2 Key Terms State Sovereignty Nation Nation-state consensus government social contractphilosopheraffecttheory
3 What is the State?The first serious students of politics and government were the Greeks.In the Western World, scholars look to the Greek philosopher Aristotle who wrote famously, “man is a political animal.”For Greeks, state meant city-state which was made up of a town and its surrounding area.In the modern world the term state means a political community with a precise territory.A state has sovereignty – it makes and enforces its own laws without approval from another authorityMany of the Greek ideas survived through the Romans, however the Romans were a republic, not a democracy. How do the two differ?
4 What is the State?Currently, 193 sovereign states are recognized by the UN, including the United States.In an American context, we recognize 50 states in our federal system.The term nation is used for state, but actually means a sizable group of people who believe themselves united by common bonds of race, language, custom or religion.Not every modern state shares this make up: Not everyone in France is of French descent, however both the nation and the state coincide. This is known as a nation- state.Some national groups have no state but desire one:Ex: Some African states are made up of different nations or tribal groups.In most cases the terms state, nation and country are used interchangeably.
5 Essential Features of a State What are the four essential features of a modern state?
6 Essential Features of the State There are four essential features that make the modern state: population, territory, sovereignty and government.
7 Essential Features of the State: Population The nature of a state's population affects its stability.In states where there is a consensus about basic beliefs and values, the government is most stable.The United States government is stable because most Americans believe in a democratic system.Another way population affects a state is through distribution.Recent population shifts have moved political power from the Northeast to the Southwest.States with greater population gain representatives in Congress and vice versa.
8 Essential Features of the State: Territory Every state has establish boundaries.What are the boundaries of the United States?CanadaMexicoPacific OceanAtlantic OceanPolitical boundaries are often the source of conflict among states and may change due to war, negotiations or purchase.
9 Essential Features of the State: Sovereignty The key characteristic of a state is sovereignty.Sovereignty means the state has supreme and absolute authority within its boundaries.In theory - no state has the right to interfere with the affairs of another state.In theory - every state is equal with respect to rights and duties.In practice - states with great economic strength and military capabilities have more power than other states.
10 Features of the State: Government Government is the institution through which a state maintains social order, provides public services and enforces decisions that are binding on all its residents.
11 Origins of the State Evolutionary Theory Force Theory How did the state come to be?No one knows for sure but scholars have created theories to explain the origins of the state.Include:Evolutionary TheoryForce TheoryDivine Right TheorySocial Contract Theory
12 Origins of the State: Evolutionary Theory Evolutionary Theory - believes the state evolved from the family.The head of the primitive family supposedly served as the government authorityAn extended family may include hundreds of people and need a more organized government.Example - Abraham’s descendants in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.
13 Origins of the State: Force Theory In early civilizations, people cooperated to survive by building walled cities.Some point to this fact to prove the state was born out of force.They believe the state would not exist without a force to keep out.A state then emerged when an area was brought under the authority of a person or group.
14 Origins of the State: Divine Right Theory Divine Right - the idea that certain people are chosen by a god or gods to ruleSpecifically refers to European monarchs of the 1600s and 1700s who claimed right to rule from God alone.To oppose the monarch was to oppose God, so not only treason but sinful as well.
15 Origins of the State: Social Contract Theory In the 1600s, Europeans began to challenge the divine right theory.Among the challengers were Englishmen John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.They believed in any society that a “state of nature” existed where there was no government.To create a government a social contract was made between ruler and ruled.Both had different views on contract terms.
16 Origins of the State: Social Contract Theory Hobbes thought in the “state of nature” life would be “nasty, brutish and short”.What does he mean by this?In Hobbes social contract, people surrendered their freedom in return for order and security.Hobbes believed as long as the government kept order, people could not break their contract.
17 Origins of the State: Social Contract Theory Locke lived during the removal of James II (divine right believer) and replacement with William and Mary of Orange.Locke defended the overthrow by this reasoning:In the “state of nature” men and women had certain natural rights - life, liberty and property.Locke’s contract was made between people and government promising to preserve those natural rights, if they did not the people could rebel.A century later, American colonists used Locke's theory to revolt against King George III.
18 Purposes of Government Modern government has several functions-maintain social orderprovide public servicesprovide security and defenseprovide for the economyTo fulfill these functions governments make laws and then carry them outAuthority is derived from two sources:legitimacy and forceLegitimacy - willingness of citizens to obey the governmentObtained in democratic countries through the power to voteForce - the police, judiciary, and militaryExample - pay your taxes or be imprisoned.
19 Purpose: Maintain Social Order According to social contract theory, people need government because humans cannot live in peace.Government provides ways to resolve conflicts thus maintaining social order.Governments can also make and enforce laws, requiring people to do things they may not do voluntarily.Examples?Government provides law and order, making civilized life possible.An effective government allows citizens to plan for the future, get an education, raise a family and live orderly lives.
20 Purpose: Provide Public Service Providing essential services is an important purpose of government making community life possible and promoting general welfare.Examples of government provided public services?Other services promote public health and safety.Examples?
21 Purpose: Provide Security Protecting national security is a major concern of each sovereign stateIn addition to protecting the nation from attack, government also handles day-to-day relations with other nationsThe Constitution gives the federal government a monopoly over the relations with foreign nations.Government provides economic security by signing trade agreementsSome state governments have informal relations with other nations to increase trade or cultural exchanges but the national government can place limits on these exchanges.
22 Purpose: Economic Decisions No country provides its citizens with everything they need or desire.Poverty and scarce resources has been a basic cause for conflict in most countriesThe greater the income gap, the greater chance for conflictPoverty has even contributed to full blown revolutionsWith that in mind, leaders often try and reduce economic conflict through interventionGovernments may also intervene in other nations econimc affairs to promote their own national securityAfter WWII, the US funded the Marshall Plan due to fears of Communist revolutionsGovernment makes monetary policy, including but not limited to:farm subsidiestax incentivesinflation controlregulations