Lecture 2 - Theoretical Foundations 0907

Lecture 2 - Theoretical Foundations 0907 - Lecture 2...

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Lecture 2 Theoretical Foundations Political Science 104 Fall 2007
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2 When we refer to government in this class, it means the institutions that create and enforce rules for a specific territory and people. Although this class focuses almost exclusively on the central or national government based in Washington, D.C., a citizen of the United States is also subject to the authority of many other governments – federal, state, local. All are related -- they consist of institutions that create and administer public policies for a particular territory and the people within it. Government
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3 Government is distinct from other institutions in society in that it has a broad right to use force. Government can make citizens do things that they otherwise might not do (such as pay taxes, educate their children, carry car insurance, and pay for lost library books). If citizens refuse to do these things, or insist on doing things that are prohibited by law, government can take action against them – imposing financial or other penalties, including extreme penalties, such as life imprisonment or death. No other segment of society has such wide-ranging authority or ability to enforce it. Even corporations and wealthy individuals, which many Americans think of as very powerful, ultimately must use the court system —i.e., the government—to get others to do what they want. Why do people willingly grant government this monopoly on force and compulsion? Power of Government
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4 State of Nature (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau) People are rational Self interest is a primary motive. Competition is natural.
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5 “I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual, and restless desire of power after power that only ceases in death.” --Hobbes “No knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.” --Hobbes
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6 State of Nature: The Prisoner’s Dilemma -1, -1 -5, 0 0, -5 -3, -3 Cooperate Defect Cooperate Defect Prisoner A Prisoner B One-shot v. Multiple-shot
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7 Freedom, Order, and Equality
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course POLI SCI 104 taught by Professor Professor during the Spring '05 term at Wisconsin.

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Lecture 2 - Theoretical Foundations 0907 - Lecture 2...

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