1004.Chap9 - Chapter 9 Political and economic power The...

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Chapter 9, Political and economic power
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The State Has a Monopoly on the Legitimate Use of Force
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Functions of the State Planning and direction Enforcement of norms Arbitration of conflicting interests Protection against other societies
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Politics…. ….the process by which people & groups exercise power. …. the process of deciding who gets what, when and how. Power: the ability to achieve desired results despite opposition. Authority: power widely accepted as legitimate rather than coercive.
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Examples of power and authority
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Pluralism and Elitism Normative: describes the best way to structure political institutions in order to maximize some good (e.g. freedom) Empirical: describes how political institutions are actually structured.
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Pluralism (empirical theory) There is a variety of different groups competing to influence political decisions.
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Example: Ban on assault weapons Ban on assault weapons expired in 2004 Police chiefs argued that allowing assault weapons on the street would mean the police would be out-gunned 68% of Americans supported continuation of the ban Congress refused to extend the ban
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Elitism (empirical theory ) One small group makes all the important decisions
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The Conflict Perspective on the State The state enforces the unequal distribution of social and material rewards in order to preserve the position of the power elite.
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The Power Elite The Power Elite C.Wright Mills “Military-industrial complex” Dwight D. Eisenhower
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