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Unformatted text preview: POLS 206 Tuesday 25 Democracy is a system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the publics preferences Robert Dahl Says: Components of Traditional Democratic Theory:-Equality in voting: One person, one vote-Effective participation: Representative voting of population (does not occur in US)-Enlightened understanding: Freedom of press, freedom of speech, free flow of information (Yes, but limits in the US and no freedom of press/speech during wartime if interferes)-Citizen control of the agenda: Collective right as public to petition the government on agenda what politicians should do-Inclusion: Citizenship must be available to all within a country (US does not recognize dual citizenship) Democracies must let the majority rule while protecting/preserving minority rights (bill of rights/civil liberties) !!Theories of US Democracy-must know for test! Pluralist Theory:-A theory of government and policies emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. Groups will work together Public interest will prevail through bargaining and compromise Elite and Class Theory-A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. Not all groups equal Policies benefit those with money and power Hyper pluralism-A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. !!Difference between hyper pluralism and pluralism- hyper pluralism nothing gets done!!! Groups control policy and prevent government from acting. Difficulty in coordinating policy implementation. Confusing and contradictory policies result from politicians t rying to placate every group. !!!Challenges to Democracy Increased technical expertise: No one knows everything about our government Limited participation in government: Average citizens are not informed enough about politicians and issues Escalating campaign costs: Costs increasing in campaigns money does not win elections but buys access Diverse political interests (policy gridlock): Must please everyone but it is impossible so things do not get done American Political Culture and Democracy !!Political Culture: An overall set of values widely shared within a society. American culture is diverse and compromised of:-Liberty: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -Egalitarianism: Equality of opportunity-Individualism: Western frontier, Melting Pot Self-Laissez-faire: Hands off, less dependent on government-Populism: For the people How active is American Government?...
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