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Poli Sci 101- Textbook Notes.docx

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University of Alberta
Political Science
POL S101
Satish Joshi

Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall Political Science 101 – Textbook Notes Green = definition Blue = people Purple = examples Red = IMPORTANT Headings for lists Chapter 1 pg 3 Chapter Objectives 1. Discuss the importance of politics 2. Define the concepts of power, authority and legitimacy 3. Discuss whether seeking the common good is a meaningful goal of political life 4. Explain the difference between the empirical and normative analyses of politics Basic Concepts - no universally accepted definitions for many concepts in politics, power and the common good o depends on your perspective Politics - politics o a feature of all organized human activity o political scientists view study of politics to include relationships involving power o poli sci focuses on decisions relating to governing of political community o "authoritative allocation of values for a society" (how good are distributed)  suggests that allocation tends to bind person in community o BOOK definition: activity related to influencing, making, or implementing collection decision for a political community Power pg 5 - Power: the ability to achieve an objective by influencing the behavior of others, particularly to get them to do what they would not have done otherwise o relationship between individuals and groups Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall - 3 Types of power 1. Coercion fear / threats 2. Inducement offer reward / bribe 3. Persuasion / Manipulation persuade them 4. (Leadership countries convince others to follow them) - does NOT mean one dominates the other - politics involves bargaining and negotiation o type of bargain reflects difference in power among parties to bargain - power can be exercised through control of the political agenda o the issues that are considered important and given priority in political deliberations - those who are able to shape the dominant ideas in society --> have long term effect on that society's politics o if dominant ideas oppose those of minority, causing weaker groups to act against their own true interests --> power exercised in indirect manner The 3 Faces of Power 1st face Ability to affect decisions 2nd face Ability to ensure that issues are not raised 3rd face Ability to affect the dominant ideas of society The distribution of power pg 9 - political power of different groups a product of their skill in mobilizing resources - political institutions set up to advantage / disadvantage certain groups The positive and Negatives Sides of Power pg 10 - Power thought of in terms of: Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall o people having power OVER groups o authority power to achieve goals o development - Free rider problem: A problem with voluntary collective action that results because an individual can enjoy the benefits of group action without contributing o ex. taxes? Authority and Legitimacy - Authority: the right to exercise power that is accepted by those being governed as legitimate - Legitimacy: acceptance by the members of a political community that those in positions of authority have the right to govern Establishing and maintaining legitimacy - Max Weber's 3 classifications of authority o charismatic authority leader has supernatural qualities o traditional authority o legal-rational authority  Weber thought the goal of governing = maintaining public order - legitimacy can be reduced if there is long term pattern of mistreatment by government - government authorities will have a higher level of legitimacy if their actions are perceived as being consistent with the general values of the political community - if system of governing established without consent of people (EVEN if democratic) = illegitimate The significance of legitimate authority: - effective government have.... o governing institutions having the power to force people to act in certain ways o ability to establish and maintain legitimacy - government that is not legitimate --> relies on coercion - government that is legitimate --> relies on authority > coercion Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall o all governments use coercion to some extent The Common Good pg 15 - common good: what is good for the entire political community - Rousseau and the "general will" o could be used to justify totalitarian system – total control of people's lives in pursuit of a collective goal could be proclaimed as being in the general interest of all - individualist perspective: o views humans as acting primarily with accordance with their own interests o Adam Smith  the common good in this example is personal interest (driving success of all society) Achieving the common good - in contemporary world, democracy is form most likely to actually pursue common good - pluralist system: o a political system in which a large number of groups representing a wide variety of interests are able to influence the decisions of government. Government tries to satisfy as many groups as possible and no group has a dominant influence on government. o What is political science? - political science: the systematic study of politics - 3 types of analysis 1. empirical analysis: analysis that involves explaining various aspects of politics, particularly by using careful observation and comparison to develop generalizations and testable theories a. goals: i. gather data to describe features ii. develop testable theories that will help explain workings of politics Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall 2. normative analysis: analysis that includes examining ideas about how the community should be governed and what values should be pursued through politics 3. Policy analysis: analysis that involved evaluating existing policies and assessing possible alternatives to deal with particular problems a. combination of empirical and normative analysis - Example for Analysis Types Empirical analysis Why are women less likely than men to run for Parliament? Normative analysis Should legislatures be a microcosm of society? Policy Analysis What is the best way of increasing the proportion of women in parliament? Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall Chapter 2 Chapter Objectives 1. Explain the difference between a nation and a state 2. Discuss the nature of the modern state 3. Explain the nature and significance of nationalism 4. Examine the meaning of citizenship a. 5. Outline the nature and significance of globalization The State pg 26 - State: an independent, self-governing political community whose governing institutions have the capability to make rules that are binding on the population residing within a particular territory o Weber's classification: "the monopoly of legitimate use of physical force within a given territory" o more extensive and permanent expression of the political community than government o ex. Canadian state includes Canadian government, and government of provinces, territories, military and police forces, employees of government, state owned corporations o provide for law, order, security and regulate business activity, foster economic development, etc. - Government: the set of institutions that makes decisions and oversees their implementation on behalf of the state for a particular period of time Sovereignty and the State - Sovereignty: Mehreen Nadeem Satish Joshi – 2nd Y Fall o sovereignty (of states) has 2 dimensions: 1. states claim to be highest authority for their population 2. are not subject to any external authority a. may make agreements, but can cancel them as they please o modern state:  viewed as developing in Europe  capitalist economic system helped develop modern state  Industrial revolution helped develop modern state o civil wars led to idea (Thomas Hobbes) that a single absolute power, with the means of coercion was needed to maintain order o the term sovereign referred to: a monarch with absolute authority  whether sovereignty in the hands of individual, Parliament or constitution – the modern state is viewed as sovereign Today's states  as of 2010, 192 states are members of the UN  failed states: a state that is unable to enforce laws, maintain order, protect the lives of citizens, or provide basic services  weaker countries find their sovereignty limited because of great disparities in power among states of world
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