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Lecture notes jan 8-feb 5 midterm.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Political Science
Yasmine Shamsie

Lecture – January 8 Power, conflict and politics - There are limited resources – someone has to decide how to allocate resources and resolve conflicts o Government is at the heart of how we resolve conflict o No other institution in society can accomplish what the government does - Government allocates resources by: o Elections give citizens equal voice o Specialized activity of those individuals and institutions that make and enforce collective decisions that are binding on the community - Democratic government o Must manage conflict in a certain way o Equality o Elections ** Democratic governments always fall short of completely fair government …. Why? POWER: the ability of one actor (or group) to impose his will on others - Has many faces within countries - Barak actually has less power than harper o He has to argue with republicans - Harper has majority government – he has most chairs in house of commons, so he tells them what to vote for - Barak has more power globally ** - Difficult to see who has power - Different ways of exercising power o Coercion: others submit involuntarily because of use of force o Authority: others consent to your exercise of power, thus the exercise of power is legitimate o Influence: you sway the opinions/preferences of others i.e influence the way they think about an issue *One way of understanding the exercise of power is by studying the state Lecture – January 10 The central role of “the state” STATE: structure of rule over a geographical unit - State = the law, an institution, a sovereign entity, internally recognized entity, group of people, idea o State has a monopoly on use of force (coercion) o Countries are viewed geographically o State viewed as power authorities  A group of people wouldn’t matter without a structured rule - Function of the state o Human security o Political framework o Economic framework o Social framework - State of Mexico is sometimes considered a failed state o Struggling in security aspect o Drug cartels control certain aspects of daily life in certain areas - China 1960: great leap forward o Attempt to bring china to the 21 century o 2013 barely any police o Economic growth of 5.5-8% over a year o Able to provide higher standard of living for some o Not a liberal democracy - Government VS state o specialized activity of those individuals and institutions that make and enforce collective decisions in a state o Is both a set of activities and also collection of institutions that carry out these activities  In other words government carries out functions of the state Lecture – January 15 “Democratic Government” - Freedom house map of democracy o Rates each country on how democratic they are - Democracy = a set of ideals about how government should work, what the role of citizen is in political system AND a set of procedures and institutions guiding operation of government, participation of citizens - Democratic ideals o Free and fair elections o Equality o Freedom of speech (political freedom) o Rule by the people - Popular sovereignty o Sovereignty = supreme authority in a political community o Popular= people are source of all political power, have right to overrule other bodies o People are the source of political power - Political equality o “my participation/vote should not matter and more or any less than yours” o Each citizen has equal weight - Majority rule o If each vote is to be counted equally, the decision of the majority must be accepted o The alternative is “oligarchy” (rule by the few) - Political liberty o Negative freedom = freedom from government interference o Positive freedom = freedom to education, health care … provided by government - Minority rights o Ex catholic education is protected by government o Group rights – French people/Indians o Minority rights – individual and groups - Political competition o People must be able to choose their political representative and there must be more than one choice o Rule of law: idea that government autho
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