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Chapter 15


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politics, states and the economy

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Chapter 15

  1. 1.  Distinguish between authority and coercion. Know the basic features of capitalism and distinguish between capitalism, socialism, and democratic socialism. Describe the basic features of political democracy. Contrast the functionalist and conflict theory views of the state.
  2. 2.  POLITICS ◦ DEF: The process by which power is distributed and decisions are made.Max Weber (1958a)-POWER DEF: The ability to carry out one person’s or group’s will, even in the presence of resistance or opposition from others.
  3. 3. ◦ Power is an important part of many types of relationships that covers a broad spectrum of interactions. ◦ AUTHORITY— DEF: power that is regarded as legitimate by those over whom it is exercised. ◦ - Also accept the authority’s legitimacy in imposing sanctions COERCION - DEF: Power that is regarded as illegitimate by those over whom it is exerted.
  4. 4.  Remember authority is the legitimate exercise of power. Legal Rational Authority is derived from the understanding that specific individuals have clearly defined rights and duties to uphold and implement rules and procedures impersonally.
  5. 5. ◦ Traditional Authority is rooted in the assumption that the customs of the past legitimate the present—that things are as they always have been and basically should remain that way.◦ - A particular family or group has always ruled the society
  6. 6.  Charismatic Authority is derived from a ruler’s ability to inspire passion and devotion among followers. Weber noted that a charismatic leader—who often emerges during a period of crisis—can emerge when/if followers: ◦ Perceive a leader as somehow supernatural ◦ Blindly believe the leader’s statements ◦ Unconditionally comply with the leader’s directives ◦ Give the leader unqualified emotional commitment.
  7. 7.  DEF: State is the institutionalized way of organizing power within territorial limits. ◦ Functions of the State (for society) ◦ establishing laws and norms ◦ providing social control ◦ ensuring economic stability ◦ setting goals ◦ protecting against outside threats.
  8. 8.  Remember states are a method of organizing power within an area.
  9. 9.  AUTOCRACY Ultimate authority and rule of the government rest with one person, who is the chief source of laws and the major agent of social control. TOTALITARIANISM ◦ One group has virtually total control of the nation’s social institutions.
  10. 10.  Under totalitarian rule, several elements interact to concentrate political power. ◦ A single political party ◦ The use of terror ◦ The control of the media ◦ Control over the military apparatus ◦ Control of the economy ◦ An elaborate ideology
  11. 11. DEMOCRACY ◦ Comes from the Greek words demos, meaning “people,” and kratia, meaning “authority.” ◦ Refers to a political system operating under the principles of constitutionalism, representative government, majority rule, civilian rule, and minority rights.
  12. 12.  Constitutionalism - means that government power is limited. Representative government - The authority to govern is achieved through, and legitimized by, popular elections. ◦ Majority Rule – Due to size the populace cannot rule directly, the state must have the support of the majority of them through the vote
  13. 13.  FUNCTIONALISTS ◦ Maintain that the state emerged because society grew so large and complex that only a specialized, central institution could manage society’s increasingly complicated and intertwined institutions ◦ CONFLICT THEORISTS ◦ The state emerged to allow the ruling class to protect their position in society. This is evidenced by early state laws that protected person and property of the upper class.
  14. 14. DEF: An economic system based on private ownership of the means of production, and in which resource allocation depends largely on market forces.Capitalism has four features (Adam Smith): - Private property - Freedom of choice - Freedom of competition - Freedom from government interference.
  15. 15.  Economic system in which the sources of production—including factories, raw materials, and transportation and communication systems—are collectively owned. The economy is generally planned by a central authority instead of relying on market forces. The government controls what, and how much, of various commodities are produced
  16. 16.  Convergence of capitalist and socialist economic theory in which the state assumes ownership of strategic industries and services, but allows other enterprises to remain in private hands. This convergence can start from the capitalist side (Britain, Europe) or from the socialist side (Russia, China)
  17. 17. CAPITALIST CRITIQUE OF SOCIALISM◦ There is no Incentive to Increase Production◦ Waste of Resources◦ Over-regulation and Inflexibility◦ Corruption of Power◦ MARXIST CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISM◦ Capitalism causes workers to be alienated from their labor and their jobs◦ It produces a small group of well-to-do people◦ The profit motive in capitalism forces ever greater cost cutting – including labor
  19. 19.  TWO PARTY SYSTEM - Can limit minority participation/representation - Requires alliances within parties instead of between parties, this can dilute core values - Requires parties to tilt towards the middle of the political spectrum for support - As a result candidates, especially presidential, often change their stance for general elections VOTING BEHAVIOR - TABLE 15-1 (pg 356)
  20. 20.  The Role of the Media ◦ In the beginning stages of presidential nomination campaigns the media decides how much coverage to give to a candidate (EX: Ron Paul) ◦ The media decide which of many possible interpretations to give to campaign events. ◦ The media exercise discretion in how favorably candidates are presented in the news. ◦ Newspaper editors and publishers may officially endorse a candidate.
  21. 21.  SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS Lobbying/Lobbyists – Individuals who represent interest groups ◦ Attempts by special-interest groups to influence government policy. Political Action Committees (PACS) Special-Interest groups ◦ They are organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates.