American Politics Notes-October 2, 2007
Element of force in govnt
-to better society, social programs (schools,police,FDA)
: political-patriot act. Private-determined by govnt,concerns life of individual,religion controlled by gov,(partly)freedom
to work, thought.
Roe v wade
made abortion legal
. Lawrence v. Texas
; sodomy, in the interest of providing consistent morals, found constitutional to prohibit
Politics is who gets what, when and how. Distribution of scarce resources.
is to provide protection because of the violent state of
-leviathan(overarching protector), “state of nature”-security is unguaranteed. Is the gov necessarily oppressive or is it a benign
Benefits of gov: community building, protection&security, protects weak ( welfare, traffic, building codes), promotes economic growth, rights.
Negatives of gov: high taxes, give up privacy, corruption, misdirected funds, eminent domain, oppressive.
Buying into social contract: we follow the laws and pay taxes. Voting is consenting to the gov. state: gov is an institution of state, also police
force, education, bureaucracy.
is a set of social institutions with authority over a bounded territory & exercises international sovereignty.
: inst. of
state, final decision makers.
l: gov is recognized as a state by external actors (UN, treaties). Popular sovereignty- representations of
- autonomously organized social units free from state control.
- any individual not a member of political elite. Strong
civil society = more democratic.
Civil society groups
? Unions, NOW(feminists), church organizations, Green Peace, KKK. Rational choice
theory (realist theory)- fixed set of preferences and acts in ways to maximize these preferences. The actor is an egoist (own well-being
concerned). The primary goal of politicians is to stay in power, implement platforms. Adam Smith- economics, neoliberal economist.
Freedoms can be restricted in name of security. Convicts cannot vote. Self-evident truths-natural law (desired outcome) social contract
(preamble) and strong govnt. Federalism: consent of governed, strong natl gov, enshrined principles in document, strength is paramount,
Purpose of the Constitution? Protect the rights of people, unify states, states rights, separation of powers, checks and balances. Supreme law of