Lecture 1 Understanding politics

Lecture 1 Understanding politics - Lecture 1: What is...

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Lecture 1: What is politics? I. Understanding Politics 1. The omnipresence of politics 2. Its relevance to our daily lives 3. Are government and politicians the sole actors in the political world? II. Defining politics - Defn. 1: “Politics comprises the process by which rulers are selected and empowered to make decisions, take action to attain common goals, and reconcile conflicts within a political community.” Problems: too narrow; limited to governmental actors; fails to emphasize the distributional consequence of politics - Defn. 2: Harald Lasswell’s (1950): who gets what, when and how. Problems: fails to emphasize factors that are distinctively non-distributional, e.g., the constraints and complexities political actors face; the techniques or the means they use in achieving political outcomes. - Defn. 3: Politics is “the study of ways of transcending the Prisoners’ Dilemma” (Jon Elster). Prisoner’s Dilemma
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course DIPL 1101 taught by Professor Huang during the Fall '07 term at Seton Hall.

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Lecture 1 Understanding politics - Lecture 1: What is...

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