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Political Concepts

Justice is one of three important political concepts. Justice is the concept of morality, fairness and rightness. Although justice often comes hand in hand with other terms such as benevolence, mercy, generosity, etc, these are not the same as justice. Justice, from a modern perspective, deals with fairness and making decisions to further these causes. Justice itself, as a concept, differs between different cultures, societies, and time periods. Furthermore, justice can be more broadly understood as a way of organizing goods amongst people. This concept can be formulated into three questions: What is to be distributed (money, power, status)? Among whom do we distribute these goods (humans, nations, gods)? And, how do we distribute? To answer these there have been many forms of organization suggested such as egalitarianism, utilitarianism, meritocracy, welfare-maximization, etc.

Peace is characterized by a lack of violence and the existence of a healthy environment where people are free from fear and conflicts. Peace can be thought of in two conceptions: positive and negative. Negative peace is the absence of direct violence; although the word negative is used, it does not necessarily connote a negative meaning. Positive peace, on the other hand is the absence of indirect and structural violence. The difference is that direct violence refers to physical attacks, massacres, and our normal idea of violence, but structural violence refers to death and harm that results from an unjust structure. Famine and malnutrition are examples of results of structural violence. Another important concept of peace is that although it is defined as a lack of violence, it is considered to be the natural social condition rather than war being a natural social condition.

Violence is characterized by an intentional act that seeks to harm another person, group or community. Violence can come in many types: self-directed, collective, non-physical, and interpersonal. Self-directed violence includes such acts as suicide and self mutilation. Collective violence involves larger groups formed by social, political, economic, or other means. These groups seek to assert themselves through violent acts such as war. Non-physical violence includes acts such as threats, negligence, intimidation, etc. Lastly, interpersonal violence is that which occurs between more closely related persons such as relatives or intimate partners.

Categories within Political Concepts

Justice

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Justice is the concept of moral good and evil, right and wrong.

Liberty

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There are two types of liberty: positive and negative.

Democracy

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Democracy happens when all eligible citizens participate equally.

John Rawls Thomas Kuhn and John Mills: Political Thought

Question 1: Explain the role of the "veil of ignorance" in the work of John Rawls. (Caution: Read Rawls carefully. He's not talking about a system where everyone is equal.) Question 2: Do you think that hypothetical's like this are useful in determining just laws or the just allocation of resources, given that we'll neve

Legislative oversight of policy administration

How do the separations of power influence the implementation of policy? Given the separate roles of the branches of government, how are there sometimes blurring of lines between the making and carrying out of policy? What is the role of public administration in legislation?

Communal Support and Fair Dealing

1). Review the concept of social justice, define "human rights" and discuss the significance of these concepts as they relate to the video titled Majora Carter's Tale of Urban Renewal from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/majora_carter_s_tale_of_urban_renewal.html 2). Discuss your thoughts on the statement, "All people, re