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The Nature of Power, Politics, and Government

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1 The Nature of Power, Politics, and Government
Why should YOU care about power, politics, and Government?

2 Preview Question: On a sheet of paper, rank the following values in order of importance (#1 is most important and so forth) to you. Then write a brief summary at the end that explains your justification for where you placed the values. Values to rank: Freedom Individual Rights Security Common Good Rights of citizens Responsibilities of citizens

3 What is POWER The ability to cause others to behave as they might not otherwise choose to do.

4 5 Sources of Power Expertise- Power comes from the power holder’s specific skills or expertise Coercion- power comes from the power holder’s ability to punish or penalize others

5 5 Source of Power Rewards- power comes from the ability to give something of value, such as money, responsibility, or praise Persuasion- power flows from the ability to persuade or influence others

6 5 Sources of Power Formal Authority– power comes from the position and duties within organization

7 Foundations of Government: Legitimacy
Willingness of those being led to follow those doing the leading. What gives a Ruler Legitimacy? Ex: China – rulers ruled through the Mandate of heaven Europe: Divine right of kings

8 Foundations of Government: Legitimacy
Eventually, started to see a challenge through the Social-Contract Theory: legitimacy comes from an unwritten contract between ruler and the ruled

9 Responsibilities of Government
Government’s responsibility is to maintain public order, protect life and property, and provide public goods

10 How can the Government achieve these responsibilities?
Coercion- refers to how a government uses its power to force citizens to behave certain ways Courts, police, prison system Also includes involuntary service such as the draft, jury duty

11 How can the Government achieve these responsibilities?
Revenue-how governments collect money to provide security and pay for public goods Includes tributes (payments from smaller states) Most commonly done through taxes

12 Importance of Politics
Politics: When people work to influence the decisions made by groups; often times it involves collective action (multiple groups working together), and is competitive This system is important for giving governments’ legitimacy, and achieving the responsibilities of government

13 Reflection: Reflect on the following questions by writing a one paragraph response in which you address BOTH questions: Look back at your original ranking of the values (beginning activity). Do you still support your original rankings? Why or why not? What are the challenges that modern governments face?

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