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PSCI 2014 Rulers & Politics of the Governed

by: windwalkerr

PSCI 2014 Rulers & Politics of the Governed PSCI 2014

Virginia Tech

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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures from 4.12.16 and 4.14.16 on rulers and the politics of the governed.
Introduction to Political Theory
Rohan Kalyan
Class Notes
psci 2014, political science, PoliSci, rulers, politics of the governed, intro to political theory, Political Theory
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by windwalkerr on Friday April 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 2014 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Rohan Kalyan in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Date Created: 04/15/16
On Rulers 4.12.16 Democracy in America & politics of the governed 4.14.16 On weak vs strong democracy  Participation is lower in weak democracies (this is by design)  Theories of democracy often vary on degree to which citizens are participants in political process  o In weak democracies, political participation is limited to voting  o In strong democracies, exercising political voices beyond voting: campaigning,  protesting, engaging elected officials, active deliberation, art & culture   Weak vs strong theories of democracy Robert Dahl, Guardianship  Discussion btw “demos” & aros”, they argue ideas of democracy  Guardianship as an attractive alternative to democracy   Platonic hierarchy of rulers/philosopher kings  o Goes back to Plato, who put a big emphasis on political knowledge, which isn’t available  to everyone.   Lenin’s vanguard of worker’s revolution   Qualities needed for responsible rule: o Moral understanding (fairness, justice) o Virtue (individual vs common interest)  o Technical knowledge required to make decisions (policy, law, economics)   Counter argument: o TJ: state a moral case to a ploughman & a professor. Former will decide it as well &  often better than latter bc he hasn’t been led astray by artificial rules  Should we have guardianship system in US to direct us to common good? Or is the existing political  system sufficient? Don’t we already have technocratic/guardianship? Aren’t most things that matter  decided behind closed doors?  Burke on weak democracy  Elected representatives need to maintain distance from their local constituencies so they can see  big picture   Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, w/ one interest­that of the whole­ where not  local purposes, not local prejudices, out to guide, but general good, resulting from general reason  of the whole   Representatives should act as guardians of common good  Tocqueville on American Democracy   Lack of aristocracy & monarchy in America   Tyranny of the majority  Not enough checks against majority rule  o Same checks that will develop over time  o You can’t just let the people rule themselves  Domination (Europe) vs hegemony (US)  Benjamin Barber on strong democracy On Rulers 4.12.16 Democracy in America & politics of the governed 4.14.16  First one to have these views  Weak democracy: to exercise franchise is unhappily to also renounce it  Against representation: representation is incompatible w/ freedom bc it delegates & thus alienates political will at cost of genuine self­gov’t & autonomy  o Citizens become subject to laws they didn’t truly participate in making   Strong democracy: in participatory mode resolves conflict in absence of independent ground thru  participatory process of ongoing, proximate self­legislation & creation of political community  capable of transforming dependent private individuals into free citizens & partial & private  interest into public goods  Non­liberal democratic theory: rights, equality, freedom; they do not define but are defined by  politics   Where does freedom come from: **will be on final o Our rights & freedom & equality comes from God or state of nature  Politics of the Governed 4.14.16 Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson on “Deliberative democracy”   Democracies are stronger when there is space for deliberation   Definition: requires of representatives that they justify their decision in terms answerable to call citizens ­> arrive at binding policy decision   Aims to minimize differences w/ opponents by offering them mutual respect   Is this enough to ensure a “strong democracy” along lines of Benjamin Barber?   Role of media?  Bush makes the case for war  Saddam Hussein as threat to world peace (not just America)   US has no self­interested ambitions   Coalition of willing – duty, honor, peace, hope & self defense   US as liberators of Iraqi people   Fighting terrorism abroad rather than at home  Piece by Gutmann and Thompson  “as debate proceeded, it became clear that almost no one disagreed w/ view that world would be better off is Saddam Hussein no longer ruled…”   Debate did not represent kind of discussion that deliberative democrats hope for, & deliberation was cut short once US troops began their invasion in March 2003. Imperfect deliberation that preceded war prepared found for less imperfect deliberation that followed. Was Tocqueville right?  “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind & real freedom of discussion as in America”   Bush’s rhetoric limits debate   No critical/independent thought prior to war?   Complicity of mainstream media  On Rulers 4.12.16 Democracy in America & politics of the governed 4.14.16  For deliberate democracy to work, mainstream media must have some kind of independence from political/economic interests  India: Colonialism 101  British weren’t in India to rule responsibly o They were there to make money   Western development & non­western under­development are intimately related (economics)   Rule of colonial difference (legal)   Flexible positional superiority (cultural)   Political dimensions: domination & hegemony  o Hegemony is defined by consent o Domination: in colonies, no consent  **not all of this stuff ended after the end of colonialism  Postcolonial nationalism  Deeply shaped by colonialism o It’s very much about ending colonial relationship o Rejects colonial inequalities, accepts political values & ideals of Enlightenment  Colonial middle class Independence & post­independence  Indian constitution: universal franchise, outlawing of social inequalities (caste, religious, gender) socialist development, secular  Similarities btw India & US: both had radical constitutions for their time   1950s: state led development & modernization o Challenge: first transform society, then develop & modernize, or other way round?  Chatterjee   Two kinds of democracy in India  Elite & popular democracy   Civil society o Key part of western conceptions of democracy o Sit of popular sovereignty o Citizens associating as private (equal) citizens’ w/ rights o Associating or organizing w/ other citizens to further some general or particular interest/will o Present in India, but not majority political culture  Political society  Key part of non­western practices of democracy  Site of popular democracy  Citizens associating as population (unequal) groups w/ entitlements  Targets of gov’t enumeration, classification, welfare & aid (dependents)  Make collective demands on gov’t institutions for social survival (housing, employment, solace) in precarious circumstances On Rulers 4.12.16 Democracy in America & politics of the governed 4.14.16  Majority political culture in India, precedes civil society  Challenges/opportunities of political society  Urban population explosion ­> proliferation of slums   Electoral politics in cities ­> patron/client relations, ongoing negotiations   Slum residents as political entrepreneurs ­> social survivalists   Non­gov’t organizations where gov’t is absent  Legal/para­legal/ illegal ­> regularization of slums & informal economy   Rights vs entitlements   Capabilities vs utilitarian approach to development  Moral claims for entitlement as basis for political community/identity   Everyday we live in face of the tiger ­> urban renewal/removal   Post­liberalism (1990s) ­> cleaning up city, attracting investment   Land acquisition for urban development  Elite & popular democracy in India  Elite have access to civil society  Poor have access to political society  No longer urban vs rural distinction  Increasingly cities embody this distinction in physical landscape civil


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