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Chapter 12


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Political Science
Anna Esselment

POLITICS: POWER & AUTHORITY: Chapter 12 Macropolitics and Micropolitics  Power: the ability to carry out your will in spite of resistance  Micropolitics: the exercise of power in everyday life  Macropolitics: power over a large group, society  Politics: the process in which individuals and groups act to promote their interests, often in conflict with others; the institutionalized system by which a society distributes power, sets its agenda, and makes decisions)  Government: formal organization that has the legal and political authority to regulate the relationships among members within a society and between societies Power, Authority and Violence  Power is linked to leadership  Authority (Weber’s definition): Power that people accept as legitimate (i.e., legitimate domination)  The more legitimate the power, the more stable the government  Coercion: Power that we are forced to accept, but we do not consider just or legitimate; morally wrong Authority and Legitimate Violence  The State (Weber’s definition): the political entity that possesses a legitimate monopoly over the use of force within a given territory.  Marx’s definition: the State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie. The state exists only for the sake of private property, and to protect the interests of the elite  Revolution: armed resistance with the intention to over throw a government  People’s rejection of governments claim to rule over them, but also a rejection of its monopoly on violence Sources or Types of Authority  Weber identified three sources of authority 1. Traditional: based on custom  Most common source  Undermined by industrialization b/c people are exposed to new experiences 2. Rational-Legal: based on written rule  b/c bureaucracies are built are written rules, rational-legal authority also called bureaucratic authority  comes from the position an individual holds, not from the person who holds the position 3. Charismatic: based on personal qualities  Someone who people are drawn to b/c they believe that person has been touched by God or has been endowed by nature with exceptional qualities (Joan of Arc)  Charismatic leaders pose a threat to the established political system; inspire followers to disregard or over throw traditional and rational-legal authorities Authority as an Ideal Type  A leader can show a combination of characteristics  Pierre Elliot Trudeau combined charismatic authority and rational-legal authority  There are dangers of charismatic leader; not everyone supports his or her cause, and the are many who will openly oppose it Transfer of Authority  Orderly transfer of authority from one leader to another is critical for social stability  Africa is a remarkable example of the orderly transfer of authority  Charismatic authority has no rules of succession, making it less stable that other forms of authority  Charismatic authority is built around the individual, so the death of incapacitation of the leader can lead to a bitter struggle for succession  Charismatic leaders make arrangements for an orderly transition of power by appointing a successor  Second strategy is to build an organization which then develops a system of rules. Thus transforming itself into a rational-legal leadership  Routinization of charisma: refers to the transition of authority from Charismatic leader to rational-legal authority Types of Government  Types of government in hunting and gathering and agricultural societies 1. Monarchies: right to rule considered hereditary  City-states were the first type of government; each had its own monarchy ( king and queen)  Area between city-states was disputed, wars were waged for ownership, and the new city-state wielded power over and entire region  constitutional monarchies  absolute monarchies 2. Democracies: a political system in which people hold the ruling power, either directly or indirectly  Power to the people  Direct democracy: eligible voters meet together to discuss issues and make decisions  Representative democracy: votes elect representative to govern and make decisions on their behalf  Citizenship- the concept that birth and residence in a country imparts basic rights  Universal citizenship- everyone having the same basic rights by virtue of being born in (or immigrating to) a country  Social democracy  Market democracy 3. Oligarchies, Dictatorships and Totalitarianism  Dictatorship: power held by a single individual (or a military junta)  Oligarchy: power is held by a small group of individuals; the rule of the many by the few  Military Junta: power seized by military officers  In totalitarian systems there is almost total control of the people by the government The Canadian Political System  Canada’s system of government can be described as parliamentary democracy  Parliament is the supreme national lawmaking authority  Canada has a federal system of government; some areas are enforced are reserved for federal parliament and other powers are distributed among provincial and municipal governments  Provinces control: natural resources, most labour legislation and most criminal matters  Since 1990s there has been a downward trend in voter turnout  Unitary state: all power resides with the central government  Confederal union: provinces have the most power and the central government has little authority to enforce national decisions  Canada is between the two extremes The Parliamentary Structure 1. The Queen Canada an independent Federal state with the Queen still the head of state Queen has no power to make laws in Canada 2. The Senate An appointed body, is a minor player in law making 3. The Parliament Ultimate power to make law Cannot make laws in areas reserved for provinces Limited by the charter of rights and freedoms Most of lawmaking is done by prime minister’s office and the Cabinet Prime Minister has the exclusive power to open, postpone, and dissolve Parliament Prime Minister appoints Cabinet Only woman Prime Minister in Canada was Kim Campbell The Evolution of the Political System in Canada  John A Macdonald was Canada’s first prime minister `  His term ended in the Pacific scandal; accepted money from the promoters of the Pacific Coast Railway  By 1878 there were two political parties, Conservatives and Liberals  Canada in 1867 only had five provinces  Manitoba was added in 1870  BC added in 1871  Alberta and Saskatchewan did not enter Confederation until 1905  End of WWI came the emergence of the Progressive Movement  Changed its name to the Progressive Conservative Party  Another grassroo
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