In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents. Direct democracy (hint: referendum and initiative): citizens making policy and law decisions in person, without going through representatives and legislatures. Dual Sovereignty: the allocation of power between the federal government and the states under the U. S. Constitution, with overlapping authority Electoral College: is the method by which the United States elects a president every four years. Each state votes on the presidential candidate.
Elite theory (Some versions of elite theory posit a small, cohesive, elite class that makes almost all the important decisions for the nation, whereas others suggest that voters choose among competing elites. See Zakaria, Chapter 6. ) rulers cater to the interests of an elite few Faction (as used by Madison in #10): a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Filibuster: is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body. An attempt is made to infinitely extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay the progress or completely prevent a vote on the proposal taking place. Ideology (a closely linked set of beliefs about the goal of politics and the most desirable political order. ) What are the differences between conventional liberals and conservatives today on the size of government, taxes, and social issues? Conventional liberals want less government while conservatives favor government involvement in nearly everything.
Conservatives tend to seek to tax everyone, while liberals try to put the bulk of the tax paying on the wealthy. Conservatives prefer fewer government programs and liberals favor government programs to help those in need. Illiberal democracy: is a governing system in which although fairly free elections take place, citizens are cut off from real power due to the lack of civil liberties Iron triangle (Kingdon, Chapter 2): the policy-making relationship between the legislature, the bureaucracy (executive) (sometimes called Government Agencies), and interest groups.
Libertarian an individual who believes in prioritizing individual liberty and seeking to minimize or even abolish the state. Policy Entrepreneur: middleman between those who do and those who know; i. e. their suppliers are smart people who think about how we might fix a hard problem, were new oportunities are emerging, etc. etc. Their customers are the people with the resources policical, social, capital, etc to act on those opportunities Policy Window: an advantageous time to introduce a bill.
Politics (four definitions): (1) social relations involving authority or power; (2) the art or science of government (3) the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy (4) the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government Presentism”applying contemporary norms to judge historical events. Public opinion: is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Sovereignty is the exclusive right to control a government, a country, a people, or oneself.
Stare decisis (pronounced ster-ay dih-si-ses, a Latin phrase that means to stand on decided cases) is the legal principle under which judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions. Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens (or subjects) as a whole. II. Short Answer Questions: Explain how Amendments to the US Constitution are ratified. The Constitution would not take effect until at least nine states had ratified the Constitution in state conventions specially convened for that purpose, and it would only apply to those states which ratified it
Explain Edmund Burkes three theories of representation: Delegate, Trustee, and Politico. : trustee represents based on the good for all while a delegate mirrors its constituents wishes. A politico does what is in his or her best interest. What is judicial review? is the power of the courts to annul the acts of the executive and/or the legislative power where it finds them incompatible with a higher norm. Do the courts in most parliamentary democracies have the power to void legislation on constitutional grounds? They cannot void legislation on constitutional grounds. When can the Supreme Court overturn precedent?
Use as an example: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Another example is Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) which upheld a Georgia law that made homosexual conduct between two adults a crime by a 5-4 vote and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which overturned all remaining state sodomy laws. Judicial decisions are often based on historical conditions that may change as the nation develops and occasionally it becomes clear that a legal interpretation of the past was made in error. Consequently, the system recognizes that new precedents may need to replace old.
The Brown decision itself replaced the separate but equal precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Following precedent, therefore, promotes stability in the law without precluding opportunities for reasonable legal change. What is the Supremacy Clause? (see Article VI, Clause 2) The Supremacy Clause establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U. S. treaties as the supreme law of the land. Which Amendment has the establishment clause? First amendment What does this mean? The government will not establish a national religion. What is the gender gap in recent American elections?
Women have different interests and therefore different voting patterns than men. Discuss three theories of American democracy: 1. majoritarianism, in which government does what the majority wants; 2. elite theory, in which the real power lies with one or more elites; and 3. pluralism, in which organized interest groups contest for power. Which theory best describes how and why American government functions today? Explain. III. Questions on Kingdon: Why does Kingdon use the garbage can model to describe agenda setting in the federal government?
(Chapter 4) The level of uncertainty means that the governments decisions rarely appear to make any sense. What is a policy window? (an opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions, or to push attention to their special problems. Metaphor alert: [P]eople who are trying to advocate change are like surfers waiting for the big wave. see Chapter 8) Explain how indicators (poverty), dramatic news (plane crash), or a sudden crisis (Katrina) gain attention of policy-makers, rising to the top of the policy agenda.
Most commonly, the media brings attention to these issues, and the people call for change. Why do some problems come to occupy the attention of governmental officials more than other problems? (The answer lies both in the means by which those officials learn about conditions and in the ways in which conditions become defined as problems. Chapter 9) How do elected officials judge the mood of their constituents? They observe trends in voting, spending, and reaction to current issues. How do decision makers interpret the national mood? This is usually done through polls, such as the approval rating for the President.
(Chapter 7) What is jurisdiction? (the legal authority to act) What is turf in the context of congressional committees? Each committee has a particular area in which they act, and they cannot exceed their authority. What is bureaucratic turf? When a committee takes over an issue regardless of whether they have means to handle it, in order to keep it away from other committees. Why is everyone in government so committed to protecting and defending turf? Having a turf means having resources and funds, and if they lose the turf, they lose the funds.
Who leaks information on controversial policy issues in Washington, DC? (almost everyone) What is the relative importance of president and Congress? Within the executive branch, how important are political appointees as opposed to career civil servants? In Congress, what are the respective contributions of staff and members? Do agenda items well up from the public, or is the process better understood as a top-down sequence? Within the public, what is the place of general public opinion, as contrasted with organized interest groups?
How often do ideas come from people like policy analysts, researchers, academics, and consultants, or are such people regarded as quaint irrelevancies? How important are the mass media in focusing problems, or do media report attention rather than create it? ¦ How much do ideas like equity or efficiency affect the participants? More broadly, what values affect the processes, and how much are people motivated by their desire to change the existing order to bring it into line with their conception of the ideal order? ¦ How much does feedback from the operation of existing programs affect the agenda? (Chapter One).