Exam 1 Lecture Notes

Exam 1 Lecture Notes - POLS1101...

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POLS 1101   Monday, January 12, 2009 *Class webpage –  http://crespin.myweb.uga.edu/1101.htm - No www - No WebCT *Email –  [email protected] - Sign your name - Put 1101 in the subject - Don’t use slang *Office - 407 Baldwin Hall - Wednesday 2:30- 3:30 - Or by appointment * Grades - 3 tests and 1 cumulative final - 1 page response to readings in Friday sections - Section attendance mandatory (10%) - Exam 1 February 11 (20%) - Exam 2 March 4 (20%) - Exam 3 April 6 (20%) - Final May 8 th  8AM (30%) Wednesday, January 14, 2009 The Logic of American Politics I. Why do we need government? a. Anarchy – no formal rules or rulers; usually results in violence i. Only strongest will survive b. Government – rules and rulers; kings/queens/emperors, given power by the Divine  Right i. Elected officials – power from the masses
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c. Countries with formal rules and rulers tend to have more internal peace and better  economies II. Why Government? a. Lots of choices to make – heart of American politics b. How do we allocate scarce goods across a large population? c. Choices create conflicts. Why? i. Conflicting interests 1. Republicans usually want more tax breaks, usually to big  businesses 2. Building infrastructures (bridges, etc.) ii. Conflicting values 1. Gay rights, abortion, stem cell, war, etc. iii. Conflicting ideas about how to allocate limited resources III. James Madison talks of factions a. Different groups with different preferences i. Want something from the government ii. Cross-cutting – heterogeneous iii. Reinforcing – homogeneous b. American’s preferences are reinforcing i. Democrats want one thing on many issues and Republicans want another c. Outcome is political polarization i. Consequences 1. Rich get richer; poor get poorer 2. Republicans – rich 3. Democrats – poor IV. Politics is how people attempt to manage such conflict V. Politics  is the process through which individuals and groups reach agreement on a  course of common or collective actions – even as the continue to disagree on the  goals that action is intended to achieve VI. Successful politics always requires bargaining and compromise VII. More people involved in the political process, and as issues become more complex  and divisive, unstructured negotiation usually fails VIII. Effective politics is  institutions  – the rules and procedures that government has IX. Constitutions and Governments a. Nations can be though of as organizations just like colleges or fraternities
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b. Most organizations require some form of rules or procedures – constitution, by- laws, etc.
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