POLI100 Chapter 5 notes.docx

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Political Science
POLI 100
Christopher Erickson

What is an Ideology •A set of ideas designed to … –describe the existing political order –present an ideal vision of what the political order should look like –prescribe a means to transform existing political order to what it should look like •Contains empirical, semantic, and normative elements Features of Ideology •Action oriented •Less rigorous than “proper” theory •Combine concepts •Both reflects and shapes the historical context within which it emerges Ideology is aimed at mass mobilization (simpler, like slogans) whilst Theory for political elites (high complexity) KEY IDEOLOGICAL APPROACHES 1.Liberalism: •Individualism as central theme •Originates with rise of capitalist political economies in the 17th & 18th centuries from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke 2.Classical Liberalism: •Emphasis on the individual and individual's liberty •The state has minimal role •Arose as response to the rigid social hierarchies of Feudalism -> Adam Smith •Emphasis on limiting the role of the state to providing –Internal and external security –Enforcement of property rights 3.New Liberalism: •Emphasis on social reform •State intervention could increase liberty by expanding individual opportunity Liberal Thought •Core meaning found in the concepts of liberty, tolerance, individualism, equality •Classical liberalism -> negative liberty •New liberalism -> positive liberty •Individuals are rational and self-interested •Communities are aggregates of individuals with competing interests •Equality = opportunity, not outcomes –New liberals try to offer this through free education and health care 4.Socialism •Karl Marx develops a “scientific” theory of the development of socialism •Two camps: –The “Third International” –Social democracy Means and Ends •Divisions within socialism differ in method and end goals. Them means is either – revolutionary – evolutionary A.Revolutionary Socialism •Revolutionaries are divided on the point of how it will happen –by popular uprising (Marx) –by way of a disciplined party (Lenin) *Leninism was the norm in the former USSR B.Evolutionary Socialism •Universal suffrage makes socialism possible through democratic means •State can be responsive to the interests of the working class •Influential outside of the USSR Socialism and the State •Marx: the state exists solely for the benefit of the ruling class "Eliminate classes and there is no role for the state" •Lenin: the state as “dictatorship of the proletariat” "The state remains in place to ensure the victory of the people over their enemies” Key Socialist Principle •Optimistic view of human nature •Human nature can be shaped by social, economic, and political circumstances •Equality of outcomes •
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