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296 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
law established by the bureaucracy on behalf of Congress; because Congress cannot be experts on all matters
Administrative Law
trial procedures designed to resolve conflict through the clash of opposing sides, moderated by a neutral, passive judge who applies the law; our trial procedures are “presumed to reveal the truth through the clash of skilled professionals vigorously advocating competing viewpoints
Adversarial System
“friend of the court” documents filed by interested parties to encourage the court to grant or deny certiorari or to urge it to decide a case in a particular way; filed in support of about 8% of petitions for certiorari by interest groups that want to encourage the Court to grnt or deny cert; they DO seem to make a difference; economic interest groups make the biggest influence
Amicus curiae briefs
a rehearing of a case because the losing party in the original trial argues that a point of law was not applied properly
the authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts; refers to those cases that a court can hear on appeal
Appellate Jurisdiction
a legal system based on a detailed comprehensive legal code, usually created by the legislature (many European Countries, South America, Japan, Quebec in Canada, the state of Louisiana because of its French heritage)
Civil Law Tradition
laws regulating interactions between individuals; violation of a civil law is called a tort
Civil Laws
a legal system based on the accumulated rulings of judges over time, applied uniformly – judge-made law
Common Law Tradition
documents written by justices expressing agreement with the majority ruling but describing different or additional reasons for the ruling
Concurring Opinions
law stated in the Constitution or in the body of judicial decisions about the meaning of the Constitution handed down in the courts; laws that establish the basic powers of and limitations on governmental institutions and their interrelationships, and that guarantee the basic rights of citizens
Constitutional Law
institutions that sit as neutral third parties to resolve conflicts according to the law
– laws prohibiting behavior the government has determined to be harmful to society; violation of a criminal law is called a crime
Criminal Laws
documents written by justices expressing disagreement with the majority ruling
Dissenting Opinions
clarifications of congressional policy issued by the president and having the full force of law
Executive Orders
trial procedures designed to determine the truth through the intervention of an active judge who seeks evidence and questions witnesses
Inquisitorial Systems
view that the courts should be lawmaking policymaking bodies; comfortable with overturning precedents, exercising judicial review and shaping policy
Judicial Activism
a judicial approach holding that the Constitution is a living document and that judges should interpret it according to changing times and values; the founders couldn’t have anticipated all possible future circumstances
Judicial Interpretivism
view that the courts should reject any active lawmaking functions and stick to judicial interpretations of the past; believe in stare decisis and reject active lawmaking by the Court as unconstitutional
Judicial Restraint
the power of the courts to determine the constitutionality of laws; this is the power that allows the Court to review acts of the other branches and to invalidate them if they are found to run counter to the principles in the Constitution
Judicial Review
a court’s authority to hear certain cases
the landmark case that established the US Supreme Court’s power of judicial review
Marbury v. Madison
the written decision of the court that states the judgment of the majority; the lasting part of the process, read by law students, lawyers, judges, and future justices; the living legacy of the case
the authority of a court to hear a case first; refers to those cases that can come straight to it without being heard by any other court first
Original Jurisdiction
a previous decision or ruling that, in common law tradition, is binding on subsequent decisions; stare decisis
procedural laws that protect the rights of individuals who must deal with the legal system
Procedural Due Process
laws that establish how laws are applied and enforced – how legal proceeding take place; establish the procedures used to conduct the law
Procedural Laws
the unwritten requirement that four Supreme Court justices must agree to grant a case certiorari in order for the case to be heard; takes fewer people to decide to hear a case than it will eventually take to decide the case itself (gives power to a minority on the Court)
Rule of Four
tradition of granting senior senators of the president’s party considerable power over federal judicial appointments in their home states
Senatorial Courtesy
justice department officer who argues the government’s cases before the Supreme Court
Solicitor General
laws passed by a state or the federal legislature
Statutory Laws
a judicial approach holding that the Constitution should be read literally, with the framers’ intentions uppermost in mind; if the meaning of the Constitution is to be changed, it must be done by amendment, not by judicial interpretation
Strict Constructionism
laws whose content, or substance, define what we can or cannot do
Substantive Laws
formal request by the US Supreme Court to call up the lower court case it decides to hear on appeal; the losing party in a lower court case explains in writing why the Supreme Court should hear its case
Writ of certiorari
What made the supreme court more powerful? and who was responsible for it?
Judicial Review; John Marshall
the collective attitudes and beliefs of individuals on one or more issues; what the public thinks
Public opinion
scientific efforts to estimate what an entire group thinks about an issue by asking a smaller sample of the group for its opinion
Public Opinion Polls
the portion of the population that is selected to participate in a poll
the effect of having a sample that does not represent all segments of the population; has too many people in it from one portion of the population
Sample Bias
polls that attempt to determine who is ahead in a political race; continues in a more scientific form today; comes from: the fact that a straw thrown up into the air will indicate which way the wind is blowing; can’t capture last minute decisions
Straw Polls
a number that indicates within what range the results of a poll are accurate; a number that indicates how reliable the poll is; “margin of error”
Sampling Error
samples chosen in such a way that any member of the population being polled has an equal chance of being selected
Random Samples
initial poll on a candidate and issues on which campaign strategy is based and against which later polls are compared; gather baseline info on how well the candidate Is known, what issues people associate with the candidate, and what issues people are concerned about, as well as assessments of the opposition; help design campaign strategy
Benchmark Poll
ongoing series of surveys that follow changes in public opinion over time; groups of these interviews averaged over time are extremely helpful; oldest interviews dropped as newer ones are added
Tracking Polls
election-related questions asked of voters right after they vote; help the media “call” a race before the votes are officially counted; focus on vote choice; they have a mixed record in recent elections so the media has to be careful
Exit Polls
polls that ask for reactions to hypothetical, often false, information in order to manipulate public opinion; used on a limited basis by pollsters and campaign strategists to find out how voters might respond to negative information about the candidate or the opposition
Push Poll
the process by which we learn our political orientations and allegiances; works through family, schools, group memberships, and the major public events of our lives
Political Socialization
the process by which a majority opinion becomes exaggerated because minorities do not feel comfortable speaking out in opposition
Spiral of Silence
groups of citizens whose political views have been shaped by common events of their youth (New Deal Generation is more distinctly democratic)
Political Generations
the tendency of men and women to differ in their political views on some issues
Gender Gap
the tendency for married people to hold political opinions that differ from those of people who have never married
Marriage Gap
the state of being uninformed about politics because of the cost in time and energy
Rational Ignorance
the ability to receive and evaluate information as events happen, allowing us to remember our evaluation even if we have forgotten the specific events that caused it
On-line Processing
the process by which citizens take their political cues from more well-informed opinion leaders
Two-step Flow of Information
people who know more about certain topics than we do and whose advice we trust, seek out, and follow
Opinion Leaders
the stalemate that occurs when political rivals, especially parties, refuse to budge from their positions to achieve a compromise in the public interest
Political Gridlock
a group of citizens united by ideology and seeking control of government in order to promote their ideas and policies; recruit, nominate, and elect candidates for office in order to control the government in accordance with their ideas and policies
Political Party
loyalty to a political cause or party; taking political sides
the official structure that conducts the political business of parties; the system of central committees at the national, state, and local levels; raise money for campaigns, recruit and nominate candidates, organize and facilitate campaigns, register voters, mobilize voters to the polls, conduct party conventions and caucuses, and draft party platforms
Party Organization
comprises all the candidates for national, state, and local office who have been elected; members of the party who have been elected to serve in government; President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate
ordinary citizens who identify with the party
voter affiliation with a political party
Party Identification (ID)
list of policy positions a party endorses and pledges its elected officials to enact; the national party’s campaign promises, usually only made in a presidential election year
Party Platform
the party faithful; the rank-and-file members who actually carry out the party’s electioneering efforts; those who are especially committed to the values and policies of the party; also volunteer their time, donate their money, and stay actively involved; more ideologically extreme; play a key role in keeping the parties ideologically distinct because one of the primary goals of their participation and support is to ensure that the party advocates their issue positions
Party Activists
mass-based party systems in which parties provided services and resources to voters in exchange for votes; tightly organized party systems at the state, city, and county levels that kept control of voters by getting them jobs, helping them out financially, and becoming part of their lives and ther communities; principal goal – taking advantage of the expansion of voting rights to all white men (even those w/o property) to elect more Democratic candidates
Party Machines
party leaders, usually in an urban district, who exercised tight control over electioneering and patronage; chose the party’s candidates for the general election
Party Bosses
system in which successful party candidates reward supporters with jobs or favors
nomination of party candidates by registered party members rather than party bosses
Party Primary
extended periods of relative political stability in which one party tends to control both the presidency and Congress
Party Eras
an election signaling a significant change in popular allegiance from one party to another; mark the end of one party era and the beginning of another
Critical Election
substantial and long-term shift in party allegiance by individuals and groups, usually resulting in a change in policy direction; generally (but not always) result in parallel changes in governmental policies; precipitated by major critical events like the Civil War and Great Depression
a trend among voters to identify themselves as independents rather than as members of a major party
the process of getting a person elected to public office; recruiting and nominating candidates, defining policy agendas, and getting candidates elected
primary elections in which only registered party members may vote
Closed Primaries
primary elections in which eligible voters do not need to be registered party members; complaint – permits members of the other party to get involved in the nomination process and can weaken political parties
Open Primaries
formal party gathering to choose candidates; the summer before the election; bring the party faithful together to set the policy priorities of the party, to elect party officers, and to provide a sense of solidarity and community for the activists
Nominating Convention
unregulated campaign contributions by individuals, groups, or parties that promote general election activities but do not directly support individual candidates; used for party-building efforts
Soft Money
activities directed toward controlling the distribution of political resources by providing executive and legislative leadership, enacting agendas, mobilizing support, and building coalitions; gives voters a means to make officeholders accountable for failed and successful governing policies; can provide an extraconstitutional framework that can lend some coherence to the fragmentation produced by separation of powers and federalism
ability of party leaders to bring party members in the legislature into line with the party program
Party Discipline
members of a political party who consistently vote for that party’s candidates; not sufficient to win a national election
Party Base
party government when four conditions are met: clear choice of ideologies, candidates pledged to implement ideas, party held accountable by voters, and party control over members
Responsible Party Model
a group of citizens united by some common passion or interest and opposed to the rights of other citizens or to the interest of the whole community
an organization of individuals who share a common political goal and unite for the purpose of influencing government decisions
Interest Group
the fund-raising arm of an interest group; they are limited in how much money they can donate to a candidate but loopholes get them around this
Political Action Committee (PAC)
interest group activities aimed at persuading policymakers to support the group’s positions
effective group leaders who are likely to have organized the group and can effectively promote its interests among members and the public; shoulder much of the initial burden and costs of organizing the group; can convince people that the interest group will be able to promote their interest and influence policy
Interest Group Entrepreneurs
the difficulty groups face in recruiting when potential members can gain the benefits of the group’s actions whether they join or not
Free Rider Problem
a good or service that, by its very nature, cannot be denied to anyone who wants to consume it; public safety, clean air, lower prices
Collective Good
benefits that are available only to group members as an inducement to get them to join; used to combat free rider problem
Selective Incentives
selective incentives in the form of tangible rewards; most common material benefit is information (magazines and newsletters); also group activities or benefit policies
Material Benefits
selective incentives related to the interaction and bonding among group members; social interaction; meetings and activities; friendships and social interactions
Solidary Benefits
selective incentives that derive from the opportunity to express values and beliefs and to be committed to a greater cause
Expressive Benefits
groups that organize to influence government policy for the economic benefit of their members; usually have to do with business; common link: they are all focused on pocketbook issues
Economic Interest Groups
groups that organize to promote the civil and economic rights of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups; advocate economic rights because their group is economically disadvantaged or might become so; believe they are underrepresented not because of what they do but because of who they are; organize based on age, race, ethnic group, gender, and sexual orientation; you do not have to be a member of the demographic group to participate
Equal Opportunity Interest Groups
groups that organize to influence government to produce collective goods or services that benefit the general public
Public Interest Groups
direct interaction with public officials for the purpose of influencing policy decisions
Direct Lobbying
attempts to influence government policymakers by encouraging the general public to put pressure on them
Indirect Lobbying
the tendency of public officials, journalists, and lobbyists to move between public and private sector (media, lobbying) jobs; public officials who leave their posts to become interest group representatives (or media figures), parlaying the special knowledge and contacts they gathered in government into lucrative salaries in the private sector
Revolving Door
advertisements that support issues or candidates without telling constituents how to vote; unlimited amount of money can be given to support these
Issue Advocacy Ads
groups that mobilize voters with issue advocacy advertisements on television and radio but may not directly advocate the election or defeat of a particular candidate; under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, they are not subject to laws that the Federal Election Commission regulates
527 Groups
public activities designed to bring attention to political causes, usually generated by those without access to conventional means of expressing their views; ranging from planned, orderly demonstrations to strikes and boycotts, to acts of civil disobedience
Social Protest
indirect lobbying efforts that spring from widespread public concern; addresses people in their roles as ordinary citizens; the wielding of power from the bottom (roots) up rather than the top down; usually orchestrated by the elites
Grassroots Lobbying
indirect lobbying efforts that manipulate or create public sentiment, “astroturf” being artificial grassroots; not really genuine; often uses the support of the public to promote the interest of a corporation or business
Astroturf Lobbying
citizens' feelings of effectiveness in political affairs
Political Efficacy
Legilsation allowing citizens to register to vote at the same time they apply for a driver's license or other state benefits
Motor Voter Bill
A party's efforts to inform potential voters about issues and candidates and persuade them to vote
Voter Mobilization
citizens involvement in groups and their relationships to their communities and families
Social Connectedness
basing voting decision on well-informed opinions and consideration of the future consequences of a given vote; ideal; requires a good deal of information
Prospective Voting
basing voting decisions on reactions to past performance; approving the status quo or signaling a desire for change; economy, foreign policy, and domestic issues; how have things been going?; useful for holding parties accountable
Retrospective Voting
early attempts to raise money, line up campaign consultants, generate media attention, and get commitments for support even before candidates announce they are running
Invisible Primary
local gathering of party members to choose convention delegates; vote for delegates who will be sent to the national convention
Party Caucus
most common device for choosing delegates to the national convention; an election by which voters choose convention delegates committed to voting for a certain candidate
Presidential Primary
primary election in which eligible voters need not be registered party members; party affiliation doesn’t matter; at the polling place, the voter chooses the ballot of the party whose primary he or she wants to vote in
Open Primary
primary election in which only registered party members may vote
Closed Primary
the process of scheduling presidential primaries early in the primary season; helps gain maximum exposure in the media and power over the nomination
Front Loading
the leading candidate and expected winner of a nomination or an election; this status is positive because it means the candidate has raised significant money, has a solid organization, and receives more media coverage than his or her opponents
Front Runner
the widely held public perception that a candidate is gaining electoral strength
the approximately 1/3 of the electorate who are undecided at the start of a campaign; open to persuasion by either side
Swing Voters
investigation of an opponent’s background for the purpose of exploiting weaknesses or undermining credibility
Oppo Research
issues on which most voters and candidates share the same positions; no one opposes them; prosperous economy, America being a respected leader, fighting terrorism, clean environment
Valence Issues
issues on which the parties differ in their perspectives and proposed solutions; have two sides; abortion, war in Iraq; a clear stand means that they will gain some friends but also some enemies
Position Issues
a controversial issue that one party uses to split the voters in the other party
Wedge Issue
the tendency of one party to be seen as more competent in a specific policy area; helps to clarify the role of policy issues in presidential campaigns; based on their past stands and performance; ex: democrats can handle education matters better and Republicans are better at solving crime issues
Issue Ownership
campaign advertising that emphasizes the negative characteristics of opponents rather than one’s own strength; may turn off some voters and give the perception that politics is an unpleasant business
Negative Advertising
money given by the federal government to qualified presidential candidates in the primary and general election campaigns who choose to accept it and to spend only that money
Government Matching Funds
campaign funds donated directly to candidates; amounts are limited by federal election laws; given by individuals, Political action committees (PACs), the political parties, and the government
Hard Money
unregulated campaign contributions by individuals, groups, or parties that promote general election activities but do not directly support individual candidates
Soft Money
advertisements paid for by soft money, and thus not regulated, that promote certain issue positions but do not endorse specific candidates; usually attacks the character, views, or position of the candidate the group running the ad wishes to defeat; considered protected free speech; may not explicitly tell viewers how to vote
Issue advocacy ads
efforts by political parties, interest groups, and the candidates staff to maximize voter turnout among supporters
Get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drives
the perception that an election victory signals broad support for the winner’s proposed policies
Electoral Mandate
means of conveying information to large public audiences cheaply and efficiently; printed, electronic; carry info back and forth between citizens and politicians
Mass Media
the targeting of specialized audiences by the media
web logs, or online journals, that can cover any topic, including political analysis; can be set up by anyone with a computer and an internet connection; can also publish false information so be careful
the tendency of the media to make coverage and programming decisions based on what will attract a large audience and maximize profits; people want to watch scandals and crimes; they may not print these bad stories because the editor has decided that Americans need to know, but because papers that don’t reveal those developments may be passed over for those that do
Commercial Bias
decide the details about what news gets covered or not and how
investigative reporters who search for and expose misconduct in corporate activity or public officials; exposed abuses of public and private power ranging from corporate monopolies, to municipal corruption, to atrocious conditions in meatpacking plants
a movement among journalists to be responsive to citizen input in determining what news stories to cover
Civic Journalism
the tendency of public officials, journalists, and lobbyists to move between public and private sector (media, lobbying) jobs; journalists take govt positions and then return to journalism again or vice versa
Revolving Door
a professional observer and commentator on politics; traditionally a learned person, someone professing great wisdom; a person skilled in the ways of the media and of politics who can make trenchant observations and predictions of political events; because they receive wide media coverage from their fellow journalists, the pronouncements of the punditry carry considerable power; the pundits, as journalists, are meant to be a check on the power of politicians, but who provides a check on the pundits?
the way in which the media’s emphasis on particular characteristics of people, events, or issues influences the public’s perception of those people, events, or issues; how people and events should be evaluated based on things that they emphasize as important (crime, environment, intelligence)
the media’s focus on the competitive aspects of politics rather than on actual policy proposals and political decisions
Horse-Race Journalism
process through which the media emphasizes particular aspects of a news story, thereby influencing the public’s perception of the story
the phenomenon of filtering incoming information through personal values and interests, thereby determining the news items they will pay attention to and remember
Selective Perception
a brief, snappy excerpt from a public figure’s speech that is easy to repeat on the news; often played repetitively and can drown out the substance of the message a politician wishes to convey
Sound Bite
excessive press coverage of an embarrassing or scandalous subject
Feeding Frenzy
the idea that governing requires a continual effort to convince the public to sign onto the program, requiring a reliance on consultants and an emphasis on politics over policy
Permanent Campaign
the efforts of a politician’s staff to control news about the politician; the chief mechanism of the permanent campaign
News Management
an interpretation of a politician’s words or actions, designed to present a favorable image; they want to put a spin on the news that will be most flattering to the politician whose image is in their care
confidential information secretly revealed to the press. Can serve a variety of purposes
an official leak of a proposal to determine public reaction to it without risk; if the reaction is negative, deny that it was ever mentioned
Trial Balloon
the democratic principle that political leaders must answer to the public for their actions
Political Accountability
the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states
the federal system under which the national and state governments were responsible for separate policy areas; national government responsible for foreign affairs; state responsible for domestic policy; most of the laws directly affecting citizens were responsibility of the states
Dual Federalism
the current arrangement; the federal system under which the national and state governments share responsibilities for most domestic policy areas; the national government tends to provide the money and directions for policies which are then carried out by the state governments
Cooperative federalism
federal funds provided for a specific purpose, restricted by detailed instructions, regulations, and compliance standards
Categorical Grants
federal funds provided for a broad purpose, unrestricted by detailed requirements and regulations
Block Grants
federal orders under which states operate and pay for programs created at the national level
Unfunded Mandates
a political culture that expects government to promote the public interest and the common good, sees government growth as positive, and encourages citizen participation; New England, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest; emphasizes government action to achieve equality and a high quality of life for all citizens; distinctive feature: expectation that the role of the government is to promote a common good and that government growth is a positive thing; expectations that citizens will participate in govt, politics will revolve around issues, and that both elected officials and bureaucrats will be free of corruption and economic self-interest; encourages equality and widespread participation
Moralistic Political Culture
a political culture that distrusts government, expects corruption, downplays citizen participation, and stresses individual economic prosperity; mid-Atlantic region, lower Midwest, West Coast; fundamental values: belief that the marketplace, and not government, is the best mechanism for distributing resources, and that the role of govt is to serve the interests of individuals as they (not govt) define it.; value limited govt; citizens are like consumers who shop for what they want, not committed members of an inclusive community; participation is voluntary
Individualistic Political Culture
a political culture that expects government to maintain existing power structures and sees citizenship as stratified, with politicians coming from the social elite; South and Southwest; change is suspect rather than embraced; govt should not interfere, even to improve society; the current social and economic arrangements are not to be changed; participation of the common man, and especially blacks and women was discouraged; Citizenship is highly stratified with people having unequal roles
Traditionalistic Political Culture
the process of amending state constitutions to include interest groups’ policy preferences; if an interest group can gain constitutional status for a preferred government policy, that policy is safer than if it is simply legislation that can be changed by a majority in the next legislature; it is harder to amend the constitution than to vote out legislation
Super Legislation
a citizen petition to place a proposal or constitutional amendment on the ballot, to be adopted or rejected by majority vote, bypassing the legislature
an election in which a bill passed by the state legislature is submitted to voters for approval
a vote to remove an elected official from office before his term is up; don’t happen very often
Recall Election
part-time state legislators, who also hold other jobs in their community while serving in the statehouse
Citizen Legislators
court systems organized and managed by a state supreme court; supposed to reduce the number of different kinds of courts and the overlapping jurisdictions; gaol is to achieve coherent and uniform policies for the practice of law and court procedure across the state rather than leaving these matters up to the local courts to set as they please
Unified State Court Systems
the attempt to remove politics – either through elections or appointments – from the process of selecting judges
Merit Systems of Judicial Selection
form of local government in which a mayor is elected in a partisan election; big cities; mayor is chief executive and there are also city council members who are usually elected from districts within the cities
Mayoral Government
form of local government in which a professional city or town manager is appointed by elected councilors; chief executive is APPOINTED; brings administrative expertise and nonpartisanship; all members run citywide rather than from separate districts
Council-Manager Government
the basic component of the county form of government; combines executive and legislative functions over a narrow area of responsibility; most common; executive and legislative functions are shared by 3 to 50 elected commissioners, generally with each being responsible for different parts of county government
a single government that controls and administers public policy in a central city and its surrounding suburbs; can draw on the healthy tax base of the suburbs
Metropolitan-Wide Government
agreements between two or more states, frequently formed to manage a common resource; require congressional approval to for the organization; ex: seaport or public transportation
Interstate Compacts
a government plan of action to solve a problem that people share collectively or that they cannot solve on their own
Public Policy
policies that shift resources from the “haves” to the “have-nots”
Redistributive Policies
policies funded by the whole taxpayer base that address the needs of particular groups
Distributive Policies
policies designed to restrict or change the behavior of certain groups or individuals
Regulatory Policies
an external event that puts an issue onto the policy agenda; ex, sept. 11
Triggering Event
an evaluation method in which the costs of the program are compared to the benefits of the policy; conducted as a way of choosing among alternative directions
Cost-Benefit Analysis
distributive and redistributive policies that seek to improve the quality of citizens’ lives
Social Policies
the income level below which a family is considered to be “poor”; focuses only on income and does not include noncash benefits like food stamps or family assets like a home or car
Poverty Threshold
public policies that seek to meet the basic needs of people who are unable to provide for themselves; shelter, food and clothing, jobs, education, old age care, and medical assistance; most are redistributive
Social Welfare Policies
social programs whose beneficiaries qualify by demonstrating need; beneficiaries must prove that they lack the necessary means to provide for themselves
Means-Tested Programs
programs that offer benefits in exchange for contributions; ex: social security; cover longer-range needs; distributive because broad segments of the population pay into and benefit from the system at some point in their lives
Social Insurance Programs
a social insurance program under which individuals make contributions during working ears and collect benefits in retirement
Social Security
a federal program that guarantees benefits to qualified recipients; the government will have to start paying it
Entitlement Program
the New Del Act that created AFDC, Social Security, and unemployment insurance
Social Security Act
a welfare program of block grants to states that encourages recipients to work in exchange for time-limited benefits
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
a program that provides assistance to the poor to help them buy food; if everyone in a household receives TANF or Supplemental Security Income, the household qualifies for food stamps; qualifications based on the number of people in a household and the household’s gross and net (after deductions) income
Food Stamps
the federal government’s health insurance program for the elderly and disabled; social insurance program designed to help the elderly pay their medical costs; extended health care coverage to virtually all Americans who are over 65, disabled, or suffering from permanent kidney failure
a federally sponsored program that provides medical care to the poor
financial incentive given by the government to corporations, individuals, or other governments; cash grant, tax deduction, or a price support; usually to encourage certain activities or behaviors (such as homeownership or going to college)
distributive, redistributive, and regulatory policy that seeks to improve the quality of the physical world in which we live
Environmental Policy
legislation that set emission standards for companies; required the EPA to set national ambient air quality standards for common air pollutants; required automobile manufacturers to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars
Clean Air Act
legislation designed to oversee the cleanup of toxic waste disposal sites; make liable for the costs of cleanup the persons responsible for the waste
all the different strategies that government officials employ to solve economic problems
Economic Policy
basic principles that regulate the economic market and influence the price of a good; represent relationships in the economic world that hold true so consistently that we can count on them to occur unless something happens to change the conditions under which they operate
Laws of Supply and Demand
total market value of all goods and services produced by everyone in a particular country during a given year; total market value of all goods and services produced in a particular country during a given year
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
a period of fast economic growth in GDP, signaling prosperity
Economic Boom
– a period of steep decline in GDP, signaling recession
Economic Bust
the peaks and valleys of the economy between boom and bust; fluctuations vary in length and intensity and are usually linked to economic conditions in other countries
Business Cycle
an increase in the price of goods; one of the biggest problems that government faces; it takes more money to buy the same product; happens in booms; reduces the value of money; can slow the economy
decline in GDP for two consecutive quarters
a sharp reduction in a nation’s GDP for more than a year accompanied by high unemployment; last one in 1929
an ideal market that corrects itself when it moves in an inflationary or recessionary direction
Self Regulating Market
economic policy in which government regulates the economy through its powers to tax and spend
Fiscal Policy
an economic theory that government could stimulate a lagging economy by putting more money into it (increasing government spending and cutting taxes) or cool off an inflationary economy by taking money out (cutting spending and raising taxes)
a budget in which expenditures equal revenues
Balanced Budget
shortfalls in the budget due to the government spending more in a year than it takes in
extra funds available because government revenues are greater than its expenditures
economic policy in which government regulates the economy by manipulating interest rates to control the money supply (the sum of all currency on hand in the country plus the amount held in checking accounts)
Monetary Policy
the cost of borrowing money calculated as a percentage of the money borrowed
Interest Rates
independent commission that controls the money supply through a system of twelve federal banks; run by a Board of Governors – seven members appointed by the president and confirmed by senate; controls the amount of money that banks and other institutions have available to loan
Federal Reserve System
President Ronald Reagan’s economic plan, by which tax cuts would ultimately generate more, not less, government revenues by allowing for increased investment and productivity; turned upside down the principles of fiscal policy; did NOT produce more revenue; the government faced increasing deficits
Supply Side Economics
the total of the nation’s unpaid deficits, or simply the sum total of what the national government owes; grows when the govt uses fiscal policy to stimulate the economy; especially the New Deal
National Debt
consumer taxes levied on specific merchandise, such as cigarettes or alcohol
Excise Taxes
taxes whose rates increase with income
Progressive Taxes
taxes that require poor people to pay a higher proportion of their income than do the well off; ex: sales taxes, social security
Regressive Taxes
a tax levied on the returns that people earn from capital investments, like the profits from the sale of stocks or a home; if wealthy people are taxed at lower rates, they will invest and spend more, the economy will prosper, and the benefits will “trickle down”
Capital Gains Tax
a tax system in which all people pay the same percentage of their income; would vastly simplify the tax code
Flat Tax
a plan in which people are taxed not on what they earn but what they spend; in addition to state sales tax
Consumption Tax
a consumption tax levied at each stage of production, based on the value added to the product at that stage; European countries do this
Value-Added Tax (VAT)
the elimination of regulations in order to improve economic efficiency; began with Jimmy Carter; airfares dropped; the airline system had too many regulations before
a situation in which a single producer dominates a market and there is no competition; greatly inflate prices
government regulations that try to keep monopolies from emerging
Antitrust Policies
the ability of unions to determine wages, hours, and working conditions in conjunction with the employer
Collective Bargaining
the imposition of trade barriers, especially tariffs, to make trading conditions favorable to domestic producers; laws should limit the sale of foreign imports in order to protect producers at home
policies that encourage open borders between trading partners by eliminating protectionist policies; eliminate quotas, tariffs, or nontariff barriers
Free Trade Policies
the difference between the value of the goods a country imports and what it exports
Trade Deficit
trade agreement that removed most of the barriers to trade and investment that existed among the United States, Mexico, and Canada
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
a country’s official positions, practices, and procedures for dealing with actors outside its borders
Foreign Policy
a foreign policy view that nations should stay out of international political alliances and activities, and focus on domestic matters; US tried this after WWI but it failed
a foreign policy view that the United States should actively engage in the affairs of other nations in order to try to shape events in accordance with U.S. interests.
bodies, such as the United Nations, whose members are countries; NATO, OPEC, European Union (EU)
Intergovernmental Organizations
organizations comprising individuals or interest groups from around the world focused on a special issue; members are private individuals or groups; Greenpeace, Red Cross
Nongovernmental Organizations
large companies that do business in multiple countries; often wield tremendous economic power; Nike, General Motors
Multinational Corporations
the half-century of competition and conflict after World War II between the US and the Soviet Union and their allies; 1947-1989; war between democracy and authoritarianism, capitalism and communism
Cold War
the US Cold War policy of preventing the spread of communism, especially in Europe
policy that supports preemptive attacks as a legitimate tactic in the US war on state-sponsored terrorism
Bush Doctrine
foreign policy, usually made quickly and secretly, that responds to an emergency threat; come as a surprise; the use of force is one way to respond
Crisis Policy
foreign policy that lays out a country’s basic stance toward international actors or problems; ex: containment
Strategic Policy
foreign policy dealing with defense spending, military bases, and weapons procurement
Structural Defense Policy
policy of the United States starting in 1947 that the United States would aid free peoples to maintain their freedom in the face of aggressive communist movements; the US would try to contain Soviet influence by helping make sure that no new countries fell to communism
Truman Doctrine
organization within the Executive Office of the President that provides foreign policy advice to the president; members include the president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense; the president has wide discretion to decide what the NSC will look like and how he will use it; National Security Adviser is the president’s chief adviser on foreign policy and national security
National Security Council (NSC)
the executive department charged with managing foreign affairs; it was the first department established by the Constitution; maintain diplomatic and consular posts around the world; facilitate communication between the US and foreign countries; send delegates and missions to a variety of international organization meetings; negotiate treaties and executive agreements with other countries
Department of State
the executive department charged with managing the country’s military personnel, equipment, and operations; manage American soldiers and their equipment to protect the US; headed by a secretary of defense whose job in part is to advise the president on defense matters and who is a CIVILIAN
Department of Defense
the senior military officers from four branches of the US armed forces; advises the secretary of defense and the chairman is the primary military adviser to the president and the secretary of defense
Joint Chiefs of Staff
the agencies and bureaus responsible for obtaining and interpreting information for the government; collection, organization, and analysis of information
Intelligence Community
the government organization that oversees foreign intelligence gathering and related classified activities abroad
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
overseer and coordinator of the activities of the many agencies involved in the production and dissemination of intelligence information in the US government, as well as the president’s main intelligence adviser; meets with the president each day
Director of National Intelligence
the executive department meant to provide a unifying force in the efforts of the government to prevent attacks on the US and to respond to such attacks through law enforcement and emergency relief should they occur; agencies that were spread throughout the government but that all had some role in protecting the homeland were pulled together under this new umbrella
Department of Homeland Security
the dominant actor in world politics
a foreign policy based on taking an active role in global affairs; the predominant foreign policy view in the US today ever since WWII
economic system by which countries exchange goods without imposing excessive tariffs and taxes
Free Trade
the imposition of trade barriers, especially tariffs, to make trading conditions favorable to domestic producers
economic institution that makes large, low-cost loans with long repayment terms to countries, primarily for infrastructure construction or repairs; better interest rates than those available from banks
World Bank
economic institution that makes short-term, relatively small loans to countries to help balance their currency flows; IMF and World Bank work together on massive loans for economic restructuring
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
a series of agreements on international trading terms; now known as the World Trade Organization
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
the status afforded to WTO trading partners; a country gives the same “deal” to member nations that it offers to its “most favored” friend; idea was to develop a multilateral trade organization that would work over time to move toward freer and freer trade among member nations
Most Favored Nation
maintaining military might so as to discourage another actor from taking a certain action; to keep them from doing something
using foreign policy strategies to persuade, or force, an actor to take a certain action; to GET them to do something
the calibrated use of threats of the use of force aimed to make another actor stop or undue an aggressive action; the careful manipulation of threats of the use of force as a form of negotiation while hoping to avoid war
Coercive Diplomacy
action that strikes and eliminates an enemy before it has a chance to strike you
to use force without direct provocation in order to assure that a chain of events does not unfold that cold put you at immediate risk at some later date; waging war now so as to prevent a sequence of events that could pose a threat later; based on the idea that some enemies cannot be deterred or compelled to act appropriately because they are motivated by implacable hate for the US
Preventative War
the promotion of information, which may or may not be correct, designed to influence the beliefs and attitudes of a foreign audience; hope that people of the targeted foreign country will view America more favorably or will apply pressure on their government to act more democratically
the formal system of communication and negotiation between countries; the oldest political tool
undercover actions in which the prime mover country appears to have had no role
Covert Operations
assistance given by one country to another in the form of grants or loans
Foreign Aid
America’s massive economic recovery program for Western Europe following WWII; foreign aid became very important
Marshall Plan
restrictions on trade imposed on one country by another state or group of states, usually as a form of punishment or protest
Economic Sanctions
the refusal by one country to trade with another in order to force changes in its behavior or to weaken it
the expectation that reduced defense spending would result in additional funds for other programs
Peace Dividend
the military strategy of having a three-pronged nuclear capability, from land, sea, or air; if one prong is destroyed, the others can still retaliate
Nuclear Triad
the military strategy of having a three-pronged nuclear capability, from land, sea, or air; if one prong is destroyed, the others can still retaliate
Nuclear Triad
an act of violence that targets civilians for the purpose of provoking widespread fear that will force government to change its policies
nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons that can kill huge numbers of people at one time
Weapons of Mass Destruction
the potential use of weapons of mass destruction in a terrorist attack
countries that break international norms and produce, sell, or use weapons of mass destruction; Iran, North Korea,
Rogue States
measures to protect and defend U.S. citizens and interests from terrorist attacks; metal detectors, concrete barricades to prevent car bombs
activities to stop terrorists from using force and responding when they do; electronic means to track communications of terrorists, cut off the money to terrorist groups, bomb terrorist training sites
multinational organization formed in 1949 to promote the Cold War defense of Europe from the communist bloc; dominated by the US
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Five functions of law in democratic society
Provide security
Provide predictability
resolve conflict
make everyone conform to society's values
distribute benefits and rewards
What is America's legal system based on?
Common law but Congress is also responsible for making laws
The American legal system is ___________. And that means what?
Adversarial; opposing sides argue before a judge. the Judge doesn't investigate
Why is our legal system litigious?
Because we have no other way to provide compensation and security from risk
What is one of the biggest discriminating factors of our legal system?
Four general criteria that presidents take into consideration when choosing Supreme Court nominees
Political ideology
Reward - friends or supporters
Representation - women/blacks
Name some things (4) that affect our political opinion
School - pledge, required classes
People and groups - friends, churches
Political and social events - Great Depression, September 11
Divisions in public opinion
Ideology - conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican
Self-Interest - what is good for you?
Are parties mentioned in the Constitution?
Four requirements of Responsible Party Model
unique set of programs
candidate should support their party's platform
voters choose party whose program most closely supports the choices and ideas they believe in
party makes sure their elected officials are staying in line with the party's ideals and programs
Reasons why we maintain a two party system
Rules - single-member district system, not proportional
State laws - require signatures or certain percentage of votes
Federal campaign funds
third-parties can't participate in debates
(money and media coverage)
Four main groups of interest groups
Economic - business, taxes, labor
Equal Opportunity - age, race, gender
Necessary resources for an interest group (4)
Membership (size and intensity)
Six major functions of elections
selecting leaders
directing policy
developing citizens
informing the public
containing conflict,
keeping our system legitimate and stable
What affects voter turnout
Rules - registration
# of elections
day of the week
Poor voter mobilization
How does the media shape public opinion?
Agenda Setting
How does the media shape public opinion?
Agenda Setting