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Unformatted text preview: Public policy = outcomes Who is the most powerful person in the U.S.? People are reactionary Chapter 1: American Political Culture The puzzle: Americans have paradoxical views of govt Since the American revolution and the founding, Americans have been reluctant to embrace or empower big government Americans nevertheless appreciate the services that govt provides particularly in times of crisis. Govt trust: Neither Left of Right o Liberals are more opt to trust the govt to promote the public good through social programs and government regulation of business but are more circumvent about expanding govt power in the areas of defense, police powers, and social regulation o Conservatives are more likely to advocate increasing govt influence in the areas of defense, police power, and social regulation but are loath to expand governments role in promoting social welfare spending and government regulation The Decline in Trust in Govt o Americans t rust n the govt has declined throughout the second half of the 20 th century, particularly since the 1960s o After Sept. 11, 2001, levels of public t rust n govt seemed to rebound, but with rising deficits, corporate scandals, and the I raq war, the level of trust seem to be declining again The Decline in Political Efficacy o Political efficacy: the belief that citizens can influence govt and politics o Perhaps part of the reason that Americans trust government less is that their sense of political efficacy has declined o Americans increasingly feel that government doesnt adequately represent their interests Citizenship and Government: Are Americans Knowledgeable? Citizenship: informed and active membership in a political community 1] Knowledge of govt Do you know the rules in the game in politics? 2] Knowledge of Politics Do you know the stakes of political conflicts? 3] Knowledge of democratic principles Do you know how a democracy is supposed to work? Politics and Popular Culture o Surveys reveal that Americans, 18-29, increasingly get political news from popular culture o Americans are poorly informed about politics and government o Do you think there might be a connection between declines in t rust, efficacy, or sources of political information, and Americans lack of knowledge about politics? Govt: Forms and Limits o Govt: the institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled Types of Government: Inclusiveness o Governments can be categorized in ascending levels of inclusiveness o Autocracy---oligarchy---democracy Autocracy: governments controlled by one person- a monarch or dictator Oligarchy: govts in which small groups- landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants- control most of the govt decisions Democracy: govts in which citizens play a significant part in governmental process Types of Government: Recognition of Limits o Govts can also be categorized in descending levels of the limits...
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- Spring '07