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Intro to US Government & Politics

This is where it all starts in our class.
by

Nicholas Antonucci

on 16 September 2016

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Transcript of Intro to US Government & Politics

How Active is American Government?
Hyperpluralism
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened.
Groups control policy and prevent government from acting
Difficulty in coordinating policy implementation
Confusing and contradictory policies result from politicians trying to placate every group

Theories of U.S. Democracy
Pluralist Theory
A theory of government and policies emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies

Groups will work together
Public interest will prevail through
bargaining & compromise

Theories of U.S. Democracy
Impacts of Policies:
Does it solve the problem?
Does it create more problems?
Depending on the answer, policy impacts carry the political system back to its point of origin: the concerns of people.
Policies Impact People
Definition: Policy-making institutions are the branches of government charged with taking action on political issues.
Policy-making Institutions
Chapter 1
AP US Government & Politics
AP GOPO

Democratic government, which is how the United States is governed, consists of those institutions that make policy for the benefit of the people.
What government should do, to benefit the most people is a topic central to questions of American government.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEWS!
&
I'M HOPEFULLY WE"LL HAVE A
GREAT YEAR!
Summary
Linkage Institutions
Do interest groups help the process, or do they get in the way?
Do political parties offer clear consistent choices for voters or do they intentionally obscure their positions?
Do media help citizens understand choices?

Questions About Democracy
People
Are people knowledgeable about policy?
Do they apply what the know when they vote?
Do elections facilitate political participation?

Questions About Democracy
Political Culture: An overall set of values widely shared within a society.
American culture is diverse and comprised of:
Liberty
Egalitarianism
Individualism
Laissez-faire
Populism

DEFINE EACH OF THESE TERMS
Write your answers in your notebook & be prepared to discuss them in class.
American Political Culture & Democracy
Elite and Class Theory
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.

Not all groups equal - Policies benefit those with money and power

Theories of U.S. Democracy
Definition: Democracy is a system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preferences. We have a
Constitutional Democracy
.

Components of Traditional Democratic Theory:
Equality in voting
Effective participation
Enlightened understanding
Citizen control of the agenda
Inclusion
Democracy
Definition: The policy agenda are issues that attract the serious attention of public officials. (
Anything in the news?
)
Political issues arise when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.
Some issues will be considered, and others will not.
A government’s policy agenda changes regularly.
Policy Agenda
Definition: Linkage institutions are the political channels through which people’s concerns become political issues on the policy agenda.
Linkage Institutions
Interests
Problems
Concerns
People
Definition:
The process of deciding who gets benefits in society and who does not.

Also consider Lasswell’s definition:
Who gets what, when and how.

Politics
Definition: The institution that creates and implements policy and laws that guide the conduct of the nation and its citizens.
This definition leads to two basic questions:
How should we govern?
What should government do?
Government
Politics and Government matter!!!
(Granted, I may be a bit biased.)
Generally Americans are
apathetic
about politics and government.
American youth are not likely to be informed about government and politics and rarely participate in politics.
Why do you suppose this is true?
Introduction
Public Policy: a choice that government makes in response to a political issue.

Policies Impact People
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time.
The Policy-making System
Bill Gates
Political Parties
Elections
News & Entertainment Media
Interest Groups
Legislature (Congress)
Executive (President)
Courts (Federal and State)
Bureaucracies (Federal and State)
Try to come up with your own example. Write it in your notebook.
Let's think of a recent historical example.
Do any good ones come to mind?
Institutions
Is Congress a representative institution?
Does the president look after the general welfare?

Famous Pol. Sci. Prof. Lasswell
Efficacy
Citizens' belief that they have the ability to achieve something desirable and that the government listens to people like them.
Civic Engagement:
Acting on Your Views
Individual & collective actions designed to identify & address issues of public concern.
These activities include volunteering, group involvement, and political campaigning.

What Government Does
The key functions of government include:
To protect their sovereign territory and their citizenry and to provide national defense
To preserve order and stability
To establish and maintain a legal system
To provide services
To raise and spend money
To socialize new generations
Types of Government
Systems of Government
Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections
(2000–2012) by Voter Age
Buycotting
The buying of items produced by companies whose practices you agree with.
A quality conferred on government by citizens who believe that its exercise of power is right and proper.
Legitimacy
The
federal Constitution
is the foundation of the legal structure of the United States
Public Goods
EXAMPLES
- Roads, highways, bridges, clean air and water & access to air transportation.
The rate of income tax currently in place in the United States from all levels of government is between
25 and 35 percent of each dollar earned
.
give up some liberties in exchange for the protection of their other liberties.
A
social contract
can be defined as an agreement between people and their leaders in which the people agree to
According to
Thomas Hobbes
, without the rule of a
strong monarch
, people would lead lives that were "
solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
"
John Locke
wrote
Two Treatises on Civil Government
in 1689, arguing against divine right monarchy and proposing the existence of inalienable individual rights
indirect democracy = representative democracy
Vocabulary - HW
Due
September 12th
"Surprise" Vocab Quiz -
September 13th
authoritarianism
capitalism
citizens
civic engagement
consent of the governed
conservatism
constitutionalism
democracy
direct democracy
divine right of kings
efficacy
government
indirect democracy
legitimacy
liberalism
libertarianism
liberty
limited government
majority rule
monarchy
natural law
naturalization
oligarchy
political culture
political engagement
political ideology

politics
popular sovereignty
property
public goods
social contract
social contract theory
socialism
totalitarianism
Full transcript