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Politics Power& Authority. What is Politics? What do you think of politics? CLICKER: participation Are you involved in politics? A: yes B: no C:NO, NEVER.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics Power& Authority. What is Politics? What do you think of politics? CLICKER: participation Are you involved in politics? A: yes B: no C:NO, NEVER."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics Power& Authority

2 What is Politics? What do you think of politics? CLICKER: participation Are you involved in politics? A: yes B: no C:NO, NEVER ! D:Huh? What?

3 What is Politics? “The Master Science” Aristotle “The process of peacefully reconciling social and economic differences” Turner et al “Persistent patterns of human relationships that involve a significant degree of control, influence, power or authority.” Robert Dahl

4 What is Power? Is it evil? Is it dictatorial? Does it require force? A.Yes: power is always based on force B.Power usually based on force C.Power may or may not be connected to force D.Power definitely does not need force Clicker:

5 What is Power? An aspect of a relationship between 2 social actors where one actor “A” can induce or influence actor “B” to do something in line with A's preferences when B would not do that otherwise.  Adapted from Robert Dahl

6 Sources of Power David Easton: Force  Physical Violence or the credible threat thereof (including incarceration)  Not just angry or harsh words Rewards  Payment for good behavior  Withholding benefits for bad behavior Legitimacy (authority)  Established moral right to rule  Moral obligation for followers to obey

7 Sources of Power Force  Physical Violence or the credible threat thereof  Not just angry or harsh words  Consequences of Force?  Quick compliance  Resentment and hostility  Requires monitoring – Costly  Generates revolt and sabotage  Unstable by itself

8 Sources of Power Rewards  Payment for good behavior  Withholding benefits for bad behavior  Consequences  Compliance without hostility  Costly, requires constant payoffs  Requires monitoring  Reward “inflation”  Bankruptcy

9 Sources of Power Legitimacy (authority)  Established moral right to rule  Moral obligation for followers to obey  Consequences  Obedience without monitors  Loyalty and respect  Low cost to ruler  Efficient and stable

10 Sources of Power Legitimacy (authority) Consequences Continued Abuse of power Followers become victims Corruption All these can undermine legitimacy in time

11 Sources of Power REAL political groups use some combination of Force, Rewards, and Legitimacy Stable systems must have some element of Legitimacy/Authority Legitimacy/Authority, while effective and stable, must be constrained to avoid abuse

12 Authority (Legitimacy)  Max Weber  1864-1920 Germany  The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism  Sociology of Religion  Economics  Government

13 Weber on Authority 3 Types  Rational Legal  Modern  Based on rules and processes  Bureaucracy  Traditional  Old Europe  Inherited authority  Charismatic  Special, Personal, Revolutionary  Based on individual leader’s special characteristics

14 Rational Legal Authority  Authority established through a process  “Procedural Authority”  Elections  Government Hiring Processes  Rules for decisions:  Rules for a trial  Rules and procedures to earn a degree  Rules for law-making in Congress  Rules for getting a marriage license, etc.

15 Rational Legal Authority  Authority is bounded  Limited to a particular context  Relationships are specific and bounded  Limited to a context  Limited to a time  Limited within specific range of action

16 Rational Legal Authority  Strengths:  Predictable  Orderly  Transparent  All are equal  Relatively little chance for abuse  Protects subordinates’ rights

17 Rational Legal Authority  Problems:  Slow  Rigid and inflexible  Impersonal  Processes may overwhelm goals  Stupid outcomes may result  Quick obvious solutions blocked

18 Rational Legal Authority  Typical of modern, democratic governments  Focuses on procedures more than outcomes  Emphasizes equality  Both protects and frustrates most citizens

19 Traditional Authority  Authority is inherited or simply is  Leaders are leaders because they are:  Divine right of Kings  Village elders  Inherited priesthood lineage (Old Testament)  Usually has patterns of inheritance  Stable transitions

20 Traditional Authority  Authority is diffuse and unbounded  No particular limits firmly established  No time frame limitations  Relationships are whole-person  Leader not limited to particular aspects of life  Leader may tread on “private” matters  Relationships are reciprocal but asymmetrical  Mutual obligations of benevolence and loyalty

21 Traditional Authority  Potential Strengths:  Stable and orderly  Flexibility, not bound by excessive rules  Generates strong positive associations  “Right” doesn’t get blocked by process or rules

22 Traditional Authority  Potential Problems  “Right” seen only from leader’s perspective  Fickle  No way to remove incompetent leaders  No room for exemplary talent to rise  Unlimited or unrestrained power leaves potential for abuse wide open  Little room for the “individual”

23 Charismatic Authority  Charisma vs charisma  Personal characteristics of leader  Super-human  Uniquely able to resolve grand problems  The Charismatic leader IS the solution  Special relation to deity? Sometimes

24 Charismatic Authority  Followers believe leader to be infallible  Leader can command ANYTHING  Violate traditional values? OK  Change everything, even beliefs? OK  Do things I used to consider evil? OK This is MORE than just a strong, dynamic leader.

25 Weber’s CHARISMA Leader is super human Leader IS the answer to major problems Leader demands MAJOR change and gets it newspaper charisma

26 Charismatic Leaders  Only recognizable if:  Demand dramatic, life-altering changes  Require followers to change dramatically  Even doing things they previously believed to be morally wrong  Followers accept and follow those demands  Some leaders may have this ability, but if they don’t test it, we don’t know

27 Real Examples:  Mao Tzedong  Jim Jones  Moses  Christ  Joseph Smith  Adolph Hitler

28 Newspaper charisma but NOT Weber’s CHARISMA  John F Kennedy  Mother Teresa  Barack Obama  Oprah Winfrey  Ronald Reagan

29 How does it happen?  Major crisis – either personal or societal  Charismatic proposes DIAGNOSIS  Diagnosis ‘rings true’ to potential followers  Charismatic presents SOLUTION  Solution relies on Charismatic’s ability  Solution ‘will bring salvation,’ resolve problems  Solution requires total obedience and major change  Troubled people choose to follow – all the way

30 Charismatic Authority  Potential Strengths  Rapid change is possible  Old, corrupt systems can be overthrown  A new world is possible  May really solve major problems

31 Charismatic Authority  Potential problems  New world is worse than the old  Leader is an idiot and everything crashes  Grand Schemes are OK, but not details  Leader abuses authority – followers victimized  Transitions of authority very dicey  Leaders usually very jealous of subordinate leaders  Leaders resist routinization  Collapse at leader’s demise

32 Weber’s 3 Authority Types: Review  Rational legal  Modern, procedures, limits, common in democratic government  Traditional  Old monarchy, family, sometimes religion  Charismatic  Rare, Revolutionary, Leader is superhuman and unlimited

33 What is Government? Generic: The system of offices that oversee and guide the interactions of individuals in a political system The Government of a Country: A government that successfully upholds a claim to exercise the exclusive regulation of the legitimate use of force in enforcing its rules within a territorial area

34 Why Government Thomas Hobbes Human life in the state of nature is “nasty, brutish and short.”  Create Order  Protect life  Defend property rights  Enforce contracts

35 The problem…  How does a nation create a government with enough authority and power to keep order, protect property, and preserve life and at the same time prevent that government’s officials from using their power to enrich themselves and persecute their rivals?

36 Human nature and power  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely…  “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” D&C 121:39

37 American Solution  Divide power  3 branches  Federal and States  Check power with power  Create a balance where each, by seeking his own power checks the power of others  Establish core rights and limits in the Constitution  Entrust enforcement of those limits to the self interest of balancing powers


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