In every political society there has been a structure of power sharing. Some have been more democratic and egalitarian than others. In this essay,explain the proper role of power and authority (be it governmental or another kind) in political society. In other words, make an argument for how power and authority should be shared (or not shared – or whether we can obviate it altogether) and exercised in communities, regions, countries, and even globally. Should it be purely repressive? Should it be democratic? Should a given authority only exercise force when protecting its own legitimacy or power? Or, should it be productive and enhance the capabilities of those under its control? Does inequality (natural or economic) play a role? What role to class division play? Should authority be vested in only a certain kind of individual or group or should it belong to everyone equally? How?
In your answer, consider different sources of power and authority (epistemological, intellectual, economic, legal, traditional, democratic, participatory, moral or amoral) and how they are usually legitimized. Focus your thoughts on a few key elements and be direct. These papers are an opportunity critically dissect existing societal arrangements and to flesh out your thoughts on how things should be! Have fun and dive in!
These papers are supposed to be analytic and argumentative papers and NOT opinion pieces or book reviews. You are not simply to summarize readings or give your opinion about the readings but rather to provide an argument and take a position. Be sure to provide a clear, concise, and coherent argument for the position they take and not engage in demagoguery or political activist grandstanding. The reader will not care about the student’s political views or which positions s/he takes, but rather how well that position is argued. Finally, all papers should cite properly. APA or Chicago style is usually appropriate for the humanities and social sciences but any recognized style will do.