Definition and Overview
Need for an
“Who gets what, when, how, and why."
process through which social conflicts are resolved through binding and
authoritative decisions that distribute advantages and disadvantages for
society as a whole.
elements of politics: why people dislike politics
Politics is a
Politics is generated by
social conflict that is largely a consequence of scarcity.
Scarcity: People’s desire for a good exceeds the
quantities that are freely available from nature to satisfy that demand
completely and simultaneously.
Question: How will society’s limited resources be
used? Who will benefit from their use?
Political decisions are binding and authoritative.
Binding: Political decisions are not
recommendations. There will be sanctions imposed upon those who do
Authoritative: Authority is the quality that makes
the exercise of power legitimate or rightful in the eyes of society.
Political decisions are not neutral; there will always be winners and losers when a political decision is made.
is therefore always coercive since decisions are binding and biased in
their impacts on society.
Scope and domain of
political authority are very broad.
Domain of authority:
Persons or groups over which authority is exercised.
Scope of authority: Type of issues or conflicts over
which authority is exercised.
and Differences Among Political Systems
All political systems share a common
function or purpose, which is to serve as the conflict management
subsystem for society.
The differences between political
systems have to do with their structures--that is, their
institutions and processes for decision-making.
NOTE: A major objective of this
course will be to describe and explain several structural features and
decision-making procedures that distinguish the United States from other
contemporary political systems.
POLITICAL SCIENCE 1 (HONORS)