What Is Politics

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Introduction to basic concepts in the study of politics

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What Is Politics

  1. 1. What is politics? Prof. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza, PhD Department of Political Science Ateneo De Manila University
  2. 2. “The word „politics‟ is derived from the word „poly‟, meaning „many‟, and the word „ticks‟, meaning „bloodsucking parasites‟”. (Larry Hardiman in Planet Dexter’s This Book Really Sucks, 1999)
  3. 3. Well, seriously --- ‘politics’ is… “a study of the authoritative allocation of public values or resources for a society” (David Easton)
  4. 4. or is… “a study of who gets what, when, and how” (Harold Lasswell)
  5. 5. or about… “any persistent patterns of human relationship that involve to a significant extent control, power, influence and authority” (Robert Dahl)
  6. 6. 4 Core Concepts in the Study of Politics
  7. 7. (1) Power... relational intentional
  8. 8. “the ability of person A to make person B do something minus the probability that person B would do it on her/his own accord”
  9. 9. For non-compliance... • There is a threat of sanction; • as Niccolo Machiavelli said, “it is better to be feared than loved...
  10. 10. (2) Influence... •An informal form of power •No threat of sanction •No severe deprivation for non-conformity •Opposite of Machiavellian thought, “it is better to be loved than feared”
  11. 11. (3) Authority... •Right to exercise power and influence because of a particular position •Placed in the position through a widely accepted procedure • e.g. elections
  12. 12. (4) Legitimacy... •Being considered to be correctly placed in a particular position •Carrying out the functions of that role correctly • has moral acceptability
  13. 13. Political legitimacy... • Government‟s rule is valid • government should generally be obeyed • legitimacy is not automatic for it is created over a long period of time
  14. 14. Conceptual Bounds of the „Political‟ ‘Political’ ‘Extra-Political’ Public Private Governmental Extra-governmental State Society institutional personal
  15. 15. Political Puzzles: Approaches • Studying political behavior • Studying political structures and functions • Studying political phenomena • Studying political ideas • Studying political documents • Studying the political future

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