Government

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 Politics and government matter.

 Americans are apathetic about politics and government.

 American youth are not likely to be informed about government and politics and rarely participate in politics.

 Volunteerism among young Americans in civil society has increased.

Political analysis attempts to answer the what, why and how questions about politics.  Description  -The “what” questions based on facts Explanation -The “why” and “how” something happens  Prediction --the effects of decisions and non-decisions  Prescription -Value statement of what “should be done”

 Science - uses methods that allow people to agree on results  Search for regularities  Patterns or correlations  Empirical  Observable or measurable  Cumulative  Builds on previous foundation  Testable  Others can evaluate and repeat analysis

    

Type Traditional Basis

Custom and established way of doing things     

Charismatic Legal-Rational

intense commitment to the leader and his message rules and procedures merit not connections the office, not the person   Legitimacy: rightful authority to rule—individuals within a state recognize the government’s right to make collective decisions;  Today: legal and psychological right to govern

Example

Monarchy Many revolutionary leaders bureaucracy; Representative democracy

 Definition:  Politics is the process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies they produce—politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.

 The process of deciding who benefits and who is excluded from benefiting in society.

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

 The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time Figure 1.4

 Definition: Linkage institutions are the political channels through which people’s concerns become political issues on the policy agenda.

 Political Parties  Elections  News & Entertainment Media  Interest Groups

   Definition: Government is the institutions and processes through which public policies are made for society.

This definition leads to two basic questions:  How should we govern?

 What should government do?

Governments typically maintain a national defense, provide services, collect taxes, and preserve order.

 Definition: Policymaking institutions are the branches of government charged with taking action on political issues.

 Legislature (Congress)  Executive (Presidency)  Bureaucracies (Federal and State)  Courts (Federal and State)

 Public Policy: a choice that government makes in response to a political issue

Types of Governments: Who Governs?

Monarchy: A king or queen has absolute authority over a territory and its government.

Oligarchy: Only an elite few hold power.

Democracy: The supreme power of governance lies in the hands of citizens.

Types of Governments: Function and Structure?

Totalitarianism: A tyrannical government structure which controls every aspect of their citizens’ lives.

Authoritarianism: A government which holds strong powers, but which is checked by other forces in society.

Constitutionalism: A form of government structured by law which provides for limited government.

 Security  Mediation  Provision of public goods  Allocation of resources  To raise and spend money; control of money supply  Political socialization

 Economic system characteristic of a. private property b. free market with limited gov’t intervention c. economic output determined by supply and demand

Liberals: 1.

More governmental regulation of economy 2.

3.

More policies to help disadvantaged groups More policies to redistribute income Conservatives: 1.

Fewer governmental regulations, more reliance on market 2.

3.

Fewer policies in the name of disadvantaged groups Fewer tax laws that discourage business growth

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