POLI 100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Night-Watchman State, Liberal Democracy, Voting Age

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Published on 19 Nov 2012
Lecture 1 & 2 What is Politics?
o ANCIENT DEFINITION: The Art of Governing
o MODERN DEFINITION: The Science of Governing
o POST-MODERN DEFINITION: The construction of and resistance to power in society as a
Polis: the root of the world ‘politics’; means city-state
Plato’s “The Simile of the Cave”
o Cave analogy shows the need for a “philosopher king
Philosopher King = theoretical rulers
o Philosopher goes out of cave and sees Sun, and sees that world has truth
Return to cave and sees that fire is not real: projects shadows
o Best government is to find a future ruler a career they like better than government
Rich government in terms of the happiness of a right and rational life
Machiavelli’s “The Prince”
o Politics is about the power of the ruler to control fortune or fate
Analyzed politics for what it really is: A STRUGGLE FOR POWER
The virtu of the prince must overcome the fortuna of politics
o Only able to shape fortune; ex: river + dam
Wise prince should always try to shape, control, and foresee events and
have people to respect him; fear him but not hate him
Modern Age: Question & Challenge authority and tradition through science
o individuals are paramount (challenge authority)
o belief in science (challenge religion)
o development of the free market (challenge Feudalism)
o idea of progress/innovation (challenge tradition)
Thomas Hobbes:
o A liberal philosopher
o Leviathan (1651):
English Civil War
About social contract theory, starting with the individual
Social Contract: to ensure security, citizens agree to absolute monarch
The art of governing
The art of power
How politics ought to be, how to create
a good life
Analysis for what politics really is: a
struggle for power rather than what it
ought to be
Purpose of politics was to create justice
and a just state
Purpose of politics is to ensure the
power of the Prince and maintain order
Reason rules over ambition, pride,
desire, and passion
The foresight of the Prince must
overcome fate of politics
Best leaders are those who can see
reason and truth, not for their desires
Wise prince should always try to shape,
control, and foresee events and have
people respect him, not hate
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Behavioural Revolution:
o Empirical testing by statistically analyzing people’s opinions through polling
o Study politics through attitudes of individuals
o Behavioural Approach is rooted in scientific modes of investigation and analysis
Class Analysis (Marx & Weber)
o Social scientific analysis
o Politics is about class conflict; state represents dominant class
o Analyze economics and impact on politics
Elite Theory
o Study of politics through the dominant class (those who rule in self-interest, the ruled)
Pluralism: study of politics through groups; state acts as neutral mediator
Institutionalism (Legal Institutionalism): A.V. Dicey
o Dominant school of politics; approach to study of politics
Leads to Behavioural Revolution
o A social theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions
The way they interact and the effects of institutions on society
“Power to” vs. “Power over”
o Power to: the capacity to realize personal or collective goals; “being empowered
o Power over: focuses attention on inequalities in the distribution of power, as well as the
forces that hold regimes of inequality in place
Lecture 3: What is the State?
State: Apparatus of government, consisting of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of
government and all institutions to which they delegate power
Treaty of Westphalia (1645): end of the Holy Roman Empire & Imperialism
o Replace with territorial integrity, the basis of the modern state
o Create states
Social Contract:
o argument by Hobbes & Locke that individuals have the authority to establish a
Branches of State: Executive Legislative Judicial
Develop/enforce laws Pass Laws Interpret Laws
Levels of State: Coercive Socialisation/Education Administrative
Police, military, prisons Schools & universities Bureaucracy
Elitism: the dominant class’ view on politics
Pluralism: people with a common view come together to try to result in common good
Night Watchman State: “minimalist state”
o Government’s responsibilities is only limited to protecting individuals and defending
o State where free market is expanded through cutbacks in social spending, deregulation
of industry, and privatization of public services; individual freedom and responsibility
Welfare State: state where government programs and policies protect citizens from illness,
unemployment, and long-term disabilities; safety social net
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Liberal Democracy: The form of government prevalent in contemporary Western countries.
Governments are selected through regular elections in which all citizens of voting age eligible to
Liberal democracies are particularly concerned with protecting the freedom of individual citizens
against the arbitrary use of power by the state. Hence, some formal expression of the rights of
citizens can be found in the constitutional documents of liberal democracies
Lecture 4: The State: Power, Authority, and Sovereignty
Power: from “pouvoir” (to be able to)
o 1) Ability to do something
o 2) Ability to convince others to do something
o 3) Ability to force others to do something
Hobbes & Machiavelli
Locke, J.S. Mill
Karl Marx
Power of state (though
persuasion/coercion) is
necessary to maintain order in
an anarchic world
Power of state is dangerous;
- To be kept in check by rights of
citizen and constitution
Power of state is illusionary;
- Real power exists in economic
> representative of power
> oppressive capitalist system
Power is not a capacity to be held; should circulate like electricity
o A relationship, rather than a thing we hold onto
Like politics, power is everywhere
Noam Chomsky: Modern Marxist (power over)
Michel Foucault: Post-Modern (power through)
Power is held by economic/political
Power is coercive, repressive
Power over others
Power exists beyond state/institutions
Power isn’t held by circulates
Power is productive
o Authority to rule is given by the people
o Power without authrotiy does not run long; most democratic state run with power with
WEBER’S TYPOLOGY OF AUTHORITY (Politics as a Vocation, 1946)
- Rational legal authority: Rule by the virtue of holding office
- Traditional Authority: Rule by virtue of inherited right; authority organic
- Charismatic Authority: Rule based upon exceptional qualities of person
D.D. Raphael
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