Lecture 4 - PLSC 1: American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture...

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PLSC 1: American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture 4: Rules of the Game
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Making Sense of the Constitution Complex Constitution: What do its provisions mean? Why was it written this way? Fundamental assumptions: Nothing inevitable about the Constitution, then or now. Structure reflects deal among participants. Choosing institutions with focus on how they allocated power, shaped policy outcomes – “The New Institutionalism.” Today, focus on “big stuff” – fundamental institutions of government.
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What did the Founders want? The big question: how to limit misuse of government power (organization, election, limits). Concern centers on “factions.” Explore Federalist v. Antifederalist debate. Did Federalists have better ideas? What did Antifederalists prefer? What happened to Antifederalist proposals?
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Political Theorists Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan Without government: state of nature. “Nasty, brutish, solitary, poor, and short." Solution is to appoint a sovereign who protects your life, can do whatever else they want.
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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 Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Lecture 4 - PLSC 1: American Politics Spring 2006 Lecture...

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