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Politics and Public Administration
POG 100
Joerg Wittenbrinck

Key Terms: Politics: can be defined as activity relating influencing, making, or implementing collective decisions for a political community. In the course we have discussed the political system in its basic form, which involves three different components. Inputs, which include demands, resources and support. Outputs, which include decisions, actions and policy. And finally, feedback, where these decisions and actions are put to work and are given feedback to adjust and strengthen them. Without these three steps a political system can not function successfully. This is one of the reasons why many dictatorships have failed. While they have both inputs and outputs, many dictators ignore feedback and therefore don’t reassess or strengthen any bills or laws that are passed. Power: is defined as the ability to achieve an objective by influencing the behavior of others. Its hard to measure and can change depending on the objective and scenario. One example of the way power works is the president of the United States. While he may be very powerful in decisions concerning the deployment of armed forces, he is less powerful in trying to persuade Congress concerning agricultural or housing policies. Political power can be exerted through several different ways such as coercion, inducements and persuasion. Common Good: can be defined as what is good for the entire political community. Examples include Canadians and public health care, which helps the entire community. Another example is defense and law enforcement, which provides security to citizens. Though many people have common goals as to what is good for the entire nation, sometimes the lines are blurred. An example of this is the United States during the American Civil War. Half of the nation (the North) was interested in abolishing slavery as it would help the nation socially. The other half (the South), believed that abolishing slavery would destroy a vital part of their economy. This made it hard to see what was truly good for the entire political community at the time; and many debates followed. Empirical/Normative analysis: empirical analysis involves explaining various aspects of politics, by using careful observation and comparison to develop generalizations and testable theories. An example of an empirical observation is: “Why are women less likely than men to run for Parliament?” A normative analysis involves evaluating existing policies and assessing possible alternatives to deal with particular problems. An example of normative analysis would be “Should the minimum job wage be raised?” Both are crucial to the political system because they allow policies to be made and made better through these two types of analysis. State: can be defined as an independent, self-governing political community whose governing institutions have the capability to make rules that are binding on the population residing within a particular territory. The state is often viewed as a more extensive and permanent expression and permanent expression of the political community than the government. The significance of the state can not be overstated as it is the basis for any civilization. The state embodies society and the way people carry out their lives. Without the state it would be impossible to develop any kind of political system. Failed states such as North Korea are examples of what can happen when a state is dysfunctional and oppressive. Sovereignty: the principle that states are the highest authority for their population and territory and are not subject to any external authority. An example of a true modern sovereign state is North Korea. The dictatorship in North Korea makes it so the entire state is confined within its borders making it so no one is subject to external authority. Kim-Jong Il used nuclear threats to keep the United Nations from making any decisions that would compromise the state. Another example of state sovereignty is during the Civil War. Because the South was opposed to many congressional laws, they put state rights over the union’s laws (especially concerning slavery). While many states have the highest authority for their population and territory, most are subject to external authority due to the United Nations. Imagined Community: is a concept coined by Benedict Anderson. He believes that a nation is a community socially constructed, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group. An imagined community is different from an actual community because it is not (and, for practical reasons, cannot be) based on everyday face-to-face interaction between its members. Instead, members hold in their minds a mental image of their affinity: for example, the nationhood felt with other members of your nation when your "imagined community" participates in a larger event such as the Olympic Games. Nationalism: may be defined as an ideology that holds that the world is divided into nations, that nations should be self-determining and that nations are, in fact, the best form to organize a political community around. Nationalists argue that the specific population that they speak for constitutes a nation. In this course, we have discussed Multinational state: is a sovereign state which is
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