Chapter 3 PLSC 2013
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elise Herenton on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PLSC 2013 at University of Arkansas taught by Jeffrey Ryan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comparative Politics in Political Science at University of Arkansas.
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Date Created: 09/14/16
Chapter 3: Nations And Societies v Social Organizations Ø Society refers to collections of individuals who are bound by shared institutions that define how human relations are conducted. § Societies in every country view themselves and their place in a distinct way. Ø What institutions produce societies? § Ethnicity and national identity are the most basic ways of distinguishing between societies. Ø Yet the presence of these institutions raises additional questions: § What role do ethnicity and national identity play in creating societies? § How profound is their impact? Ø Ethnic Identity Ø Ethnicity refers to a specific set of institutions that connect individuals through a common culture . § These institutions create shared identities that are passed on from parent to child. § Ethnicity almost never changes over the course of a lifetime. Ø Shared ethnic identity can have profound impact on a society. § Ethnicities with a high level of cohesion may be more willing to sacrifice resources for other members of their community. • Ex. Israel; Military service -‐ it’s our responsibility to protect our homeland Ø Ethnicity is a social identity, not a political identity. § Ethnicity does not lead to specific ideas and politics or political life . § Ethnicity may not be a relevant political concept in the presence of positive political conditions . v Ethnic Identity, cont’d. Ø How ethnic groups distinguish themselves varies between groups. § Ethnic groups may be defined along hereditary lines, or according to religion, language or even diet and occupation. § Ex. Balkan: different religions determine ethnicity; Rwandan ethnicities: Hutu vs Tutsi -‐ inner culture conflict Ø Ethnic groups lack a single origin. § An ethnicity is considered to exist when it acknowledges itself as different and when others also acknowledge the distinction . v National Identity Ø A nation refers to a group of people that either enjoy or desire self -‐governance through an independent state . § The concept of a nation is entirely political in nature. § When this group shares common political aspirations or values , a national identity is created. § National identity is usually developed from an ethnic identity and the two may intertwine in complex ways . (Ex. Scotland) Ø National identity can also lead to nationalism, or a pride in one’s people and the belief in their own sovereign political destiny. § Nationalism may also be based ethnic background , but not always. Ø National identity and pride can develop through of civil institutions. (Ex. The United States-‐ Americans) v Citizenship Ø Citizenship can be defined as the relationship between those who swear allegiance to a state and the obligations of a state to provide rights to its population, or to the members of the group . § Citizenship is an exclusively political identity. § Citizenship can be conferred at birth, and may also contain obligations to the state or an extension of benefits. (Ex. Military service -‐ obligated to spend 2 years in military (Switzerland and Israel) or Healthcare.) Ø Citizenship is also a more flexible concept than is ethnicity. § Citizenship may be granted or awarded to individuals not born within a state. § Some states may allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship. v Patriotism Ø Patriotism refers to one’s pride in their state . § This may be pride in ethnic or national identity or pride in a political systems . § Thus, patriotism can be an expression of national identity. Ø States that are weak or failing will have difficulties cultivating patriotic values. § Patriotism can be considered a by -‐product of by-‐product of legitimacy. v Ethnic and National Conflict Ø Ethnic Conflict refers to conflict between ethnic groups who struggle to achieve specific political or economic goals at the expense of the other . § Typically one (or both) sides of a conflict attempt to incr ease their influence by attempting to gain control of political institutions. § Ethnic conflict therefore involves a struggle for control of an existing state. Ø National Conflict refers to conflict between 2 ethnic groups who are attempting to create an indep endent state for a specific ethnicity. § National conflict may also include attempts to prevent an ethnic group from creating state and gaining independence. § Such conflict is more common when a state does not posses legitimacy, leading an ethnic group to resort to violence. v Political Attitude and Political Ideology § Political attitude-‐ how quickly/ how far change should go? Political ideology -‐ addressing concerns Ø National and ethnic identity is (in part) supported by individual beliefs about the need of political change and political ideology. § These values are identified as political attitude and political ideology. Ø Political attitudes represent a range of responses to changes in a state or a society . • Not what you think the government should do but how the qui ckly to resolve the issue • Ex. Immigration: How do we address it? Ø Political ideology represents the basic assumptions that one holds about the goal of political action . • What are you trying to accomplish? • Help us understand how we want the government organiz ed Ø National identity and ethnicity may influence attitudes and ideology, but they are not directly linked. § Attitude and ideologies are frequently similar across national and ethnic lines . v Political Attitudes Ø Political attitudes refer to one’s views about the appropriate pace and slope of change in laws that balance freedom and equality. • Everyone feels different about different situations . § Political attitudes can be broken down into radical, liberal, conservative, and reactionary perspectives. Ø Radical attitudes prefer dramatic, revolutionary change to an existing social or political order . • Violence is an option. § Radical attitudes assume the current socio -‐political system is beyond repair and must be entirely replaced. • Society is so screwed up it’s not worth saving, so “sweep up” and start over. Ø Liberal attitudes favor a slow evolution of the existing system as a way to introduce positive changes . • Not same thing as political liberalism • Best way to change society is to it slowly. • Ex. right to vote • Not always revolutionary § A liberal attitude tends to be skeptical of attempts to rapidly replace or change society. • going to take years for people to be comfortable with final change. • work with what we can and introduce new things slowly so the public can have time to adjust v Attitudes, cont’d. Ø Conservative Attitudes doubt if significant changes are necessary in the existing political order. § Conservatives attitudes are skeptical of any socio-‐political change, believing it to be unnecessarily disruptive, and capable of producing unintended consequences . • Changing things can mess up order • Things are fine the way they are now. There’s no need to change because things have been working for us in the past. Ø Reactionary attitudes seek to receive a traditional or political order . § Reactionaries believe previous social systems were superior to current circumstances and seek to recreate these conditions. § Some reactionaries do not even seek to recreate a specific historical period but rather to create an idealized version of the past. (Ex. Trump-‐ “Make America Great Again”) Ø Political attitudes do not refer to the same values as political ideologies . § Ex. Conservative attitudes in China value different priorities than conservative attitudes in the US. v Understanding Political Attitudes § Violence-‐ radicals and reactionaries § Non violence-‐ liberals and conservatives § For change-‐ radicals and liberals v Political Ideology Ø Political ideology refers to defined set of political values regarding the fundamental goals of politics . § All political ideology expresses the ideal balance between freedoms and equality, and explains how political institutions may create these conditions. § Ideologies are thus universal and may applied in many political contexts. • Liberal democracy-‐ US, Brazil, South Africa Ø There are five basic ideologies that currently exist in the global community. § These include liberalism, communism, anarchism, fascism, and social democracy. • (classical) liberalism-‐ freedom • communism-‐ equality • anarchism-‐ extreme approach to equality and liberty • fascism-‐ idea of freedoms isn’t natural • social democracy-‐ middle ground, liberalism and communism Ø All five ideologies propose a specific balance between freedom and equality. § Thus, each ideology also suggests that it is the ideal formula for social harmony . v Ideologies, cont’d. Ø Classical Liberalism places a high priority on the political and economic freedoms of an individual . § As such they favor a government with low levels of autonomy and capacity, believing that frequent public and civic interaction with the s tate keeps its authority in check. • Prevent the state from becoming too powerful § This ideology serves as a basis for liberal democracy, or a system of political, social, and economic liberties that are supported by participation (such as voting). Ø Communism rejects the idea that individual freedom creates prosperity or equality . Instead it attempts to develop both through state control of economic resources . • More wealth = more opportunities to enjoy freedom • Resources are owned by individuals (Ex. cost of EpiP en-‐ people need them, producers can charge more and consumers are likely to pay whatever they choose to charge) § State ownership eliminates (in theory) opportunities for economic exploitation and promotes equality for the average citizen. • High level of autonomy and capacity in order for it to work; equality comes at the cost of independent liberties or freedoms. v More ideologies Ø Social democracies accept the need for individual liberties and for a dynamic marketplace, but also uses state authority to promote equality. § Social democracy represents a middle path between classic liberalism and communism. • Social democracy society-‐ free elections, government has more authority to take things away from you because you selected them • Ex. Bernie Sanders-‐ have freedom to do what you want to do with your resources is too much Ø Fascism suggests that individuals can be grouped into categories of superior and inferior divisions. § Based on this principle, fascists view society as an organic whole, and consider a government or the state in general to be an expression of national or ethnic will . § To fully realize the will of the people, state autonomy and capacity must both be high , and democratic participation must be eliminated . • Descent isn’t supported. v Anarchism Ø Anarchists reject the concept of the state entirely. • They think the state itself is the source of most of the problems; these problems extend from the fact that property is own privately (agreed with communism); private property is theft. § Anarchists believe that privately held property promotes inequality , but doubt the ability of a state to solve the problem. § Individuals are truly free in the absence of a state to enforce socio-‐political restrictions. Ø Anarchy has never been fully realized. It is also generally rejected. v Ideology and Religion Ø Ideology began to regulate political values during the 18 and 19 centuries and began to rival religion in regard to placing requirements on society . § Ideology and religion share many features: arguments about the essential nature if humanity and society, as well as promises of a utopian reward . Ø This ultimately confined religious influences to private life. § This is also referred to as the privatization of religion , or the removal of faith from the public sphere and its restriction to private life. Ø However, ideologies have recently been scrutinized after failing to deliver their promised benefits . § This is particularly salient in the developing world, as Western ideologies did not lead to consistent economic development. v Fundamentalism Ø Modern political ideologies have not helped developing states achieve growth or maintain a stable society. Ø This had led to a partial resurgence of religion as guiding principle in place of ideology . § However, this has sparked the emergence of fundamentalism, or an ideology that attempts to fuse religion with the state, and to create a theocracy. • The state embodies religious values. • Political leaders are also religious leaders. § Fundamentalism should be distinguished from piety : The belief that religion should play a greater role in society does not equate to calls for a theocracy. Ø Fundamentalists wish to restructure society to make faith the foundation of a modern regime (rather than reintroduce a traditional society). • Tempting to reestablish a more traditional society § Thus, Fundamentalism partially exhibits a reactionary political attitude. • Ex. Theocracy-‐ Iran v Fundamentalism, cont’d. Ø Fundamentalism also exhibits characteristics of a radical political attitude. § Fundamentalism advocates violence to demolish the current system . (Ex. ISIS) § Yet it also seeks to develop an idealized version of the past. • Things work better when politics were inferior . Ø Fundamentalism is not a specific ideology, but a pattern in several religions, each producing a specific ideology. • Ex. Christian Fundamentalism v Conclusions Ø Recall, society refers to a collection of individuals who are bound by shared institutions . § Yet how these societies are formed varies, and may incorporate a variety of institutions from ethnicity to ideology. Ø Various institutions contribute to society in different ways. § Ethnicity provides a sense of group identity, while national identity creates distinct political aspirations. Sometimes these concepts overlap. Ø Within a group, values are also shaped by political attitudes and ideology. Ø Thus, political life in any state represents a complex array of factors that gbehavior .
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