Study Guide 1: The State and Identities This study guide is based on the discussions of Units 1 and 2 of the Course!! Excellent to study for an exam review and summarized the main concepts you should know for the the first midterm and exam!!!!! Very detai
SchoolUniversity of Waterloo
Course CodePSCI 110
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Discussion and Review #1: The State and Identities
1. Explain state, regime, and government. What are their characteristics?
State: The borders of political entity have to be defined and only 1 exclusive source military
power/ violence/ military authority. It’s the monopoly of violence over a given territory. Usually
a state has to be sovereign (ability to implement policies w/o interference). State is usually the
strongest. Function of a state is to design long-term objectives for a society, short-term policies,
and implement these policies. Primary function is implementation of policies planned by regime.
Regime: Fundamental set of values, norms, or objectives of how society should be run. They
protect these values through the Constitution as their norms are embodied in it.
Government: The leadership in charge of designing short-term policies for the country. These
policies should reflect long-term values of the regime, and the state implements these policies.
Government is easiest to overthrow.
You overthrow a regime through a revolution/ coo.
To overthrow the state, you lose territory and total chaos of law and order.
2. How did the state emerge? How did the state compete with other alternative
political organizations? How did the emergence of the state affect the formation of
Emergence: Time period before was the dark ages, and a lot of war due to absence of military
authority. Smaller political entities were absorbed by much bigger ones when the dark ages
ended. Much stronger and exclusive military power was added as a result.
Competition: A state provides more stability, protection, and security. In a monopoly of violence,
everyone else devotes time to wealth and economic growth, while other specialists devote their
time to protection. A state has a higher level of legitimacy/ credible commitment as a result. The
state is also better at innovation than non-states because they have stable institutions for
protection when you lose and when you make a big profit. Lastly, a state homogenized different
groups, by commonality of institutions (same language, educational system, etc) and ethnic
cleansing (remove groups who refuse to be assimilated). When a state is formed, you see a
national identity and advantageous in the long run as it has greater control.
3. What are ways to measure a state’s power?
Soft Power: If the state has self-power, then other people will recognize the state as best solution
and want to be more like them; therefore the state has legitimacy (soft-power).
Legitimacy = traditional, charismatic, and rational/legal (Most modern nations “expertise/rule of
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