Exam Review

Exam Review - Exam Review 18:02 What is government and why...

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Unformatted text preview: Exam Review 18:02 What is government and why do we have it? • Government - a formally established way of making and carrying out political decisions. • Why do we have it ? Because government can do things for us. Life without government would be worse. Without government, we would have to exist in what some have call the “state of nature”. • • Politics - the competition to shape government's impact on society's problems and goals. • • Social Contract Theory- It is not a written contract, but rather, a general agreement between the people and their government. Each accepts certain obligations. The people agree to give up some of their liberty and in exchange, the government guarantees to protect what were called “natural rights.” • Normative - the way things ought to be • Empirical - the way things actually are Purposes of government- to protect the natural laws. • Natural Laws: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. What purpose have government traditionally served? What does government do? • Protecting life o Authorities • Protecting rights and liberties o Justices system • Providing public goods o Roads • Promoting equality o Relatively modern function of government o Most controversial aspect But these things may at time conflict. Citizens disagree about which functions are most important and which functions should be most vigorously enforced. Disagreements usually arise from differences in individual priorities, and the way these priories are organized is called a political ideology. • Political Ideology : a coherent set of beliefs about how policies affect society and which policies are desirable. In the US, we mainly think of two: • Liberals • Conservatives • Populists • Libertarians o More numerous third party The Policy Process : • People: o Interests o Concerns o Problems • Linkage Processes: o Elections o Polls o Lobbying • Linkage Institutions : o Political parties o Interest groups o Media o Governmental Agenda • Government: o Congress o President o Courts • Policies : o Expenditures o Regulations o Taxes o Non-decisions ALL FORM A CYCLE AND IMPACT EACHOHER The Requirements for a democracy • Popular Sovereignty: people are the ultimate source of all public authority • Political Equality: each person carries the same weight in voting and other political decision making • Political Liberty: freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, etc. are essential for democracy to work Focus on Popular Sovereignty: what six conditions are important? • Government policies reflect the wishes of the people – do the people know best? Should elected representatives act as delegates or trustees?know best?...
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Exam Review - Exam Review 18:02 What is government and why...

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