POLS1000 Midterm exam notes 5/12/12
Alienation – alienation, according to Marx, is the oppression of the working class by the
bourgeoisie by separating the produced good from the workers in a capitalist mode of
Authority – the legitimate right to exercise power to influence people into doing something that
they not have done. There are three types – traditional, charismatic and rational-bureaucratic.
Autonomy – self-direction. The freedom to think, choose and act without the influence of
another person or group.
Bourgeoisie – a term used in Marxist analysts which refers to the social class that controls the
means of production – the capitalist class
Bureaucracy – a group of non-elected officials within an institution whom implement the rules,
ideas and functions of their institution. Often refers to the government institution that carries out
the decisions of the legislative branch of government.
Civil Rights – citizenship rights that are necessary for the protection of an individual’s freedom.
They ensure a citizen’s right to participate in the civil and political life of the state. Examples are
the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly.
Civil society Organizations – non-profit associations of a wide variety of people that participate
in political activity in an effort to change the policies of governments and intergovernmental
Class Struggle – the constant disparity between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat caused by a
capitalist means of production. Class struggle is a key concept in Marxism. Eventually, Marx
believed that the prole will rise up against the bourgeoisie in a violent revolution.
Consent – the concept of having to have the people agree to be ruled before authority can be
exercised over them.
Democratic Deficit – the sense of distrust in politicians and political institutions experienced by
the people. It reduces public participation in politics due to the perceived inability of the
individual to influence public policy.
Direct Representation – the idea that individuals give consent to another individual who makes
decisions on their behalf. This is usually done by voting.
Elites – a small group of people who control a disproportionate amount of political power,
usually by being very wealthy. Elites are a central concept in competitive elitism, where they
are perceived to be the ones “making the decisions”.
Liberalism – a political ideology that stresses the freedom of individuals. In this sense,
liberalism allows citizens to do as they wish, without interference from others. A liberal
government’s main focus should be on ensuring the safety of the citizen. The government
should only work on matters in the public sphere. Legitimacy – the concept of ruling by moral, social or legal rightness.