POL SCI 51A Lecture 4: Lecture 4

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University of California - Irvine
Political Science

Lecture 4 Pol Sci 51A th, April 13 2017 I. Consent and legitimacy a. The main question of this section is: What determines the extent of a rulers power? How far can rulers push? b. How do rulers stay in power? i. Subject consent when they obey rulers. ii. If they stop obeying your rules, the state ceased to exist 1. Ex. Syria the population does not obey the ruler anymore. They are not giving their consent to their governmentruler. You cannot force it. iii. Rulers lose consent when they overreach 1. Ex. Taxing too much iv. Rulers know that there is a limit to what they can ask; if they push too hard, subjects will resist, or even rebel. c. Ideally there is a balance between rulers and subjects i. Commandsruleslaws are coming down from the ruler to the people, and the people are giving their consent to the ruler. d. Question: How does the U.S government stay in power? i. Fear: citizens obey to avoid punishment ii. Bribery: citizens obey to receive certain benefits iii. Values: citizens obey because they think it is the right thing to do 1. You think like them e. You should be able to intuit that fear, by itself, cannot be a basis for consent. f. In order for coercion to work, people in the population must work with those in power. g. Both fear and coercion are at most temporary ways to consolidate consent i. Ex. South Korea and Syria h. Democracy is an expression of consent and legitimacy, i. It is not temporary and instead it is a longlasting solution i. How do rulers stay in power? i. Subjects consent when they choose in power ii. Mechanisms that rulers can govern through: 1. Fear: punish dissent 2. Rewards: bribe supporters 3. Legitimacy: shared an idea that rulers have the right to rule iii. The key point to make here is that no leaders can rule through fear or bribes alone j. Three types of legitimacy i. Charismatic legitimacy
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