19Participation_bw_

19Participation_bw_ - American Government Lecture 19...

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American Government Lecture 19 - Political Participation
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Announcement Exams graded by Tuesday Reminder: If you are writing an Extra Credit paper you must clear your topic with me
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Final portion of the course Democratic citizenship What is your role in American democracy? Being a citizen in a democracy is hard Only form of government that expects you to interact with government rather than obey Participation is expected Required? How can/should you participate?
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Political Participation Political Participation Any attempt to impact government The actions of government The issues addressed by government The membership of government Only matters in a Democracy Power and Government The ability to do something Government is about collective power How society chooses to do things together
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Power The ability to do or influence something Ruling is having power over society Democracy is rule by the People How do the People rule society? Masses vs. Elites The masses elect officials Elected officials make decisions Where does power reside Is power limited to decision-making? – Do elites have total power over society, do masses? Three Faces of Power Decision-Making Agenda Setting Issue Recognition
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Decision-Making Power of making a choice Choosing between available options Most obvious use of power Elections Choice between candidates Congressional votes Floor votes on legislation Presidential Signing of Legislation Veto or not veto Supreme Court decisions Constitutional or unconstitutional Better supported option wins (majority rules) People get to vote Whoever gets more votes wins
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Agenda Setting Power of choosing the options to choose from Issues and potential solutions Limits what people can choose Subtle form of power Telling people what is important Forming potential solutions Setting agenda can determine results Those who set agenda control results Any choice will benefit them Decision-making is made arbitrary Can impact participation If options don’t benefit them, why participate?
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Identifying Issues and Interests Power to recognize what is in your interest What issues impact you? What can be done about it? How can that be accomplished? Held by everyone, not always realized Must be learned or considered Can be forgotten Knowledge of government helps Political Efficacy What can you do to get it done? What is in your interest? What can you accomplish?
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Democratic Uses of Power All decisions can be more or less democratic in how they are made Continuum between “Elitist” and “Democratic” How is a decision made? Who makes the decision?
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course 790 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '08 term at Rutgers.

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19Participation_bw_ - American Government Lecture 19...

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