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September 25 2007
September 25 2007
• • • • • Review: Political Power Political regimes Approaches to the Study of Politics Ideas and ideologies Film: The Bottom Line: Privatizing the World
Review: Power and Politics
• • • • Power as the ability to bring about desired outcome Power as the ability to influence the actions of others Power as coercion - using fear or threats to achieve outcomes Power as the ability to impose one group’s interests on others - or to define them as the public interest • Power as the capacity to make decisions • Power to act - citizens • Power over others - subjects • Power as ubiquitous – Michel Foucault
– Power runs through all social relations – Knowledge as power – Power and resistance
Review: Power to and Power over
Power understood as: Power to act:
– Being empowered to do something about events around you, achieve collective goals – People power - Gandhi and India, Philippines,Civil rights movements, feminist movement, social movements
• Power over others:
– Being subject to constraints imposed by others – Citizen as subject – Oppressions - imperialism, patriarchy, colonialism
The struggle over India
The case study of India in “A force more powerful” • Represents the biggest colonial revolt in human history • Demonstrates the limits of imperial power or power over and the possibilities of people power to act • Anti-colonial movement, like other social movements arise out of compelling ideas that address specific material conditions • Politics is about conflict and struggle • Governance is possible only with the consent of the governed
Consent as basis for governance
• Consent to govern derives from the People • People can give or withdraw consent • Governance depends on the tacit consent of the governed • Political and social orders are sustained by dominant orders that use power to generate the consent of the governed
Consent and hegemony
Antonio Gramsci: How is consent achieved?
• Consent is achieved through proceses of hegemony making. • Hegemony represents a dominant political, social and economic order with ideological and material dimensions, in which one group in society achieves and maintains ‘control’ through processes of coercion and consent • Political society - institutions of the state and their agents are central to that process • Civil society – institutions outside government such as churches and social movements sometimes collaborate and at other times struggle against dominant structures and ideologies that are the basis for consent
• An order in which dominant ideas about the organization of society and way of life are considered normal or natural • These ideas become normalized through processes that inform the commonsense notions of how a society should be run. • They represent the dominance of one world view and a single way to explain human actions and what is good and evil • A hegemonic order uses ideologies to explain the way the world works, these eventually becoming the common sense way of thinking. In turn, they then influence political consent and public policy outcomes. • Its logic is diffused throughout society – through all its institutional and private manifestations, informing its tastes, morality, customs, religious and political principles, and all social relations, intellectual and moral connotations.
• Authority represents the ‘right to make decisions’ for a political community. • Political authority guarantees legitimacy – meaning that the governed accept the process and decisions of those in authority
Max Weber (1864-1920) • Traditional –authority invested in individuals by custom or heredity • Charismatic – authority derives from extraordinary personal qualities of a leader and the ability to inspire a following • Legal rationalism – authority defined by bureaucratic, procedural structures – Modern liberal democratic institutions – the emphasis is on expert knowledge – corporatism
• Legitimate authority is central to governance • Politics is often about maintaining legitimate authority • Effective governance depends on the legitimacy of those with power to get the people to act in ways that achieve their objectives • Legitimacy involves both consent and the acknowledgement of coercive force • All governments depend on the inclination of the population to obey the laws they pass but also rely on coercion to a certain extent • Question: Should individuals fight in an unpopular war?
Citizen as sovereign
• Citizen as the source of legitimacy for government • Socrates: Human beings become central to governance when they can give direction to their lives
– No longer instruments of Gods and deities but self-determining – This was the great escape that made human civilization possible – The autonomy of the individual citizen to make decisions that affect his/her life
• Citizen as an individual and a persistent critic of society because of concern about the common good • Citizen should question received truths from power and authority • Citizen as the primary client or customer of government • Government as the citizens’ instrument to address power imbalances in society
• Human beings are organized in groupings to ensure survival, to reproduce and to develop and transmit culture • There are discernable patterns of authority which direct the process of decision making about these social objectives • They involve politics, power and forms of governance - representing the organized process by which the capacity to make decisions is actualized • The study of politics involves categorizing the various forms governance takes - as regimes
• Regime can be defined as a form of rule • Brodie (Text, 2005:90) refers to regimes also as ‘a mode of governance over the organized activity of a social formation within and across a particular configuration of society, state, market and global insertion’ • Regime contains four spheres, all of which are interrelated and interlocking: – State – Society – Market – Globalization
Spheres of regimes: State
• State: A country is often referred to as a nation-state because it represents a form of social organization sustained by a defined territory, population, shared history and a central authority often called government • The government has sovereign control and the exclusive capacity to make decisions and to use coercive power to enforce them. • There are over 184 such entities in the world today. • The state represents a key unit of analysis in political science. It is the realm which has preoccupied political inquiry the most because of its institutions and relations. • States affect the daily lives of peoples in many ways
Spheres of regimes: Society
• The state is related to and in many cases determined by the values of a society - a system of interrelated groups and structures. • According to Webber, a society dominated by traditional values and peasants would likely have a feudal form of governance and a monarchy while a society with more urban values and industrialization and a working class (proletariat) would likely be a liberal democracy • According to Marx’s approach called political economy, the most fundamental activity human beings engage in is economic production of means for life - hunting, gathering, agriculture, industry. So the organization of labour determines the values and type of society. • The relationship between social classes such as slaves, serfs, peasants, landlords, workers, capitalists, are determined by their role in production and their control over the means of production. The state is the political expression of those social relationships and their guarantor - the executive committee of the ruling class
Spheres of regimes: Market
• Market: Over three or more centuries of capitalist organization of national and global economies have entrenched the processes of production, exchange and distribution associated with that mode of economic organization as a dominant sphere of regimes. The market includes relations of property ownership and production, as well as its political orders and identity Key market principles include: private ownership of the means of production, price mechanism, income, and the invisible hand that organizes the market through its control over supply and demand. Because the market is where production and accumulation occur, wealth and power are determined within this sphere Some theorists use the concept of ‘regimes of accumulation’ to capture the social, economic, political dimensions of the market sphere Increasingly, market decisions have come to supercede political decisions leading some to refer to the current period in history - the period of globalization, as market civilization
• • • • •
Spheres of regimes: Globalization
• • • • • Brodie (text, 2005:89) refers to this sphere as one of Global insertion. It defines the interrelationships of societies and states through the process of the global market or global economy and the international state system. It covers international relations - the domain of states dominated by ‘great powers’ as well as the global economy, the domain of transnational corporations and other non-state actors Foreign policy, international trade, war and peace, international organizations such as the United Nations Organization, IMF, World Bank, WTO Wallerstein (1984) argues that these constitute a world system. It is one that is hierarchical, with a core (around which it revolves) and a periphery. These unequal divisions once translated into the First, second and Third World. Today they appear as the Global North and South arising out of a history of colonialism and imperialism
• The study of regimes has been enhanced by the use of typologies to categorize the various forms of governance in history and around the world • The differences derive from different histories, various processes of nation-state formation nationalism, imperialism, colonialism • They also derive from different ways of organizing production - feudalism, mercantilism, capitalism, socialism, communism, and more recently globalization
Typologies and Ideal-types
• To construct typologies, we lean heavily on an idea popularized by Max Webber (1864-1920). • Webber advocated the use of what is known as ideal-types to distinguish between social or political orders. • Ideal-types are artificially constructed or abstract concepts used to describe the most ideal form of social organization. • The characteristics attributed to ideal-types are often not fully realized in actual life examples but approximate them – social democracy, communism, capitalism, liberal democracy, market economy as examples of ideal-types • The use of ideal-types in the social sciences is similar to the use of experiments in the natural sciences. Its application is aimed at generalizing social behaviour
Ideal-types and social formations
• Critique: Ideal types suggest a static form of order. However, human beings are dynamic and the organization of human societies changes with time • Karl Marx (1818-1883), building on Webber’s ideas developed the concept of social formations which suggests that society is organized through flexible social, economical, political and cultural processes that allow it to achieve coherence over time • Social formations are systems with interlocking and interacting dimensions • This approach speaks to the ability of social organizations to change while also maintaining stability
• The classic regime typology includes three forms: – Authoritarian – Democratic – Revolutionary • More recently, the questions raised about the extent to which regimes are subject to the power of institutions such as corporations • Others argue that not all democratic regimes are the same – they show significant variation and diversity • Theorists have suggested a new formulations that seek to address the influence of corporations on modern governments/societies – Corporatist regime
• Characterized by rule by the few • Force or threat of use of force used implicitly or explicitly to maintain order • There is a continuum of authoritarian regimes that runs from benevolent dictatorships to totalitarian and governed by adherence to strict ideological or religious beliefs - theocracy, communism, fascism • Bureaucratic-authoritarianism describes military dictatorships whose project was nation building and state led development in post-colonial periods in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East • Many were able to survive because of support from super powers who used them a satellite states
• • • • • • • • • Characterized as rule by the people (as self-determining citizens) Majority consent is the basis for legitimacy Majority benefit from and support the political order Include representative, social democratic, socialist, oligarchic, dependent, limited democracies In reality, these regimes are more representative and pluralist, than participatory – procedures exist to facilitate participation but other structures limit participation to small majorities Individuals have rights of citizenship and civic responsibilities, chief among them is the electoral process that determines who governs They are said to be the form of government most closely identified with the capitalist mode of production. Some have suggested that they represent the interests of ruling elites oligarchies dominate decision making at the expense of the masses Examples: Canada, USA, Sweden, France, Great Britain, Chile, Brazil
• Characterized by the overthrow of the preceding sociopolitical and economic order by a few or many (class or vanguard rule). • Most are born out of violence and tend to have a disciplinary dimension to them • Rarely are they pluralist and they often become totalitarian • Founded on ideologies that represent radical idea of how to organize society - radical transformation of the society, its social relations and the state • Marxists, communist, Anti-colonialist, nationalist, Islamic • Examples include: Russia, China, Vietnam, Iran • People power in Philippines, Bolivia, South Africa demonstrate that they are not necessarily violent overthrows.
• Decision making is state directed, with the cooperation of key institutions – e.g: business and labour in Europe • Decision making is directed by powerful national or transnational interests representing • Has its roots in the C18th with the writing of such theorists as Emile Durkheim • Argued for the most efficient form of governance • Lead to an over reliance on expert class or technocracy for ‘rational’ decision making and implementation • Public accountability is limited because most decisions are not subject to political debate • Potential for alienation of citizens over time • Historical examples include fascist Italy under Mussolini
Corporatist movement in the 1920s –France, Italy, Germany Emile Durkheim (C19th): • The corporation was to become the elementary division of the state, its fundamental political unit • Obliterates the distinction between public and private • Challenges the idea of the public interest • Through the corporation, scientific rationality achieves its rightful place as the creator of collective reality • Philippe Schmitter (1970)
– Neo-Corporatism: A form of benign dictatorship – Interest representation seen as a form of corporatism
Critique of Corporatism
• Corporate rule undermines the role of the individual in liberal democracy • Leads to worship of self-interest and denies the public good • Claims rationality as the virtue that directs its form of governance • Imposes conformity and passivity on individuals • Corporate rule secures for the state the deference of citizens
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