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Jasmine Chen Chapter 1 Notes Young people are less knowledgeable in politics on average when compared to senior citizens

ns Political knowledge: (1) fosters civic virtues like political tolerance; (2) helps citizens identify beneficial policies and incorporate information into voting behavior; (3) promotes active participation in politics Fewer young Americans heading to polls: 1996 presidential election turnout fell below 50% Nixon got an average rating of 50% population, Clinton averaged about 30 In 2000 presidential debates average rating 28: only half typical level of viewers by debates held between 1960-1980 Government: the institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society President, courts, federal agencies (bureaucracy)

Roughly 500,000 elected officials in the United States National government Maintain a national defense ($275 billion a year), Provide public services: weather forecasting, libraries, schools; college in the private sector Preserve order: Every government has some means of maintaining order Socialize the young: Pledges to foster patriotism, pay for education Collect taxes: 1/3 dollars by citizen used to pay national, state and local taxes

Public goods: goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share Politics: The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues Media focuses on who, what refers to substance of politics and government benefits, How people participate is important: voting, supporting, compromising, lobbying Political participation: All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. The most common, but not the only, means of political participation in a democracy is voting. Other means include protest and civil disobedience.

Single-issue groups: Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. These features distinguish them from traditional interest groups.

Policymaking system: The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. Peoples 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 institutions: the political channels through which peoples 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 of 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 actions on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established three policymaking 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 policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problems. Argentina, Brazil and other South-American countries, one-party or military regimes became competitive party systems and civilian governments White rule ended in South Africa in 1994 Mexicos fraudulent rule ends in 2000 with Vincent Foxe Democracy: A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the publics preference Traditional democratic theory: Equality in voting, effective participation, enlightened understanding, citizens control of the agenda, inclusion Majority rule: A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy choosing among alternatives requires that the majoritys desire be respected. Minority rights: A principle of traditional democratic theory that government rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument. Representation: 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 on pressing for its own preferred policies.

National Rifle Association (NRA), National Organization for Women (NOW), and the United Auto Workers (UAW) are examples of groups w/ common interest.

Organized groups can compete with one another for control over policy

Civil Rights groups faced congressional roadblocks in 1950s but won the action through court Pluralists generally optimistic that public interest will prevail in making public policy through bargaining and compromise, minorities working together greater than majority rule 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. At the center of all theories, elite dominance is big business Few powerful Americans do not merely influence policymakers they are the policymakers

No recent president has tried harder to help big business than Ronald Reagan