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
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
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
More governmental regulation of economy 2.
More policies to help disadvantaged groups More policies to redistribute income Conservatives: 1.
Fewer governmental regulations, more reliance on market 2.
Fewer policies in the name of disadvantaged groups Fewer tax laws that discourage business growth