POL 241 Notes - POL 241 Notes Room for Improvement Threats...

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POL 241 Notes August 25, 2011 Room for Improvement/ Threats to Our Democratic Republic o Party Polarization o Growing Income Inequality o Complexity of Government o Terrorism o Media Independence Declining o Apathetic citizens/ Decline social capital o Low Political knowledge among citizens What is Political Science o Research Question/ Puzzle Is the contemporary party system in decline? How do voters decide? Do campaigns matter? o Theory Identifying variables Dependent and Independent Variables IV => DV o Hypothesis A priori A posteriori Scientific Method Continued
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o Testing Eliminating or measuring contaminants Experiments or quasi-experiments Collect Extensive Evidence – Usually multiple sources of evidence if qualitative Determine whether theory and hypothesis casual or associational Relationship could run other direction Third variable might be to blame o Refine Theory Based Upon Evidence More Key Concepts for Studying Politics o Problem of Collective Action o Tragedy of the Commons/Logic of the Commons o Principle-Agent Problem Asymmetric Information o August 30, 2011 Why Government? o Hobbes: In state of nature we are all at war, acting in our own self- interest, and we’d essentially kill each other o To solve this we need social contract to establish peace and order o Hobbes: cynical view of human nature, self-interests drive human behavior o Locke: less cynical view, rational self-interest Politics is Dynamic
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o Internal Factors Government/Politics responds to demands of citizens = agenda change Factions o External Factors World Events, Economic Shifts, Changes in Technology Direct Versus Representative Democracy o Democracy Demos (people) + kratos (rule) Rule by people o Direct Democracy Athens Now? o Representative Democracy Leaders acquire power through struggle for people’s votes Democracy in Colonial America o Actual representation – Colonists LOVE it! o First state governments institutions designed with it in mind Frequent elections Most powers located in popularly elected lower house Recall elections, withholding salary Senates directly elected Weak Executive Power Colonists Preferred
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Actual Representation -> Colonial Legislatures o Limited Government -> English Common Law o Written Constitution -> English abuses of liberty without such a contract o Separation of Powers -> Parliament v. Monarch Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation o Congress had… No power to tax No commerce power among states or foreign nations No ability to ensure the value of money No power to regulate duties and tariffs o No Executive… No power to implement or enforce laws No one to coordinate foreign policy No Army o No Judiciary… Disputes states could not be addressed No one to moderate trade disputes Intentions of the Framers o Constitutional Convention meets 1787
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course POL 241 taught by Professor Chriskelly during the Spring '10 term at Miami University.

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POL 241 Notes - POL 241 Notes Room for Improvement Threats...

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