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• refers to power relations wherever they exist, including those in everyday life
• the exercise of power and attempts to maintain or to change power relations


• the ability to get your way even over the resistance of others
• Max Weber


• the exercise of power in everyday life, such as deciding who is going to do the housework or use the remote control


• the exercise of large-scale power, the government being the most common example


• power that people consider legitimate, as rightly exercised over them
• legitimate power
• Max Weber


• power that people do not accept as right exercised over them
• illegitimate power
• Max Weber


• a political entity that claims monopoly on the use of violence in some particular territory; commonly known as a country
• Max Weber said this claims both exclusive right to use violence and the right to punish everyone else who uses violence


• armed resistance with the intent to overthrow and replace a government, is not only a people's rejection of a government's claim to rule over them but also their rejection of its monopoly on violence
• people assert that right for themselves
• If successful, they establish a new state in which they claim the right to monopolize violence

3 sources of authority

• Max Weber
1. traditional
2. rational-legal
3. charismatic

traditional authority

• throughout history, the most common basis for authority has been this
• which is based on custom, is the hallmark of tribal groups
• custom dictates basic relationships
• birth into a particular family makes an individual the chief, king, or queen

rational-legal authority

• not on custom but on written rules
• authority based on law or written rules and regulations
• also called bureaucratic authority
• the ruler's word is subject to the law

charismatic authority

• authority based on an individual's outstanding traits, which attract followers
• they believe that individual has been touched by God or has been endowed by nature with exceptional qualities
• authority from these leaders resides in their ability to attract follows, which is often based on their sense of a special mission or calling
• pose a threat to the established political order

routinization of charisma

• the transition of authority from a charismatic leader to either traditional or rational-legal authority
• Max Weber


• an independent city whose power radiates outward, bringing the adjacent area under its rule
• power radiating outward from the city like a spider's web


• a king or queen whose right to rule was passed on to their children
• a form of government headed by a king or queen


• the political enemy that claims a monopoly on the use of violence within a territory - came into being


• a system of government in which authority derives from the people; the term comes from two Greek words that translate literally as "power to the people"

direct democracy

• a form of democracy in which eligible voters meet together to discuss issues and make their decisions

representative democracy

• democracy a form of democracy in which voters elect representatives to meet together to discuss issues and make decisions on their behalf
• concept based on citizenship


• by virtue of birth and residence people have basic rights
• the concept that birth (and residence) in a country impacts basic rights

universal citizenship

• everyone having the same basic rights by virtue of being born in a country (or by immigrating and becoming a naturalized citizen)
• the idea that everyone has the same basic rights by virtue of being born in a country (or by immigrating and becoming a naturalized citizen


• a form of government in which an individual has seized power


• a form of government in which a small group of individuals holds power
• the rule of the many by the few


• almost total control of a people by the government

proportional legislature

• the seats in the legislature are divided according to the proportion of votes that each party receives
• an electoral system in which seats in a legislature are divided according to the proportion of votes that each political party receives

noncentrist party

• those that propose less popular ideas, such as the shutting down of nuclear reactors
• a political party that represents less central (or popular) ideas

centrist party

• a political party that represents the center of political opinion
• the U.S. has these

coalition government

• a government in which a country's largest party aligns itself with one of more smaller parties
• these governments tend to be less stable that that of the United States

voter apathy

• indifference and inaction on the part of individuals or groups with respect to the political process

special-interest group

• consists of people who think alike on a particular issue and who can be mobilized for political action


• people who are paid to influence legislation on behalf of their clients

political action committee (PACs)

• an organization formed by one or more special-interest groups to solicit and spend funds for the purpose of influencing legislation
• solicit then use the large total to influence legislations
• most however, represent the financial interests of specific groups, such as the dairy, oil, banking, and construction industries


• a condition of lawlessness or political disorder caused by the absence of collapse of governmental authority
• a condition of disorder and violence


• diffusion of power among many special-interest groups, prevents any one group from gaining control of the government and using it to oppress the people
• keeps the U.S. government from turning against its citizens
• pluralism the diffusion of power among many interest groups that prevents any single group from gaining control of the government

checks and balances

• designed to ensure that no one branch of government dominates the others
• the separation of powers among the three branches of U.S. government - legislative, executive, and judicial - so that each is able to nullify the actions of the other two, thus preventing the domination of any single branch

3 branches of U.S. government

1. the executive branch (the president)
2. the judiciary branch (the courts)
3. the legislative branch (the Senate and the House of Representatives)

power elite

• C. Wright Mills' term for the top people in U.S. corporations, military, and politics who make the nation's major decisions
• includes the most powerful generals and admirals of the armed forces, and certain elite politicians - the president, his cabinet, and senior members of Congress who chair the major committees
• corporate leaders are the most powerful

ruling class

• another term for power elite
• William Domhoff
• he focuses on the 1 percent of Americans who belong to the super-rich, the powerful capitalist class
• members of this class control our top corporations and foundations, even the boards that oversee our major universities


• armed conflict between nations (or politically distinct groups), is often a part of national policy
• simply one option that groups may choose for dealing with disagreements, but not all societies choose this option

3 essential conditions of war

• Nicholas Timasheff
1. antagonistic situation in which two or more states confront incompatible objectives
2. cultural tradition of war
3. a "fuel" that heats the antagonistic situation to a boiling point, so that politicians cross the line from thinking about way to actually waging it

7 fuels of war

• Nicholas Timasheff
1. Revenge: settling "old scores" from earlier conflicts.
2. Power: dictating their will to a weaker nation.
3. Prestige: defending the nations "honor."
4. Unity: uniting rival groups within their country.
5. Poisition: [the leaders] protecting or exalting their own position.
6. Ethnicity: bringing under their rule "our people" who are living in another coutry.
7. Beliefs: forcibly converting others to religious or political beliefs.


• the process of reducing people to objects that do not deserve to be treated as humans
• exposure to brutality and killing often causes this
• numbs the conscience, allowing people to participate in acts they would ordinarily condemn

4 characteristics of dehumanization

1. Increased emotional distance from others.
2. Emphasis on following orders.
3. Inability to resist pressures.
4. A diminished sense of personal responsibility.


• the use of violence to create fear in an effort to bring about political objectives


• identity with and loyalty to a nation

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