Models of politics and
What is politics and why is important to the
functioning of society?
First Report (due date: Friday 1 November 2012)
Write a report of up to 500 words on the following question.
What is politics and why is it important to the functioning of
The report is worth 5% of your total course mark. Please make
sure you have a bibliography attached which indicates where
you derived your information from. Wikipedia is not considered
to be a reliable source for University level work.
clarity of argument
references and bibliography
standard of presentation
Aristotle's classification of governments (taken from Hague and Harrop, 2010)
Do we need one more column?
What about rule by no-one?
Anarchists argue that government
itself is the problem
The best way to ensure the good
of all is to get rid of structures of
But this relies on people having an
innate sense of rules and „correct‟
“Political regimes will never fit into intellectually defined boxes” Huntington 1991,
However these boxes are very important tool if elaborate on them,
helping us decide what sort of regime we are looking at
and how we can expect them to behave….
and as political scientists its expectation of behaviour were looking at hypothesising o
So we are going to look at some styles of government by looking at
finally we will discuss and critique: democracy, authoritarian and benign dictatorshi
Stalin helped rapidly industrialise the USSR, which would help it win
WWII and become a superpower. He strengthend the
Bolsheviks/Soviets contol over the USSR and created a truely
totalitarian state. He imposed the cult of personality, perhaps the best
known/achieved besides that of Hitler. Under Stalin the country also
completed its collectivisation, however at a great cost in terms of lives
The USSR lost an unprecedented amount of people under Stalin, 60
million in the second world war but estimates range from anywhere from
10-30 million people before and after the war as a result of his rule.
Silvio Berlusconi is an Italian politician and
media tycoon who served three times as
Prime Minister of Italy from 1994 to 1995,
2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011.
The Prime Minister told the BBC on its flagship Andrew Marr show that when it
came to his government and the Murdochs, "It would be absolutely wrong for
there to be any sort of deal and there wasn't... There was no grand deal".
in 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Guzzetti: "We are
aware you are in a difficult period. It is a curious time, when political,
criminal, and terrorist activities tend to merge without any clear
separation. We understand you must establish authority.“
when is a democracy not a democracy? Is it when it helps dictator's
to retain powers?…
For nearly 40 years, the figure of General Augusto Pinochet has
divided the Chilean people. Many Chileans still consider him a
patriotic military man who prevented the consolidation of
Communism on Chilean soil and who laid the foundations for a
prosperous, modern country. For many other Chileans, however,
Pinochet is the man who destroyed a long-standing democracy and
set up one of the cruellest authoritarian regimes Latin America
has ever experienced. When the general was arrested in London in
October 1998, some Chileans euphorically celebrated the event
whereas others angrily repudiated the British action.
What is democracy, and is there a better
However benevolent a dictator is, it's still a
President Robert Mugabe, in office since 1980, the pro-independence
campaigner who wrested control from a small white community and became
the country's first black leader.
Until the 2008 parliamentary elections, Zimbabwe was effectively a one-party state,
ruled over by Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF. A power-sharing deal has raised hopes that Mr
Mugabe might be prepared to relinquish some of his powers, but in the meantime he
presides over a nation whose economy is in tatters, where poverty and
unemployment are endemic and political strife and repression commonplace.
SO BACK TO ARISTOTLE’S ANALYSIS
‘Perverted’ or ‘debased’ forms of government only
benefit the rulers themselves
Obvious in the cases of tyranny and oligarchy
He saw democracy as susceptible to mob rule
‘Good’ government is any system where you
govern for the good of all
Impossible for monarchs or aristocrats to always put
the interests of the community ahead of their own
Polity is open to manipulation by demagogues.
HOW DO WE DEFINE THE GROUP?
HOW DO WE DEFINE ‘BENEFIT’?
Political freedom, human rights, civil rights
Growth, development, services
Do people always know their own best interests?