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Flashcards in Government, Power, Authority Deck (38)
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ability to exercise one's will over others


types of power

- Force: actual or threatened use of coercion to impose ones will on others (Ex. Tianmen square protest)
- Influence: exercise of power through a process of persuasion



Power that has been institutionalized and is recognized by people in society


types of authority

- Traditional: power is conferred by custom and accepted practice (Ex. Royal family)
- Charismatic: power is made legitimate by leader's exceptional personal or emotional appeal to his or her follows (Ex. Jesus and other religious leaders)
- Legal-rational: power is made legitimate by law (Ex. Mayor of Vancouver)


the distribution of power and authority affects...

- Who gets what, when, and how (ie. Through taxes)
- Execution of social control (ie. Through laws)
- Defense against others (ie. Through military)



- power that's been insitutionalized into authority
- most common source of authority


5 types of government

- Monarchy: form of government headed by a signle member of a royal family (ie. Ancient China)
- Oligarchy: form of government in which a few individuals rule (ie. Modern day China)
- Dictatorship/totalitarianism: one person has nearly total power to make and enforce laws – state has complete control and surveillance over all aspects of a society's social and political life (ie. Germany in the 1940's)
- Democracy: form of government in which certain individuals are selected to speak for the people (ie. Canada)
- Anarchy: absence of organized government, no leaders or rulers


pluralist model of government

- Political leaders (ie. Elected by the people) - state
- Leadership groups (ie. Business organizations, churches) - church/market
- Ordinary people (ie. Voting and interest groups) - people
- ideally we should have input from the following groups, and each group should have separate interests. However, this is often not true since political leaders and leadership groups often work together, leaving out ordinary people. We recognize that power is not equally distributed, but policy reflects a balance of input


in a democracy, people are allowed to...

- Vote
- Join political and apolitical organizations
- Communicate with government
- Run for office
- Protest
- these are good measures of political participation


political participation in Canada

decreasing number of Canadians identify with a political party and only a small minority actually participate in a political organization


who is likely to politically participate?

- Generally, people who have the following attributes are most likely to vote, volunteer, and donate money:
-- Time (retired vs. Working)
-- Money (full time vs. Student)
-- Civic skills (experience and know-hows)
- However, educated people are the most likely to vote -> Education leads to the above 3 skills, particularly money and skill


transition of society

Hunter and gathering society -> horticultural society -> agrarian society -> industrial society


how did the industrial revolution change society?

- Changes in social organization of the work
- Economic systems of industrial society -> capitalism, socialism, communism


3 forms of economic system

- capitalism
- socialism
- communism



- An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately controlled
- The main incentive for economic activity is the accumulation of profits
- Competition is encouraged
- State intervention should be minimal (laissez-faire)
- Modern forms of capitalism are not completely hands-off – some regulations exist
- Some countries restrict monopolies
- Reasons for governmental control: Ensure competition (ie. Gas prices); Ensure safety for workers (ie. Workplace)
- Ex. Chinese milk scandal – local governments knew about contaminated milk products, but where bribed into not saying anything



- An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are collectively controlled
- The main incentive for economic activity is to meet people's basic needs
- Competition is rejected
- State intervention is encouraged


communism (Marx's ideal system)

- An economic system in which means of production and distribution are communally controlled
- Main incentive for economic activity is to meet peoples basic needs
- Private property and competition rejected
- State intervention should be non-existant
- History shows this is hard to put into practice


why isn't capitalism sustainable?

- Company A makes 500 t-shirts in year 1 and sells out
- Company A will try to up their production to 1000 units in year 2 to secure a larger market share
- Company B, C, D, and E all do the same (since competition is encouraged), outsource labour to make clothes cheaper and make themselves more competitive -> jobs lost in own country -> will eventually lead to collapse of capitalism
- At some point, the sum of all units produced will exceed the market demand, and some company will end up losing market share
- Overproduction often leads to economic busts and booms


problems with communism

- Motivation (why work harder when you'll get paid the same anyway?)
- Concentration of power -> corruption


problems with capitalism

- Overproduction
- Overconsumption -> Creating lots of waste and lots of debt


Canada's economy today

- Canada has a mixed economy -> balance is key
- Socialism: high tax bracket, universal healthcare, crown corporations, government funding in public sectors
- Capitalism: free enterprise, our own stock market, can borrow money, have credit system



rapid, fundamental and violent domestic change in dominant values of society, political instutions, social structure, government, etc. (different than a rebellion, revolt, coup, etc.)



the means and strategies used to direct our conduct and behaviour


power relationships

relationship between ruler and ruled; practices by which states seek to govern life of citizens, or by which dog owners seek to train their dogs (doesn't have to be political)



- means by which form is given to the life of people
- the act of sharing and distributing power



political form in which a single soverign or authority governs a territory


absolute monarchy

monarch has absolute power


the state

a human community that claims the legitimate use of physical force within a territory


ideal speech situation

- underlying form of democracy
- people are allowed to take part in public discussion, question things, and introduce ideas


political demands vs. political supply

- political demands: underlying societal factors and changes that create groups of people with common interests (ie. job creation)
- political supply: strategies of political parties to deliver a political program and policy