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Political Science 1020E- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 22 pages long!)


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones
Study Guide
Midterm

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Western
Political Science 1020E
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Intro to Political Science
September 7th 2017
The world is getting better!
"- Improved health (decline of ebola, guide worm, polio, malaria, child mortality)!
"- Global poverty (37% in 1990 to 10% in 2015)!
"- Increased in literacy !
"- Reduced war deaths!
Continuing challenges:!
"- Climate change!
"- Global poverty (10% of humanity) !
"- Refugees, terrorism, war (including the chance of extinguishing all human life) !
Our Goal: To think - critically, systematically, in a factually informed way - about our socially
and political world !
Syria and Denmark!
Syrian civil war (2011- Present): over 465,000 killed, breakdown of social order; 5 million
refugees!
Denmark: Well-governed, peaceful, happy, excellent health and education!
Why are they so dierent?
Politics makes a dierence!
-It is not intelligence, propensity to violence or even geography that explains the dierences
between Denmark and Syria !
-It is the state, the rule of law, and the accountable government!
-Politics is a bout collective choices we make to reduce conflict and promote cooperation!
Three types of question: !
-Descriptive: how things are (i.e. who has power, who gets to make the rules)!
-Explanatory: Why things are this way (i.e. Why are there so many refugees?)!
-Normative: How things should be (i.e. Who should decide the distribution of goods?)!
Two central questions to politics: !
1. Who gets what!
2. Says who? !
Two main themes: !
1. Political ideas!
2. Political ideologies!
Five big ideas (lectures 2-14): !
1. The state!
2. Political authority!
3. Democracy !
4. Liberty (Freedom) !
5. Distributive justice !
Political ideologies (lectures 15-25):!
-How do I fit into the world? !
-How does the world work? !
-What should be done?
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Introduction to Political Science!September 12th 2017
The Decline of Violence
Steven Pinker’s thesis: Our era is less violent than any era in human history "
-More democracies = fewer wars "
-Your chance of dying by violence in prehistoric societies is 15%"
-By 20th century your chance of dying by violence is 3%"
- The creation of states and increase of commerce has decreased violence"
Humanitarian Revolution (i.e. Gay & Women’s Rights) - Increases awareness of improper
treatment"
Noam Chomsky: "
1. States generate large-scale violence (usually to their own) "
2. Moral progress alongside potential nuclear annihilation"
What is Politics?"
Examples"
-Elections —> Decision making power, changes in governance "
-Demonstrations —> protesting, marches"
-Policy Decisions —> Coal mining, solar power, health, education, etc. "
-Law Making —> Legislation, making the rules (i.e. taxes, spending, infrastructure, etc.) "
Why does politics matter?
-Decisions that aect you"
-Laws assign rights and duties"
-Decisions are enforced"
Institutions Matter
Dominican Republic vs. Haiti"
-Dierent environmental conditions are mainly the consequence of political decisions "
-This is why Dominican Republic is better off"
-Other examples include: North vs. South Korea, Nogales (Arizona vs. Sonora)"
-Property rights, enforcement of contracts, distribution of power, constraints on power"
Some Meanings of ‘Politics’
-Formal gov’t activity (i.e. introducing laws)"
-Dishonestly seeking personal gain"
-Noble pursuit of the public good"
-‘Who gets what, when, and how?’"
Primates"
-A biological order that includes human, apes, and monkeys… "
-Who is the cruelest primate? —> Humans "
-Chimpanzee Politics: "
-Their interactions are based on competition, power, (the threat of) conflict"
-Dominance strategies and alliances"
-There are clear winners and losers"
-Male power politics —> intergroup warfare, very aggressive and territorial "
-Bonobo Politics:"
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