POLS 110 Study Guide - Final Guide: Parliamentary Sovereignty, Jean Bodin, Witenagemot

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
School
Queen's University
Department
Political Studies
Course
POLS 110
Politics Exam Notes
Governance
Governance: the process of decision-making, regulation and enforcement
Government: the institutions that human beings have creased to undertake the
process of governance, “the state”
Governance without government= revel groups
Stateless societies= no continuous organization, no institutionalization, no
codification of rules, no monopoly on use of force, no classes, no separation of
governors from governed
Functions of the state:
- Define community
- Conduct relations with the others
- Maintain internal order
- Socially and politically reproduce itself with each generation
- Engage in economic redistribution
- Establish and maintain community infrastructure
Supreme political authority: who is entitled to command and who is obligated to
obey
- Nwst (Egyptian)
- Basileus (Mycenean)
- Archon (Athenian)
- Imperator (Roman)
- Pontifex Maximum (Roman)
- Consul (Roman)
- Oba (West African)
- With the emergence of supreme political authority came sovereignty
- Idea of supreme authority not well articulated
Sovereignty
Sovereignty: the ability to make decisions independently
Sovereignty emerged in Europe (1576), grew out of the contradictions of the feudal
way or organizing political authority
Religious, economic, military and intellectual changes produce radical shift in beliefs
and practices.
Religious- clashes between pope and local authorities, no fear, Protestantism
Economic- rise of trade and urban areas
Military- new weapons, feudal fortresses no longer safe
Intellectual- “rebirth” of classical Roman and Greek ideas about the world
(Renaissance), authority is not divine, printing press
Jean Bodin- “Majesty is supreme and legally unbound power over citizens and
subject peoples”
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The Struggle for sovereignty started with the defenestration of Prague (May 1618)
to the Peace of Westphalia (October 1647).
Peace of Westphalia= 2 treaties
- Recognized sovereignty of princes in Holy Roman Empire
- Recognized sovereignty of Switzerland and United Provinces of the
Netherlands
- Institutionalized the idea that rules should be supreme in their own domain
Since 1648, sovereignty has become the organizing principle of world politics
- Right to exercise supreme political authority within one’s territory
- One does not have sovereignty unless it is recognized by others
Theory of Sovereignty
- Supreme political authority in a given territory is indivisible
- All people within that territory are obligated to obey that one supreme
political authority
- All other sovereigns will recognize the claim to sovereignty and respect it
Extraterritoriality: the assertion of one’s authority outside of one’s own territory
doesn’t work
Federalism
Dividing political authority: unitary, confederal and federal systems (variants on
relationships between a central government and other lower levels of government)
Assumptions of federalism:
- Necessary to have two sets of courts, one for national, the other for
constituent unites
- Necessary to have a procedure for amending the constitution
- Citizens must be allowed to express loyalty to more than one levels of
government
- Secession to be made difficult in theory, impossible in practice
- Most important assumption: all players in the system must be committed to
power sharing. Federalism cannot work unless there is a willingness to share
power.
Dissolution, expulsion, secession
- Federation can dissolve. You can expel a member of a federation.
- Dissolution: Federation of West Indies, USA, Czechoslovakia
- Expulsion: Singapore from Malaysia
- Secession: Norway from Sweden, Montenegro from State Union of Serbia
- WHY DOES WAR SO FREQUENTLY ACCOMPANY SECESSION?
Constitutional Problems with Federalism
- Division of power
- Special powers
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Document Summary

Governance: the process of decision-making, regulation and enforcement. Government: the institutions that human beings have creased to undertake the process of governance, the state . Stateless societies= no continuous organization, no institutionalization, no codification of rules, no monopoly on use of force, no classes, no separation of governors from governed. Socially and politically reproduce itself with each generation. Supreme political authority: who is entitled to command and who is obligated to obey. With the emergence of supreme political authority came sovereignty. Sovereignty emerged in europe (1576), grew out of the contradictions of the feudal way or organizing political authority. Religious, economic, military and intellectual changes produce radical shift in beliefs and practices. Religious- clashes between pope and local authorities, no fear, protestantism. Military- new weapons, feudal fortresses no longer safe. Intellectual- rebirth of classical roman and greek ideas about the world (renaissance), authority is not divine, printing press.

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