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171 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
A federal law designed to end discrimination against persons with disabilities and eliminate barriers to their full participation in American society
Gross Domestic Product
The total value of goods and services produced by a nation's economy in a year, excluding transactions with foreign countries
Government
The institution with authority to set policy for society
Politics
The way in which decisions for a society are made and considered binding most of the time by most of the people
Public Policy
The response, or lack of response, of government decision-makers to an issue
Public Policy Approach
A comprehensive method for studying the process through which issues come to the attention of government decision-makers, and through which policies are formulated, adopted, implemented, and evaluated
Policymaking Environment
The complex of factors outside of government that has an impact, either directly or indirectly, on the policymaking process
Agenda Building
The process through which problems become matters of public concern and government action
Framing
The process by which a communication source, such as a news organization, defines and constucts a political issue or public controversy
Policy Formulation
The development of strategies for dealing with the problems on the policy agenda
Issue Network
A group of political actors that is actively involved with policymaking in a particular issue area
Policy Adoption
The official decision of a government body to accept a particular policy and put it into effect
Policy Implementation
The stae of the policy process in which policies are carried out
Policy Evaluation
The assessment of policy
Normative Analysis
A method of study that is based on certain values
Empirical Analysis
A method of study that relies on experience and scientific observation rather than values
Bilingual Education
The teaching of academic subjects in both English and a student's native lanuage, usually Spanish
Political Culture
The widely held, deeply rooted political values of a society
Democracy
A system of government in which ultimate political authority is vested in the people
Capitalism
An economic system characterized by individual and corporate ownership of the means of production and a market economy based on the supply and demand of goods and services
Liberalism
The political philosophy that favors the use of government power to foster the development of the idividual and promote the welfare of society
Conservatism
The political philosophy that government power undermines the development of the individual and diminishes society as a whole
Baby-Boom Generation
The exceptionally large number of Americans born during the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s
Multicultural Education
An approach to education that emphasizes the ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity of the nation's people
English-Only Laws
Measures that require that all public business be conducted exclusively in the English language
Sunbelt
The South and West
Frostbelt
The Northeast and Midwest
Standard of Living
A term that refers to the goods and services affordable by and available to the residents of a nation
Global Economy
The integration of national economies into a world economic system in which companies compete worldwide for suppliers and markets
Morth American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
An international accord among the United States, Mexico, and Canada to lower trade barriers among the three nations
Poverty Threshold
The amount of money an individual or family needs to purchase basic necessitites, such as food, clothing, health care, shelter, and transportation
Conference Committee
A special, joint congressional committee created to negotiate differences on similar pieces of legislation passed by the House and Senate
Constitution
Afundamental law by which a state or nation is organized and governed, and to which ordinary legislation must conform
Bicameral
A two-house legislature
Doctine of Natural Rights
The belief that individual rights transcent the power of government
Bill of Rights
A constitutional document guaranteeing individual rights and liberties. In the United States national government, the Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution
Direct Democracy
A political system in which the citizens vote directly on matters of public concern
Tyranny of the Majority
The abuse of the minority by the majority
Representative Democracy
A plitical system in which citizens elect representatives to make policy decisions on their behalf
Supermajority
A voting margin that is greater than a simple majority
Rule of Law
The constituional principle that holds that the discretion of public officials in dealing with individuals is limited by the law
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A court order requiring that government authorities either release a person held in custody or demonstrate that the person is detained in accordance with law
Bill of Attainder
A law declaring a person or a group of persons guilty of a crime and providing for punishment without benefit of a judicial proceeding
Ex Post Facto Law
A retroactive criminal statue that operates to the disadvantage of accused persons
Due Process of Law
The constituational principle holding that governmentmust follow fair and regualr procedures in actions that could lead to an individual's suffering loss of life, liberty, or property
Limited Government
The constitutional principle that government does not have unrestricted authority over individuals
Antifederalists
Americans opposed to the ratification of the new Constituation because they thought it gave too much power to the national government
Federalists
American who supported the ratification of the Constitution
Selective Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Against the States
The process through which the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Costitution to apply most of the provisions of the natioal Bill of Rights to the states.
Legislative Power
The power to make laws
Executive Power
The power to enforce laws
Judicial Power
The power to interpret laws
Separation of Powers
The divison of political power among executive, legislative, and judicial brances of government
Checks and Balances
The overlapping of the powers of the branches of government designed to ensure that public officials limit the authority of one another
Federalist Papers
A series of essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, written to advocate the ratification of the Constitution
Factions
Special interests who seeks their own good at the expenxe of the common good
Unitary Government
A governmental system in which political authority is concentrated in a single national government
Confederation
Aleague of nearly independent states
Federal System
A plitical system that divides power between a central government, with authority over the whole nation, and a series of state governments
Sovereignty
The authority of a state to exercise its legitimate powers within its boundaries, free from external interference
Constituational Amendment
A formal, written change or addition to the nation's governing document
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
A proposed amentment guaranteeing equality before the law, regardless of sex
Judicial Review
The power of courts to declare unconstitutional the actions of the other branches and units of government
Writ of Mandamus
A court order directing a public official to perform a specific act or duty
Jurisdiction
The authority of a court ot hear and decide a case
Equal Protection Clause
The proviion found in the Foutheenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that declares that "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Parliamentary System
A system of government in which political power is concentrated in a legislative body and a cabinet headed by a Prime Minister
Parliament
The legislature in a parliamentary system
School Lunch Program
A federal program that provides free or reduced-cost lunches to children from poor families
Delegated Powers
The powers explicitly granted to the national government by the Costitution
Power of the Purse
The control of the finances of government
Tariff
A tax levied on imported goods
Excise Taxes
Levies assessed on the manufacture, transportation, sale, or consumption of a particular item or set of related items
Elastic Clause
The constitutional provision found in Article 1, Section 8 granting Congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for carrying out the delegated powers.
Implied Powers
Those powers of Congress not explicitly mentionin the Constitution, but derived by implitcation from the delegated powers
Due Process Clause
The contitutional provision that declates that no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Equal Protection Clause
The provision found in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that declares that "No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
National Supremacy Clause
The contitutional provision that declares that the Constitution and laws of the United States take precedence over the constitutions and laws of the states
Full Faith and Credit Clause
A constitutional provision requiring that states recognize the official acts of other states
Defense of Marriage Act
A federal law stipulating that each state may choose either to recognize or not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states
Privileges and Immunities Clause
A constitutional provision prohibiting state governments from discriminating against the citizens of other states
Extradition
The return from one state (or nation) to another of a person accused of a crime
Republic
A representative democracy in which citizens elect representatives to make policy decisions on their behalf
Reserved Powers
The powers of government left to the states (anything not delegated)
Concurrent Powers
Those powers of government that are jointly exercised by the national government and state governments
States' Rights
An interpretation of the Constitution that favors limiting the authority of the federal government while expanding the powers of the states
New Deal
A legislative package of reform measures proposed by president Franklin Roosevelt
Commerce Clause
The constitutional provision giving Congress authority to "regulate commerce ... among the several states."
Brady Act
A federal gun control law that requires a background check on an unlicensed purchaser of a firearm in order to determine whether thie individual can legally own a weapon
Federal Grand Program
A program through which the national government gives money to state and local governmnets to spend in accordance with set standards and conditions
Authorization Process
The procedure through which Congress legislatively establishes a program, defines its general purpose, devises procedures for its operation, specifies an agency to implement the program, and indicates an approximate level of funding for the program but does not actually provide money
Approprations Process
The procedure through which Congress legislatively allocates money for a particular purpose
Categorical Grant Program
A federal grant program that provides funds to state and local governments for a fairly narrow, specific purpose, such as removing asbestos from school building or acquiring land for outdoor recreation
Block Grant Program
A federal grant program that provides money for a program in a broad, general policy area, such as childcare or job training
Project Grant Program
A grant program that requires state and local governments to compete for available federal money
Formula Grant Program
A grant program that awards funding on the basis of a formula established by Congress
Community Development Program
A federal grant program that awards annual grants to metropolitan cities and urban counties to implement a wide variety of community and economic development activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and the provision of improved community facilities and services
Matching Funds Requirement
A legislative provision that the national government will provide grant money for a particular activity only on condition that the state or local government involved supply a certain percentage of the total money required for the project or program
Food Stamp Program
A federal program that provides vouchers to low-income familites and individuals that can be used to purchase food
Medicaid
A federal program designed to provide health insurance coverage to porr people, the disabled, and elderly Americans who are impoverished
States' Rights
An interpretation of the Constitution that favors limiting the authority of the federal government while expanding the powers of the states
New Deal
A legislative package of reform measures proposed by president Franklin Roosevelt
Commerce Clause
The constitutional provision giving Congress authority to "regulate commerce ... among the several states."
Brady Act
A federal gun control law that requires a background check on an unlicensed purchaser of a firearm in order to determine whether thie individual can legally own a weapon
Federal Grand Program
A program through which the national government gives money to state and local governmnets to spend in accordance with set standards and conditions
Federal Mandate
A legal requirement placed on a state or local government by the national government requiring certain policy actions
Capital Punishment
The death penalty
Federal Preemption of State Authority
An act of Congress adopting regulatory policies that overrule state policies in a particular regulatory area
Political Socialization
The process where by individuals acquire political knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs
Agents of Socialization
These factors that contribute to political socialization by shaping formal and informal learning
Framing
The process by which a communication source, such as a news organization, defines and constructs a political issue or public controversy
Opinion Leaders
Individuals whose views shape the political attitudes of the general public
Incumbent
A current officeholder
Attack Jornalism
An approach to news reporting in which journalists take an adversarial attitude toward candidates and elected officials
Survey Research
The measurement of public opinion
Univers
In survey research, the population researchers wish to study
Sample
In survey research, a subset or part of a universe
Margin of Error
Statistical term that refers to the accuracy of a survey
Biased Samle
An unrepresentative sample
Random Sample
A sample in which each member of a univers have an equal likelihood of being included; it is unbiased
Biased Question
A survey question that produces results tilted to one side or another
Initiative
A procedure available in some states and cities whereby citizens can propose the adoption of a policy measure by gathering a prerequisite muber of signatures. Voters must then approve the measure before it can take effect
Civil Liberties
The protection of the individual from the unrestricted power of government
Political Elites
Persons who exercise a major influence on the policymaking process
Political Legitimacy
The popular acceptance of a government and its officals as rightful authorites in the exercise of power
Term Limitation
The movement to restrict the number of terms public officials my serve
Watergate
An abuse of the powers of the presidency by President Richard Nixon and members of his administration that led to his resignation in 1974
Political Efficacy
The extent to which individuals believe they can influence the policymaking process
Internal Political Efficacy
The assessment by an idividual of his or her personal ability to influence the policymaking process
External Political Efficacy
The assessment of an individual of the responsiveness of government to his or her concerns
Political Right

Right Wing
Term that refers to conservatives and conservatism
Political Left

Left Wing
Term that refers to liberals and liberalism
Isolationism
The view that the United States should stay out of the affairs of other nations
Affirmative Action
Steps taken by colleges, universities, and private emplyers to remedy the effects of past discrimination in admissions, employment, and promotions
Religious Left
Individuals who hold liberal views because of their religious beliefs
Reliegious Right
Individuals who hold conservative views because of their religious beliefs
Genger Gap
Differences in political opinion and behavior between men and women
Latent Opinion
What public opinion whould be at election time if a political opponent made a public official's position on the issue the target of a campaign attack
Aone of Acquiescence
The range of policy options acceptable to the public on a particular issue
Constituency
The district from which an officeholder is elected
Constituents
The people an officeholder represents
Political Participation
An activity that has the intent or effect of influencing government action
Voter MObilization
The process of motivating citizens to vote
Voting Age Population (VAP)
The muber of U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older
Compulsory Voting
The legal requirement that citizens participate in national elections
Voter Activation
The process of inducing particular, finely targeted portions of the electorate to participate in politics
National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)
A federal law designed to make it easier for citizens to register to vote by requiring states to allow mail registration and provide an opportunity for people to register when appying for or renewing driver's licenses or when visiting federal, state, or local agencies, such as welfare offices
Contract with America
A series of campaign promises offered by Republican candidates during the 1994 congressional elections
Representative Democracy
A political system in which citizens elect representatives to make policy decisions on their behalf
Interest Group
An organization of people who join togetrher voluntarily on the basis of some interest they share for the purpose of influencing policy
National Rifle Association(NRA)
An interest group organized to defent the rights of gun owners and defeat efforts at gun control
Trade Associations
Organizations representing the interests of firms and professionals in the same general field
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Labor union federation
American Medical Association (AMA)
An interest group representing the concerns of physicians
American Bar Association (ABA)
An interest group representing the concerns of attorneys
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
An interest group organized to represent the concers of African Americans
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
A Latino interest group
American Indian Movement (AIM)
A group representing the views of Native Americans
Budget Deficit
The amount of money by which annual budget expenditures exceed annual budget receipts
Voting Rights Act (VRA)
A federal law designed to protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities
Citizen Groups
Organizations created to support government policies that they believe will benefit the public at large
Common Cause
A group organized to work for campaign finance reform and other good-government causes
Sierra Club
An environmental organization
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
A group organized to protect the rights of indiciduals as outlined in the U.S. Constitution
Advocacy Groups
Organizations created to seek benefits on behalf of groups of persons who are in some way incapacitated or otherwise unable to represent their own interests
Cause Groups
Organization whose members care intensely about a single issue or small group of related issues
Political Action Committee (PAC)
An organization created to raise and distribute money in election campaigns
Access
The opportunity to communicate directly with legislators and other government officials in hopes of influencing the details of policy
Friendly Incumbent Rule
A plicy whereby an interest group will financially back any incumbent who is generally supporitve of the group's policy preferences, without regard for the political party or policy views of the challenger
Bundling
A procedure in which an interest group gathers checks from individual supporters made out to the campaigns of targeted candidates. The group then passes the checks along to the candidates
Lobbying
The communication of information by a representative of an interest group to a government official for the purpose of influencing a policy decison