Australian Politics Exam essays

Take-home Exam

Instructions: Answer two questions in total. You must choose one question from each part. All questions are of equal value. Each answer should be between 1200 and 1300 words. You do not need to use sources beyond the course material, but if you do be sure to reference properly. Marks will be deducted for inadequate referencing.

Part I

1.Which definition of political power captures, in your opinion, all the relevant features of this phenomenon? How does your preferred definition do so? If you think that no definition succeeds in this, explain why you think so.

2.Why did Machiavelli, in his Prince, not discuss the question of legitimacy? In contrast, why was Hobbes so interested in this question (that is, in the question of the right of the sovereign to rule over his subjects)?

3.What do the parties to the social contract, in Locke”s view, contract to do? Who is supposed to ensure that the contract is being carried out? What remedies are there if the sovereign or the magistrate fails to fulfill his part of the contract?

4.In RoInusseau”s view, what was the purpose of the social contract? What did the relevant parties contract to do? What did Edmund Burke find wrong with a theory of social contract such as the one proposed by Rousseau and his followers?

Part II

1.What, according to John Stuart Mill, are the distinctive features of a good (and thus legitimate) government? How does Mill”s conception of good government differ from that of John Rawls?

2. Why do Marx and his followers deny the legitimacy of the modern liberal state? How does the Marxist view on the legitimacy of the modern state differ from an anarchist”s view (such as Bakunin”s)?

3. How does the republican conception of an ideal state or society differ from the conception promoted by the theorists of deliberative democracy? What are the principal social goals which these two political doctrines, respectively, promote?

4. How does political power, according to Foucault, operate in modern disciplinary societies? Do you agree that the traditional theory of sovereignty and sovereign power is a defective or an inadequate theory of political power?

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