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POLS 110 Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Guide: Liberal Democracy, Illiberal Democracy, Robert A. Dahl


Department
Political Studies
Course Code
POLS 110
Professor
Oded Haklai
Study Guide
Final

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Queen's
POLS 110
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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POLS 110a – Lectures 1 and 2 (Week 1) – Introduction to Politics
Lecture notes:
Politics: from the Greek word “polis” meaning “the city”. Greece organised itself into
self governing city states. Athens is the considered the root of democracy because
men over eighteen were able to decide their leader. Aristotle wrote: “man is a political
animal”, claiming that we make decisions about how we live together, whereas other
animals run on instinct.
Recently we have included our relationships to non-humans in politics
Defining politics:
Different ways to define politics focus on different aspects.
emphasis on institutions (governments, groups etc.)
emphasis on power (influence, control, coercion authority)
emphasis on distribution of resources/values (who gets what, when, how, why)
emphasis on conflict and difference
emphasis on process of conflict conciliation
Questions:
What is power?
What are vales/resources?
What are interests?
Who/what is included? Excluded?
What are sources of conflict/difference?
When/how does conciliation work?
Reading: Intro to Politics “Introduction” Garner et al
Aristotle’s Table:
Number Ruling Ruler’s Interests:
All Themselves
one monarchy tyranny
few aristocracy oligarchy
many polity democracy*
*according to Aristotle, the rule of many with their own interests (democracy) was
little better than mob rule
Political Questions:
What values do decisions serve?
Who makes the decisions?
How are those decisions enforced?
Power Authority
implies coercion
implies force
no need for force
ruler has legitimate right (consent)
societies are hard to maintain on just power converting power to authority is the goals
because authority is more stable/less costly
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State, Society, International Community
State = the highest authority in society, makes a society sovereign
State = government because state includes not just political but judicial,
bureaucratic, police, military and security organizations
State = civil society civil society is the link between state and the individual through
non-governmental institutions/interest groups (private)
politics can be argued to be in all human activity
“the personal is the political”
governance > government as boundaries can be drawn wider
Non-human relations can also be political:
eg. Animals Rights
1. animals experience enjoyment as well as pain and suffering
2. animals are innocent
3. good treatment of animals helps create culture where abuse if not normalised
(Jamieson 2002)
eg. Ecology and Environmentalism
Often there is confusion between politics as an arena and politics as a process.
“the distribution, exercise, and consequences of power” is the political aspect (Hayes
2002)
What Kind of Activity Qualifies as Political?
Politics = a way to resolve conflict without resorting to violence, coercion etc.
politics by “other means” (Carl von Clausewitz)
Political System = any persistent pattern of human relationship that involves control,
influence, power, authority (Dahl, 1991)
Different Analyses:
Normative
valuation
Empirical
proof
Semantic
examination
where/when/why should we
value something
identify observable
phenomena
what something is not what it
ought to be
meaning of concepts used
and where/when/why/how
they are used
put aside in the 20th century
but came back in the late
20th century
“value free” comparative
method
a mix of empirical and
normative
Positivism: based on the empirical and semantic methods. a philosophical system
that sees the scientific (“positive”) stage of evolution as the last of three stages.
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