Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

24 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; produces authoritative decisions about public issues
Lasswell's definition of politics
Who gets what, when, and how
Lasswell: Who
Voters, candidates, groups, parties, etc. Focused on by the media
Lasswell: How
The way that people participate in politics; for example: voting, supporting, compromising, lobbying, etc.
Lasswell: What
The substance of politics and government; benefits (e.g. care for the elderly) and burdens (e.g. new taxes)
Policy-making system
The process 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 impact people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.
Linkage institutions
The political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.
Policy agenda
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials 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 charged with taking action on political issues. The U.S. constitution established three policy institutions - the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Today, the power of the bureaucracy is so great that most political scientists consider it a fourth policymaking institution.
Public policy
A choice that government makes in response to a political issue.
A course of action taken with regard to some problem
A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences
Majority rule
A fundamental principle of traditional 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 guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and 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 emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own 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.
When interests use their influence to thwart those whose policy proposals they oppose. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism.
Policy gridlock
A condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy. That 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.