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Introduction Government and Politics Politics - the basics Politics and Economics Political Ideas - Ideology Government The Political Society No rules or laws are needed in the state of nature. (John Locke) Human nature – competitive or cooperative

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introduction government and politics
IntroductionGovernment and Politics
  • Politics - the basics
  • Politics and Economics
  • Political Ideas - Ideology
  • Government
the political society
The Political Society
  • No rules or laws are needed in the state of nature. (John Locke)
  • Human nature – competitive or cooperative
  • As we formed societies, we demanded the imposition of rules to govern innate “social conflict”. All societies needs government.
  • Human beings are equal and endowed by nature with certain rights. (John Locke)
  • Absence of government causing society to revert to a nasty, solitary, and brutish existence. (Thomas Hobbes)
  • The political systems created to impose rules have varied throughout history.
from family to tribe to state
From Family to Tribe to State
  • Nation - sociological term
  • State - political term
  • State of Nature (Locke)
  • Divine Right Theory (George III)
  • Social Contract Theory
  • Natural Rights Theory (Locke)
political theory
Political Theory
  • Social Contract Theory
    • Locke
      • Humans reasonable, tolerant and cooperative
      • Government by people, separation of powers
    • Hobbes
      • Humans nasty, mean and competitive
      • Government by sovereign authority to maintain order with no separation of power
    • Rousseau
      • Humans corrupted by society – the “noble savage”
      • Favored government as a general will of the people
  • Politics is the process of resolving social conflict over the distribution of limited resources.
  • It is the process of deciding who will make the rules about what, when, how and to whom societies resources will be given.
  • Peaceful reconciliation of social and economic differences.
  • Politics is ubiquitous.
economics and politics
Economics and Politics
  • Money and material resources are limited.
  • Human desires are limitless.
  • Natural conflict occurs.
  • Politicians and government institutions must step in to resolve conflict.
  • Capitalism versus Communism
politics and ideology
Politics and Ideology
  • Ideology - a patterned set of ideas or beliefs about a specific topic
  • Political Ideology - a set of ideas, values or beliefs about the proper political and economic system in which people should live.
  • The role government should play in the political system.
  • The institutions and procedures through which a territory and people are ruled.
  • The political and administrative organization of a nation, state or locality.
  • Governments vary in size, structure, and operational rules bases on many factors.
  • Provides for conflict resolution, defense, safety, and economic prosperity.
forms of government
Forms of Government
  • Autocracy (One)
  • Oligarchy/Aristocracy (Few)
  • Democracy (Many)
  • Theocracy
  • A government in which a single individual—a king, queen, or dictator—rules.
  • King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lion- Hearted, led Britain from 1189–99.
  • Sadam Hussein, Hitler, Stalin, and Castro were/are all examples of dictators.
oligarchy or aristocracy
Oligarchy or Aristocracy
  • A government in which a small group—landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants—controls most of the governing decisions.
  • Louis XVI (1754 – 1793) was symbolic of the French aristocracy.
  • The Royal Family in Saudi Arabia was an example of an aristocratic oligarchy.
  • A government in which political power is vested in the people.
  • Direct (classic) democracy provides for decision making by all of the people. (Ancient Athens).
  • Representative democracy or a Republic provides for representatives chosen by the people.
modern democratic concepts
Modern Democratic Concepts
  • Elitist Democracy – political power is concentrated in the hands of a small group of powerful (wealth) individuals.
  • Pluralistic Democracy – power is dispersed among different power centers.
    • Labor organizations
    • Professional associations
    • Industry
    • Environmentalists
representative democracy
Representative Democracy
  • Today, most nation-states operate under the concept of representative democracy.
    • Total Nation-States 193
    • Free - 90 Partially Free - 58
    • Not Free - 45
  • Individuals are elected by the citizens to represent them in the affairs of civil society.
  • Presidential versus Parliamentary organization is main difference.
how do governments govern
How Do Governments Govern?
  • Constitutional
  • Authoritarian
  • Totalitarian
purpose of government in the united states
Purpose of Government in the United States
  • We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty….
  • Collective Goods – for the benefit of all.
  • Minimalist State – restrict government action to only those things individuals can not do.
principles of american democracy political culture
Principles of American Democracy – Political Culture
  • American Creed
  • Individual Freedom (Liberty)
  • Equality - political, economic, social
    • Not complete equality regulated by government
  • Constitutional Democracy
    • Majority rule protecting minority rights
    • Voluntary consent of governed
    • powered by a written charter
interaction core ideals institutions
  • Individualism Politics
  • Liberty
  • Equality
  • Constitutionalism Government
  • Democracy




the initial debate the proper role of government
The Initial Debate:The Proper Role of Government
  • The Founders were divided over the proper size and role of government.

—The Federalists wanted a strong central government to promote commerce, prevent political strife, and protect international interests.

—The Antifederalists feared that a strong central government would endanger liberty, thereby favoring weaker and decentralized government.

the current debate
The Current Debate
  • The conflict continues today between conservatives (Republicans) and liberals (Democrats).

—Conservatives (Republicans) seek a strong government to protect economic interests, public morality, and international interests, and generally prefer state government action.

—Liberals (Democrats) seek a strong national government to protect civil liberties, the environment, and to provide economic security.