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29 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is a libertarian?
one who favors minimal government and maximum individual freedom
What are three key American political values?
liberty, equality, and democracy
What is political efficacy?
the ability to influence government and politics; the belief that citizens can affect what government does
What is citizenship?
informed and active membership in a political community
Can we have democratic government without knowledgeable and aware citizens?
No; for citizens in a democracy to participate intelligently in politics and act on their interests, they need political knowledge.
What is government?
institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled
What is an autocracy?
form of government in which a single individual rules
What is oligarchy?
a form of government in which a small group controls most of governing decisions
What is democracy?
system of rule that allows citizens to play a significant part in the governmental process usually through election of key public officials.
What is a constitutional government?
system of rule in which formal and effective limits are placed on the powers of government
What is authoritarian government?
a system of rule in which the government recognizes no format limits but may nevertheless be restrained by the power of other social institutions
What is totalitarian government?
a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits on its power and seeks to absorb or eliminate other social institutions that might challenge
What is politics?
conflict over the leadership, structure, and policies of governments
What is power?
influence over a government's leadership, organization, or policies
What is representative democracy/republic?
a system of government in which the populace selects representatives, who play a significant role in governmental decision making (e.g. America at national level)
What is a direct democracy?
a system of rule that permits citizens to vote directly on laws and policies (e.g. California recall of governor)
What is pluralism?
group politics or the theory that all interests are and should be free to compete for influence in the government.
What is direct action politics?
a form of politics, e.g. civil disobedience or protest, that takes place outside formal channels, which attempt to shock rulers into behaving more responsibly
What is political culture?
shared values, beliefs, and attitudes about how the government should function. (e.g. American political culture emphasizes liberty, equality, democracy)
What is liberty?
freedom from governmental control
What is limited government?
a government whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution
What is laissez-faire capitalism?
"leave alone" - economic system in which means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit with little or no government interference
What is equality of opportunity?
American ideal that each person should be given a fair chance to go as far as his or her talents can go to reach their potential
What is political equality?
right to participate in politics equally, based on principle of "one person, one vote"
What is popular sovereignty?
a principle of democracy - the idea of placing power in the hands of the people
What is majority rule/minority rights?
the wishes of the majority determine what government does but also protects interests of the minority
What's an example of when civil liberties have been restricted to help people?
Americans have accepted restrictions on liberty (e.g. arresting people without evidence) to fight terrorism after 9/11.
Should America export democracy?
A democratic world might be better for humanity, more stable, and more peaceful; but democracy may not succeed if there is not a civil society and stable economy; also the process of democratization can be dangerous.
What can you do to become politically involved?
read or watch the news and find out what issues seem important to you, start a discussion with family members or friends about an issue that interests you, write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, call in to a radio talk show