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Chapter 1,3,4,5,9,10,12,17

Political Science 1020E Chapter Notes - Chapter 1,3,4,5,9,10,12,17: Charles Maurras, Channel One News, Publicaffairs


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Nig
Chapter
1,3,4,5,9,10,12,17

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Politics by Andrew Heywood, 4 th
edition
Chapter 1- What is Politics?
Defining Politics:
Aristotle defined politics as the “master science” because it is the activity through which human beings attempt to improve
their lives and create the Good Society
Politics in a broad sense is the activity through which people make, preserve and amend the general rules under which they
live (linked to conflict and cooperation)
Politics is better seen as the search for conflict resolution than the achievement of conflict resolution because not all conflicts
can be resolved
Politics is defined by two broad approaches:
o1. Politics as an arena- behaviour becomes political because of where it takes place (art of gov’t, public affairs)
o2. Politics as a process- political behaviour is behaviour that exhibits distinctive qualities and therefore can take
place in many social contexts (compromise, power)
Politics as the Art of Government:
Art of gov’t= the exercise of control within society through the making and enforcement of collective decisions
Polis= ‘city-state (for example Athens)
In this sense, politics may be seen as anything that concerns the polis or the state (ex. People in public office)
David Easton defines politics as “the authoritative allocation of values”
Anti-politics= disillusionment with formal or established political processes which is rooted in the view of politics as self-
serving and two faced
Politics as Public Affairs:
Aristotle- “man is by nature a political animal”
Politics is an ethical activity concerned with creating a just society
Politics is restricted to the activities of the public sphere
oPublic sphere= the state, private sphere= little platoons (Edmund Burke)
Politics can also be viewed within seemingly ‘private institutions like the workplace and even the home
Hannah Arendt: ‘politics is the most important form of human activity because it involves interaction amongst free and equal
citizens; thus giving meaning to lie and affirms the uniqueness of each individual (similar conclusions by Mill and Rousseau)
Liberals feel that public activity and politics is unwanted because it prevents people from acting as they choose
Politics as Compromise and Consensus:
Political solutions to problems imply consensus through peaceful debate
‘Politics is that solution that chooses conciliation rather than violence and coercion’- Crick
This view is based on liberal-rationalists who put great faith in the efficiency of debate
Politics as Power:
This view sees politics at work in all realms of social activity and every level of social interaction (families, friends, nations)
Politics can be seen as a struggle over scarce resources and power can be seen as the means through which this struggle is
conducted
Advocates of this view include Feminists and Marxists and portray politics quite negatively (politics as centered around
oppression)
Studying Politics:
A variety of approaches has been adopted in the study of politics as an academic discipline
The Philosophical Tradition:
Normative approach
Attempts to descried the ideal society through questions of what ‘ought’, ‘should’, or ‘must be brought about
The traditional approach= the analytical study of ideas and doctrines

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The Empirical Tradition:
Characterized by the attempt to offer an impartial account of political reality
‘Descriptive rather than the normative approach which is ‘prescriptive (seeks to analyze and explain)
Based on observation and experiment; derived from sense data and experience
Behaviouralism:
Positivism= the theory that social and all other forms of enquiry should adhere strictly to the methods of the natural sciences
Behaviouralism= the belief that social theories should be constructed only on the basis of observable behaviour, providing
quantifiable data for research
Rational-Choice Theory:
This approach is usually focused on the rationality and self-interest of the individual
Critics say it may rely too heavily on human rationality and ignore the fact that humans rarely possess a clear set of goals
New Institutionalism:
Revised the ideas of our understanding of what constitutes as an institution
Political institutions are now thought of as a se of rules which guide or constrain the behaviour of individual actors
These rules can be informal or formal and both are equally likely
Institutions are embedded in a particular normative and historic setting
Critical Approaches:
Includes feminism, critical theory (conflict theory), green politics, constructivism, post-structuralism, and post-colonialism
Constructivism= an approach to analysis that believes there is no objective social or political reality independent of our
understanding of it
Post-positivism= an approach to knowledge that questions the idea of an ‘objective reality
Two characteristics of critical approaches are: they seek to contest the political status quo by aligning with the interests of
marginalized groups, and they have tried to emphasize the role of consciousness shaping the political world
Concepts, Models and Theories:
Concepts= set of ideas surrounding a particular thing (ex. Equality)
Ideal type= a mental construct in which you attempt to draw meaning from a complex reality through the presentation of a
logical extreme
Model= comprise a range of ideas by representing something on a smaller scale (used to impose meaning on what would
otherwise be too disorganized and difficult to grasp)
Theory= a systematic explanation of a body of empirical data, usually presented as reliable knowledge
Paradigm= a related set of principles, doctrines, and theories that helps to structure the process of intellectual enquiry
Fig 1.5 on pg. 23 shows the levels of conceptual analysis
Politics in a Global Age:
Beyond the Domestic/International Divide:
Politics within the state is usually orderly because of the ability of the state to impose rules
Politics outside of the state is more anarchic because there is no authority in the international sphere
Politics takes place in many spheres: the national, the local, the regional and the worldwide
Chapter 3- Politics and the State
Defining the State:
The state is a political association that establishes sovereign jurisdiction within defined territorial borders, and exercises
authority through a set of permanent institutions
The state can be understood by four different perspectives: an idealist perspective, a functionalist perspective, an
organizational perspective and an international perspective
oIdealism= a view of politics that emphasizes the importance of morality and ideals
Idealist approach to the state defines 3 moments of social existence (the family, civil society and the state)

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Functionalist approach focuses on the central role of the state, which is to maintain social order
Organizational view defines 5 key features of the state: the state is sovereign, the state’s institutions are public, the state’s
decisions are biding because they are in the interest of the public, the state is an instrument of domination, and the state is a
territorial association
International approach deals with the state’s relation to other states and therefore it’s ability to provide protection against
external attack (state has 4 features in this sense: a defined territory, a permanent population, an effective government and the
capacity to enter into relations with other states)
The state emerged as a system with a centralized rule to subordinate all other institutions, especially the Church
People disagree upon the reason for the mergence for the state; some say it was for the ability to fight wars, some say it came
from the transfer from feudalism to capitalism, and others claim it to be how they combine ideological, economic, military
and political forms of power
Debating the State:
Rival Theories of the State-
There are various rival theories of the state that offer a different account of its origins, development and impact on society
1. The Pluralist State
Pluralism= a belief in diversity; or the belief that power in modern societies is widely and evenly distributed
The state should act as a referee for society
Discounts the state and state organizations, focuses on ‘government’ instead
The state is seen as neutral, meaning it will side with whichever option is best for all people (not always biased to one side or
the other and represents the common good)
Argue that the state arose out of an original contract or voluntary agreement to protect from awful conditions of the state of
nature
Citizens must enjoy some sort of protection from the state in the form of constitutional and representative government
The state as ‘the servant of society and not its master’
1a. The Neopluralist State
Neopluralism= a style of social theorizing that remains faithful to pluralist values while recognizing the need to revise/update
classical pluralism in light of other theories/trends
Neopluralists have come to accept that modern industrialized states are more complex and less responsive to popular
pressures
They have also accepted that the state can forge its own sectional interests
2. The Capitalist State (Marxist Tradition)
The state must be understood in conjunction with economic structure and is a tool of class oppression
Believes the state is part of a ‘superstructure that is conditioned by an economic ‘base’ (the base is the real foundation of
social life)
Two theories of the state:
o1. The state is dependent on society and manages the common affairs of the bourgeoisie
o2. The state appears to mediate between conflicting interests of the classes, and so maintains that the class system
does exist (enjoys only relative autonomy)
Both theories emphasize that there is unequal class power
Argue that the state could be used during the transition from capitalism to communism in the form of the ‘revolutionary
dictatorship of the proletariat
2a. The Neo-Marxist State
Neo-Marxism refers to the attempts to revise the classical ideas of Marx while remaining faithful to certain aspects of his
theories
Believes the state plays an important role in the process of bourgeoisie leadership and cultural control
Sees the state as the terrain on which the struggle amongst interests, groups and classes is conducted
The state is an entity that reflects the balance/struggle of power at any given time
3. The Leviathan State
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