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Lecture 1

PSC 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Social Contract

Political Science
Course Code
PSC 101
Stephanie Paul

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Democratic Origins
“Demos”- the people
“Kratein”- To rule
“A democracy is the government in the hands of men of low birht, no property, and
vulgar employment”--- Aristotle
First and purest form of democracy
City-state 5th century BCE
Direct Democracy
All citizens meet and decide
Difficult to implement in large areas
Representative Democracy
Select representatives to act on behalf of citizens
Technology enhances participation
Benchmarks of Representative Democracy
Popular Sovereignty
Government leaders are selected in competitive elections
Elections are free and fair
People participate in the political process
Availability of information
Majority rules
Government policies reflect the wishes of the people
Government policies are effective
Political Equality
Equal protection
Civil rights
In what way is political equality linked to economic equality?
Important and key figures: Aristotle, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson
Political Liberty
Social contract
Objections to Liberal Democracy
“Tyranny of the Majority”
People are irrational and icompetent
Political Hysteria
How does American Politics Work?
Organize main factors of political life:
Political linkage
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