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38 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society
public goods
Goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share
The process that determines who we select as our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Poltics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.
policymaking system
The processes by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.
linkage insitutions
The political channels through which people's concerns becoming poltical issues on the policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, poltical parties, and the media.
policy agenda
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officals and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time
political issue
An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it
policymaking institutions
The branches of government charges with taking actions on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established 3 policymaking institutions- the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Also the bureaucracy today is very powerful
public policy
A choice that government makes in resposne to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem.
A system to selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences
majority rule
a fundamental principle of tradtional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected
minority rights
A principle of traditional democratic theory that garuntees rights to those who do not belong to majorities anf allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument
A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers
pluralist theory
A theory of government and politics emphasiziing that politics is mainly a competition aming groups, each one pressing for its won preferred policies
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
a theory of government and plitics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened.
policy gridlock
a condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish a policy. The result is that nothing may get done
gross domestic product
The sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation
The belief that individuals should be left on their own by the government. One of the primary reasons for the comparatively small scope of American government is the prominence of this belief in American political thought and practice
A nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Can be written on unwritten
Declaration of Independence
Document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence
natural rights
rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments which include life liberty and property. Concept was central to English philosopher John Locke
consent of the governed
the idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people
limited government
the idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens
Articles of Confederation
the first constitution of the US, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. The articles established a national legislature (Continental Congress) but authority rested with state legislatures
Shay's rebellion
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block forclosure proceedings
U.S. Constitution
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of the U.S. government and the tasks these institutions perform.
interest groups arising from unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison in Federalist #10. Today's parties or interest groups.
New Jersey Plan
Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population
Virginia Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the US population
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise reached at end of Constitutional Convention that established 2 houses of Congress: House of Representatives (based on share of population) and Senate (each state has 2 reps)
writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
separation of powers
feature of the Constitution that requires each of the 3 branches of gov't to be relatively independent of the others so no one power can control the others
checks and balances
limits on government's powers that requires power be balanced among institutions
supporters of the US Constitution at a time when states were contemplating its adoption
opponents of the US Constitution at a time when states were contemplating its adoption
federalist papers
collecion of 85 atricles written by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison to defend the Constitution
Bill of Rights
First 10 amendments to the constitution (freedom of religion, speech, press, defendants' rights)