ideal scheme, especially for social improvement Ideology was… - Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy - the study of human consciousness in all its aspects - a new science of the human mind - 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. An ideology is… - not personal, not random  social things, collective, ways we share beliefs, views, etc. - never static  constantly in a state of evolving responding to new thoughts people have - a gross simplification  help simplify the world to navigate through it - a mix of factual and moral beliefs about how things are/ought to be - a perceptual screen  screen the world for us (look over here not over there) - always plagued by internal contradictions/tensions Radical Liberal Conservative Reactionary -good life - stability freedom -norms/beliefs -Inequality -success Rights and -rights -formal equality Freedoms -private sphere The State -free market Communists Individuals/Society - rational potential  BUT too many constraints  False consciousness because constrained by forces that obtain our own interests  Cooperative: working together to achieve things if agree - success is not individual (need leader to lead you in right path of communal existence) more on society - not about homogeneity but more of overthrowing and overcoming capitalism - trying to get rid of the status quo Rights and Freedoms - positive freedom is huge  substantially we should all be free and equal - not always formal before the law  do not have rights such as free speech - public economy - no private production; state and public production - transition to class rights (all should be at the same class)  class war The State - militaristic (internal and external enemies)  same as fascism - propagandistic (convince people this is the right way of thinking) - form of homogeneity (all members of the same class) - role of the state is to take over the economy Fascists Individual/Society - emotional creatures rather than rational human beings  need guidance; people do not know self interests  competitive and violent world - hierarchies  among societies and between societies  inequality evidently present  need leaders (seize power with a vision of what society needs) - cooperation to succeed (people need to listen)  do not get to do whatever you want, do what is for the overall good - achieve homogeneity  sameness to society Rights and Freedoms - responsibility to follow the leader - equality within the group - do not agree with the liberal project - social order (vital) The State - high intervention - militaristic  internal: people cannot be trusted to do whats right for the society have to have a strong military present to remove rebels  external: everyone threatens your existence because do not agree with ideologies happening - intervene when necessary (when leader says necessary) - highly progandistic states (tell people what is good and what to think)  continuously intervene to agree with and buy into your ideologies  do not know what is good for them so need to be told and enforced upon them - absorb society into itself and force it to become what leader wishes  no outside of the box thinking - nationalistic (a lot of symbols of the nation) * both share: - more state control - fundamentally do not believe in liberalism Libertarianism Individuals/Society - very individualistic approach - no one should be responsible for anyone else Freedom/Rights - negative freedoms - formal equality The State - minimal - ensure certain sets of rules - some order but not a lot - emphasis on private sphere - if increase state, inhibit freedom Anarchism Individuals/Society - sense of the individual - no one should tell you what to do/ force authority upon you - faith in cooperation and community - what we do together/collectively - mutual aid - need to be free individuals, but if you want to succeed think about the way we do things together - no formally structured authority Freedom/Rights - negative rights and freedoms - left alone and not restricted BUT there are limits to how far you can get as an individual The State - intrinsically problematic - no state - get in the way of human and community achievement THE STATE February 2, 2012 Governance - a dynamic process through which the means are found to make choices for collective adaptation to the surrounding economy and society Political Regime - way in which we are ruled/governed - the whole decision-making apparatus of the state; the constitutional principles and arrangements according to which government decisions are made; the fundamental rules of the game - organized governance experience * diagram on page 193 Institutions - deliberate, formalized, and expected patterns of behaviour - example: universities, parliament, corporations - things we do routinely and we can anticipate Political Authority - way of institutionalizing power but has to be justified - link between the ruled and the ruler - gets to say who has what kind of say - questions of legitimacy and limitations - it is the responsibility of every citizen to question authority - the imposition of one’s will on another by reason of legitimacy – because the subject regards the decision maker as having a right to make such a binding decision Maximilian Weber - 3 types of authority:  the authority of the eternal yesterday, of the mores sanctified though the unimaginably ancient recognition and habitual orientation to conform o traditional authority o the way we always have done things o example: why we have a queen o based on conformity; not questioning or challenging  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 o example: Hitler, Superman o plays on the emotions of others o way they represent themselves; reputation  authority by virtue of legality, the belief in the validity of legal statue and functional competence based on rationally created rules o legal-rational authority o example: judge o have authority because there is a legal rule/justification that says if you are in this position you get authority Civil Disobedience - the conscious violation of a law as a form of protest - The Velvet Revolution 1989 o International Day of students, group come together to support o Police decide to repress these protests o Numerous people come together to protest communist party - The Saffron Revolution  start of something small, but result in something bigger that system does not allow citizens to have any control - civil disobedience cannot be justified in a democracy. The existence of lawful channels of change makes civil disobedience unnecessary OR - 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 injustice The State - is the core concept in political science that defines where the formal and institutional terrain of politics begins and ends - navigate between the public and private sphere - way we structure the relationship between the ruler and the ruled - independent states  the Vatican, Kosovo, Taiwan, state of Palestine, Somalia, Antarctica  not recognized by the UN What is a State? - Weber on the State  “a human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” - Montevideo Convention  must include: a permanent population, a defined territory, an established government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states - Difference between the government and a state?  Analogy of the car driver  Government is the driver and the state is the car  Government occupy for a little but then leaves and is replaced, but state is still there  Government: the set of institutions that makes and enforces 2collective public decisions for a society  State: is a bigger, more permanent entity o Some nations may look like a state and act like a state, but do not have legality of a state o global Sovereignty - a legal (de jure) and actual (de facto) condition whereby states recognize no higher authority either domestically or externally and are thus free to act as they wish - benefit of being a state:  self determination (you get to determine what you want to do)  ability to enter into treaties (engage in trade relations)  enter into a world where there is a rule of law (protect you)  agencies will now assist you (healthcare) The Evolution of the State/How the State is Formed - these changes in state form are significant because they reflect a reordering or rebalancing of power within society and, as such, indicate the parameters framing citizen participation in their own governance Non-Democratic Regimes ● There is no system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. ● The free and active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civi
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