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Ideologies such s Communism nd Socilism hve been substntilly revised in the fce of differing views held by leders evolving economic conditions nd chnging co

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Classifying ideologies

•All Ideologies have been influenced by historical 

traditions and overlapping ‘ism’

•Classifying ideologies helps us understand them

•Two common methods:

• Left‐Right continuum

• Political‐Economic Grid

Political Ideology

•What is political ideology?

•One’s basic beliefs about power, political values, and 

the role of government

•Grows out of economical, educational, and social 

conditions and experiences

Roots of the Left‐Right Continuum

•Evolved from 

the French 


•Based on 



in the 



Criticism of the Left‐Right Continuum

•Less suited to analyzing beliefs and relationships 

that exist in the 20th century.

•Ideologies such as Communism and Socialism have 

been substantially revised in the face of differing 

views held by leaders, evolving economic conditions 

and changing conditions.

Political‐Economic Grid

•The following grid is a more appropriate approach to 

representing political and economic ideologies in 

relation to one another.

•Communism: A political and economic system 

based on community or state ownership of wealth, 

property, and the means of production, with each 

person working for according to ability and 

receiving according to need. 

•Socialism: An economic and political system in 

which society as a whole rather than private 

individuals own all property and operate all 


•Liberalism: A philosophy that supports guarantees 

of individual freedom, political change, and social 


•Conservatism: A philosophy that supports the 

traditional order and resists political and social 


•Fascism: Authoritarian political beliefs, 

characterized by extreme nationalism, reliance on 

military power to achieve national goals, and a 

state‐controlled private enterprise economy

Power defined

• Power is defined as a person’s ability to get personal 

goals or organizational objectives accomplished in the 

manner they want them done.   

• Power is the ability to influence others to do: what 

you want, when you want and in a way that suits you. 

• It is important to remember that power only really 

exists if others acknowledge one’s power. 

Formal Authority





Plato and his allegory of the cave

• Humans are intellectually trapped in a cave facing  the back wall only able to see shadows; unaware  that there is anything else in the world

• People in the cave believe they are free, but they  don’t see the reality of their intellectual slavery.  All  they do is watch shadows cast by a hidden fire in  the cave, thinking that the shadows are reality.   They are passive and accepting.  They never turn  around, never ask questions.  They remain  completely unaware of how blind & shackled they  are.  

The allegory of the cave, continued

• Enlightenment: someone who stands up and dares 

to go outside to seek the truth 

• His eyes adjust to the light and see how wonderful 

the world is beyond the cave.  But instead of 

staying, he decides to return to the others in the 

cave, to free them as well.

• The prisoners in the cave think he’s mad and 

dangerous; if he persists in talking nonsense, he’ll 

be killed.  

The Noble Lie

• People will be convinced that their prior lives were 

just a dream, not reality.

• Further, they must be convinced that they occupy 

their positions in society due to the type of metal in 

their souls.

• Why noble? Because it ensures popular acceptance 

(legitimacy) of the new republic ruled by the 

Philosopher King

Aristotle’s criticism

• In order to understand Plato's political theory, 

therefore we must note what he had in mind when 

he argued that, in the ideal society' the guardians 

must be philosophers. Plato's most famous student, 

Aristotle, disagreed with his teacher on many 

points. In his Politics (the second part of a general 

treatise on ethics) Aristotle severely criticizes both 

the method and the substance of Plato's political 


• The method, complains Aristotle, is too abstract; 

and the conception of the ideal state reduces to a 

political system in which the authority of the rulers 

is really sustained by their ability to command 

'heavily armed soldiers'. The study of politics can be 

scientific, says Aristotle, but it must be based on 

the empirical examination of real systems of 


• No detailed description of actual states is 

presented in the Politics, but Aristotle's argument is 

guided by what he conceives to be the lessons that 

have been supplied by political experience. The 

chief of these, in his view, is that no system of 

government is perfect. 

• All systems have essential properties which include 

defects as well as virtues, and even the best 

system of government is only comparatively better 

than others. Moreover, even in comparative terms, 

one cannot say that one particular system of 

government is best, for, though it may be argued 

to be so in the abstract, another system might be 

better in the particular circumstances of a specific 


• 'It is evident,' says Aristotle 'that the form of 

government is best in which every man, whoever 

he is can act for the best and live happily,' but, 

unlike Plato, he does not undertake to present a 

design for a government that will, always and 

perfectly, serve these objectives. 

Thomas Hobbes‐ Monarchist

Two Laws of Nature

• Hobbes says that in the State of Nature mankind 

knows by reason two laws of nature, they are 

• 1)"seek peace and follow it" and 

• 2), "be willing to lay down his right to all things; and 

be contented with so much liberty against other 

men, as he would allow against himself." 

• “Golden Rule” all people must be willing, Hobbes 

reasons, to at least temporarily put the interests of 

others on an equal level with their own

Hobbes’ Egoism

• Hobbes is an Ethical Egoist.

• Hobbes is a Psychological Egoist.

• Our egoism leads us to give up our right to 

everything and to form a social contract.

Form a Government

• The best way to protect your RIGHT to life.

• All people give up our rights, to the king.

• King determines morality.

• NO IMMORAL LAWS!4/10/2013

Immoral to Revolt!

• Hobbes‐ writing in defense of the King, denies that 

one can legitimately revolt against the government.

• Once you leave the state of nature you have a duty 

to keep your promise and obey the king.

Al Farabi – the Second Teacher

• Al Farabi reiterates Plato’s concept of philosopher‐

king, embodied by the Prophet

• Also confirms necessity of social stratification like 


• Adds the concept of God – the First Cause

• Virtuous City – wherein people are able to 

cooperate to gain happiness

Shokhan Valikhanov

Notes on Judicial Reforms

• Emphasized necessity of reforms of the Kazakh 

society in 19th century

• Need for education

• Close relationship between Kazakhstan and Russia

Defining Interest Groups

An organized group of people who share some 

goals and try to influence public policy.

Role & Functions of 

Interest Groups 

• Five main functions of Interest Groups:

• Representation – interest of members

• Political Participation – enable people to participate

• Government and Politics

• Education – members, public, & government officials

• About issues of interest & why IG goals should be supported

• Agenda building‐ push new issues onto public agenda

• Examples: Consumer protection & Veterans issues

• Program Monitoring‐ watch how laws are administered

• Assess Federal or State Government regulation 

Increased Demands on 


• More demands of public placed on Government:

• Civil Right & Anti‐Vietnam War Legacy

• Improvements & advances in technology

• Rise of new issues almost every day

Diversity of Organized Interests 

• Three general categories of Interest Groups:

• Economic Interest Groups

• Citizen Interest Groups

• Government Interest Groups 

• Examine each in greater detail=>

Economic Interest Groups (#2)

1. Business 

• Trade Associations 

2. Organized Labor

3. Agricultural Groups

4. Professional Associations

Coalitions and Divisions 

• Groups of similar interests join in coalitions

• The Military Coalition => military & VA benefits

• Environmental & Nature Conservation groups

• Groups might also divide or realign on various 


• Politics & strange bedfellows – Customs Union issue

Interest Group Formation and 


• Reasons why interest groups form?

• Disturbance Theory =>

• Usually in response to Government policy

• Threat to the status quo – The Cat Mother response

• IGs form mostly in response to some government  policy:

• Policies affecting or potentially affecting members’ interests

• Most are directly related to politics => influence gov. policy

• Also some IGs formed for reasons unrelated to politics

• Whose interest is usually represented?

• Rich & powerful ‐ why?

The Collective Goods Dilemma?

A dilemma created when people can 

obtain the benefits of interest group 

activity without paying any of the costs

associated with it. 

(In this situation, the interest group may 

not form because everyone has an 

incentive to let someone else pay the 

costs of group formation.)

Overcoming Obstacles to Interest 

Group Formation 

• Political entrepreneurs=> 

• Local of National

• Government or wealthy sponsor funds IG

• Or – IGs attract & motivate prospective members

• How are new members potentially attracted? 

• New members are offered what? 

• Selective benefits  (vs. collective benefits) 

• What are the three types of selective benefits?*

Three Benefits from Interest 







Material-The actual goods and servicesthat 

come from belonging to an interest 


Solidarity-The emotional and psychological 

enjoyment that comes from belonging

to an interest group whose members 

share common interests and goals


The feelings of satisfaction people derive 

from working for an interest group cause 

they believe is just and right. Also known 

as purposive benefits.

Interest Group (IG) Maintenance 

• IG Maintenance can be difficult

• How can this difficulty be overcome?

• Retain members by upgrading selective benefits

• Add or modify benefits (bigger & better & more) 

• Increase or decrease reliance on patrons

• Redefine group’s mission 

Interest Group Bias 

• Affluent & better educated over =>

• Poor and less educated‐ Why?

• The higher the  socioeconomic status=> the more likely 

to be actively involved in politics

• Some exceptions – Cesar Chavez against=>

• Chavez was soon joined by young idealistic activists

• Still raises questions about=>

• Democracy & political influence of few elite over many 

non politically involved 

Political Culture and Political


 Each nation has its own political norms that influence how

people think and act about politics.

 The way political institutions function at least partially

reflects the public’s attitu

des, norms, and expectations

Definition of Political Culture:

 “A particular distribution of

political attitudes, values,

feelings, information, and skills that affects the behaviour

of a nation’s citizens and le

aders throughout the political


 Assumption: what people know or feel about their political

system affects their political behaviour.

 Assumption: Like traditional cultures, political cultures vary

across countries and can explai

n variations in modes and

levels of political participation.

 All these variations can be

measured through surveys.

Key Aspects of Political



 What people know about politics:

Who are the leaders, what are the government’s policies, how

much do they affect your life?

 what percent of populations actu

ally follow or keep aware of

political events and how often they do so.

 willingness to have and express political opinions


2. What they think abou

t their political system,

 about their own role in the political system,

 and their ability to affect the outcomes?

 are they proud of their

country? of its leaders?

 do they feel that they can affect outcomes?

 sense of efficacy and competence should increase the

level of participation

 do they feel that people have the responsibility to

participate in political activity


 The depth or intensity with which they hold those values

 how willing are they to allow other people to express

dissenting views?

 how deep are the cleavages within society?

 Are there “cross-cutting clea

vages” that can limit the

level of conflict within the society?

 conflictual versus consen

sual political culture

Political Culture as an

Explanation for:

I. Levels and modes of Participation

II. For the type of policies that governments adopt in

response to perceived public opinion and popular values

Mapping the Three Levels of

Political Culture

 A nation’s political culture includes its citizens’ orientations

at three levels:

 The political system

 The political and policymaking process

 Policy outputs and outcomes

Mapping the Three Levels of

Political Culture

 The

system level

involves how people view the values and

organizations that comprise the political system.

 The process level includes expectations of how politics

should function and individuals’ relationship to the

political process.

 The policy level deals with the public’s policy expectations

for the government.

The System Level

 It is difficult for any political system to endure if it lacks the

support of its citizens.

 Feelings of national pride are consid

ered an affective, emotional tie to

a political system.

 National pride does not come from affluence

 What matters is a sense of history – every generation has its own

readings of it – and its own historical myths

 Patriotism is a double-edged sword (“the last refuge of a scoundrel” –

Samuel Johnson)

 National identity – a sense of a nation’s (ethnic group’s)

uniqueness, particular qualities, place in the world, role in history

The Process Level

 The second level of the political culture involves

what the public expects of the political process.

 Broadly speaking, three different patterns

describe the citizens’ role in the political process.

 Participants are involved as actual or potential

participants in the political process.

 Subjects passively obey government officials and the

law, but they do not vote or actively involve themselves

in politics.

 Parochials are hardly aware of government and politics.

Process Level

 What people expect of the political process

 Participation (equal access vs privileged access)

 Transparency

 Corruption as an issue

Process Level

 Attitudes toward the existing form of government

 Representative and direct democracy as competing political

regimes in Venezuela

 Rejection of western-style (secular) democracy by fundamentalist


 How citizens view their political roles

 the share of the population holding these different types of

political cultures will affect the type of political system in that


Consensual or Conflictual

Political Cultures

When a country is deeply divided in its political

values and these differences persist over time,

distinctive political subcultures may develop.

They have sharply different

points of view on some

critical political matters, such

as the boundaries of the

nation, the nature of the regime, or the correct


Sometimes historical or social factors will generate

different cultural trajectories.

Why Culture Matters

 Cultural norms typically change slowly and reflect stable


 It encapsulates the history, traditions, and values of a society.

 Congruence theory

The distribution of cultural patterns is typically related to the type of

political process that citizens expect and support.

Do democracies create a participatory democratic public, or does a

political culture lead to a democratic political system?

 It works both ways.

 Political culture

can build common political community,

but it can also have the power to divide.

Cultural Congruence



 Value placed on responsiveness/openness leads to:

 Direct election of senators

 Agencies to provide information on previously classified activities

 Longer democracy lasts and more successes that it has the more

support there is for democracy


 Within national political cultures, there are subcultures,

characterizing political attitudes

of different groups within

society. In conflictual cul

tures, there are deep rifts

between subcultures

 The rifts are caused by such factors as:

 Class

 Ethnicity or race

 Religion

 Regional differences

Political Socialization

 Definition: how individuals form their political attitudes and

collectively, how citizens form their political culture

 Political cultures are sustained or changed as people acquire

their attitudes and values.

 Political socialization refers to the way in which political values

are formed and political culture is transmitted from one

generation to the next.

 Most children acquire their basic political values and behavior patters

at a relatively early age.

 Some attitudes will evolve and change throughout life.

 in all systems, state institutio

ns socialize people to support

government policy or accept legitimacy of government and its

symbols of legitimacy.

Trends in the Shaping

Contemporary Political Cultures

 Democratization?

 Marketization?

 Greater public acceptance of free markets and private

profit incentives, rather than a government-managed


 Globalization

Dynamics of Contemporary

Political Cultures

 Political culture is no

t a static phenomenon.

 Encompasses how the agents of political socialization

communicate and interpret historic events and traditional values

 Important to understand

Influences how citizens act, how the political process functions,

and what policy goals the government pursues

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