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Week 5: Political Ideologies

  • gardner "a set of ideas to provide a description of the existing political order". Lane "externally generated"    CORE= 
  • Liberalism; liberty, market, individual freedom, voting rights. 18th and 19th c. early 20thc- new liberalism. 1970s= new right. peace, soft power. freedom of individual, moral freedom (ethical subjects). equal liberty, enlightenment basis.
  • ▪ Socialism; freedom, ownership, cooperation, equality, maximised state. marxism= capitalist v socialist. socialism= free society.
  • ▪ Conservatism; nature, authority, tradition, religion. Reaction to rapid social/political change consequent to French Revolution • Advocate for traditional social order, return to ancient regimes as an answer to the growth of other ideologies such as liberalism and socialism
  • ▪ POPULISM - "thin centred" Mudde, 2017. "End of history" (Fukujama, 1992): consensus on liberal-democracy. people and protest focused. contested as an ideology
  • ▪ Constructivism as a social theory seeking to explain identities and interests within international relations. ▪ Focuses on the social construction of subjectivity (perceptions)
  • REALISM- nations are important as actors. domestic politics are safe, int'l is anarchic. IR is struggle for peace and'l politics is relatively unchanging over time.
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-Week 2: Power: a Key Concept

  • power is important as it is the opposite force to violence
  • LUKES FACE 1- power is decision making and relational. influence and control Dahl (1957) "a has power over b to the extent that he can get b to do something b wouldn't otherwise do"
  • LUKES FACE 2- power is agenda setting. Bachrach and Baratz (1962) influence used to limit discussion or prevent conflicts from political agenda (control)
  • LUKES FACE 3- power is non-decision making influence. Lukes (2004) "a excersizes power by determining an influencing his wants to transform the pwoerless to behave as the former wishes without coercion by creating a false consciousness"


  • economic (Marxist; power resides in possession of means of production), ideological (Bacon, Gramsci; power resides in possession of forms of doctrine) or political (Macchiavelli, Hobbes)
  • Weber- politics is vocational so physical power is necessary but not sufficient alone
  • effectiveness vs legitimacy
  • will from God or the People
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-Week 3: The State as Political and Constitutional

  • Heywood 2013- state is "self-serving monster whose goal is to expand and enhance its power and position"      Hay and Lister- "state is political institution in which sovereignty is embodied"
  • state is central actor in domestic and int'l politics. sole form of substantive constitutional authority   1848 Westphalia= territorial integrity given.    modern state is supreme political authority responsible for governance
  • nation- union of people sharing a common language
  • palestine= nation without state    belgium= state without nation
  • HEGEL- state is an ethical community underpinned by mutual sympathy. more important than each and every citizen
  • minimal STATE- libertanian. individuals have most freedom. negative view of state, which guarantees order
  • welfare STATE- democratic. state strongly intervenes.positive view of state- redistributes to create fairness and justice. 
  • collectivised STATE- communist. economic life under state control with common ownership. 
  • religious STATE-  rejects secularism. theocracy governed by religion and morals. 
  • challenges= globalisation, europeanisation, non-state actors
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-Week 4: Democracy and its Critics

  • democracy- people's rule. direct- people directly involved and in control of ruling. (referendums) indirect- (elections)
  • representative party gov't- govt--parliament--citizens (system of checks and balances)
  • 20th century made popular rule impossible. elites are central as people who are able to affect political outcomes". UK- oxbridge, eton, harrow. US- bernie and trump
  • classic elitism-- focus on power distribution with the state structures. adds sociological perspective
  • Mosca- political class as a ruling minority. makes all gov'ts oligarchies
  • Michels- who says organisation says oligarchy. democracy= small numbers. delegation= big numbers
  • Dahl 2009 "ruling class as pluralistic in many countries"
  • Mills 1956- today= political, military, economic elites. state is dominated by homogenous social group with personal and common contacts
  • comtemporary elitism-- policy-making elites with professionals and experts with authority. 
  • Schumpeter-- democratic life is struggle for the mandate to rule. replace one set of rulers with another
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-Week 8: Critical Approaches to Global Politics

marxism is a revolutionary ideology. Das Kapital and Communist Manifesto.    contemporary interests-- worker's rights, voting rights, exploitation of labour, wealth disparity, control of resources. to marx, politics and society are interconnected. centred around key societal conflicts and production. LENIN, TROTSKY, GRAMSCI, MILIBAND

  • rich getting richer -> declining middle class-> ongoing class divisions
  • SUPERSTRUCTURE- social processes; politics and ideology, the law, philosophy, media, arts
  • BASE (OF SOCIETY) resources (means) production (modes)
  • ‘Production’= foundation of social life:1)Forces of production(technology)2)Social relations of production (social classes)
  • ‘Surplus-labour’: the portion of the working day devoted to surplus-value production • ‘Surplus-value’: the part of the value of a commodity exceeding the cost of labour (profit)
  • 1) Change over Continuity: exploitation by the capitalists entails resistance and struggle.
  • 2) The State as the product of social forces: it is the means of oppression of the dominant class. 
  • 3) Politics is temporarily limited: cannot survive the end of class antagonism.    
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  • Marxism as a deterministic theory: social division in classes explain the whole of politics.
  • • Marxism as a materialist theory: men/women conceived as ‘producer’ or ‘labour supplier’. Is this sufficient?
  • • Marxism as a reductionist theory: class conflict is the key social mechanism and economics explains politics
  • “Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capitalism is established; Lenin 1917

• Dependency-Theory: studies how capitalism has affected underdeveloped countries and contributed to maintain their underdevelopment

• World-System Theory: core countries manage the world, periphery countries export raw materials and import manufactured goods

• Neo-Gramscian Theory: “theory is always for someone, and for some purpose”. Hegemony in the international system via ideas

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-Week 7: The International System of States

  • politics on 2 levels;inside and outside
  • classic debate-- inside of state; power, sovereignty.  liberal state and morality and economy
  • neo-neo debate-- outside of state; power balance and limit of power. morality and economy and state. 
  • IR= balance of pwoers---superpower bipolarity---multipolarity

Liberalism----postWWII peace and cooperation. war was caused by unrestrained autocratic power. EU self-determination and colonialism. 

Realism----power limited by a counterbalance of equal power on other side. states important as they always seek power

Neoliberalism-- in age of interdependence, nonstate actors are important. low- politics = economics. high- politics= diplomacy

Neorealism-- anarchy in int'l arena. domestic politics- hierarchic. states are units with similar function but differ in power.

today= Multipolarity. end of Cold War (end of history?)- new world order. US is new hegemon 

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-Week 12: Varieties of Democracy

distinction between a free and party free state is voting and elections. political right and civil liberty

  • procedural focus on rules (Schumpeter 1947) means of struggle for votes. substantive focus on values (Bobbio 1990) equality where gov't fits inspiration.
  • minimalist- free competition for a free vote (Schumpeter 1947)
  • maximalist- institutions in a polyarchy with elected officials, free and fair elections, suffrage (Dahl 1989)
  • constitutional/ institutional aspect of democracy. enforcible rights and accountable institutions FOR the people Participation; voting and active citizenship BY the people
  • democracy- universal suffrage and representation and opposition
  • winner takes all system. less representative but more efficient
  • shared power in coalition. more representative but less efficient.
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-Week 15: Voting Behaviour (II)

direct democracy- mass voting and referendums. citizens influence policy 

indirect, representative democracy- for the people. policy decided by parliament. citizens decide parl'ment. 

Electoral mandate: representation establishes a reliable link between the


  • BALE, 2013 from 1945-2011 switzerland- 40  uk-3  italy-73
  • used for constitutional isses and (legalising divorce, arbortion, bailout, NATO membership, electoral system)  non-partisan issues, mobilise voters, 
  • trend of europe as a referendum issue accession-19 withdrawal-3
  • policy referendums and treaty revision referendums


  • constitutionality, power-reinforcement, mediation, appropriateness. 
  • forces and increases political awareness 
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-Week 16: Party Systems

  • Sartori 1976-- the systems of interactinos resulting from interparty competition. characterised by 1) number and size 2) ideological dimensions 3) interparty interactions
  • format- numerical (how many) criteria. mechanics- competitive and collusive (how party system works)
  • qualitative rule (Sartori). = coalition potential (party counted disregarding size if it can cause coalition)
  • blackmail potential (small party counted if it can exercise pressure on gov't)
  • Duverger's Law 1951--plurality-rule elections (such as first past the post) structured within single-member districts tend to favor a two-party system, whereas "the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to favor multipartism".
  • SYSTEMS- single party, two party, multiparty, noncompetitive (russia, ussr), competitive systems, dominant system, limited moderate mulitparty, fragmented multiparty. 
  • nationstate building   state/church (secular confessiona)   centre/periphery(national regionalist)       
  • industrial revolution    urban/rural (agrarian/bourgeious)           capital/labour (liberal labour)
  • mass parties-- 2nd half of 19th/early 20th century. represent social class/group and built on social organisations. 
  • catch-all parties-- transformation of mass parties. more use of professionals. weaker ideological orientation for votes/ loses party and interest connections.
  • cartel parties-- put pressure on catch-all parties. function for the state rather than society. formed to obtain money and funding.
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-Week 18: Interest groups

interest groups are organisations representing societal interests and trying to influence policy-making.

  • Ware 1996 "seek influence without seeking election, to influence formulation and implementation of public policy."
  • Greenwood 2008 "key actors in contemporary forms of gov't"
  •  private v public groups. sectional (UNISON) vs public (UNICEF) interests
  • sectional- protective of interests of members. public- promote and seek policy for their interest
  • DIFFERENCE from social movements= conflictual presentation to an opp. 

actions-- policy exchanges as gov'ts trade with unionsand employers. power exchange linked with capacity to withdraw capital or labour from production. 

  • LOBBYING- activities aim to influence any branch of gov't at any level
  • ADVOCACY- groups promoting a cause
  • CIVIL OR STRUCTURED DIALOGUE- consultations to gov't on specific bias

pluralism--- using numerous channels of influence. opposing interests should (here) have equal access to decision-makers. in competition, a fair side wins. BUT equal access is not realistic. 

neocorporatism-- division in society= business and labour. economic groups should be formally involved in decisionmaking. focus on incorporating organised interests and gov't

europeanisation-- more power to europe an the EU.  pressure groups organising in EU. increases numbers and diversity.

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-Week 19: Youth and Politics

  • norris 2002---political participartion is one of the necessary conditions for democracy.
  • Inglehart 1977- conventional- activities that aim to have a socio-political impact through traditional electoral processes. unconventional- actions that aim to bring change outside of formal electoral processes (more direct)

Average age of MPs  • UK: 50 France: 48.6 Italy: 44.3

  • “Young adults are notorious abstainers” (Smets and Ham 2013)
  • AGE is one of 3 most common independent variables in researchon voter turnout. 1) aging population 2)electoral turnout 
  • The decline amongst the younger voters has been particularly steep. In 1974,97% of 18 – 24 year olds identified with a political party – by 2010 it was just61% High rates of party dealignment, but the youth remains interested in politics
  • ‘Lifecycle’ explanations (Parry et al., 1992; Verba and Nie, 1972): young people are traditionally politically apathetic as a consequence of their individual lifestyles and of various ‘start-up’ problems that confront them.
  •  ‘politics focused’ explanation: the political system is failing to provide the stimuli necessary to encourage young people to turn out and vote (Kimberlee, 2002; Sloam 2007)
  • young people have a ‘new politics’ agenda which prioritises single-issue campaigns and is organised by social movements 
  • Political participation comes with assuming adulthood. 
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-Week 20: The Representation of Women and Minoriti

  • Pitkin 1967-- Formal representation: refers to the institutional rules and procedures through which representatives are chosen;
  • • Descriptive representation: refers to the compositional similarity between representatives and the represented;
  • • Substantive representation or responsiveness: refers to the congruence between representatives’ actions and the interests of the represented;
  • • Symbolic representation: refers to the citizens’ feelings of being fairly and effectively represented
  • Arguments for descriptive representation (Bloemraad, 2013) 1. The election of people from certain groups carries symbolic weight for members of the group and outside. 2. The election of a minority origin politician can be a measure of the acceptance of a particular group by those of the majority. 3. Statistical representation can carry real consequences for a minority group’s substantive representation. 4. Descriptive representation is easier to study across time and places.
  • Descriptive representation across national parliaments & governments is still poor
  • • A combination of intra-party factors and party-external conditions (see: Lilliefeldt, 2010) 
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