POG 100: Introduction to Politics and Governance, Section 1/2/3/4 F2007

September 04, 2007

September 04, 2007
• • • • • • Introductions Course outline What is Politics - briefly speaking Studying Politics People and the consent to be governed Film: A Force More Powerful

Course Director:

Grace-Edward Galabuzi

• Class Time: • Tutorials: • • • •

Tuesday 2-4pm Wed. 12-1pm; Thursday. 121pm;1- 2pm; Friday. 12-1pm Class Location: EPH 242 Office : Room 719, Jorgenson Hall Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00pm -1:45pm or by appointment Telephone: (416) 979-5000 ext. 6189 E-mail: galabuzi@ryerson.ca

Course Description
• • • • • The course introduces students to the study of politics and governance and the fundamental issues and challenges that politics deals with. Politics is the study of how power is acquired and used for the purposes of determining the distribution of society’s resources Governance is a study of how societies and peoples are organized to ensure social, political and economic order. The course looks at the multiple forms of governance and key political ideas, processes, institutions, structures, and actors in politics and governance. We will review different approaches to the study of politics and governance, including historical and contemporary approaches, mainstream and critical perspectives, democratic challenges and challengers. Among others, we will survey, Canadian politics, political theory, comparative politics, international politics, public administration, public policy and political economy.

Course Objectives
The course has three interrelated objectives: • First, students will be introduced to the study of politics and will be able to develop a broad and general understanding of the field. They will be introduced to comparative perspectives of the field, comparing Canadian political processes to those in other countries in the global North and the global South. Various experiences from these three areas will be discussed. • Second, students will learn or strengthen their ability to think critically about everyday issues and experiences that define the processes of governance. They will be required to articulate informed and substantiated opinions on a vast array of political issues, concerns and debates. • Third, students will acquire tools to be able to participate effectively in the political process as engaged citizens, employees or consultants in a changing, globalizing world that is best understood as a political, economic and socio-cultural phenomenon.

Course Format
• This course will be delivered by the instructor and tutorial leaders. It will include a two hour lecture and a one hour tutorial. Lectures will link the topics listed for the week to the assigned readings and related issues in the political science literature. From time to time during the lectures, we will deal with key political issues in the news that week. Come prepared to discuss key issues in the news each week. Tutorials will be run in seminar format, featuring student presentations and more in-depth discussion of the material from the lectures. This is also the place to clarify your understanding of the readings, and to get help with assignments. The participation grading will depend largely on your attendance and active participation in the tutorial. Students will be expected to make presentations in the tutorials as determined by the tutorial leader. You will therefore be expected to attend tutorials (as well as lectures) and participate actively in the discussion of the readings. Note again: the participation grade will depend on your regular attendance and participation in the tutorial and lecture, as well as periodic in-class assignments.

Course Materials
Required texts • Course text: Janine Brodie & Sandra Rein. Critical Concepts: Introduction to Politics, 3rd Edition. Toronto: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005 • Complementary course reader: George MacLean & Brenda O’Neill. Ideas, Interests and Issues: readings in Introductory Politics. Toronto: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006

Course Requirements
• You will be required to complete four (4) commentaries or reaction papers over the course of the term. These will be selected by you from among the tutorial readings assigned from the Course Reader in the two or three weeks immediately preceding the date they are due. There will not be a term paper but the reaction papers will test your ability to synthesize the assigned readings and articulate arguments coherently and clearly. They should be not more than four (4) pages long each. Written assignments will be assessed on your ability to articulate

the key issues, comprehension, critical analysis, organization and grammar.
• Be sure to introduce your subject matter, providing a summary of the key issues or arguments in the reading, provide critical reaction to the key issues or arguments based on your ‘informed’ opinion, and a conclusion. As part of your analysis, you will be expected to draw on the relevant theoretical concepts introduced in the lecture. You will also have to write a mid-term quiz and a final exam. The quiz will cover key concepts discussed in the lectures and from required readings in weeks 1-6. You will have an hour to provide answers to two short essay questions that demonstrate your understanding of the material. The final exam will be a 2-hour sit down exam covering all the material from the term and requiring students to respond to four (4) essay questions. While the Professor will assign in-class exercizes from time to time, your tutorial leader will mark 50% of your work in this course. Try and find out what they expect from you. And treat them as you would anyone with power to make your life successful.

Evaluation scheme
• Critical Commentary papers (4)
Best 3 will count against the total 30%

• • • •

Mid term Quiz Participation/Attendance Final Exam Final Grade

20% 20% 30% 100%

Why Study Politics
• It is fun. It involves lies, sex, power, videotapes – reality TV at its best! Imagine all the crazy stories we hear daily about politicians!!
– – – – – A US Senator caught in the act of soliciting sex from a police officer at Minneapolis Airport bathroom resigned this past weekend In another story, a Florida state senator likewise caught paying for gay sex claimed he had been propositioned by a fit looking Black man and was afraid for his life so he offered sex and money The image of Liberal party operatives delivering money to a Mafia boss like figure in Quebec may have cost the Liberals the federal election in 2005 Did the provincial liberals actually give a cricket organization one $1 million although they had applied for $250,000? Ever checked out question period?

• • • • • •

Politics is full of interesting stories about important and historical figures as well as those who think they are - Jon Stewart, Rich Mercer and other comedians make a living off of political satire. But Politics is also important business because it determines who gets what opportunities in society, as well as whether there is peace or war. It determines our place in the world and what kind of world we live in. Public policy defines the future for current and future generations – the quality of education, the
level of student debt, the economy in which you will seek employment thinking when they make certain decisions

As citizens, it helps us understand what seem like mysterious phenomena - what our leaders are It is easy because it is about things that happen in our everyday lives It leads to good, secure and interesting careers (sometimes in interesting places)

Studying Politics
• • • Studying politics enables us to understand events around us, in their proper historical and broad context. We can get beyond the façade of daily occurrences to acquire a better understanding of the structures, processes, social actors and hierarchies that ultimately define the nature of political life in time and space. Politics is about change but it is also about continuity. We live in a time of massive change, with technology and social forces transforming what was once familiar and safe, throwing us into new contexts that we may not have prepared for. For instance:
– – – – – – – – There were certain basic assumptions about the Canadian economy that were shattered by the free trade accords of 1988 and 1993, and by globalization. We no longer see the economy as organized along national lines in a globalized and regionalized environment. What does that say about how much power our politicians have over the economy? The approach of the American government to international politics changed after the attacks of September 11 2001. There is now a new prism through which we understand American action called the ‘war on terror’ Is America an imperial power, a civilizing influence in the world or a frightened has been? Did the World Trade Organization shift its assumptions of uncontested dominance market forces in world trade after people came crashing its party in Seattle Has the World Bank been talking about debt cancellation in the post-G8 mobilizations because it is threatened with protests or is this a clever way of keeping its control over the economies of countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa under its influence?

Studying Politics
• • The study of politics is therefore both about interpreting the changes and the conflicts that arise from them, as well as how to manage them so that society can reproduce itself and thrive. Yet, the more we experience change, the more wisdom we draw from those thinkers who hundreds and some thousands of years ago grappled with the issues of how best to organize societies and ensure sustainable governance. From them, we learn both the various methods of approaching these problems as well as the practical possibilities they provided. Some of them sound like they are speaking directly to our time. Others anticipated what might come after the events we are witness to today. Still others inspire us to look beyond today’s challenges and build better societies. They inspire in us a new idealism and provide the basis for mass mobilization and action. Socrates argued that democracy can only survive if the citizen is a critic of those who govern as opposed to being follower. We are embarking on a journey in this course. One that will transform how we see the world, help us understand our place in it and prepare us for key roles in it. We are embarking on a mission to take control of our lives and our society. That is what the study of politics is about. It is about acquiring the knowledge to know and act. It is about animating our abilities to take control of our destiny.

What is Politics
• Politics is about power and how power is exercised to determine access to society’s resources: It seeks to address the questions: who gets what why and how? Politics is the process by which communities, peoples, societies pursue collective goals and deal with conflicts authoritatively through their governments Politics is concerned with how people organize themselves to tackle common problems. It is a contested process involving struggles among groups with conflicting interests Politics is a process: A continuing series of events and interactions among actors – individuals, organizations, governments. These processes occur within structures demarcated by rules, procedures, institutions Politics as a process by which individuals or citizens ensure the common good or public good Politics is the ‘art of the possible’. Emphasis is on compromise/mediating differences

Governance
• • • • Simply put "governance" means: the process of political decision-making and the means by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance is concerned with the organization of power Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance. Since governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on
– formal – informal

• •

processes. It also focuses on actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made the formal and informal structures in place to arrive at and implement the decision.

Politics and governance
• • • In the early twenty first century, the focus of politics and governance is largely on national level organization - commonly known as the state. The state is the structure through which local governance over everyday events is connected to international levels of governance over global events However, we are often impacted directly by other levels of organization – local community, village, municipal, reservation, band, and sub-nation (such as provincials, state)
– – These both have the capacity and role in solving people’s common problems as well as administrative and historical structures that make them relevant. They also have the capacity to impact people lives negatively

People in different parts of the world govern themselves in a variety of ways. In some cases, as in Canada, people have various levels of governance and formal governments. In other places informal processes are more pronounced, so we consider them less democratic. In Canada, we also acknowledge some of the informal processes of governance that occur outside of the structures of government, such as those in what we call civil society: the business sector, the social sector, religious institutions. Like state actors, these institutions engage in rule making that determines the conduct of life for their members and provide them with identity, belonging and a sense of purpose in life.

Political Structures and Ideas
• Political institutions
– infrastructure of governance – parliament, assemblies, councils, bureaucracy, judiciary, political parties, civil society and social sector agencies, social movements – Constitutions, legislation, by-laws – The study of politics has historically focused on institutions of government

Political Ideas – Politics as ideas: G. W. Hegel (1770-1831) argued that it is ideas that are the foundation of political action and political institutions According to Hegel, all that exists is the product of the human mind or ideas. Nothing exists outside of the consciousness of human beings. In essence, consciousness determines our being. – Without political ideas, we cannot conceive of the institutions of governance that are the product of human imagination. Political ideas are embodied in the political systems and the institutions they produce. Ideas are the most important source of explanation of human conduct. – Ideology: A set of systematic ideas or beliefs that provide a coherent and consistent
explanation for political action. They often have core concepts of human nature and a philosophy of history. The concept of human nature is central to the study of politics because it informs our ideological approach to politics and public policy. As our ‘taken for granted’ understanding of the events around us, it defines our world view and political affiliations/commitments

Units of Analysis
• • • • • The individual as a unit of analysis Sovereignty of the individual/Citizen Individual located within society The state, kingdom, province, community Increasingly global due to globalization

Power to govern
The power to govern derives from: • The individual citizen/s as source of political legitimacy • The people as source of legitimacy - people power, class power • God (deity) -divine authority as source of legitimacy – theocracy, absolute monarchy • Traditional/expert authority as source of legitimacy - aristocracy, oligarchy, corporatism • Power as source of legitimacy - dictatorship, colonialism, imperialism

Power to govern
• Consent to govern drives from the People • People can give or withdraw consent • The case of India – the biggest colonial revolt in human history • Film: A force more Powerful

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