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POLS 2200 (22)


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York University
Political Science
POLS 2200
Danny O' Rourke- Dicarlo

Lecture: 1/15/2014 • The theoretical question: why is any system of law alongside a system of law enforcement desirable within the discussion on the theoritecal origins of the laws legitimacy. • It is in England where we first see a very first centralized police force • Public policing includes community policing  policy effort on behalf of law enforcement to do specific things • Why are we obligated to obey law? Why is a system of law and law enforcement desirable from the perspective of any reasonable person? • Prior to Thomas hobbes most moral and political theorists said that the legitimacy of law is to some kind of morality • Law is an exercise of power, the law authorizes you to do something and the argument was that the laws authority is grounded in morality. Unjust law is no law at all. • This concept becomes increasingly problematic as society becomes complex • Democratization of knowledge, changing of industries, general questioning of morality as a unifying framework. • Thomas hobbes asks us one question to began with, how is it that we can agree upon anything when we so radically disagree about most things, especially when it comes to morality. • Morality in a complex society cannot be a stable platform • If it isn’t the church, what can it be? The point is that in the absence of a shared morality, power is exercised arbitrarily. • Hobbes says everyone in the room imagine for a second what life would be in the absence of the law. • Law is a third party, that has the authority to create rules and enforce them, the enforcibility of rules implies punishment. • Hobbes - we are naturally risk averse – you tend to have anxiety with people beside you. • Hobbes – the way we move away from conflict is when we authorize a third party to settle conflict.  the law will work better when it works less, meaning a state that over polices is a failed state. A state in which people freely approach police officers and tell them about various conflicts and problems is where a state has legitimacy. • Hobbes – what the law does, it stabilizes our expectations, it allows us to live freely from arbitrary violence. • Arbitrary violence is defined as people taking the law into their own hands. (codes of honour) • A functioning system of law takes away the burden from private individuals to solve their own conflicts using violence. • The industrial revolution called into question and then completely flattened the feudal mode of production. For our purposes, the industrial revolution resulted in modern cities which we know of which is class divided. This is a nutshell is called modernity, the development of cities, factories, commerce, police, schools, hospitals. Were talking about not just the history of capitalism, but liberal democracy. • In short, liberal democracy is a theory which suggests all people are born equally. • The root of liberalism is liberty, implies that everyone should have equal entitlements to do whatever it is they want so as long as they are not causing harm to other people. • Democracy implies that a govt. is a representation not of a monarch, not of a few wealthy people but of people collectively. • The majority of people living in cities are working poor • If you have a workforce that is poor, miserable, malnourished and lacks protection from one another your system will fail which meant that the state had to take a proactive stance to raise the standard of the living for the working poor. In sum, the every liberal state had to extend itself to the poor in order to safeguard its own legitimacy. • Robert Peel – surveys London and he asks how are people being policed? The answer is privately. Wealthy people own security forces, the state, govt of England has a military force that goe
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