PO110 Exam Review Final:
week 1: What is politics
- the science and art of government the science dealing with form organization and
administration of a state or part of one and with the regulation of its relations with other
- A process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally
applied to behavior within governments, politics is observed in all human (and many non-
human) group interactions
- Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the
- Man is by nature a political animal (pg 53)
- Politics is all around us pg 53
- ( man indeed only the men of ancient Greece ruling class) Aristotle's man as a
representation of all people and politics as an ever present force in all societies pg 53
Aristotle's typology of Regimes:
Rulers Government for the good of
All Citizens (Public Interest) The Rulers (Self- Interest
One Monarchy Tyranny
Few Aristocracy Oligarchy
Many Polity Democracy (for the people)
Methodology: - a body of methods rules and postulates employed by a discipline a particular procedures
or set of procedures
- the analysis of the principles of procedures of inquiry in a particular field
Different types of Methodology
i. Normative Political Analysis:
- is concerned largely, although not exclusively, with the discussion of ideals and values and
with the prescription of what should be done or avoided in the area of politics.
ii. Empirical Political Analysis:
- is concerned with the description and explanation of observable events, structures, or
patterns of behaviour.
- Focus on behavior of political actors (as opposed to institutions within which they
- commitment to uncovering patterns or regularities in political behavior to creating the
science of politics based on testable propositions
- claim of objectivity
Week 2: Power
Concepts Essentially Contested and otherwise:
- help us to describe understand and explain political phenomena
- help us to not simply interpret the world but to seek to change it
- Hinder us by closing off avenues of investigation.
- something conceived in the mind, through notion
- an abstract or generic idea generalized
Essentially Contested Concept: - A concept about which, despite some consensus as to its basic definition, there can be
widespread disagreement as to how best to identify or realize it in practice, disagreement that
“cannot be settled by appeal to empirical evidence, linguistic usage, or the canons of logic
- Everyone has an idea on how its run but everyone clashes with different opinions.
Walter Bryce Gallies Concerns:
Dogmatism: you only think your side is right
Relativism: means you believe that everyone is right depending on their life
Eclecticism: means that you combine all of the sides into a new one that has everyone's
- connotes the capacity to realize personal or collective goals or in today's parlance being
empowered pg 55
- focuses our attention on inequalities in the distribution of power as well the forces that
hold regimes of inequality in place.
- According to Thomas Hobbes, power was a person's “present means ... to obtain some
future apparent Good.”
● Hannah Arendt argued that power was “the human ability not just to act but to act in
3 faces of Power:
Face 1: The First face of Power: (ability to affect decisions)
- A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do Something that B would not
otherwise do. A>B A is the bully
Face 2: The Second Face of Power: ability to ensure that issues are not raised - Power is also exercised when A devotes his energies to creating or reinforcing social and
political values and institutional practices that limit the scope of the political process to public
consideration of only those issues which are comparatively innocuous to A
Power 3: The 3rd Power ( ability to affect the dominate ideas of society)
- A may exercise power over B by getting him to do what he does not want to do, but he
also exercises power over him by influencing, shaping or determining his very wants.
- Political power concentrated in the hands of a few.
- This few occupied strategic command posts of the social structure.
- This curtailed the democratic politics.
- Produced a passive citizenry.
- Elite theory has a long tradition on political theory and in the evaluation of political
science pg 64
- the few hold the power while the many do not. pg 64
- Can elites be identified as a group
- do elites an non elites differ in terms of policy prefrences
do elite interests regularly prevail
- Pluralist theory argues although the indidvual remained the key factor in democratic
politics the sheer size and complexity of modern society had long ago ruled out a democratic
politics revolving around the informed and active democratic citizen. pg 63
- groups become politically active around political issues that affect the interests and
values of their members
- stream of structural analyse which envision society as being divided into hierarchical
stra or ranks that have unequal access to power
- been the most prominent form of structure analysis in political science. pg 66 - bourgeoisie commercial and industrial capitalist
- proletariat workers
Week 3 Democracy
- Rule by many, characterized by leadership selection through elections,
constitutionalism, and the rule of law
Larry Diamond’s Components of Democracy:
- A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair
● The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
● Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
● A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
An Ideology is:
- Not Personal, not random
- Never static
- A gross simplification
- a mix of factual and moral belief about how things are/ought to be
- a perceptual screen
- always plagued by internal contradictions/tensions
- a Reasonably consistent system of political beliefs that spires to explain the world, to
justify certain power relationships, and to maintain or transform existing institutions
Left: Anarchism Communism socialism Reform liberalism Classical liberalism conservatism
Fascism :Right Anarchism:
- without rule seeks to eliminate the state witch it views as a key source of oppression
- socialist anarchism advocates the elimination of both the state and private property
- advocates a co operative or communal society based on what they see as the natural
principle of mutual assistance.
- a communist society everyone would be free to take from society what they need.
- production would be highly for the need for a coercive state diminish or disappear
because in Marxist perspective the need for a coercive state arises out of the need to use
coercion to maintain private property and the inequality that it entails.
- political ideology in reaction to the harshness of the early capitalist system
- socialists view human beings as basically social rather than self interested.
- they believe capitalist system not only for what they consider its exploitative nature but
also for its emphasis on competition
- inequality is viewed as largely the result of the power relations in society and the
economy rather than of the inherent differences in capabilities of individuals.
- social (collective rather than private ownership of the major mean of production so that
many of the decisions that affect the life of the community are no longer in the hands of the
owners of corporations.
- emphasizes the desirability of a high level of individual freedom based on a belief in the
inherent dignity and worth of each indidvual.
- liberals advocate the rule of law; that is government should act only in accordance with
established laws rather than in an arbitrary fashion and all persons should be equally subject to
- alought liberals see a need for government they are concerned that those in
government positions will abuse their power to pursue their own interests. - System of government in which citizens elect representatives in periodic elections.
- aggressive form of nationalism with a strong belief in the naturalness of inequality and
opposition to both liberal democracy and communism.
4 different functions:
- the first function of an ideology is to offer an explanation of why social political and
economic conditions are as they are particularly in time of crisis
- what causes unemployment? why are there wars?
- every ideology tries to answer these questions and to make sense of the complicated
world in which we live.
- everyone has a different opinion and how countries should be runned.
- ideologies offer a way of looking at complex events and conditions that tries to make
sense of them
- the second function of an ideology is to supply standard for evaluation social conditions
- there is a difference after all between explaining why certain things are happening and
deciding whether those things are good or bad.
- are all wars evils to be avoided or some morally justifiable?
- those who follow ideology may evaluate favorably something that the followers of a
different ideology greatly dislike
- for examp