Lecture 1 - up for grabs. • Political process determines...

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PLSC 1 American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture One: Introduction
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Goal: Making Sense of Politics Political processes highly complex. Many seemingly bizarre outcomes. WHAT’S GOING ON? Answer: politics makes sense (you just don’t get it - yet).
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Politics is Everywhere Impossible to avoid campaigns, elections, governing. Few Americans interested or well-informed. What we know is byproduct of everyday life. Fundamental part of how Americans think about the world. Party identification, ideology Politics is like the rest of your life – same decision processes. Collective action problems.
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Politics is the Process that Decides What Government Does Actions taken by people in government can touch virtually every aspect of our lives. “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Nothing inevitable about what government does; impact
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Unformatted text preview: up for grabs. • Political process determines who makes the choices. – IDENTITY OF THE WINNERS MATTERS. • Broad definition of ‘players:’ politicians, activists, citizens, bureaucrats, judges. • The rules matter: always advantage someone. – Dingell’s Law Politics is Conflict Over Tradeoffs • Americans disagree about what government should do. • Implications: – Deadlock no surprise. – Don’t overstate amount of conflict. – Why so few ‘easy’ issues? Never reach political process, or get resolved. – Compromise and bargaining fundamental. • “To get along, go along” 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Generally Available More Limited Illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother Never Permitted Don't know Percent...
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course PL SC 001 taught by Professor Gold,suzannemcampbell,thomasc during the Spring '07 term at Penn State.

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Lecture 1 - up for grabs. • Political process determines...

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