Full First Term Political Science Notes

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Politics, Power and Authority What is Politics? some examples include elections, demonstrations (9/11), policy decisions(government policy and health care), and law making Politics Matters Decisions that affect you Laws assign rights and duties Decisions are enforced Haiti and the Dominican Republic - same land mass Different environmental conditions Consequences of Political Decisions Both are poor countries but Haiti is far worse Politics is... Formal government activity Dishonestly seeking personal gain Noble pursuit of the public good - Nelson Mandela "Who gets What, When, and How?" Primates A biological order that includes humans, apes monkeys..... Humans are the most cruel "Who gets What, When and How" Chimpanzee Politics: Competitive, Power, Conflict Dominance strategies and Alliances Winners and losers Bonobo Politics: Peaceful, Gentle and Loving Erotic and Egalitarian Sensitive to others The Elements of Politics Social, Process, Conflict, Binding Decisions, Enforced Social activity, involving more than one person where something happens that is characterized by conflict with conflicting views and interests. In Politics decisions are binding on all of us and are subsequently enforced. Between Love and War Pure Conflict = War - war is a continuation of politics Pure Cooperation = True Love Politics = Conflict and cooperation Where is Politics? Family, Economy and the State International, National and within towns (municipals) Everywhere- problem solving Aspects of Politics Collective Action Conflict and Cooperation Authoritative Decisions Enforced against the disobedient According to the preferred definition of politics from the last lecture, politics... Is a way of dealing with conflict Government and the State What is Government? The activity of government or ruling Exercising authority over others Coordinating Collective Decisions Aristotle 384 - 322 BC Inventor of Politics Had two questions: Who rules? One, few, many... In whose interests? In the ruler's interests or for those who they govern? Aristotle's 6 Forms of Government- Tyranny/Monarchy - one Oligarchy/Aristocracy - few Democracy/Polity - many What is the State? Territorial Community Centralized Governing Authority Sovereignty, Including Monopoly of Legitimate Violence What is Power? The Ability to Produce Results Influencing Others' Behaviour Power can take several forms Forms of Power Coercion: Military, police... Influence: get people to go along with what they wouldn't usually do (vote for) Manipulation: shaping other peoples believes for their own interests without letting them know you're doing it Hard Power The Stick o Force and Coercion o Military and Police The Carrot o Economic Inducement o Bribes and Sanctions Soft Power Attraction Agenda-Setting Getting Others to want what you want Institutions, Values and Policies What is Authority? The right to command The right to punish those who disobey Legitimate power Is State Authority Justified? Hobbes's State of Nature September-11-08 12:18 PM The Road to War Equality - each of us is capable of killing Scarcity - Uncertainty - trust? Three Reasons to Attack Competition: Gain Lack of Trust: Safety - best defence is a good offence - attack first Glory: Reputation Is Hobbes too Pessimistic? "Read Thy Self" - what motivates you? What do we think of other people? Actions speak louder than words - what you do and what you say are two different things Evidence: Locking Doors and Chests - by what you do you show suspicion of others Morality in the State of Nature Naturally Right - the right and freedom that each of us have.... No Injustice - you need laws to break them Laws of Nature - rules of prudence and nature preservation "Reasons Suggesteth Convenient Articles of Peace" - reference to the laws of nature Laws of Nature Fundamental Law: Seek Peace, If You can get it Second Law: Lay down your natural right, if others do too Third Law: Perform Your Covenants (promise) All the laws of nature can be put in one law: Don't to things to others that you don't want done to you Individual and Collective Rationality It is Rational for Individuals to attack others Smart for one, dumb for all It is Rational for the Collective to Seek Peace Let's Break a deal Collectively rational outcome is unstable Individuals have an incentive to defect State Provides Assurance That Laws of Nature Will be followed The State of Nature Why do we need a state? Thought Experiment Life without the State and Political Power Fowl weather Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679) Most famous book was "Leviathan" (1651) - sea monster from the Bible Believed it is our nature not to live in states Life without state is war With no state, human nature generates a war of all against all Attack for gain, safety and reputation Themes: Fear - born in 1588 prematurely - said him and fear were born together (Spanish... Mom in early labour) War - the war against all Peace - philosopher of peace - to seek peace Claims: Worst possible scenario: no state protection A Powerful State is needed to avoid disastrous Interpersonal conflict Main Premises: Human Nature Which of the following is NOT a feature of Hobbes human beings? a. Predominant self interest b. Concern about reputation c. Avoidance of one's own death d. Fundamental in equality e. Power seeking
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