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Huntingdon.College Programs in Political Science, Public Affairs and International Studies
Magstadt & Schotten outline
by Jeremy Lewis.
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Magstadt, Thomas M. & Peter M. Schotten. 1988. Understanding Politics: Ideas, Institutions and Issues. Second Edition. NY: St. Martin's Press.

Chapter 1:


Basic Concepts of Politics

ORDER POLITICS = study of how human life is ordered. Begins by identifying community as social order.

COMMUNITY = association of individuals who share a common identity.

Proximity, language, values, interests, experiences, know each other. GOVERNMENT = a political order which maintains community.

SOVEREIGNTY = claim by government which fully makes rules in a territory.

AUTHORITY = command obedience of society's members.

LEGITIMACY = where claim to rule is accepted.

NATION-STATE = most important form of political organization.

Nation = distinct group of people primarily based on geography.

State = viable sovereign government exercising authority.

usually synonymous with country. (Not in US.)
POWER sources are many, not just force. Election, oratory, wealth, or secret police. JUSTICE: in whose interest is power exercised? most states historically have not allowed this question.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) said Man alone sees good & evil.

Politics and Everyday Life The PERVASIVENESS of Politics

The PURSUIT of Justice

Even trivial examples of political questions such as tree planting can lead to angry deadlock.
How Politics is Studied For What Purpose? Aristotle: political science is political investigation. By What Methods? Political Scientists disagree on this TRADITIONAL approach: evaluate how system works. Use documents, speeches, writings etc to look at enduring questions. Normative issues. BEHAVIORAL approach: concrete tasks of describing influences on behavior, often turned into theories predicting behavior. e.g. Ostrom & Job model p.16 of Presidential use of force APSR 1986, showed 75% of use of force could be predicted, primarily based on popularity, 1948-76. BUT must impute direction of cause. From What Perspective? Subfields: Theory; American; Comparative; I.R.; P.A. Between fields: policy, parties & groups, methods. Political THEORY from Plato (427-347 BC): Good government and good life.

Nature of Man.

Answers come through reason and logic: systematic study.
AMERICAN government because proximate and for citizen education. Some consultants.

COMPARATIVE: contrasting different governments, stages of dev, political traditions, domestic & foreign policies. David Easton's systems model p.19. Dem and non-dem states. North-South relations.

I.R.: war & peace, diplomacy, econ interdependence, UN, nuclear deterrence. Trade. Realists vs idealists.

P.A.: emerged as separate discipline. What helps or hinders government from carrying out policy. Case studies common.

Why Study Politics? Self-Interest: even students need benefits from government.

Self-Improvement: state assumptions, arrange evidence, logical conclusions.

Self-Knowledge: citizenís development is affected by political environment.

Speer and Eichmann example p.24 MORALLY IGNORANT rather than evil?
Chapter 2:



Hamilton wanted US nation state to unite to reverse European attitude to backward Americans.

The Modern Nation-State: A Brief Model

Development is based on new technology and changing society: social mobility, development of middle class

higher efficacy, loyalty to broad community

trend to manufacturing and then to service sector

unions tend toward evening up the income spread

stable government with bloodless changes of government

great penetration of government into society

An Assumption of Development Theory often use neutral term "pre-modern" instead of primitive.

Rousseau skeptic about development making happiness.

The Setting for Development: The Third World FIRST world industrial democracies

SECOND world communist states

THIRD world developing countries of Asia, Africa & Latin America & islands.

Asian tigers or dragons are ADCs (advanced) or NICs (newly industrializing countries); account for 60% of Third World manufacturing exports!

102 countries in mid 1980s, incl. 41 in Africa

Vast diversity of large (Brasil, India) & small (islands.)


VIETNAM or Kampuchea or both communist and developing.

Not all agricultural: middle eastern oil.

The Motives for Development AUTARKY rarely possible; usual problem is international debt.

Modernizing is essential to growth. Even Qatar & Venzuela have modernized to use their oil wealth.

Achieving national destiny often means growth supporting armed forces for border disputes eg Latin America.

POVERTY often per head income below $600; poorest below $250.

Revolution of rising expectations: caused by growth in North.

The Development Puzzle SOCIAL Barriers to Development: cultural diversity. Nigeria: 395 different languages! 1967-70 Biafran war of regions.

Indian constitution recognizes 16 languages, census says 1,000 dialects.

Hindi now official language but plurality speaking it is 1/3.

clashes constantly between religions.

MOSAIC SOCIETIES. 40% of 3rd World have 5 or more major groups.
PSYCHOLOGICAL Barriers to Development TRADITIONAL societies fear change, fear strangers, trust clan.

ASCRIPTIVE societies: caste & religion etc set position in society.

Obstacles to ECONOMIC Development TERMS of TRADE work against agricultural societies; imports costly, exports cheap.

DEBT: 3rd World 1987 owed $1 trillion to North.

POP GROWTH 2 tp 3% in LDCs, zero growth in W.Euro.

GREEN REVOLUTION. high yield grains plus fertilizer

URBAN GROWTH: African cities double size every 10 yrs, Latin faster.

DISTRIBUTION of LAND problem: latifundias & minifundias.

DISASTERS often natural but exacerbated by overgrazing.

VICIOUS CYCLE of unproductivity and poverty.

Challenges to POLITICAL Development NATION building requires common identity with symbols of nation. Pakistan and Congo both broke up over id with Nation.

Attack colonialism w/ CHARISMATIC leader common method.

STATE building & political penetration; but it stimulates demands for participation.

PATRON-CLIENT RELATIONS: influential figures secure benefits for clients at village level.

DISTRIBUTION and injustice question.

Disintegration. development can be reversed, even in advanced societies eg Belgium & Canada.

SLAVERY in US history.


1929 Crash partly destroyed German regime.

HUNTINGTON argued literacy & mass media can work against progress because of lack of political institutions. Political & social modernization may not be in harmony.

2 PARTY model helps bridge rural -urban divide, says Huntington. Left says exploitation by elite regardless.

Modernization can bring tensions: fall of Sadat, Shah, Prague spring.

Chapter 3:



Utopia = nonexistent, ideal state. (Sir Thomas More, c. 1500 AD)

PLATO'S Republic: PHILOSOPHY Is the Answer

``Unexamined life is not worth living.''

VIRTUE: Homer's courage, Jesus' living by Word of God; Plato in questioning.

EXECUTED for corrupting youth by questioning Gods.

Best society is devoid of tension between rulers and philosophers.


Meritocracy leads to classes of artisans, soldiers and philosopher kings.

communal property.

eugenics (breeding.)

Philosophers through excellence understand justice.

The NOBLE LIE: all classes told they came from Mother Earth but have souls of gold (philosophers), silver (auxiliaries) or iron & bronze (artisans & farmers). Their memories of past experiences are only dreams.

PRICE: abolition of families; censorship; false moral basis; rule of those who do not desire it.

CONCLUSION: phil exercise, not a political prescription.

Francis BACON'S New Atlantis: (1622 AD) SCIENCE Is the Answer Travellers land at Bensalem island in Pacific, discover bliss.

Island has isolation, economic prosperity, no need for defense.

Christian but gives freedom.

Feast of Family is central.

Stability and progressive Science

Salomon's House (college) collects great minds in quest of natural science.

Object of science is prosperity and health (natural medicines thru experiments.)

Blueprint for the Future: one possible form, but not a protest, and he did set down the only form of society.
Karl MARX'S Classless Society: ECONOMICS Is the Answer (1818-1883) Unlike Bacon & Plato, hard CRITIC of society eg deaths from overwork.

The Centrality of Economics -- ultimate determinant of human life.

downfall of capitalist society inevitable. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat = revolutionary stage after overthrow of capitalism. also first stage of communism. The Classless Society
B.F. Skinner's Walden Two: BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY Is the Answer The Good Life

The Science of Behavioral Engineering

The Scientist as God

Utopias Examined The Inspiration for Utopia

The Road to Utopia

Utopia and Human Nature

Utopia and the Neglect of Politics


Chapter 7:


The Prevalence of Authoritarian States

Characteristics of Authoritarian States

Right-Wing and left-Wing Regimes Authoritarian Rulers

Six Myths about Authoritarian States

All Authoritarian Regimes Are Equally Oppressive

All Authoritarian Regimes Are Illegitimate

All Authoritarian Regimes Are Unpopular

All Authoritarian Regimes Neglect the Public Interest

Modern Dictators Depend on New Technology and Methods

to Stay in Power Authoritarian Government Is the Worst Kind Possible
Authoritarian Government and Politics

Chapter 8:


Beyond Authoritarianism

The Revolutionary Stage of Totalitarianism






The Consolidation of Power Eliminating Opposition Parties

Purging Real or Imagined Rivals within the Party

Creating a Monolithic Society

The Transformation of Society The Soviet Union under Stalin

Germany under Hitler

China under Mao

The Human Cost of Totalitarianism

Does Totalitarianism Have a Future:




Chapter 9:


TOTALITARIAN OR AUTHORITARIAN? The Soviet Union Today [NOTE: pre-1989.] Mechanisms of State Control

The Central Party Organs

Governmental Institutions

The Perils of Centralization

A Classless Society?

Everyday Life in the Worker's State

Pervasive Social Problems

A Totalitarian System?

The Soviet Bloc

Yugoslavia: Socialism with a Split Personality

China: Beyond Maoism

China Under Mao

New Leadership

Political Changes

Military Reorganization

Bureaucratic Shufflings

Economic Reforms

The Future

Other Non-European Communist States Asian Communist States

Castro's Cuba

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