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INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE

QUESTIONS

List 5 common problems of individuals. Are these problems related to society? Why do you think they are related or not related? Are these problems related to how society is governed? Why do you think they are related or not related? Is the manner society is governed related to politics? Why do you think so? In your view, how are problems of individuals in particular and society in general related to politics?

Group 1 Poverty (money)

Group 2 Money

Group 3 Financial

Group 4 Money

Group 5 Money

Education
Health Justice

Unexpected pregnancy
Bandwagon effect Job hunting/ unemployment Literacy

Unwanted pregnancy
Education Early exposure to vice Unemployment

Family problem
Health Education

Basic needs
Crime and vices Illiteracy

Employment

Work

Pollution

WHAT IS POLITICS?

Views of politics
As

the art of government As public affairs As compromise and consensus As power and the distribution of resources Who gets what, when, and how (Harold Lasswell)

KEY CONCEPTS
Power Broadly, it is the ability to achieve a desired outcome. It is usually thought of as a relationship. Narrowly, it is associated with ability to punish or reward. Authority The legitimate or rightful power based on an acknowledged duty to obey. Legitimacy A quality that confers command an authoritative or binding character.

The state as an aggregate of distinct formal institutions


JUDICIAL BRANCH

BUREAUCRACY

THE STATE

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The state as an aggregate of overlapping formal institutions


JUDICIAL BRANCH

THE BUREAUCRACY

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

CONCEPT - POLITICS

Politics is the process through which power and influence are used in the promotion of certain values and interests. Power (potere, to be able) is the ability to cause others to do what one desires, using means ranging from influence to coercion. Influence is a form of power without coercion. It is the ability to persuade or convince others to accept certain objectives or behave in a certain way. Coercion is the opposite extreme of influence. It involves control by force; compliance is achieved through punishments or threats. Politics is associated with those aspects of life that have public significance.

CONCEPT- AUTHORITY

Authority is government power to make binding decisions and issue obligatory commands. Such power must be perceived by citizens as rightful or acceptable and therefore obeyed. Authority can be: Traditional derived from custom and history Charismatic based on popular admiration of the personal heroic qualities of the individual in whom it is vested Rational-legal or bureaucratic vested in the offices held by individuals and the mechanisms which place them there. Sources of authority: Specific (individual) General (substantial influence on large proportion of people) Everyone (general belief of people)

STUDYING POLITICS: APPROACHES

Philosophical tradition answers a normative question. (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine)

what should, ought, or must be rather than what is.

Empirical tradition answers an empirical question. (John Locke, David Hume, Comte)

what is it?

Scientific tradition answers questions objectively and quantitatively (Marx, Easton)

IS POLITICS GOOD OR BAD? WHY?

REFLECTION PAPER

How would you relate politics to your life? What is its relevance? Why is it inevitable to society?

3-5pp, double-spaced, 12-pt. sized font Submission date: 9 June

IDEOLOGY

A set of ideas that discusses one's goals, expectations, and actions. A comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things, as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies, or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society. It is a system of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Its purpose is to offer change in society, and adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process.

IDEOLOGY

An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. Democracy, theocracy, etc.), and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism, socialism, etc.). Michael Oakeshott provides a good definition of ideology as "the formalized abridgment of the supposed sub-stratum of the rational truth contained in the tradition."

POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

Ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths, or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, or large group that explains how society should work, and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. Largely concerned with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the center or the right), though this is very often controversial. Ideology is not the same thing as philosophy. Philosophy is an analytic method for assessing ideologies and belief systems.

DIMENSIONS

Goals: how society should work (or be arranged). Methods: the most appropriate ways to achieve the ideal arrangement.

SURVEY OF MAIN IDEOLOGIES


Liberalism Conservatism Socialism

CONSERVATISM
General Individual

Importance of stability, tradition, and loyalty to God and country; Antipathy to egalitarianism

Not consistently rational; Unequal in intelligence, skills, and status.

Individual and Society Social harmony is maintained by cooperation of various groups and individuals; Traditional values and ethics provide guidelines for group cooperation and individual behavior. Institutions (family, church, government) have important roles in enforcing these values.

Equality

Inequality is a natural aspect of society; Forced equality is disrupts the natural, cooperative hierarchy among groups and causes social conflict and endangers the fundamental goal of order and stability. Individual freedom should be unequal.

LIBERALISM
General Places the highest value on individual freedom and limits the role of government. Individual should be allowed to act with minimal constraints from such institutions. Individual Each individual enjoys natural rights to life, liberty, and property Individual and Society Persons full capabilities can be realized only if the person is not limited by a social order in which tradition and hierarchy are dominant; Social order would not only restrict freedom but also stifle progressive change and growth; No one is forced to accept the authority of government. Equality While equality before the law (equality of opportunity) is important, government should not attempt to create material equality (equality of outcomes). Individuals pursue their interests in different ways and with different levels of success. Government should have no significant role in addressing inequalities.

SOCIALISM
General Individual Individual and Society Equality Most important goal is to provide high-quality, relatively equal conditions of life for everyone, with an active state assisting in the achievement of this goal. Individuals are not innately selfish and aggressive. They are social and caring by nature. While individual rights and freedoms and valued, the most important value is identified as the good of the society as a whole; Individuals interests must be subordinated to, or at least coordinated with, the overall interest and needs of everyone in the society. Conservatism and liberalism cause inequalities and conflict in society hence the state should increase the material as well as the social and political equality of all its members.

POLITICAL COMPASS
(HTTP://WWW.POLITICALCOMPASS.ORG/ANALYSIS2)

POLITICAL COMPASS TEST


Visit: http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

Take the test and print the results. Results will be discussed in class.