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Chapter 12

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Wilfrid Laurier University

Thishoban Srinathan Sociology Notes Chapter 12 March 26, 2014 Politics, Power and Authority Learning Objectives 1. How are authority and coercion related to power? 2. What are the main characteristics of the Canadian political system? 3. What political parties are there at present in the House of Commons? 4. What is at the root of the political strife in Quebec politics? 5. How are war and terrorism related to politics, and what are their costs? 6. Is humanity headed toward a one-world political order? Micro politics and Macro politics Micro politics: The exercise and use of power in everyday life Macro politics: The use of large scale power of large groups of people Politics: It is an institutionalized system by which a system decides to distribute its powers, set it's agenda and make decisions -The government' is the main or principle political system -Politics is also the process in which individuals groups act to fight for the rights and interest they have (often these interests conflict with each other) Power and Authority Government: A formal organization which has both political and legal authority to regular/control actions of the individuals in a society as well as the relationship between various societies -the system of politicians, laws, and public officials that define and control the country that you live in Definitions of the State: Max Weber - Believes the political entity has the ability/right (legitimate monopoly) to use violence and force within a given territory -state/government has exclusive right to use force and violence and anyone else that uses force or violence will be punished Karl Marx: Needs a committee for managing the affairs of bourgeoise (own means of production) Ruling class -used by the elite to protect their interests and maintain their privileges and power (the powerful can look out for themselves) Resistance and Revolution The collapse of Authority: The more the state power is seen to be legitimate the more stable a government becomes - State oppression may sometimes lead to a resistance oppression: Long un fair treatment Revolution: Armed resistance with the goal of overthrowing the government Weber on Main Source of Power: (Three main sources of Power) Power: The ability of persons or groups to carry out and do what they want even when opposed by others - carry out will even in spite of resistance, (rough, crude power), illegitimate Authority: Power that individuals consider as legitimate and just -legitimate domination and the power is institutionalized and considered morally and legally justified (ex. police officers) Coercion: Power that individuals are forced to accept -morally wrong, and not just or legitimate Weber's Types of Legitimate Authority Traditional Authority: Based on custom and traditions (monarchs and emperors) Rational Legal Authority (bureaucratic): is based on written rule on the rule of law (elected officials) Charismatic Authority: is based on personal qualities ( cult leaders) -"gift of grace" (when the leader proclaims his authority comes from a higher power such as god or natural powers) The transfer of Authority -Societies require orderly transfer of power from one leader to the next to ensure/maintain social stability -Under rational legal authroity we don't know we the next leader will be but do know how they will be selected -This is less common in situations where charismatic authority is the primary type Thishoban Srinathan Sociology Notes Chapter 12 March 26, 2014 Politics, Power and Authority Routinization of Charisma: By routinization, the charismatic authority changes: [C]harismatic authority is succeeded by a bureaucracy controlled by a rationally established authority or by a combination of traditional and bureaucratic authority Authority as Ideal Type: Those classification of authority repersent ideal types -most leaders have a comination of all three Global Political Systems or Types of Government:  Hunting & gathering (no political institutions)  Agrarian societies (due to surpluses some people acquired more power)  City states (Roman and Persian Empires)  Nation-states (what we have today) City States: Was the first type of government and each had its own monarchy Monarchy: The right to rule is hereditary Constitutional monarchy: (mainly symbolic & ceremonial functions) Absolute monarchy: God given right to rule - This began the modern notion of the state The Seizure of Power: Oligarchies and Dictatorship Oligarchies: Power is held by a small group of individuals ( The rule of many by a few) -Military Junta: power seized by military officers Dictatorship: Power held by a single individual Totalitarian systems are when the people are almost totally controlled by the government Democracies: Citizenship as a revolutionary Idea Democracy: Represents power to the people (political system where people hold the power either directly or indirectly) -A revolutionary idea as the government is responsible to the people not the other way around Direct Democracy: citizens meet, express opinions and vote publically (most effective for small population) Representative Democracy: Elected officials instead meet, voice opinions (more effect to deal with large populations) Citizenship: People retain basic rights by virtue of birth and residence  seems natural to us, but is a social construct  until 1946 all Canadians were British citizens/subjects Social Democracy vs. Market Democracy Social Democracy: Advocates a regulated market (MAJOR EMPHASIS ON EQUALITY) -the use of public funds not only for infrastructure, roads, military, police, but for social services -aims to create level playing field and reduce social/economic inequalities Market Democracy (laissez-faire liberalism): limited government intervention, instead led the market be lead by the invisible hand (supply and demand) -MAJOR EMPHASIS ON FREEDOM -favours private ownership: education, transportation, health care, etc The Canadian Political System - Canada is a federal state and a parliamentary democracy - Independent Federal state with the Queen as the head of state -Parliament is the supreme law making authority - Canadian elected their politicians through a vote  Legal jurisdiction or real powers of enforcement are reserved for the federal parliament  Other residual powers are distributed among provincial and municipal governments What is the Parliamentary System/Structure in Canada (Three levels) Thishoban Srinathan Sociology Notes Chapter 12 March 26, 2014 Politics, Power and Authority The Queen: Can't make laws The Senate: limited lawmaking power The parliament: ultimate lawmaking power -Parliament can't make laws in areas that are reserved for the provinces - The prime minister’s office (PMO) and the Cabinet have the real power because they convene Parliament The evolution of the Political Party in Canada Historically there were two parties: Liberals and Conservatives -Changed from two party to multiple party system After World War 1 More parties began to emerge:  Examples:  Progressive Conservative Party  New Democratic Party  Green Party  Party Quebecois  Coalition Avenir Quebec Structure of Canadian Bureaucracy -Government employee's = 40% total labour force and since 1990's voter turnout
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