POLSCI 111 Chapter 1 Notes

POLSCI 111 Chapter 1 Notes - POLSCI 111 CHAPTER 1: FIVE...

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POLSCI 111 CHAPTER 1: FIVE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICS There are several levels of government in the US. Federal, state, county, city, and town government exist and every state has a considerable amount of soveirgnty. There are 15 cabinet departments. MAKING SENSE OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS What is Government? Government: Formal institutions through which a land and its people are ruled. Government is composed of institutions and processes that rulers establish to strengthen and perpetuate their power or control over a land and its inhabitants. Forms of Government autocracy: When governing is done by a single individual such as a king or dictator. oligarchy: When a small group of landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants controls most of the government. democracy: When more people participate and the populace is deemed to have some influence over decision making. substantive limits: What the government is allowed to control. procedural limits: How the government is allowed to control. constitutional: When a government is kept at bay of what and how they are able to control things. authoritarian: A government is kept in check by by other political and social institutions that it cannot control. totalitarian: When a government dominates and controls every sphere of political, economic, and social life. Foundations of Government Most governments include two basic components, a means of coercion (police or army) and a means of collecting revenue (taxes, IRS, etc.). The Means of Coercion: Ways that the government can order people around and make sure they follow their laws. conscription: A form of coercion in which the government makes a person serve the government some way be it through military draft, jury duty, legal tribunal work, file reports, attend school and send kids to school. The Means of Collecting Revenue: Taxation. Why is Government Necessary? To Maintain Order Law and order are required to maintain the peace. Hobbes said that anarchy is worse than tyranny and that maintaining order is the primary reason that government exists. To Protect Property We can only have property if the government puts forth laws that say we legally own it. The government makes it possible to have property and to have legal right to keep that property safe from people who want to steal or trespass. To Provide Public Goods free riding: Enjoying the benefit of some good or action and letting others bear the costs.
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public good: A good that may be enjoyed by anyone if it is provided and that may not be denied by anyone once it has been provided.
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course PSYCH 111 taught by Professor Schreier during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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POLSCI 111 Chapter 1 Notes - POLSCI 111 CHAPTER 1: FIVE...

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