Vocabulary

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Vocabulary
• Important Themes and
Concepts
• The Key to
Understanding
Correlation
• An apparent association between certain
factors or variables
• For example, there is a positive correlation
between medical care and life expectancy
Causation
• When a change in one variable causes a
change in another variable
• For example, when the temperature drops
below 32 degrees, water freezes
Politics
• A struggle for power
• That gives the winners the ability to make
decisions affecting others
• Who gets what, when, and how
Nation
• A group of people
• Psychological sense of
identity
• Based on cultural,
geographic, or
linguistic ties
The State
•
•
•
•
Institutions, people, and groups
Have the power to effect change
Including a monopoly of force
Over territory
Regime
• Fundamental norms and rules
• Established by administrations over time
Sovereignty
• A state’s ability
• To carry out actions
• Independently
Legitimacy
• Generally accepted view that the
government has the right to rule
• Traditional--the right to rule, because “it
has always been that way.”
• Charismatic--rule based on personality
• Rational-legal--based on a widely accepted
system of laws and procedures
Democracy
• A system of government where people
choose policymakers in free, regular,
competitive elections
• Illiberal--procedural (holds elections) but
without civil rights and liberties
• Liberal--political competition,
accountability, civil rights and liberties
Institutions
•
•
•
•
Executive
Legislative
Judicial
Bureaucracy
FPTP/SMD
• Winner-take-all
• The winner gets the
one seat available in
an election
• House of Commons,
US Congress
Proportional Representation
• Votes for parties, rather than candidates
• Parties are represented in legislature
according to percentage of votes received
• Parties select office holders based on
candidate lists
Corporatism
• When business, labor, and the government
work closely in policymaking
• This limits the influence of smaller groups
Cooptation
• Granting favors in exchange for a benefit
• “Buying off” critics
Cleavages
• Factors that separate groups
• Cross-cutting--a division that includes
people with differences, strengthening
society
• Coinciding--a division that strengthens
feelings of difference and discrepancy,
weakening society
Political Culture
•
•
•
•
•
History
Values
Beliefs
Traditions
Influencing political behavior
Political Socialization
• The means by which citizens learn about
government and the political process
• How people get their ideas about
government and acquire their values about
the political process
Neoliberal Economics
• Focus on the free
market
• Few restrictions on
business or property
rights
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