CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE (2015)

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Universidad Blanquerna (URL)
Grado Relaciones Internacionales - 1º curso
Asignatura Political Science
Año del apunte 2015
Páginas 4
Fecha de subida 16/02/2015
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Introduction to Political Science + Basic Political concepts

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POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 1 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE.
WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE? ARISTOTLE — First to introduce the concept of Political Science *Politics is the most important science —> Almost everything happens in a political context.
Living in a society organized by reason —> That’s what makes us human.
The one who lives outside this city-state is known as a barbarian.
CITY = Space were humans are able to be humans.
TWO ASSUMPTIONS: 1- All societies are complex: Need for a mechanism that reconcile the different values and interests.
2- Scarcity of goods: Inevitable characteristic of all societies.
*Need to be some mechanism that can distribute these goods.
Politics always try to answer to these two questions.
R.Dahl (1991): POLITICAL SYSTEM = Any persistent pattern of human relationship that involves, to a significant extent, control, influence, power of authority.
*Maybe today media is the main power.
Sartorti (1973): Political life and the things political weren’t perceived by the Greeks as a part or a single aspect of life; they were its essence and totality.
MEANING OF POLITICS INTO TRHEE MAIN TRADITIONS.
POLITICS-AS-WAR: Politics is a struggle for power among antagonistic groups and individuals.
*Power is essential in order to be secured, for its possession is the key to accumulating.
Political opponents = mortal enemies —> need to be eliminated or dominated.
-Plato: “Justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger” -Hobbes: “State of nature as a war of all agains all” -Machiavelli: “It’s necessary to know how to disguise this nature well and to be a great hypocrite and liar”.
POLITICS-AS-PROCESS: Effective set of political institutions that limit the state’s power over individuals.
POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 1 *The solution to political conflict is constitutionalism —> The rule of law.
-Lasswell: “Who gets what, when, how”.
-Easton: “Authoritative allocation of values”.
POLITICS-AS-PARTICIPATION: The main objective if politics is to end the great social, economic and political inequalities the market societies generate inevitably, subverting its rules and basing its outcomes in favor of the rich and powerful —> The rule of people.
DEMOCRACY = Rule of the people.
-Aristotle: “Man alone of the animals is furnished with the faculty of language, which servers to declare what is just and what is unjust” -Stuart-Mill: “Advancement in intellect, in virtue, and in practical activity and efficiency”.
SUMMARIZING CONCEPTS.
POLITICS: Collective activity, occurring within and between groups.
*Involves making decisions on matters affecting the group -The decisions can be reached by a variety of means, from informed deliberation to violent imposition.
Decisions become —— POLITICAL SCIENCE: Science borrowing and overlapping with all the other social sciences: human history, geography, economics, sociology, antrophology, —— Politicians love power, they seek popularity, think practically, hold firm views and offer single causes.
Political scientists are skeptical about power, they think abstractly and seek accuracy, reach tentative conclusions and offer many causes.
POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 1 BASIC POLITICAL CONCEPTS.
-GOVERNMENT: Consists of institutions responsible for making collective decisions for society.
*Offers security and predictability to the citizens.
-GOVERNANCE — Activity of making collective decisions —> Process of making decisions.
-POLITICAL POWER — Capacity to influence, condition and control a human group or individual for the accomplishment of political objectives.
-It is the use of coercion to get someone to do something.
-AUTHORITY — Defined as rightful power —> Authority creates its own power as long as people accept it.
WEBBER’S CLASSIFICATION = Traditional, charismatic and legal-rational.
-LEGITIMACY — Attribute of the system of government: Indicates that compliance in an authority relationship is acceptable.
POLITICAL SCIENCE. UNIT 1 -THE STATE: Organized community living under one government —> Political community formed by a territorial population subject to one government.
[Land + population + government] WEBBER: “A State is a human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” -NATION: Describes a sense of identity and unity of a human community, united by a common history, culture and language.
*Not all nations are States: Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, etc.
[UK is a monarchy of 4 nations: English, Scottish, North Ireland and Wales] -SOVEREIGNTY: Indicates possession of supreme authority in a territory such as no other entities may interfere with the exercise of that authority.
*A way of independent power or authority in government claimed by a state or community.
-When a State is really independent from other States —> They have the possession of supreme authority without interference.
-IDEOLOGY: Set of ideas or beliefs of a group or political party.
*Also a system of collectively beliefs and attitudes having a particular pattern of social arrangements.
POLITY, POLITICS AND POLICY POLITY: Formal dimension of politics, that is, the structure of norms, the way in which procedures are regulated and the institutions in which politics take place.
*Constitution, law and institutions of the state, administrative offices, etc.
POLITICS: Decision-making processes, the settling of conflicts and enforcing of goals and interests.
*Focuses on the processes of the formation of consent and the resolving of conflicts.
POLICY: Refers to solving problems and achieve tasks by the administrative structure (concrete decisions).
*Policies consider different fields of politics.
-A policy covers a package of decisions.
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