Class Note for POLITSC 101 at OSU 03
Class Note for POLITSC 101 at OSU 03
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This 19 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at Ohio State University taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 21 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
PS 201 Introd uction to America n Government Course Components 1 text hard copy or on line All readings are fair games for exams and discussion Course Components Grading Internet Assignments approximately 2 pages Proofread for grammatical and spelling errors Follow instructions for each Discussion Section week Course Components Grading continued Exams Two midterm exams One nal exam If required I will curve examinations Course Components Availability and Assistance See both syllabus and TA handout Politics Begin with a questionWhat is politics How decisions are made in organized society The rules of the game that structure choice Choices are at the heart of politics Why do we need politics Must choose from among alternatives when everyone can t get what they want Management of conflict over allocation of resources If we had unlimited resources No politics It wouldn t matter which policy is pursued or who leads government because everyone wins Politics BUT we don t have unlimited resources Politics manages the conflict over how to allocate resources how to make decisions It is the process through which individuals choose a common course of action Always winners and losers Politics Compromise becomes necessary It also becomes harder as society grows Issues become more complex Folks grow suspicious that others will renege on decisions If this feeling becomes prominent or rampant politics will fail No compromise will be possible 5 Politics Representative Democracy Elected officials serve in Political institutions Their job is to solve conflicts To compromise or engage in politics Our issues are too complex and our society is too large to work directly to solve conflicts So effective political institutions solve conflict over material scarcity Where does conflict come from Two main sources of conflict that need poltics Conflict over resources Not enough goods or services available in any society for everyone to get what they want Examples jobs housing Conflict over values principles or beliefs Disagreement over moral principles Examples reproductive rights same sex marriage andling Conflict 39439 Stable communities establish rules and procedures for resolution of conflicts Societies also establish enforcement mechanisms Without rules procedures and coercion society would deteriorate into a state of war Hobbes No government little to no industry War erupts over scarce resources If not fighting for resources fight to insure safety Best defense is a good offense In this state of war reputation matters so you attack for glory 1 Handling Conflict So society can t exist without rules and procedures State of nature is too debilitating Government becomes the authority with power To enforce rules To sanction offenders Monopoly on violence sanctions ensures that we all honor our commitment to society s rules Handling Conflict Without a monopoly on force there is not reason to follow the rules Examples Columbian government and the FARC Each have centers of power but no one authority rules the entire country Constitutions and Governments Nations avoid the state of nature by forming governments and writing constitutions A Nation A big organization All have rulesprocedures to guide decision making For nations its usually a constitution or charter Nations have more difficulty resolving con icts Large scale more participants Complexity of issues Monitoring amp enforcing agreements is more difficult Constitutions a nd Govern ments Successful nations have workable constitutions Constitution Creates governing institutions Sets the rules of the political process Enforces agreements Determines winners amp losers who gets what amp when Two type of rules used by governments Structural Rules Establish the organization Limits constraints powers of government In US these rules are in the constitution Constitutions and Governments Policy Rules Resolve speci c conflicts Examples How much money to spend on defense or education Two critical points about rules Rules are biased There are always winners and losers Example Boeing wins a military contract over Lockheed Martin Washington s economy is boosted while New York s takes a hit Rules change over time Example drinking age was 19 then 21 Speed limits used to be 55 all over Its now 65 in OR 75 in MT Putting Gov t together with 5 7 Rules Institutions are created to perform functions or fulfill purposes These institutions then create policy rules Roles are formalized Authority is provided to officerole not to the person This is important If a person held the authority then the government could easily slip into a dictatorship Examples Fidel Castro When Castro dies there is no mechanism for replacement Who will have a legitimate claim to the authority Authority is the acknowledgement of the of the right of those occupying a particular office to make particular policy decisions Putting Gov t together with Rules Once created its difficult to change institutions Folks are content with arrangements Difficult to agree on reform Example Campaign finance reform Changes occur gradually Quality of democracy quality of institutions Conform to structural rules maintain Legitimacy Putting Gov t together with Rules Quality of democracy institutions Conform to structural rules maintain legitimacy Legitimacy is the willingness of citizens to respect the rule of law amp obey the government Example Al Gore accepting the Supreme Court s decision regarding the 2000 election quality of
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