MidtermStudyGuide - Introduction to American Politics...

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Introduction to American Politics Midterm Study Guide The exam is Tuesday, January 30. The exam is closed book, closed note. Please bring blue books. Part 1. 5 Identifications, 6 to choose from. 10 points each. Incorporation: the Supreme Court’s extension of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments through its various interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment Collective Action: An action taken by a group of like-minded individuals to achieve a common goal. First kind is coordination: organizing a group to plan out and achieve their goal (ex. Democrats picking a candidate in 2004) And the second is Prisoner’s dilemma: a situation in which two (or more) actors cannot agree to cooperate for fear that the other will find its interest best served by reneging on an agreement (social security debate: they gain more by criticizing each other then being the party to stand up for change) Tragedy of the commons: when large numbers of participants encourage each to renege on his or her contribution to the public good, but the good already exist and will be destroyed if its exploitation is not brought under control. This is why we pollute the environment because our one action has no effect. We then need government control in order to force everyone to work together. Transaction costs: the time, effort, and resources required to make collective decisions. This is why we use committees; it lowers the transaction costs when a small group does something. Conformity costs: to the extent collective decisions obligate participants to do something they prefer not to. Taxes are a conformity cost: we must give up part of our income in order to finance government programs they we may oppose. Free Riding: arises whenever citizens recognize that their small contribution to the collective enterprise will not affect its success or failure. If no IRS was around we would not collect as much in taxes, PBS – we watch it but don’t pay to keep it running. Republic: democracy where power is vested in elected representatives. . Social Capital: Features of social organization, such as networks, norms and trust, that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit Principals and agents Delegate- we are principals and elected officials are our agents
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Trustee- Representatives should act on behalf of their district Articles of Confederation Virginia plan: Constitutional blueprint drafted by James Madison that sought to reform the Articles of Confederation; introduced at the Constitutional Convention (1787), the plan proposed a tripartite national government, but unlike the subsequent Constitution, it provided for popularly elected legislature that would dominate national policymaking; the national government would possess the authority to veto any state laws
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