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Study Guide for Chapters One and Two

Study Guide for Chapters One and Two - Study Guide Chapters...

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Study Guide: Chapters 1 and 2 CHAPTER ONE What is politics? Politics can be understood as the process of resolving conflicts and deciding, “who gets what, when, and how”- Harold Lasswell. Politics is the struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groups that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges. What is an institution? An ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society Main purpose of government Government-the preeminent institution within society in which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges. The government has the ultimate authority for making decisions and establishing political values. Authority and legitimacy Authority -something every government must have, the right and power to enforce its decisions. Legitimacy -popular acceptance of the right and power of a government or other entity to exercise authority Direct democracy and representative democracy Direct democracy -system of government in which political decisions are made by the people directly; probably most easily attained in small political communities Representative democracy -form of government in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies Learn the various types of government Totalitarian regime -form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life as a nation; dictatorship Authoritarianism -Type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under the government’s control. Aristocracy -Rule by the “best”; in reality, rule by an upper class. Theocracy -Rule by God or the gods; in practice, rule by religious leaders, typically self-appointed. Oligarchy -rule by a few Anarchy -condition of no government Democracy -system of government in which political authority is vested in the people Popular sovereignty Popular sovereignty -the concept that ultimate political authority is based on the will of the people Initiative, referendum and recall Initiative -a procedure by which voters can propose a law or constitutional amendment Referendum -an electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures are referred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval Recall -a procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss an elected official from state of office before his or her term has expired What is universal suffrage? When was it achieved in the United States?
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