PO 111 – Final Exam Study Guide
Terms to study for Sections A and B of the exam. If you understand the meaning
of these terms you will be able to answer both the short answers and the essay
Common good (power, authority, legitimacy, common good chapter)
What’s good for the whole political community
The best political system for achieving the common good is democracy (pluralist
system- variety of ideas and opinions are incorporated when deciding on political
Positive freedom strives for common good. Democracy is the best way. Rule by
the people, encourages representation of many values/interests. Favors equality.
Types of democracies: deliberative, plebiscitary, liberal, direct. When comparing
political cultures of US and Canada, Canada is much more respectful of law and
order & more differential of authority. More confident in state, more concerned
with common good, more accepting of diversity. Common good is the opposite of
individualism (everyone pays for their own shit).
Free rider problem (political influence + political protest chapter )
Might be a reason for people not to join an interest group- gain benefits anyways.
An individual that can enjoy the benefits of the successes of an interest group
whether or not that member is a financial supporter. Groups use incentives and
perks to lure members to join them. Having a handle on the free rider problem is
one of the many factors that can make an interest group successful along with
size of membership, money, ability to mobilize supporters, opposing groups, &
inside/outside strategies. Inside strategies- close strategies within government,
one on one persuasion behind closed doors. Outside strategies- invigorate
general publics interest and mobilize supporters. Can aid in social movements.
Free riders can pose a problem in trying to mobilize people to protest. (protests
are a moderate form of political protest which is going outside normal channels to
achieve a political goal). A way to reduce free riders is selective incentives:
benefits that are made available only to members of an interest group but not the
Political Legitimacy (power, authority, legitimacy, common good chapter)
Authority: the right to exercise power that is accepted by the governed as
legitimate. Legitimacy is key. Three types of authority: traditional, charismatic,
rational- legal. In rational legal, leader needs to win legitimacy through a fair
process; legitimacy is linked to leader’s performance and may be weakened by
corrupt behaviour. Legitimacy is what allows a state to enforce its order within a
jurisdiction. A failed state lacks legitimacy. In a democracy, is people don’t view
the rules as legit or fair they will likely not follow them. Norms are agreed upon
habitual behaviour that gains legitimacy over time. The laws of armed conflict
address the legitimate reasons for starting a war. International law- difficulty in
enforcing rules is often lacks legitimacy and authority. Political violence- political scientist Arendt argues that political violence was never legitimate, however it
could be justified in certain circumstances.
Achieving an objective by influencing the behavior of others, getting someone to
do something they would have not otherwise done. Often involves a relationship;
however there are constraints depending on the circumstances. Power is exerted
through coercion (threat of consequences), inducements (bribes/rewards), &
persuasion (strong argument). There is power through leadership (you have
power because you are a good leader and people listen to you i.e. Gandhi). The
third face of power is the power to shape something in society. You can feel
empowered by the government. Power resources are wealth, official position,
control over information, and the ability to mobilize supporters. Power can be
widely distributed or concentrated in a society. Democracy= widely distributed.
Authority is the right to exercise power.
Even in a democracy, not everything is completely fair and equal- there are still
issues because of power. Globalization (processes that are increasing the
interconnectedness of the world) erodes the state’s power. Equality of outcome is
an equal distribution of wealth, income, power, and other goods. Democracy
involves a peaceful way to change leadership (vote someone out of power
instead of protesting them out ie. Egypt) and favors equality (all citizens have
power to vote). In democracy leaders are voted into power. In the UN security
council, the 5 permanent members have the power to veto. World court can
come down with a judgment, but has no powers to make any difference. Powerful
states have a lot of influence on norms that are established in their time, i.e. the
Dutch in free ocean passage. Enforcement mechanisms if international law
reciprocity and collective action require national power behind them. Social
movements can challenge power distribution. Terrorism: Power often supports
violence in politics. We rarely see violence alone where there is no power being
exerted. According to Arendt, violence that is not supported by some form of
power (a social movement or group of people) will never accomplish a political
goal. Terrorists gain power by amplifying a psychological affect on a large amount
Traditional + Charismatic Authority
Authority: the right to exercise power that is accepted by the governed as
legitimate. Legitimacy is key. Traditional authority comes through heredity and
custom (royal family). Personal and incontestable. Charismatic authority- vested
in an individual’s personal qualities. Ie. Hitler, anyone who is able to mobilize and
gain followers. Sovereignty: states are the highest authority for their population
and territory and are not subject to any external authority. Non-intervention
protects the authority of the state. In global governance there is no international
central authority to ensure compliance with norms of conduct. Internet
Governance Forum has no authority to make decisions. Difference b/w Canada
and US: Canada is more differential about authority.
The principle that states are the highest authority for their population and territory
and are not subject to any external authority. 2 Dimensions: The state is the highest authority inside the territory & Sovereignty also means states are not
subject to the authority of outsiders. Sovereignty is a gov’t’s right to reign within
its borders. UN is the closest thing we have to a world gov’t. A principle of the UN
charter is to respect a state’s sovereignty. UN Charter’s definition of aggression
is the use of force (or imminent threat to use it) against territory or sovereignty.
Forced regime change is an act against sovereignty
A group of people who have a sense of common identity and who typically
believe they should be self-governing within their homeland. A nation has its own
self-governance. Every nation has a political culture, and often has more than
one political culture. Nations have their own national security which may be a
reason for political violence by governments.
Nation State: a sovereign state based on people living in a country who share a
sense of a particular nation. Although people are allowed to move across borders
more than ever before, the state still has the authority to decide who may and
may not cross borders – nation states still to have a lot of control (globalization).
The nation state has less revenue than it ever did, meaning that they can do less
with their money
Third face of power
The power to actually shape the dominant ideas in a society. * some would argue
this is the most powerful. Causes something to seem natural and not questioned.
Social norms that may advantage certain people and disadvantage others. First
Face: ability to affect decisions. Second Face: ability to ensure that issues are
not raised. Third Face: ability to affect dominant ideas of society.
Democratic government involves concern for equality and regular elections to
choose citizen representatives. The best political system for achieving the
common good is democracy (pluralist system- variety of ideas and opinions are
incorporated when deciding on political decisions) Rule by the people, Best way
to achieve common good, Not perfect, but best way, Encourages representation
of many values and interests, Accountability, Legitimacy.. people believe rules
are fair and legitimate and therefore will follow them, Peaceful way to change
leadership (vote someone out of power instead of protesting them out ie. Egypt),
Favors equality – the powerless have options. Types: direct, liberal, plebiscitary,
Direct democracies- a system in which citizens themselves make the governing
decisions. Small groups of men in Athens would vote on issues and decide for
the state. No one really uses this any more.
Liberal democracies- we do not take on every issue individually, our
representatives can make decisions because we voted them in to power;
Liberalism- prioritize rights of individual, limitations of government, believe in rule
of law and court system to settle disputes, protects individual rights
Plebiscitary- still has reps, but brings citizens into decision making process. Ie
referendum (Canada has had only 3 referendums), uses ‘the initiative’. Getting votes and signatures is how a bill is passed. Another mechanism used is the
recall- allows u to take someone out of office before the end of their term
Referendum- a vote by citizens on a political issue or a proposed law
Initiative- a procedure that gives citizens the right, by obtaining a sizeable
number of signatures on a petition, to have a proposition that they have drafted
put to a vote by the electorate for approval
Recall- a procedure that allows citizens to remove representatives from office. By
gaining a sufficient number of signatures on a petition, citizens can require that
their representative seek reelection before the office term is over
Deliberative democracy- citizens meet at local levels with their reps to discuss an
issue and decide on something. Notion that the more we discuss, the stronger or
democracy is. There needs to be high participation regularly with issues.
• Democracy gives us a process criteria for how, as a society, we decide
things. Who should be involved in decision-making? How do we make
decisions? (Rule of law, parties/minorities) What values decision-making
should serve more generally? Democracy is how we resolve disputes over
resources and values. Samuel Huntington- the Clash of Civilizations says
democracy has won, argues the big war topics will now be clashing
cultures and civilizations. Some argue that in a democracy there is no
place for political protest- people have their say during elections.
Democracy is very different in areas around the world (i.e. China).
Democracy and other beliefs add to a country’s political culture and
The activity of individuals and institutions that make and enforce collective
decisions. Gov’t is a conflict manager. institutions (ie parliament) that make the
decisions and oversee their implementation on behalf of the state. Also, people in
charge of the state and the people who exercise the authority of the state. The
gov’t is the who (the people) and the how (the activities) of the state. The gov’t is
relatively transient, while the state has a higher degree of permanence.
Seperated into federal, provincial, municipal. People are born free and they
choose to live in a community; which then causes them to give away some of
their freedom to the government to be part of a society. Government is there to
protect us and only restrict us if absolutely necessary – John Locke. It’s the
governments job to remove as many obstacles as possible for its citizens
(positive freedom). Liberalism places limitations on government and prioritizes
individual rights. Governance is the capacity of government to make and
implement policy… in other words to steer a society. Governments have the right
to determine how they will distribute wealth (procurement). Good governance
involves security (political stability and absence of violence), Economic
performance, Good social indicators, Political freedoms, Social mobility, Fiscal
transparency, Procurement, Integrity- rule of law, & Citizen engagement. UN
believes that a good way to alleviate poverty in third world countries is help
improve the countries’ governments first. There is no form of international
government to deal with international issues. US Government shut down due to
disagreements on Obamacare and inability to come to a consensus. The only ‘authority’ individual governments have to follow is the people that elected them.
People are better informed than ever. Positive correlation b/w education and
expectations of government. Governments are less effective. Problems are more
complex and globalized. There is a general distrust in government. Interest
groups try to influence government policy. Inside strategies develop close
contacts with government representatives. Neo- corporatism is when the
government actively engages with the various interest groups affected, in order
to build a consensus around the problem. Political protests try to change the
government policies. Sometimes governments use violence against their people.
Examples- National security to protect their citizens, to stop protests, Regime
violence- a tool to maintain order, unplanned, unintended, a spiral. Socialist
Model- government decided everything. For example, Soviet Union. Even though
there were problems, the Soviet Union did become a super power. Terrorists try
to demonstrate the weakness of governments or pressure governments.
State- independent structure of laws and institutions that rules are entrusted to
administer on behalf of the community. The state is broader than gov’t.
government acts on behalf of the state. State includes The federal provincial and
municipal governments the military and police forces, the various government
ministries, state owned corporations, courts, the Bank of Canada. An
independent, self governing political community whose governing institutions
have the ability to make rules that are binding on the population that resides
within a given territory. (p 27) An institution that claims the legitimate use of force
in enforcing its order within a given territorial area. The state is in charge of Law
and order/resolve conflicts, Security, Support to economic activity, Physical
infrastructure, Social infrastructure: health, education, etc, Environment. Failed
state. Failed state: a state that is unable to enforce laws, maintain order, protect
the lives of citizens, or provide basic services.
Nationalism: the idea that the nation-state is the best form of political community
and that a nation should have its own self-governing state
Ethnic Nationalism: Nationalism based on common ancestry along with the
cultural traditions and language associated with a particular ethnic group. Civic
Nationalism: Nationalism based on the shared political values and political history
of those who are citizens of a country. Negatives of nationalism: Can be divisive
and exclusive, encourages feelings of superiority & uniformity
Globalization: the processes that are increasing the interconnectedness of the
world. Some say globalization is eroding the state’s power? Cultural globalization
is music, movies, etc. Although people are allowed to move across borders more
than ever before, the state still has the authority to decide who may and may not
cross borders – nation states still to have a lot of control. As financial/economic
globalization flourishes, the companies have become much more picky as for
where to start a company (reduced corporate taxes are appealing). This results
in personal taxes being higher to allow corporate taxes to be lower. Globalization has cause the number of interest groups to increase because people are more
aware of world issues.
Equality of outcome / Equality of Opportunity
An equal distribution of wealth, income, power, and other goods. Taxation is
according to one’s wealth or income for example. Tries to reduce/ eliminate
differences in distribution of wealth, income, power, and other goods. A
mechanism used is higher income tax for those who are wealthier. Provision of
various services without costs helps to improve equality of outcome.
Equality of Opportunity: The equal chance for all persons to get ahead in life,
regardless of their backgrounds or characteristics. i.e. everyone has the same
opportunities to go to school. Getting in to university is based on marks rather
than wealth/ connections of your family.
Equal rights: the same legal/political rights for all persons. Democracy is
concerned about equality. UN Charter: State equality (192 judicially equal states).
Equality is a principle of Canadian political culture. The wealthier a country gets,
the more likely it is to adopt equality/equal rights.
The absence of physical and legal restraints on the actions of individuals.
Freedom FROM coercion. Think about being unshackled. When you have no
restraints at all, you are experiencing negative freedom. An anarchy would be the
purest form of negative freedom
Freedom to do something worth doing or enjoying. The state is there to provide
the means and the conditions for all people to make meaningful choices. It’s the
governments job to remove as many obstacles as possible for its citizens.
There needs to be a balance between freedom and order to prevent chaos.
-Freedom: The ability to act as one wants without interference, restraints, or
coercion. We have many restrictions, ie seatbelts, speed limits. People are born
free and they choose to live in a community; which then causes them to give
away some of their freedom to the government to be part of a society.
Government is there to protect us and only restrict us if absolutely necessary –
John Locke. Freedom of expression? Should hate speech be curtailed?
The view that humans seek to maximize pleasure and minimize pain and that
government should act to achieve the greatest happiness for the greatest
number. Critique of ^ -what if people end up overindulging, making poor choices,
engaging in undesirable behavior that could ultimately hurt the individual and the
society as a whole? Bentham responds to this critique saying humans are always
growing, maturing, making better and better decisions eventually after exploring
base desires (higher pleasure vs lower pleasure). The more freedom we have to
make good/bad choices, the more we develop. Raises question: how much trust
do we have in people?
Canadian culture- poutine, hockey, curling. Canadian political culture- equality,
environmental movements, protest. Political culture: the fundamental political values, beliefs, and orientations that are widely held within a political community.
History, population, and political experiences determine political cultures.
Countries often have more than one (in Canada: quebec, first nations, etc). Louis
Hartz (1964) Explains differences between US and European political cultures.
Europe: clash between liberal and conservative perspectives, and the rise of
socialism. Result in Western Europe being quite diverse. North America: liberal
element breaks off and sailed across ocean. Gad Horowitz (1966) explains the
Canada-US difference, if they are both examples of liberal breakaway elements.
CND: United Empire Loyalists, loyalty to British crown, exhibits liberal values and
accepts socialist ones as well. Canada and US have different political cultures.
History is key: founded differently. Revolution (against the British crown for the
US) vs counter revolution (Canada; embrace the British). Canada is much more
respectful of law