Week 1 - o Recurrent themes in the course Rules and...

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What is Government? o Institution in society that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. o Legitimacy The widespread perception that the govt has the right to rule. Enhanced by the consent of the governed and by popular participation. o Coercion is the government use of force. Taxation Conscription (military service) o Recurrent themes in the course All political behavior has a purpose. Political behavior is GOAL-ORIENTED. Instrumental choices about how to act. o All politics is collective action Cooperation between individuals is difficult. The differing goals of individuals often clash when they come together to act collectively. The difficulty mounts as the number of people grows. Collective social action requires govt.
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Unformatted text preview: o Recurrent themes in the course Rules and procedures matter Institutions help alleviate the problems of collective action with routines and processes Institutions have unintended consequences and shape behavior and outcomes. Political outcomes are the products of individual preferences and institutional procedures Elections matter More than half a million elected officials (1 per 500 americans). Elections shape and constrain decisions of public officials. o In order to hold onto their jobs they need the support of voters which constrain their behaviors. They need to keep their voters happy. o If elections were not needed then politicians would not really have any restraints....
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Week 1 - o Recurrent themes in the course Rules and...

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