POLS-1300 Lecture 4 Sept 22, 2020.pptx - POLS-1300...

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POLS-1300 Comparative Politics in Changing World Fall 2020 / Lecture 4 / Sept 22, 2020 Prof. Elena Maltseva
Chapter 3: The State
Modern State What is the state? o Location of democratic and authoritarian governments o A place for different institutional arrangements o The collection of institutions that colonized other countries and nations o Still a central actor in international relations
Concepts Max Weber: The state is the most important form of political organization in modern politics The state is the central political institution that exerts a “monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” In its ideal form, it is characterized by centralized control of the use of force, bureaucratic organization, and the provision of public goods
Concepts The modern state is different from the feudal political order of the medieval era, in which power was distributed among a group of lords and nobles, who collectively owe their loyalty to a monarch. o Kings or queens had only indirect control of its subjects, and they shared power in a tenuous balance with the church o Little standardized taxation, few standing armies and no meaningful and well-organized public services o Law existed but no rule of law
Concepts The modern state is also different from absolutism o Absolutism is a form of monarchical power that is unlimited by any other institution, such as the church, parliament, or social elites. o The absolute monarch exercises ultimate authority over the state and his subjects, as both head of state and head of government. o Characteristic for some European countries in the 17 th –18 th centuries, i.e. France under Louis XIV o Centralization of the country and the development of a concept of a nation
Post-Colonial States The institutional structure and borders of many modern states have been based on former European colonies. Many states were formed after people struggled to gain their independence from former European colonizers. o Institutional structures and borders of these states are based on previous colonial system o Local pre-colonial populations outnumbered colonizers facilitating push for independence
Settler States States “settled” by European colonizers who occupied Indigenous lands and subdued Indigenous peoples o E.g., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United States o Indigenous population outnumbered by settlers o Settler institutions, laws, cultures, languages dominant o During decolonization, Indigenous peoples did not gain independence o Indigenous interests marginalized, dispossessed of land o Led to decolonizing movements promoting Indigenous self-determination (i.e. “Red Power” in US and Canada)
State Capacity The measurement of a state’s ability to achieve its objectives: o Established on monopoly on the use of force o Has a smoothly functioning bureaucracy with low levels of corruption and irregularity o Rule of law is maintained To achieve these goals the state must successfully revenue, usually by taxing its population
Failed States

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