POLS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Ecological Crisis, Social Inequality, Friedrich Engels

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FINAL POLS 1000 Exam Review
Part I
The State
A self-determined ruling political entity or system whose interactions with society are at
the core of politics
has been many different kinds of states in recorded history (ranging from early Greek
city state to modern liberal democratic state)
oHowever, all perform similar tasks (i.e. making & implementing political decisions
and protecting communities from internal and external threats)
dominant opinion that we need a state, however, the State arised after society
Why did the state appear: The state arises at a certain stage in social evolution:
owhen human society becomes bigger, more complex, more divided by private
property
oand when the very existence of society begins to require a special mechanism for
coordination and use of social power
Societies developed from Band(a small community bound by blood ties; decisions made
collectively) to state (a highly structured organization of power over a more developed,
more complex, class-divided society)
State emerged as a highly structured organization of power over a more developed,
more complex, class-divided society.
Max Weber, modern state has three definitive features: monopoly on force, legitimacy
and territoriality
ohas a monopoly of force such that it has the right and ability to use violence, in
legally defined instances, against members of society, or against other states
oholds legitimacy as its power is recognized by members of society and by other
states as based on law and some form of justice
oexists in a defined territory (which includes land, water and air) and exercises
authority over the population of that territory
“the state” can also have a broader meaning, referring to the entire set of social
relations concerning the use of political power
“Government” is a narrower term referring to how a state is organized
We say “government” when we refer to:
a particular group exercising political power at the moment (e.g. the
Conservative Government)
institutions of a state (e.g. the Federal Government)
Patriarchy
Greek term meaning "rule of the father"
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FINAL POLS 1000 Exam Review
A social system characterized by male rule and privilege
Prescribes power and authority to men
Convey the notion of systemic gender inequality
Historically, has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, and economic
organization of a range of different cultures (has existed for thousands of years with the
historic division of men and women)
i.e Mesopotamian city states, women = legal property of men
Social rule based on rule men over women still under attack today
Trends toward some form of equality are in motion, but still have a long way to go
Although feminist movement has challenged some of the most rigid sex stereotypes,
socially accepted gender roles still reflect the division between public life (realm of politics
and markets, dominated by men) & private life (the familial, domestic realm, dominated
by women)
Feminism – seeks to change the gender order so that women can enjoy autonomy and
gain acceptance as socially valued members of the community
Globally still a gender pay gap, lack of women parliamentarians
Gender politics: an approach to the study of politicswhich focuses on, th social
contruction of gender ( masculinity & feminity) and the role of gender in political & social
life
Neoliberalism
a political philosophy characterized by free markets and a retreat by the state for social
programs
advocates the support of economic liberation, free trade & open markets, privatization,
deregulation and an increased role of the private sector
In past decades, neoliberalism has become a dominant ideology in global systems,
particularly the United States
Advocates free markets provide the great benefit, yet faced criticism during US
recession where the blind face and freedom of market forces resulted in a mojor crisis
Criticism: on global scale take advantage of developing
Separation of powers
is a model for the governance of a state first developed in Ancient Greece and Rome
the concept that government should be separated into branches that each have
separate functions and their own power, but together amount to a system of government
Not isolated, but each has own power and function
Is a System of governance/ constitutional order
Division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch
from exercising the core functions of another. The intent is to prevent the concentration
of power and provide for checks and balances.
the separation of government typically into the legislative (Parliament or
Senate), executive (President or Prime Minister and the Cabinet), and judiciary (Chief
Justice and other judges)
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FINAL POLS 1000 Exam Review
branches to best ensure the liberty of citizens and prevent one group/ person from
obtaining too much power
The traditional characterizations of the powers of the branches of American government
are:
* The legislative branch is responsible for enacting the laws of the state and
appropriating the money necessary to operate the government.
* The executive branch is responsible for implementing and administering the public
policy enacted and funded by the legislative branch.
* The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the constitution and laws and
applying their interpretations to controversies brought before it.
MONTESQUIEU (8thcentury French social and political philosopher) declared it the best way
to safeguard liberty
has been argued, limits the possibility of arbitrary excesses by government, since the
sanction of all three branches is required for the making, executing, and administering of
laws
Critique: no democratic system exists with an absolute separation of powers;
Governmental powers and responsibilities intentionally overlap; they are too complex and
interrelated to be neatly compartmentalized
Legitimacy
The principle/concept of ruling by legal, moral and social rightness
the property that a regime’s procedures for making and enforcing laws are acceptable
to its subjects
Legitimacy gives the state authority to exercise power over the people.
In the past, a ruler would claim legitimacy through ‘divine right’ or the will of the god.
In modern times, rulers claim legitimacy by the will of the people,
Gov. considered legitimate if it comes to power as a result of fair and rational process
(i.e through elections)
Political legitimacy is considered a basic condition for governing,
Important for a state to be recognized as legitimate by not only its citizens, but by other
states
legitimacy usually is understood as the popular acceptance and recognition, by the
public, of the authority of a governing régime, whereby authority has political power
through consent and mutual understandings, not coercion.
Max weber identified three types of political legitimacy (grounds for exercising
authority):
oTraditional (based on tradition, established beliefs or values)
oCharismatic (based on the extraordinary personal qualities of a leader, or on the
influence of an idea or a cause)
orational-legal authority (based on formal arrangements (rules, laws,
constitutions). The main type practiced in contemporary politics)
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