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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 110
Jonathan W Rose

POLITICS EXAM NOTES POWER AND AUTHORITY - Power is the capacity to bring about outcomes; not necessarily negative - Power is a web of interaction, like a structure; if it breaks, it can be repaired, “only as strong as its weakest link” - There are different ways that power is sought and maintained o Dynamic manner – active ie. through war o Static manner – power that as thought of as a measure of politics (since we examine comparatively political actors based on their access and control of resources ie. natural, such as oil etc., or influence - Power is an operative concept, allowing for a sort of hierarchy of political actors/interests in political systems. The exercise of power involves the limiting or impairing of the recipient’s choice in some way – controlling their freedom of action. 3 Faces of Power 1. Decision-making power  government power seen through policy-making, legislation, and its implementation. o What does this look like? – A has power over B, because A has the ability to make decisions, do what it pleases 2. Non-decision making power  ability to set the agenda for discussion/debate, determining what issues receive priority in the policy process o ie. When a government is able to manipulate the connotations of an issue/put emphasis on certain components of the issue – in their own favour (ie. Liberals wouldn’t want to oppose something the Conservatives made out to be about job creation, for example recently the Con’s keeping Canada’s fighter jets active) 3. Ideological power  ability to influence people, and shape the way they think - Many sources of power, including: military, economic, ideological, patronage, knowledge- based, social, … o Power as thought control; creates wants/needs of how we should behave, similar to propaganda ie. Frosh week – creation of an attachment to an institution - Relational power – ability to get someone to do something they would not usually do. - Structural power – ability to change the environment (political, legal, social) within which other actors have to operate - Hard power – ability to provide incentives and punishments to others in order to achieve desired outcomes - Soft power – relies on less tangible factors: ideology, ideas, culture, media - Power vs. Influence – the ability to change other’s behaviour without exerting direct power over them ie. Persuasion; influence is used to procure power On what is power based? - Consent – on what basis we agree to concede to power - Coercion – can be harsh, or softer – ie. Hobson’s choice, “take it or leave it” only one option - Authority – an appeal to power – based on natural power, or endowed power (ie. by virtue of office) – can be based on attire/image, on expectations of behaviour Descriptive Characteristics of Power - Distribution: power to decide how power is shared - Scope: the reach of power/how far you can use it/its capacity - Domain: Certain powerful entities might not have domain or power over parts of another – jurisdiction of a kind. - Don’t need to use power to have it Forms of Authority 1. Traditional Authority – authority of actors whose legitimacy derives from power passed from generations. ie. Monarchal, hereditary; ie. the Dali Lama 2. Rational-Legal Authority – existence and respect of/for a set of accepted laws, norms, and rules; rules in bureaucracies based on rational decisions and transparency, evenly applied to all 3. Charismatic Authority – recognition of the right to rule derived from specific qualities of the person concerned; the ability to create a cult of personality ie. Stephen Hawking through sheer genius, Obama through charisma and oratory skills. De jure vs. de facto Authority - De jure – based on powers of an office ie. The Supreme Court Chief Justice, ie. The GG o Have authority because they hold office, and not because of personal qualities and expertise (ie. Stephen Hawking’s authority is based on the latter) - De facto – in law, it means “in practice or in actuality, but without being officially established” - Can have both de jure and de facto authority ie. An advisor with expertise appointed to the office through which he/she can enact policy decisions - Sometimes perceived power “trumps” de jure power; ie. More power associated than there is power in practice FINDING A COMMON VOCABULARY Different Kinds of Equality 1. Political Equality – refers to the right to participate in the political activities of society and to be treated evenly within it (regardless of human capacities, physical and mental, all people are deserving of equal consideration/treatment) 2. Social Equality – indicates the equal status given to anyone’s basic characteristics and needs as part of a larger social conglomerate 3. Economic Equality – the approximate equivalent distribution of benefits accrued from the exchange of goods and services; generally, parity of opportunity to all these public goods - ie. All humans would choose equality if they were unsure of the opportunities that would be extended to them in life – John Rawls - Equality of justice o Equal treatment in the eyes of the law (justice is blind) o Social justice: equitable distribution of goods within society vs. Economic justice: redistribution of economic resources from certain groups in society to others - Negative Liberty: the kind of liberty that we most commonly refer to (freedom from constraint, ie. “negative” meaning governments do not interfere - Positive Liberty: freedom do achieve one’s full potential (freedom from human desires and destructive emotions that prevent us from reaching our potential o This kind of liberty involves the state re-educating or redistributing in order for individuals to be free from bad economic situations or from their own harmful impulses - To exercise liberty, people must act within the constraints of the system; having liberty carries with it duties or responsibilities What is a Liberal Democracy?  Based on freedom and individual liberty, and on the principle that governance requires the assent of all citizens through participation in the electoral process, articulation of views, and direct or indirect representation in government institutions - Aristotle believed that “man, by nature, is a political animal”  politics inherent to us? - What is “political”? - What is the appropriate role of the state in public affairs? How are these limits imposed, and what are the appropriate boundaries to the state? State vs. Nation - A state is a recognized political unit, considered to be sovereign, with a defined territory and people and a central government responsible for administration - A nation is a group of persons who share an identity that is based on, but not limited to, shared ethnic, religious, cultural, or linguistic qualities - “Sovereignty” is recognition by other politics authorities that a government is legitimate and rightful for a political community - While governments change, the state remains constant Civil Society - That which is beyond the realm of the state/not an “apparatus” of the state; ie. the press, NGOs, church organizations - Actions and organizations of private citizens around shared interests, values, and goals - All civil society has a relationship with the state; CS in authoritarian regimes does not truly exist, since every aspect of society is state-controlled - Governments rely on expertise of private actors in many areas so policies can be designed and implemented more efficiently, and more be broadly accepted o There is a danger of having too much private interest/input, which could skew policy/regulation so it increases profitability, yet sacrifices other goods ie. public welfare o In high tech sectors, because of a knowledge gap/inequality, it is difficult for governments to design efficient policies without the help of the actors they are trying to regulate o The issue of expertise in policy-making is particularly important in developing countries, where governments are handicapped in their ability to negotiate with corporations, because in addition to their financial constraints, the governments are dominated by MNCs which are able to dominate investment regulation - Different states allow different levels of business and other interest groups into the policy- making process - Interest groups are groups in a political system that seek to either alter or maintain the approach of government without taking a formal role in elections or seeking an official capacity in government o Interest groups lobby, or apply direct pressure to branches of government o More influential in some countries than other, ie. are not given a substantial role in decision-making by leaders ie. in Japan o Critics say that interest groups are the voice of elite groups in society, since not all members of society have the means/capability to form organized groups to lobby o Pro of interest groups – provides another means/formal avenue for political participation, at a time when there are not enough Corporatism - Approach to governance that entails close cooperation and coordination among government, business, and labour in the expectation that such activity will bring more stability to politics; an alliance between business and government Post-Materialism – Are values changing? - A shift in what we want out of life - Ronald Inglehart o Scarcity hypothesis; greatest subjective value placed on things in short supply (this has changed since our parents’ generation) o Value ideals over material things ie. we have lived through/been socialized in a period of relative economic affluence, therefore we value things such as green space, happiness - Prevailing feeling in younger generation that no political parties respond or represent their beliefs on larger issues ie. globalization, livable cities, the environment - Therefore value orientations are approaches, not answers, to policy questions - On the verge of a transformation of the relationship between governments and citizens? As the former no longer speaks for my generation, governments are being rejected - There is a lack of articulation of views/issues of post-materialism that we are concerned with Political Culture – “set of attitudes, beliefs, and values that underpin any political system” - Political culture evolves over time; it is activated by and influences political activities - ie. in Canada there are contentious issues, but most issues of government policy do not cause a large popular outcry, because of the prevailing political culture which concedes to the legitimate role of the federal government in decision- and policy-making; 3 categories of political culture proposed in 1960s by political scientists Almond and Verba o Parochial political culture – citizens feel removed from the central decision-making process of the country, and in which they have little influence over these processes  Part of this is uninformed citizens, lack of interest, apathy o Subject political culture – citizens are subjected to the decisions of central government without much consultation, without much involvement in the decision-making process, and without much chance of influencing outcomes  Citizens may be informed but do not play an active role o Participant political culture – one in which citizens play an active role in the political process; they influence outcomes, they engage in constant, dynamic relationship with authorities - Political Culture a consequence of formative events ie. people are who they are based on what they have experienced o Important in shaping durable, lasting value orientations - Is political culture an effect or a cause? Which way is the causal arrow going? - Political culture in Canada is who we are not; ie. we are Canadian because we are not American – who we aren’t in relation to our southern neighbour - Mixture of normative goals and empirical beliefs; how you see the world o Normative – provides an ideal, empirical – provides a grounded perception of reality - Public opinion (unformed ideals?) is the aggregate of individual opinion; greater psychological orientations – consciousness of nationhood, affinity/collective desire to be party of a larger people Elements of Political Culture - 1. Knowledge, cognitive orientations of what we know (what we KNOW) o Empirical, cognitive knowledge is a precursor to political discussion - 2. Affective orientation – feelings/degree of attachment ie. are we proud to be Canadian? Political culture is about how closely we feel, and our knowledge about dominant political symbols (might be a subconscious attachment) (what we FEEL) - 3. Evaluative orientation – whether we respond positively or not; how we think about/our approach to/how we manipulate images (whether we LIKE it or not) - The growing post-materialist political culture is leading to a new style of citizen politics o Increasing detachment to traditional values ie. religion etc., new attachments to new issues, new political parties - Cohort = temporary; as you get older, you become more like your parents vs. generational argument = as you move through your life, your values move with you, they are durable Political Socialization - “Process whereby individuals act in a social manner; the creation of social and political authority and rules to regulate behaviour so as to permit operation of social units” - Process through which individuals are educated and assimilated into the political culture of a community o Formal education system, student organizations, peer groups, activism o Primary agent of socialization is the family o Belief systems and values are fundamentally influenced by the social/economic opportunities available to people o Geographic location and that region’s prevailing general/community values o Media – controls and shapes the flow of information received by citizens ie. especially in children’s formative years, the media shapes our views and attitudes  4 estate - in today’s society this is the media; in an ideal world it acts as a check on governmental power, “a watchdog to ensure that public authorities do not… abuse their power”  But what is the relationship between government and media? – can be owned/influenced by government, or dependent on government for info.  In order to exercise its function as a check on power, media must be independent from government control and information  Media don’t tell us WHAT to think, rather what to think ABOUT  Cultivate a view of reality; could be skewed ie. Detroit TV in Windsor o Demographics, history – different patterns of immigration, accounts for differences in demographics, which contribute to socialization - Canadian political culture and socialization o Gradual, from emergence as post-colonial dominion to gradual assertion of full sovereignty, to redistribution of power throughout provinces o Well established – ideals of negotiation and compromise, tendency to respect minority views Participation: Do Citizens Care? - Distinction between post-materialist vs. materialist values – differences in participation o Differences around the ends of what the “good life” is Why Participate? - Influence leaders – an opportunity to influence political direction ie. lobbying, etc. - Communicate citizen demands - Hold government accountable – transparency - Express dissent – assumption integral to politics that there is a link between the expression of people and the articulations by government; we have dissent because we want the state to be deliberative - Self-esteem and efficacy – political participation provides us with who we are (?), it is fundamental; gives us a sense of wellness in how we go about our lives (why?) o Internal efficacy – the belief that individuals can affect outcome – individual can have an affect on outcomes o External efficacy – the idea that governments are responsive to what we feel, say, think - Democracy demands continuous participation in, but also between, elections o Election day isn’t the substance of political participation; it is interaction with people and engagement in community; social capital – these people are more likely to have higher efficacy o Declining participation related to this social capital - Participation = product of manner in which we are socialized Direct Democracy – political system in which citizens are directly involved in the decision- making process ie. through referendum; but it is nearly impossible for every member of social to be a direct part of decision making all the time, therefore… Indirect Democracy – political system of representation in which citizens elect a delegate to act on their behalf (representative democracy) - Enumeration: process of determining number of individuals eligible to vote in a constituency - Gerrymandering: controversial method of grouping together, or dividing groups of voters in order to maximize or reduce their power - Condition of voter apathy – individuals don’t vote because they feel they don’t have an influence on outcome, or, conversely, that elections do not influence/affect them - Voter preference and tendency to vote highly determined by position in society, chosen profession, family background, education level – higher echelons more likely to vote - There is possible too much information thrown at voters, causing confusion, and leading to voter apathy Declining Voter Turnout - May be part of a larger “democratic deficit” - Many reasons why youth don’t vote o Feel disconnected from government; feel that the government does not represent their needs and relevant issues o Political parties do not reach out to youth, youth feel out of touch with parties o Youth feel that politics does not affect them; have not yet developed responsibilities that are the subject of political discourse o Lack of trust in candidates, wary of false promises, etc. LEGITIMACY - The belief of a political community that those who are in positions of power are rightfully there, capable of being there, justifiably there ie. Traditional legitimacy of English monarchs - Political legitimacy can depend on the capacity to deliver public goods and guarantee basic safety, freedoms, standards of living to society; a political authority which fails to do so loses legitimacy and therefore probable also office. - Linkages between power, authority, and legitimacy; political authority must exercise power in order to establish itself, but it must exercise this power in an acceptable, legitimate way. - Decisions can be disagreed with, but this shouldn’t challenge the believe in a government’s legitimacy to do whatever you disagree with o Example in Canada: is an unelected Senate legitimate? - Power and authority do not equate to legitimacy - David Beetham 1991 – power must be exercised according to established rules, which are justified by shared beliefs – by expression of consent by the governed Do Regimes Manufacture Legitimacy? - Exhortation – emphatically urging someone to do something; however saying something doesn’t equate to truth - Legitimacy and hegemony; legitimacy is used/manufactured by leaders to keep the public quiet; done through photo ops, media outreach, etc. – mass persuasion - also done to mobilize public (?) How do States make claims to legitimacy? 1. Early society: myths, narratives we share about who we are 2. Imperial society: manifest destiny; the conquering state, claims made through philosophy or religion, leaders argued it was natural 3. Modern society: mass persuasion; reasons are 1. Keep people quiet 2. Mobilize people (?) - Legitimacy is always contested - It has internal (norms, customs of individuals) and external (rules and laws ie. on public behaviour, that are imposed on us) dimensions  how does this relate to legitimacy (?) - Internal legitimacy is the “moral compass” of individuals What do we make of legitimacy? - Functional vs. Dysfunctional (?) - When do states lose legitimacy? o 1. Popular uprising ie. Philippines o 2. Elite crisis ie. Watergate  When the public loses faith in a certain set of elites in power at that time o 3. Economic crisis  Tension between capitalism and democracy – political equality where everyone has the same rights, but not everyone shares the same ability/freedom to follow some rights ie. freedom to realize full potential  Link between political inequality and economic inequality ie. the high number of poor people in prisons - Challenges to legitimacy occur when people feel dispossessed ie. Northern Ireland, or when there is lack of congruence between territory, political community, or government IDEOLOGIES - By examining the hierarchy of values within ideologies we can identify the differences between them - Bear some resemblance to religion; they are more or less coherent belief systems (based on assumptions and preconceptions), can be proved neither right nor wrong (yet often contain normative judgments and assumptions), and provide a basis for human action - Ideologies drive political action; can bring about conflict, progress, etc. o This is what distinguishes political ideology from political theory; ideologies are a call for action in the real world, rather than simply inquiries into the way the world is. - “A lens through which we see the world” o Can either clarify or blind o Is it the appropriate device through which to see? o When is it helpful vs. when does it hinder? - Ideology is a model; a good ideology should represent reality well - “road map” – debate over how to get from “here” to “there”, and where “there” really is - Elements of ideology o 1. Systemic – think of the state – larger system, answers bigger questions, can’t exist around just one issue; exists around a bundle of issues o 2. Normative, Programmatic – ends normative, means programmatic; ought to be able to understand the function of the state (normative) (?) and the identification and solution for problem (programmatic) o 3. Perspective – defines our social existence – how we’ve come to believe what we believe (?) ie. where we are born, if we immigrated, etc. (socialization) shapes us - Different ideologies can share beliefs in common problems ie. – inequality - feminism/socialism – but have different beliefs about how the problems should be solved - What gives rise to ideology? o 1. Socialization o 2. Perception of a Problem – models all emerge from different perceptions of problems - Argument that society has reached a point where there is no debate about “ends,” rather the acquisition of material wealth and development of a rights regime that protects us Liberal Thought - Assumes that progress is possible and likely in human affairs; roots in John Locke - Roots in feudalism, where individuals were not free to realize their own potential - For liberals, progress is the improvement of the human condition, materially, intellectually, or in terms of freedom - It rests, however, on a negative perception of human nature: that humans are selfish and need laws and rights to live together in harmony - Equality is central to liberalism; in the sense of liberty and rights, not wealth/social status o Equality of opportunity; the opportunity to exercise preferences (but not of equality of outcome) 2 Strands of Liberalism 1. Lockean/Classical – emphasizes the idea of negative liberty, which is the freedom from interference by others or by political authorities 2. Reform – Positive liberty (freedom to achieve one’s full potential) and an expanded role for state action (finds roots with Rousseau) - The individual is sacred in both strands, therefore the government is only seen as legitimate if it carries out its functions with the consent of the governed. - Rousseau came up with the general will, or the idea that to achieve harmony rules are established based on the general will of the community as a whole and what is best for them. o To free ourselves from particular will, people must be educated to overcome their nd selfish desires, to free themselves from their passions (positive liberty) – 2 Strand Socialism - Each diverse branch of socialism shares a concern for human community and society and order over concerns about the individual and his or her rights - “from each according to their capabilities, to each according to their needs” (attempt to provide needs, rather than just the opportunity for people to satisfy their needs) - Reform (conversely, revolutionary) socialism contributed to the creation of the modern welfare state/mixed economy - The perceived problem is inequality, which emerged after the industrial revolution Nationalism - “political form of a fundamental impulse in human nature: the need to belong” - Seeks the separation of one society from others, seeks to create and protect the political institutions and mechanisms needed to ensure the prosperity of that nation, its values, traditions and culture Conservatism - Social stability valued higher over change; Law and order over concepts such as freedom and equality - Smooth and effective functioning of society depends on individuals fulfilling their own functions, however part of a greater whole of society; individuals, converse to liberalism, are understood in relation to their place in society as a whole; therefore hierarchal o Notion of classes is legitimized in traditional conservative thought - Organic (natural development, functioning smoothly and effectively, naturally community, traditional knowledge, not quick to change; problem was rise of industrialization and increasing change, led to anti-change sentiments Marxism - Class inequality eliminated = all equality eliminated; economic system (capitalism) that created haves/have no
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