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Political Studies
POLS 110
Kim Richard Nossal

1 POLS110B: Exam Review (April 2013): Week 1: Politics goes BEYOND the monadic definition - The monadic definition: focusing on one primary element as the most important for understanding a phenomenon o This is attractive bc of the comfort of a pithy definition like Lasswell’s (who gets what, when and how) AND it simplifies a complex phenomena o This is problematic because of the complexity and interconnectedness of politics Week 2: Politics IS about: - Political ideas - The community and its affairs: community rather than individual, public rather than private - Interests and their intersection o Values, preferences, priorities, wants, needs, etc (you articulate and pursue these interests) o They intersect bc you have interests that are congruent with each other, that conflict with each other and that are discrete because they exist in separate spheres and do not interact w each other - Power, influence, and authority o The process by which some have their interests reflected in outcome and some do not (Luke’s view on power) - Rules o The way in which communities are organized o Politics about rules as broadly defined as you can make them - Governance: choosing the rules - Interconnections o Multidimensional definition  analysis of interconnections o What we see around us is a reflection of particular sets if dominant interests Governance: - Making authoritative choices for and about the community - Ensuring that decisions are implemented by exercising power, influence and authority - Not simply about making decisions, it’s about following through Governance vs. Government: - Governance: the process of decision making, regulation, and enforcement - Government: the institutions established to undertake the process of governance (the state) - One does not necessarily need a govn’t to engage in governance o Stateless societies: have not invented a state, but have institutions of govnt 2 Week 3: Comparing Societies: Stateless Societies: Societies Governed By States: - No continuous organization - Continuously organized - No institutionalization - Highly institutionalized - No codification of rules - Rules codified - No monopoly on use of force - Monopoly on use of force - Classless society - Classes: division of labour - No separation of governors from - Separation of governors from governed governed Functions of the State: - Define the community o Who belongs, who doesn’t - Conduct relations with the other o Other political communities o Ensure that Other(s) will not be able to destroy/enslave/kill/raid/subordinate - Maintain internal order o Ambiguous maintenance of order to prevent chaos, maintenance of privilege/power, etc. o State = deeply conservative institution  patterns we see are reproduced into future, state is committed to this reproduction o Revolutions overturn existing order, but these revolutions establish a new order and quickly become conservative - Engage in economic redistribution (produce, labour, capita, goods, income, etc) - Establish and maintain community infrastructure (“public works”) The state and political authority: - No state can perform these functions by power alone - AUTHORITY IS CRUCIAL o Force is unpredictable, therefore it is costly o Other tools such as sanction and coercion require a lot of effort, therefore is also costly o The issue of an order=cheap and costless BUT there is the cost of rejection o When authority is challenged, has to be dealt with for fear that challenge will increase o State operates by virtue of issuing commands, the governed obeys commands Supreme political authority: - In antiquity, locus of supreme authority located in particular institution/individual 3 - Nswt (Egyptian word for supreme political authority, no one knows how it’s pronounced), oba, basileu, archon, imperator, pontifex maximus, consul - These terms are designed to locate within political communities those who wielded supreme political authority - In antiquity, idea of political authority not well articulated o TODAY, we have well-developed ideology of supreme political authority What is sovereignty? - Ability of state to do whatever it likes w/o pressure - Self-governing - Recognition of others’ ability to be supreme political authority - Control What sovereignty is NOT: - NOT simply ability to govern yourself and make decisions as opposed to being governed by others  THIS IS INDEPENDENCE - NOT the ability to mak decisions as one pleases  THIS IS AUTONOMY - Problem w independence/autonomy: all political communities want to be both independent and autonomous The federal European order: - What sustained the feudal order? - Religious – pope had ability to determine state of grace of the populations in Europe, pope had power to take away state of grace (immense power), if you died not in state of grace, you’d burn in hell, pope = huge capacities to bend local rulers to his will - Economic: subsistent economy reproduced, every worker tied to local estate - Military: ability of local rulers to defend themselvess - Cosmological: Europeans = ignorant understanding of world (called Dark Ages bc limited understanding); dominant view = authority derived legitimacy from God himself Collapse of feudalism: - Religious changes: challenges to authority of Roman Church  belief that it had become decadent/corrupt  needed to be resistant  needed reform  emergence of Protestants  leads to fundamental changes to how Pope could exercise authority - Economic changes: emergence of trade, transformation from feudal estate to cities  break ties that kept serfs in particular location - Military changes: Knights in armor immune to destruction until invention of crossbow - Cosmological/intellectual/ideational changes: Dark Ages ended w Renaissance (rebirth of Greek/Roman ideas about world)  rediscovery of Greek/Roman idea that origin of politics is in human behavior  Church actively sought to keep population/governors ignorance in order to derive their power  w/ expansion of printing press, monopoly of Churh was broken (collapse of structures) - Changes were interrelated and interacting to produce a radical shift in beliefs/practices  initially slow changes, eventually created what we call THE MODERN STATE 4 Week 4: Origins of “modern state:” - State hasn’t changed since it emerged in 1600s - Changes in political authority (reformation/counter-reformation) - Politics of Protestantism (sought different path to divine) - Wars of religion in 1500s and th00s o Domestic wars in 16 century btw Catholic and Protestants o International wars in 17 century over ideational/religious sets of beliefs - Who was to be dominant? Idea of sovereignty emerged The idea of sovereignty: - Jean Bodin’s notion of sovereignty: o Majesty (sovereignty) is supreme and legally unbound power over citizens and subject peoples o Proposing to create within each community someone who has no political relations with anyone outside his or her boundaries o HERE lies the beginning of an idea that took 3 generations to fully emerge The struggle for sovereignty: 30 Years War - Series of wars w little periods of peace btw 1618 and 1648 Sovereignty institutionalized: - Peace of Westphalia  institutionalized idea that rulers should be supreme in their own domain, excludes anyone but local rulers in exercising authority Sovereignty: a dominant idea: - Sovereignty as the organizing principle of world politics; involves the right to exercise supreme political authority in one’s territory; also involves RECOGNITION of that right - Intersubjective nature of sovereignty: a subjective thought about organizing politics is different to exercising authority in objective fashion o One does not have sovereignty unless it is recognized by others - E.g. Taiwan is an autonomous political community that LACKS sovereignty bc although they assert they are sovereign, other in intnl community recognize peoples republic of China in Beijing as legitimate sovereign of ALL of China - E.g. First Nations: claim to sovereignty on part of First Nations not recognized by vast majority of Canadians, rather sovereignty in Canada is about fed/prov state Theory vs. Reality: Theory of sovereignty: - Supreme political authority is indivisible - All ppl in that territory are obligated to obey that one supreme authority - All other sovereigns will recognize claim and respect it 5 Reality of sovereignty: - Not all claims are respected o E.g. contested territory (claimed by 2 diff sovereigns) o E.g. extraterritoriality (one sovereign seeks to have its political authority extend beyond its borders)  E.g. when US passed legislation that made it illegal to trade in products from enemy (Cuba)  walmart sold pajamas made in Cuba  Can govn’t put pressure on Walmart  Canada’s Bill C27, 1997  extraterritoriality legislation (if you’re a Canadian citizen, the authority of Canadian govn’t extends to you wherever you are in the world) o Exceptions: diplomats, ambassadors, etc. not subject to Can. sovereign’s laws o Everyone else  being in a particular spac means being subject to Canadian law and not that of another sovereign Dividing sovereignty: - Supreme political authority IS indeed divisable: - Governmental function  impossible bc of overlap problem (series of “authorities” such as education, health, etc. operating in same terriroty would be impossible - By territory  dividing country into smaller geographic units just creates separate sovereigns o You can create levels of govn’t(Can– ON – Frontenac County – Kingston) o Segmentation of state (National, provincial, municipal, school board) - To segment state is NOT necessarily to divide supreme political authority - Must also be DIVIDED Dividing sovereignty: federalism: - Federal system: state is both segmented and supreme political authority divided by area and power 6 Week 5: Note: Exam Question: Why does war so frequently accompany secession? Assumptions of federalism: 1) Each level autonomous: - i.e. must be immune from elimination (province of ON can be eliminated by federal govn’t if there is no federal system) 2) Boundaries of political community have to be inviolable - Cannot be changed unless by consent 3) Supreme political authority divided by both territory and function (“power”) - Explained above 4) Necessity of base line of equality - Federation only works when large bits can coexist with smaller places, works through institutional effort to achieve this e.g. Utah and Texas 5) Each level must be able to act directly on the citizen - Each lvl of govnt has to be able to tax citizens, impose laws, ensure that indiv within jurisdiction obey laws/regulations 6) Necessity of two sets of court - Federal court and provincial court - Judicial instit-both lvls of govnt go to have disputes w one another adjudicated 7) Necessity of a procedure for amending the constitution - Says constit needs to be really difficult to amend - UK  takes act of any parliament to change constit - US  need vote of 2/3rds of congress and majority votes in ¾ of states - Canada 7/50 rule: consent of parliament and legislatures of 2/3 of provinces, 7 provinces have to have at least 50% of Can population 8) Citizens must be allowed to express loyalty to more than one level of government - Assumption that citizens should not be prevented from being part of smaller unity in federation - E.g. political culture in Texas (can be said to have nationalism) - Federalism works best when citizens have fundamental ambiguity of political loyalty (not pushed into making choice btw national central community and diff communities that constitute federation) 9) Secession to be made difficult in theory, impossible in practice - Secession should never occur (withdrawal, leaving) - E.g. federal institution of Soviet Union – 1944- allowed republics of USSr to leave federation if they wished and form own independent state 7 o Written into constitution by Stalin o However, would find themselves with bullet in back of head o Technical ease, political impossibility - Canada  Quebec wants to leave and form own sovereign state - Dissolution – dismantle central govn’t, various bits go off an do own thing o Federation of West Indies (?) - Expulsion – some members of federation expel one of more other members - Secession – peaceful secessions: o Norway (from Sweden, 1905-33) o Tendency of secession to trigger war in federations o Confederate State of American (from the US, 1861) o Biafra (from Nigeria, 1967)  Upset w central govnt’s control of ppl  Central govnt declared war on Biafra – exceedingly brutal  Used famine to bend Biafrans back into federation  Brought by force back into federation o Bangladesh (from Pakistan, 1971)  Took eastern and western part of Pakistan and putting them together  Ppl in Bangladesh have one thing in common w those in Pakistan – both Muslim – ONLY similarity  Over 1950s and 60s – Pakitan continued exploitation of east Pakitan by west  Secessionist sentiment o Slovenia, Croatia (from Yugoslavia, 1991)  Pressures from dominant republic of Serbia  After wave of independence of many countries from Soviet Union, Slovenia and Croatia decided to secede from federation  Solvenian army declared war  Croatians fought extended war w serb dominated army  Leader of Serbia rejected NATO threat, NATO bombed o Chechnya (from Russia, 1991)  From the collapsing Soviet Union  Chechnya saw others becoming independent, want it  Response of Russian federation = brutal o Sometimes results in peaceful split, brutal results more common 10)The most important assumption: All players in the system must be committed to power-sharing - E.g case of Vietname: o Vietnam divided in half o They conceive themselves as single nation o Southern Vietnamese different culturally and politically from Northern Vietnamense o No willingness of all players (esp in capital of Hanoi) to share power 8 o Hanoi couldn’t stand having separate base in South - E.g. China: o Central ppls govnt in Beijing has no desire to share supreme political authority w anyone o Unitary sense of nation – China SHOULD be split into number of diff time zones, however ALL of China is on Beijing time The Attractions of Federation: - Allows for consensual merging of independent units (preserve sense of separateness) - Allows for protection of local traditions (maintain essence) o E.g. When British forces conquered New France and absorbed what became Quebec into Brtish territory, willingness on part of conquerers to allow Quebecers to maintain traditions (language, law, religion)  One reason why ON has separate school system - Allows for maintenance of separate local/regional/national identity after creation of new “national” identity o Federalism designed to be ambiguous, therefore attractive bc allows for continuation of identity that had been in existence prior to new national authority - Allows for governance to be more local and thus more sensitive to local conditions o Federal system provides more sensitive, localized way of governing o China = what happens when you DON’T share authority (Beijing tries to manage local conditions in all provinces, ability of local authorities to deal w own problems, localization in China (diff dialects) Week 6: Three “Rule Functions” of Politics: - Making the rules - Implementing the rules - Adjudicating (deciding on applicability) the rules Evolution of separating the functions and institutionalizing them into “branches”: - Rule making function legislative political function  legislature branch of govn’t - Rule implementation  executive  executive - Rule adjudication  judicial  judiciary Parliamentary systems: - Terminology of system remains rooted in 17 century - Our system has been shaped by foreign conquest, struggles against absolutist power, civil war 9 Foreign conquest: - Norman conquest 1066: o Eliminated Anglo Saxon approaches to politics/political authority (which was more democratic/Athenian than the one they put in place) o Normans introduced the essence of the feudal system that was dominant o Essence of feudal system – king/monarch owned everything and it was by virtue of king’s distribution of land to nobles that lay at heart of Brit politics o This created tension btw feudal crown and nobles Struggles against absolutism: - Magna Carta, 1215 o Nothing democratic about language, was all about nobility, reflected tension btw king and nobles - First Parliament summoned by Edward I o Not for decision making or public policy but to talk (Parle); means by which king was to secure approval of nobility - 1322 – limiting monarch’s rights to tax - Narrowing Royal Prerogative (14 and 1500s) - Struggle against powerful Tudor state in England - Case of Prohibitions (1607) – willingness of judicial system to deal with claims of crown - Case of Proclamations, 1611 Civil war: - English civil war, 1642-51 - Notion that king could not raise taxes w/o approval of Parliament - Charles I used Royal Prerogative to dissolve parliament in 1629 o Eleven years tyranny w no parliament, then short parliament, then long parliament (war: supporters of Parliament vs. supporters of Charles = roundheads vs. cavaliers)  execution of Charlies I (voted on by long parliament)  commonwealth  restoration of Charles II (1660) o This was the end of civil war, not end of state of war CONSEQUENCES: - Restoration of monarchy – fresh quarrels - Conflict btw Charles II and Parliament: o Religious conflict fear of Protestants that Catholics would return to throne and wipe away church of England - Conflict btw James II and Parliament: o English protestants could see possibility of return of Catholic monarch - Glorious Revolution, 1688: o Transformed political authority in England bc that process resulted in recognition of new crown of supremacy in Parliament 10 - Embedded in Bill of Rights, 1689(basis on which structures of governance are organized today  new sets of ideas about political authority and limits on power of monarch) - OUT OF GLORIOUS REVOLUTION COMES CONTEMPORARY VIEWS English/British Parliamentary system: - Origins of structure of contemporary parliamentary governance: o Privy Council (the Crown’s private council) o Emergence of practice of choosing advisors
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