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Chapter 1

POLS1000 Chapter 1, 2 Notes.docx

15 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Bruce Smardon

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Chapter 1: Understanding Politics 10/8/2013 4:00:00 PM Politics  Activity related to influencing, making or implementing collective decisions for a political community  Negative View o Involve the selfish pursuit of one’s own interest, without concern of people and community o People distrust government, inefficient, corrupted o Laws and policy’s favor the dominant groups, lead to neglect of weak o Abuse power and authority  Positive View o Engage in political activity to advancing common good of political community o Eg. Establish peace and security , fair justice, health care Power  The ability to achieve an objective by influencing the behavior of others, particularly to get them to do what they would not have otherwise done  Exerted in different ways o Coercion  Using fear, threats to achieve an outcome  Eg. Nazi threat to invade Czech, successful allow them to control part of territory, employer threaten to fire you unless you do a specific task o Inducement  Achieving and outcome by offering reward/bribe  Eg. Employer promise you promotion if you support a particular candidate o Persuasion  Persuade other to think and act in a particular way  Using truthful information to encourage people or misleading information to manipulate them o Leadership  Eg. Country that is successful in providing wealth to its people may convince other to do so  Does not necessary mean one person controls others  Three Faces of Power o 1. Ability to affect decision  Rich countries have chance of negotiating in International Trade Agreement than poor countries o 2. Ability to ensure issue are not raised  Eg. Polluting factories avoid political leaders  Exercise through control of political agenda  The issues that are considered important and giving priority in discussion o 3.Ability to affect the dominant ideas of society  if those idea work against the interest of weaker groups, then power is exerted in a wrong manner  eg. Society which women confined themselves  power has been used through the dominant idea that favor men  The distribution of power o Distributed unequally in society  Eg, wealth, connections, social status   Positive and Negative Side of Power o Positive  Can be viewed as the power to achieve worthwhile goals  Necessary to bring people to co-operate with each other and benefit themselves + community  Eg. Economy, security, environment o Negative  Association with domination  Top Political leaders who used power for their own benefit, not for the good of the society  Powerful position can lead to arrogance Authority and Legitimacy  Authority o The right to exercise power that is accepted by those being governed as legitimate o Those with political authority claim they have been authorized to govern  Legitimacy o Acceptance by the members of a political community that those in position of authority have the right to govern  Establishing and Maintaining Legitimacy o Three basic type of authority  Charismatic Authority  Based on the personal qualities of the leader that makes him/ her extraordinary or supernatural  Eg. Performing miracles, issuing prophecies, battle victories  Eg. Mao Zedong  Traditional Authority  Based on customs that establish the rights of certain persons to rule  Eg. Monarchs  Beliefs that a certain family has a right to ruled and customs are sacred practices  Legal-Rational Authority  Based on legal rules and procedures rather than one’s characteristics  Authority is rested on official positions eg. President  Expected to act accordingly with legal rules and procedures -> limited authority o Holding free and fair elections -> most effective way of establishing legitimacy o Legitimacy reduce, illegitimate  Ineffective government -> citizen questions the legitimacy  Eg. Poverty, poor economy  Reduce, long term patterns of mistreatment by the gov  High level of legit -> actions seen as consistence with the general values  a system of government imposed on a country without consent  eg. Democracy establish in Germany WW1  conquered people often do not accept the legitimacy of foreign rule o o The Significance of Legitimate Authority  Gov whose rule is consider legitimate can rely more on authority to get people obey the law  Gives powerful resources to achieve its goal  Allow gov to act as good of the community as a whole  Questions may arise: should I fight in the war? Common Good  What is good for the entire political community  Philosophers o Aristotle  Governing ideally -> working toward achieving a good society which citizens virtuous life o Jean Rousseau  Citizens should put aside personal interest, determined general interest, “general will”  Individualist perspective o View human beings act primarily in accordance with their own interest -> selfish o Community is made up of people pursuing their own self interest o Naïve to expect people to act for common good o It will lead best overall result for members o Adam Smith  Individuals purse self interest in free market will lead to max of wealth in society o Critics  Human beings are social creatures, flourish through interactions with each other  Leads to care for others, first started out in family expand to community  Eg. Earthquake in Haiti  A sense of belonging, important part of fulfilling life  Political community feature a diverse group of people o Consensus on common good may be difficult to achieve o Everyone have different values  Cost and benefits to achieve common good are unequally distributed o Eg, common good: reduce pollution  Cost of reducing this falls more on factory owners o Eg. Give free breakfast in school  Benefit the poor families  Achieving the Common Good? o How can we make sure the government achieve common good and not their own self interest? o Plato  Rule by Philosopher king: person well educated in governing, no family, property o Some suggest Pluralist System  Political system in which large number of groups represents a wide variety of interests are about to influence the decisions of government.  Government tries to satisfy as many groups as possible, no group have any dominant influence on government  Problem:  gov satisfy group interest does not necessarily result in common good  each group seek own interest, good for community might be ignored  Claim to be acting common good can be deceptive o Ruthless leader try to justify their actions as being benefit in long run o Eg. Stalin -> starvations of millions, with ideal of “classless” society o Eg. Hitler appeal good of the nation, suppress opinion, go to war o Can be danger when gov say the pursuing common good  Some say Common Good should include Earth as a whole What is Political Science  The systematic study of politics  Development o Greek philosophers: Aristotle and Plato o Confucius  Empirical Analysis o Involves explaining various aspects of politics, using careful observations to develop generalizations o Develop testable theories  Normative Analysis o Examining ideas about how the community should be govern, what values should be pursue o Understanding human nature, how to political world works  Policy Analysis o Combinations of empirical and normative o Evaluating exisiting policies and assessing possible alternatives to deal with particular problems Chapter 2: The Nation-State and Globalization 10/8/2013 4:00:00 PM The State  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
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