Lecture 1 Notes; Introduction: The Base of Politics
Lecture 1 Notes; Introduction: The Base of Politics PLS 2000 - 02
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katie Galyen on Thursday October 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PLS 2000 - 02 at Wright State University taught by Rashida Hussain in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Political Life in Political Science at Wright State University.
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Date Created: 10/01/15
Sunday August 30 2015 Introduction What is politics Definition of Politics David Easton The authoritative allocation distribution of values in society Harold Laswell Who gets what when and how Common Theme Decision making about the distribution of resources in society Scarcity of resources These positions of decision making involve tremendous power power is a central category in politics Definition of Political Science It is the systematic study of politics The significance of Politics Is it Important Aristotle considered politics to be the master of science Politics is allpervasive any time you have a power differential an authority subordinate relationship it involves politics How politics affect daily life Regulation on household and food items gas prices diseases college tuition EVERYTHING gt Government Regulation Politics affects everything Different subfields of political science American politics Comparative Politics Political theory lnternation Relations Public Policy gt government policies gt Immigration Taxation fiscal Sunday August 30 2015 Different Methodological approaches used by political scientists Empirical Methodology gt Deals with what is Based on observation of things as they are gt It is descriptive in nature Does not deal with how things ought to be gt Goal is to describe and explain things as they are Normative Methodology gt Involves norms and values deals with what ought to be or what should be gt It is prescriptive in nature gt not based on observations Examples Empirical 1 What is the difference between government spending on education versus the military 2 Has the increase of social media caused eating disorders 3 Immigration discrimination Normative 1 Should abortion be legal or illegal 2 How can we reduce homelessness in Dayton 3 How should we promote equality of wages between men and women The concept of Political System InpUtS gt Black Box lt Outputs Demands of the people The three branches of govrt Public Policies 1 Executive 2 Judicial 3 Legislative gt Feedback Loop lt Sunday August 30 2015 Important Theories in Political Science Social Contract theory Marxism Behaviorism Modernization theory Rational choice theory Postmodernism Feminism lbn Khaldun s theory The social contract theory Theorists Thomas Hobbes John Locke Jean Rousseau Noble savages Time period 17th and 18th centuries Purposes a hypothetical state of nature condition of human beings prior to civil society characterized by an absence of political authority Life in the state of nature gt According to Hobbes a war pf each against all gt Life would be Solitary poor nasty brutish and short gt The social contract creates political authority gt People give to the political authority the right to rule over them in return they are to offer protections of life liberty and property gt The acknowledgment that people have the right to rebel against the political authority Sunday August 30 2015 gt Comparison with divine right and kingship gt Contribution It offers the seeds of democracy popular sovereignty people are the ultimate authority Marxism Karl Marx Offered a critique of the capital system claims economics is the most important force in society Economics The base of a society foundation Capitalism free market system economic system where it is free of gov t regulation Mixed economy gov t regulation of the economy with some capitalism Superstructure Politics Religion Culture lt Base Economics Capitalist society consists of two opposing classes with conflicting interests Capitalist class the Bourgeoisie Most important interest 1 Owns means of production 2 To make as much money as possible 3 The few well off Working Class the Proletariat Most important interest 1 Work for wages Sunday August 30 2015 2 the poor 3 maximize wages Minimize wages to make more profits Claims that workers are exploited by the Capitalist society Workers are paid only a small portion of the value of the products that they produce the rest the surplus value is kept as profits for the capitalist class Since workers are underpaid they do not have enough purchasing power tp purchase the products produced in the economy This results in inadequate demand in the economy which triggers depression Cycle of depression Demand gt Profits down gt Plants close Wages down lt Employment down Depressions chronic in capitalist system gt improvement of workers Workers get frustrated band together and overthrow the capitalist system through a revolution Capitalism replaced by socialismcommunism According to Marx capitalist system promotes the interests of the capitalist class Theory gt Behavioralism also known as positivism Applies the natural science methods of study to the study of society Focuses on actual human behavior empirical methodology based on observation scientific method relies on quantitate analysis statistical analysis gt contribution what is would study strengths Sunday August 30 2015 It was able to create vast data bases related to elections voting in legislatures electoral behavior public opinion surveys etc Shortcomings In the late 1960s critics argued that behavioralists focused on trivial issues and neglected the more important issues It had a conservative bias because it could not study change and it also ignored the possibly of change lt ignored normative issues and therefore it could not study how things ought to be or should be Modernization Theory 1960s The term modernization is closely associated with industrialization This theory focused on the third world countries It s hypothesis was based on the experience of the west it hypothesized that modernization was democratization because industrialization associated with a strong middle class which is considered the backbone of democracy However industrialization creates its own problem gt It did not produce democratic governments in third world countries because of what critics called a Revolution of raising expectations Emerged in the west the United States All colonies of European countries less industrialized European countries became weak after WWII gradually gave up control When the third world seen how the west had all kinds of privileges they expected changes