POSC 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Oligarchy, Jus Sanguinis, Human Nature

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January 24th
Dr. Larry F. Martinez
Chapter One: Power & Citizenship in American
Politics
Politics: who gets what, when, and how; process of determining how power and
resources are distributed in a society without recourse to violence
Power and Government
Power: the ability to get others to do what you want
The way power is managed must be legitimate or there will be violence
Government: a system / organization for exercising authority over a body of people
Authority: the power that people recognize as legitimate
Rules and Institutions
Rules: directives that specify how resources will be distributed or what procedures
govern collective activity
The “how” of who gets what, and how
Institutions: organizations in which government power is exercised
The “where” of the political struggle
Politics and Economics
Economics: the production and distribution of a society’s material resources and
services
Both politics and economics focus on the distribution of society’s resources
Economics was meant to be private, whereas politics was meant to be public
Economic Systems
Capitalism: market determines production, distribution, and price decisions
Regulated capitalism has government procedural guarantees, whereas laissez-
faire capitalism does not
January 26th
Socialism and Social Democracy
Socialist Economy: the state determines production, distribution, and price decisions;
property is government owned
Few nations still claim allegiance to socialism
Social Democracy: a hybrid of capitalism and socialism
American politicians have become increasingly likely to accuse one another of
being socialist
Authoritarian Systems: in authoritarian systems, the state holds all power
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