Politics, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton, summer open day, June 2014
Politics presentation, summer open day, June 2014.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton, summer open day, June 2014
Politics in the School of
Applied Social Science
Dr. Chris Wyatt – Senior Lecturer
What is Politics
• The allocation of scarce resources; who gets what, why and how.
• Communal decision-making (master-slave relation is/is not
• An open process (which is?) whereby differing views (if we all
agree is there a need for politics?) come to be collectivised and
decisions are binding on the group (how enforced?).
• Involves: persuasion, bargaining, and a method for agreeing
upon a final decision; gives rise to authority and power.
• The most comprehensive authority we encounter, yet
politics is also found in sub-state institutions like
corporations and trade unions.
• Key concepts: liberty, equality, social justice,
community, democracy; there is much debate on the
various conceptualisations of each one, i.e. Liberty:
negative, effective, republican and divided-self. They
can also come into conflict, i.e. Democracy and liberty
(liberty begins where politics ends).
• The way we organise our lives together in a
community, even though our opinions and interests
often clash; where spontaneous agreement occurs,
politics is superfluous.
• Compromise (find agreement), authority (the right of
an institution to make decisions), power (ability to
realise desired effect, despite any opposition) and
deception (‘spin doctor’; dodgy behaviour aimed at
securing an advantage: ‘the ends justify the means’)
What is politics?
• Key terms: power, state, democracy, consent,
representation, authority, legitimacy, transparency and
• Return to this question in three years: where do you
think the real sources of power are? Is it ‘the people’,
a class, the owners of capital, men, the military, the
government, MNCs, the talented, the mass media,
and so on.
Politics graduates are found in a wide range of careers, from management,
through journalism, the public sector, campaigning, research and indeed
politics, at the local, national and international level.
This course will also prepare students for careers working in advocacy
groups and governmental and non-governmental international organisations.