POLS110 Fall Exam Review
Normative vs. Empirical Theories:
• the normative approach to politics is purely philosophical. It is based off what society ought to
be. It seeks to answer the question of the 'good life'
• the empirical approach to politics applies the natural scientific approach to politics. This is also
referred to as the positive approach to politics. It is concerned with factual evidence; the way
things actually are.
• Politics needs both empirical and normative approaches in order to run efficiently. The
empirical thoughts are required in order to make decisions about resources allocation.
Normative approach must be used in order to make decisions when attempting to achieve
Different Theories of Freedom:
Berlin argues that there are only tow conceptions of freedom: positive and negative. The
positive conception of freedom is concerned with the question of “what, or who, is the source of
control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this or that.” Positive conception of
freedom points of the source of control. Since the positive conception of freedom is highly dependant
upon the people's ability to self-govern, Berlin was highly opposed to it. He argues negative freedom
distinguishes the area of control. His goal was to defend negative conceptions from the advocates of
MacCullum argues that there is one single conception of freedom. He identifies this using the
agent (x), the constraint (y), and the objective (z). His argument here is that the agent must be free
from the constraint to do or to be the objective.
Different Forms ofAuthority:
The traditional form of authority is derived from traditional customs and values. It is
legitimized by virtue of tradition. An example of this form of authority is monarchy.
The charismatic form of authority is derived from personality traits of the individual. This is
legitimized by the effectual attitudes. It is unstable, however, because the death or falling out of a
leader often leads to chaos. Examples of this authority includes totalitarian government or an
The legal-rational form of authority is derived from the status of an office, in a democracy or a
religious document. I is legitimate because it has been established to be legal, and is determined
rationally. This from of authority is exemplified in Koran and Islamic regimes.
Liberals Talk about Equality...?
The true meaning of liberalism rests in the themes of individualism, liberty, tolerance, and a
particular kind of equality. When liberals discuss equality, they are not referring to everyone deserving
equal distribution of resources and goods. Instead, they are referring to the equality of opportunity,
where individuals are rewarded for their efforts. This has been demonstrated in Canada by the
introduction of free education and universal health care.
Civil Society and Political Change:
Civil societies are the analysis of the structure of non-political groups such as families, religious
groups, economic relationships, etc. These groups are affected by political change, and political
change is in turn affected by civil societies. The structure of these groups have proven throughout
history to have power to become catalysts in politics.
Examples of these Changes: • in 1987, there were demonstrations held in Seoul to voice oppositions of the handing of power
from South Korea's President to his successor. It was because of these demonstrations that
democracy was reinstated.
• It was because of civil society that com