Study Guide - POLS 2910 Study Notes Course Introduction And...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 61 pages.

POLS 2910 Study Notes Course Introduction And Overview Focus: -Institutions and democracy -Representation -Public Policy Themes: 1.Power 2.Democracy 3.Identity I am Canadian! What does that even mean? -Politics often brings out the worst in human nature The Political System -Political science often lumps needs together with interests -Private sectors are those parts of society and the economy that function separately from government -Public sector -A demand is the expression of opinion that some government action be taken -Whether people should solve their own problems or whether they should as the government or the state to intervene -Which areas of life the state should regulate and how much regulation is appropriate -Government is the set of institutions that make and enforce collective, public decisions for a society -Power is the ability of one actor to impose its will on another, to get its own way, to do or get what it wants -Coercion is the government having the ability to impose its will on us by means of sanctions or penalties -Four branches of government: The legislature The executive The bureaucracy The judiciary -Authoritative decisions take many forms -Laws, regulations, appointments, grants, contracts, services, and judgments -Can collectively be referred to as the outputs of the political system
-Distinguish between demands and issues -Vast quantity of demands -Politics is said to originate in conflict -Often defined as the struggle for power and the management of conflict -Other input in the political system other than demands is the concept of support -Support is a more passive concept than demands -Usually exists in the realm of feelings and orientations rather than in action -Support is mostly demonstrable in terms of such feelings as trust, efficacy, pride, and patriotism Canadian Political Culture and Theory Terms: Democracy – Political Theory -Provides aframeworkfor a way of understanding an event or a series of events -A cause and effect relationship -Exchange of ideas -Theory is connected with the enlightenment project Approaches to the Study of Politics -Identities rather than cleavages -The model of the political system does not exhaust the possible analytical approaches that can be applied to Canadian politics -These approaches can be divided between those that are society centered and those that focus on the autonomy of the government and the state -Public Choice or Rational Approach Rationally explain how Canadian politics operates 1970s Neo-classical economic theory Self-interested individuals maximizing their interests in society All about politicians getting re-elected It was a much tougher time in 1970s Focus on politicians at center Make promises in exchange for votes Begins with the assumption that Canada is a democracy Rational, self interested voters support the party whose policies are of greatest utility to themselves and that politicians seeking re-election adopt policies that will most likely keep them in power

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture