PO107 (2)

amarjotsidhu's version from 2015-06-08 02:48


Question Answer
Relationship between power and politics (Stoker and Marsh)Politics is about the uneven distribution of power in a society (Stoker and Marsh)
Dahl on what power is'A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that he would otherwise not do'
Different applications of powerpower of government, power of a country (economic, military), interpersonal power relations (families), structural sources (patriarch, etc. )
Difficulties in evaluating and analysing powereffects may be incidental (b is not doing something because of a but because of personal interests e.g. Hussein allowing UN weapons inspectors into Iraq not an example of power of the UN but more likely because Hussein wanted to get sanctions lifted from Iraq); ignores context e.g. rleations between employer/employees applies only in workplace, not in social places; different forms of power e.g. power of UK PM greater relative to US in terms of hire/fire cabinet members and control domestic affairs while the US president has greater power in international affairs; power can be latent (can only be measured if used)
Stephen Lukes on the 3 faces of power (celarly a marxist) first face of power = explicit form power, decision making power = a has power over b ; second face of power = agenda setting power = decisions can only be made on things on the agenda and agenda will be determined by interests of the powerful; third face = preference shaping = background, non political views which are seen as facts of life e.g. we accept capitalism and democracy, - things that shape our preferences and make us act agaisnt our true interests
Michael Focault on engrained viewscertain views and beliefs get engrained = people automatically obey such social norms
Elite theorypower concentrated in an elite; elite drawn from a narrow strata; elites circulate; 'latent power' = power an attribute rather than political activity
Classical elite theory (Pareto, Mosca, Michels)centred on psychology of individual people; leaders and followers have particular psyhcological characteristics; iron law of oligarchy = inevitable in any organisation; BUT, not much evidence for this, doesn't look at structure
Modern elite theoryyour level of power comes from your institutional position in society; business leaders hold power with political figures doing merely what business leaders tell them to do; experiments prove this
Floyd hunter on elite theoryinterviewed people about who they thought was in charge of their town; most mentioned names = this must be the power elite = reputational method
C Wright Mills (modern elite theory)economic, political and military elites existed in the US; 3 different interconnected elites; Eisenhower's 'iron triangles' - links politics, economics and military
Problems with modern elite theorywhere are the boundaries (who's in/out); how do you study an elite? - if an elite is operating behind the scenes they aren't going to let you study them; infinite regress - you can find an elite or if you don't find one, you argue that they are behind the scenes = conspiracy theories
Pluralist theorypower=dispersed = no elite; politics is competitive; policy results from competitive process; Robert Dahl = polyarchy, not oligarchy
Neo pluralismstructural power of business - government will automatically take business interests into account as they want the economy to do well; closed networks = restricted access of power to key issues e.g. foreign policy and environmental policy; elite pluralism = power arranged in such a way that there is no single elite = elites competing against each other
Problems with neo pluralismcircular reasoning = how are decisions made? most powerful groups. who are the most powerful gouprs? those who interests prevail ; does not look at structural issues - does not go into class, patriarchy, etc.
Marxismeconomic power = most powerful as it affects everyone - you cannot opt out of it; Antonio Gramsci - 'cultural hegemony' -> certain ideas in society that are accepted e.g. capitalism is best, are so embedded into society that people believe them to be true so they don't need to be enforced = cultural hegemony -> links to idea of 'false concisousness' ; marketing used to share our desires and preserve the capitalist system by generating profit for big business. such material desires fill our heads and we no longer care about challenging political power
problems with marxismtoo deterministic; is capitalism oppressive? (you have individual freedom); out-dated?
Testing authoritypower works covertly as well as overtly; milgram experiment; 'just following orders' e.g. nazi germany - holocaust not result of unique forces - we are all capable of evil; dilemma of authority - obeying is needed for society to work -> tribal people had to follow insturctions from leaders so obeying is a survival instinct to prevent society from falling apart, BUT it has potentially dangerous consequences
Milgram experimentperson was told to press button which would deliver electric shock to person in another and that they would be responsible for death. Despite hearing screams, etc. the shocks increased in severity but the person was told to keep pressing button, despite it being fatal. 2/3 of people kept pressing till fatal dose
Different forms of power conditional, relative and contextual
Weber's 3 kind of authoritycharismatic (e.g. hitler mussolini, stalin) ; traditional (customs that have always been obeyed e.g. Queen, feudalism); legal rational = system we have today where everyone is equal in front of the law. Impartial judgement means we follow the system
Nietzche on powerwe have a 'will' to power - an instinct which impels us to try and impose our wishes on others
Hobbes on powermoderate scarcity of resources = basis for power struggles
Goodwin on 6 archetypes which come under the term of 'power'authority (attached to office); power (ability to influence others); powers (particular rights of office holders); coercive power (power to make people do things); force (use of coercive power in an unstructured situation e.g. war); violence = physical coercion but does not usually coerce people to do things but forces authorities to take notice
Weber on power in modern societiesin legal-rational bureaucratic societies, laws and conventions attach both authority and power to offices, not their incumbents. 'the throne is not an empty chair'
Power vs. authoritypower = de facto (concerns facto, actions) ; authority = de jure (concerns right)
Plamenatz on relationship between power and authorityno man has power unless his right to command is acknowledged by some of those who obey him
Sources of a government's authority (goodwin)rests on its legal validity on the the people's acknowledgement of political obligation which commands their loyalty
Government authority post revolutionnew regime creates authority but creating a new constitution but it will have difficulty in persuading people who are used to a previous constitution and tradition e.g. people will be used to a ruler who takes over a democratic regime
Machiavelli on a ruler post revolutiona new ruler, who cannot claim hereditary or religious basis for his position, must become an expert in the exercise of power and manipulation of the people in order to survive = authority not essential to survive in the short run
Hobbes and social contractsocial contract initially grants the sovereign a right to rule = sovereign has authority. Later generations obey the sovereign for prudential reasons e.g. fearing a return to anarchy = sovereign has power over them
Locke on power and authoritypower and authority delegated to govt. but remains subordinate to the will of the people
Weber's idea of charismatic authorityscarcy since rise of hitler as it represents an unpredictable factor which may threaten democracies


Question Answer
Role of mediaproduction and distribution of knowledge; scrutinise the powerful e.g. MPs expenses, WMD, phone hacking; protection of democratic values e.g. accountability; interest group of its own; political socialisation (disseminate culture); promote hegemonic values
Pluralist view on mediamedia provides space for a variety of voices; can amplify the voices of various interests
Dominant ideology view of mediaideas of powerful prevail e.g. promotion of royal family
Market modelreflects rather than shapes public opinion - what is the point of newspapers providing views that will antagonise their readership (people read them to have their views of world affirmed)
Reporting scandals (Puglisi and Synder)democrat papers more likely to report republican scandals and vice versa = reporting of scandals not unbaised
Format of presentation of newspresented in narrative form = need to engage people, we like to hear about heroes, bad people etc. = focus on individuals e.g. criminals, rather than broader structural forces
Problems with format of newsignores impersonal factors; bad news sells e.g. ebola, immigration, etc.; emphasis on conflict and the unusual- driven by media competition; focus on the powerful (we like to emulate); 'news hole' - having too much/too little news is a bad thing
2010 leadership debateinitially gave a boost to clegg; 2nd tv debate = most watched tv programme that week
Visual medium of politics (first televised debate in US)JFK vs. Nixon. JFK = telegenic while Nixon not good on tv (fat, sweaty, etc. ) so rated poor on tv but radio listeners voted him on top
Politicians in a media ageincreasing importance of leaders and their image (presidentialisation of politics)
Media and managementsoundbites (new labour); triangulation - way of preventing policies are more moderate than they are (look at oppopsition's position, plot exact opposite of their point and go in between those 2 points); the gird = co-ordinated political announcements with big events e.g. sports minister would mention a big football match in his speech to seem clued up oon big social events; rapid rebuttal - always on standby, quick response to negative news
Benefits of internetdemocratising force, greater access to information, greater transparency, enhanced accountability, empowering
Sceptics of the internet in terms of politicsoverreaction (politics adapts and goes on as it is); reproduction of power structures e.g business dominates internet (google); little diversity of information sources (people use same sites - bbc, daily mail, etc. ); illusion of participation - are you actually participating?
Peter Cole on continued importance of printed pressreadership in decline but no decline in influence on national agenda; current affairs programmes and broadcast media rely on print journalists for opnions; politicians ever anxious to be interviewed by newspapers
Peter Cole on prominence of Daily Mailit clearly knows its readers' prejudices and reflects these rather than true reality; focuses on older readers given that 60% of its readers are over 45; key themes e.g. europe, crime, marriage, benefits
Peter coal on success of tabloids they tend to focus on soap operas and lives of celebrities e.g. infedlity, drugs addiction, etc. as well as uncovering scandals
Blair's attack on the mediaadmitted that new labour began by trying to influence the media too much; key issue = confusion of news and commentary; scandal beats ordinary reporting
Chomsky on structure of mediaincreasing centralisation and concentration of media [murdoch empire]
Chomsky and propaganda modelmedia serve and propaganize on behalf of the powerful interests that control and finance them which is achieved by filtering of info, framing of info, etc.
Axford on mass media and political policiesmass media used to sell policies rather than argue for them ; politicians adopt too readily the techniques of media marketing
Gitlin on 'meta coverage'every political move and world = planned and rehearsed
Esser on tabloidisation of mediapolitical journalism focuses less on facts and more on interpretation
Problems with social medialacks actual power -> the more social media based organisations make demands that remain unmet, the less power they have to wield and the less attractive they are to users who hope to make a difference; it rests on free riders - people who feel they can enjoy the benefits of an activity without contributing to the costs e.g. signing an online petition = minimal effort
Hay on shift in political participationlevels of representative participation have been declining significantly, there is some shift towards non-institutionalised modes of participation e.g. social media
Hay on media and role of amateurs in politicsunder glare of media, politics = no go for amateurs. activists are restricted to the dissemination of a message from whose shaping they are increasingly excluded
Hussain and Howard on internet and democratisationinternet using populations are more likely to support some democratisation in cultural and political spheres
Online media and protestorsputs them in a win win situation. gives them cheap secure tools of communication + makes bloody crackdowns riskier as police are surrounded by cameras = images can be shared instantly across the world
Ivo Molsey on soundbitesdumbing down politics to an advertising jingle
Internet as a depoliticising factoroffer distractions e.g. gossip, porn
Framing of media to give govt. consent(Kellner) - media used to give consent for US military intervention in Iraq using images of crisis
Media and cultural globalisationit has promoted cultural globalisation. mass media + growth of TNCs and trends such as mass tourism = global monoculture
Benjamin barber - 'McWorld'mass communications and modern commerce + technology = people mesmerised by brands and goods (consumerism) = americanisation

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