PS 104- Sept 5 - Political Science 104 September 5, 2007...

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Political Science 104 September 5, 2007 Basics of Government Structure- United States General term is: constitutional, representative democracy—sovereignty is exercised by a group of elected people, constitutional public. System in which citizens choose people to make most government decisions, but retain control over government through regular elections. Formal limits on government power. Specified decision rules for resolving disputes- selecting judges, amending constitutions. Other Forms of Government/ Other Options 1. Pure Democracy- Direct public approval required for government action. Legitimacy solely through popular consent. Presumes what majority does will be approved by minority. 2. Aristocracy/ monarchy- power exercised by familial lines, propertied classes. Legitimacy through heredity, divine right. 3. Totalitarianism- No limits on government power, controlled by force. Seeks to eliminate other institutions that might challenge their authority. 4. Authoritarianism- Weaker form of totalitarianism. Recognizes no formal limits but may nevertheless be restrained by the power of other social institutions. 5. Theocracy- Rule by religious principles, clerics (group of ppl in religious organizations). Questions Does the “choice” of system matter? Of course Relationship between system and -Efficiency and decisiveness -Individual rights vs. collective/government power -Relationship between government and the governed. Why this system? -Consider rules of political action: purposive, history matters, rules matter -Relationship to political culture:
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1. Experience and history (yours doesn’t equal your grandparents’ experiences) 2. Expectations about role of government- Individual rights/ autonomy, or redistribution of income, distribution of wealth, etc. 3. Fundamental ideologies about legitimacy, rights, practices. Constructing a New Government: Function of -Colonial experience and dissatisfaction with British colonial rule. - Interests of people involved.
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course POLI SCI 104 taught by Professor Professor during the Spring '05 term at Wisconsin.

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PS 104- Sept 5 - Political Science 104 September 5, 2007...

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