Chapter 1- Textbook Flashcards Preview

PS111 > Chapter 1- Textbook > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 1- Textbook Deck (33):

What is politics?

Activity relating to influencing, making, or implementing collective decisions for a political community.


What is political activity?

involves people trying to influence government, gain or maintain control, and interactions among governing institutions when making public policies.


What is power?

the ability to achieve an objective by influencing the behaviour of others, particularly to get them to do what they would not have done otherwise.


What are four ways to exert political power?

1) Coercion
2) Inducements
3) Persuasion
4) Leadership


What is coercion?

involves using fear or threats


What are inducements?

achieve an outcome by offering an award


What is persuasion?

involves the use of truthful information to encourage people to act in accordance with their own interests or values, or the use of misleading information


What is leadership>

A country that is successful in providing health and harmony may be able to convince other countries to follow its example.


What does it mean when power has been exercised through non-decisions?

If those who are powerful are able to prevent important issues from being raised


What is the political agenda?

the issues that are considered important and given priority in political deliberations


If those who are able to shape the dominant ideas in society to work against the weaker groups, resulting in them acting against their true interests, how could it be argued that power has been exercised?

In an indirect manner


What are the three faces of power?

First face: ability to affect decisions
Second face: ability to ensure that issues are not raised
Third face: ability to affect the dominant ideas of society


What does the third face of power move us away from?

Power being defined solely in terms of a relationship where one influences another, and tends to assume that decisions will reflect the dominant groups in society.


How is power distributed in society?

The resources that give individuals and groups the potential to exert political power are unequally distributed. Furthermore, groups differ in how effectively they use they power resources


Why is power viewed negatively?

Because of its association with efforts to dominate or exploit others


How can we think of power in a positive way?

To achieve worthwhile collective goals


What is the cree rider problem?

A problem with voluntary collective action that results because an individual enjoys the benefits of a groups action without contributing.


What is coercive power?

Is useful to achieve goals that benefit the community (ex. encore tax payments).


What is authority?

the right to exercise power that is accepted by those being governed as legitimate.


What is legitimacy?

acceptance by members of a political community that those in positive of authority have the right to govern.


What are Max's Weber's three basic types of authority that could be used to establish legitimacy? Explain each.

charismatic authority- perception that leader has extraordinary qualities
traditional authority- based on customs that establish the right of certain persons to rule
legal-rational authority- the right to rule based on legal rules and procedures


When can a legitimacy crisis occur?

A legitimacy crisis can occur in democratic systems if governments are continuously ineffective at dealing with certain problems.
-long term mistreatment by the government


What does legitimacy in a democracy depend on?

How the government exercises its authority.


Why is legitimate authority significant? (3 reasons)
-what does effect governing depend on?
-what can a gov't whose rule is legitimate rely on?
-why does having legitimate authority give gov't a power resource?

-Effective governing depends on governing institutions having the power to act in a certain way
-a government whose rule is legitimate can rely more on authority than coercion
-having legitimate authority gives gov't a power resource to achieve its goals because people obey laws when the source of laws in legitimate.


What is the common good?

What is good for the entire political community


What is the individualist perspective?

A perspective that views human beings as acting primarily in accordance with their own interests.


What is seen as the form of government most likely to actually pursue the common good? Why?

-An informed consensus can be reached through citizen discussion but discussion is often difficult to achieve so it is assumed that democracy will reflect the majority, but this does not ensure that common good will be achieved.


Why is common good controversial?

Because people have different interests and values.


What is a pluralist system?

A political system in which a large number of groups representing a wide variety of interests are able to influence the decisions go gov't. Gov't tries to satisfy as many groups as possible, and no group has a dominant influence on gov't.


What is the problem with a pluralist system?

Even if they are responsive to a wide variety of interests it does not result in common good if each group pursues its own interests the good of the community will be ignored.


What is empirical analysis?

Analysis that involves explaining various aspects of politics, particularly by using careful observation and comparison to develop generalizations and testable theories (goal is to develop theories on how politics work).


What is normative analysis?

analysis that includes examining ideas about how the community should be governed and what values should be pursued through politics.


What is policy analysis?

A combination of empirical and normative analysis that involves evaluating existing policies and assessing possible alternatives to deal with particular problems. Consider what is feasible rather than ideal.