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American Political Culture. Government and Politics From the State of Nature to Democracy What do Americans Think About Government?. Politics. Harold Lasswell defined politics as the struggle over “who gets what, when and how”. Picasso’s Guernica. Politics.

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American Political Culture


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    1. American Political Culture • Government and Politics • From the State of Nature to Democracy • What do Americans Think About Government?

    2. Politics • Harold Lasswell defined politics as the struggle over “who gets what, when and how” Picasso’s Guernica

    3. Politics • Another way to think about politics is the conflicts and struggle over the leadership, structure, and policies of government Protestors with Guernica Replica

    4. Pluralism vs. Elitism • Pluralism is the pattern of struggles among numerous interests (factions) over the political process and policy • Elitism is the influence of a single group of elites over the political process and policy

    5. Political Science • Political Science is the study of politics and is generally concerned with three questions • Who Governs? • For What Means? • By What Means?

    6. Government • The institutions and procedures through which a territory and people are ruled • U.S. House of Representatives • United Nations General Assembly

    7. The Functions of Government • Establish and Enforce Rules and Laws • Protect Property Rights • Redistribute Wealth • Create and Maintain Infrastructure • Roads and Highways • Compare food delivery in the Congo to that of the United States

    8. Government • Max Weber, the German sociologist, defined government as that institution in society that has a monopoly over the legitimate use of force • Government must be recognized as legitimate to exercise authority

    9. Legitimacy • Legitimacy is the widespread acceptance of something as necessary, rightful and legally binding • Weber’s Sources of Legitimacy • Charismatic • Traditional • Rational/Legal

    10. Charismatic Legitimacy • Based on personal power of leader, which may be supernatural • King Arthur and Excalibur • Asante Golden Stool

    11. Traditional Legitimacy • Based on history, tradition or custom such as hereditary monarchy Emperor Hirohito Prince Edward

    12. Rational or Legal Legitimacy • Derived from established procedures, principles or laws (i.e., elections) President Bush Welcomes Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore to the White House

    13. Forms of Government • Governments can be classified in a number of ways • Who Governs • How they Govern • Political Ideology

    14. Who Governs • Autocracy • Oligarchy/Aristocracy • Gerontocracy • Kleptocracy • Krytocracy • Meritocracy • Ochlocracy/Mobocracy • Plutocracy • Theocracy • Democracy

    15. Anarchy • Anarchy is the absence of government or the absence of the state • President William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in 1901

    16. Autocracy • A government of one • King or Queen • Dictator • Emperor • Pharaoh • William the Conqueror defeated Harold for the crown of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066

    17. Oligarchy or Aristocracy • Government by a small elite group such as landowners or military officers • The French Revolution overthrew an aristocratic social structure • Similar land reform revolutions took place throughout Latin America • Zapatistas (Mexico) • Mission Zamora (Venezuela)

    18. Gerontocracy • A gerontocracy is a government by elders • The Eight Immortals of Communist China • Deng Xiaoping and the other elders of the Communist Party ruled during the 1980s and 1990s

    19. Kleptocracy • A kleptocracy is a government that steals the nations assets for personal enrichment • Zaire under Mobutu • Indonesia under Suharto • Philippines under Marcos

    20. Krytocracy • Government ruled by judges United States Supreme Court

    21. Meritocracy • Government based on merit or ability such as Plato’s Philosopher Kings • MENSA of Springfield governed based on intelligence

    22. Ochlocracy/Mobocracy • Government by the mob or angry crowd • The mobs fueled the French Revolution • Can the crowd be controlled? • Sigmund Freud • Le Bon The Crowd • Serge Moscovici

    23. Plutocracy • Government by the wealthy Money has always played an important role in U.S. politics

    24. Theocracy • A theocracy is a government by religious leaders • Tibet in Exile • Iran • Afghanistan

    25. Democracy • A government in which political power is vested in the people • Direct democracy provides for decision making by the people • Representative democracy provides for representatives chosen by the people

    26. Representative Democracy • Today, most nation-states operate under the concept of representative democracy • Individuals are elected by the citizens to represent them in the affairs of civil society British House of Commons

    27. Types of Elections in a Representative Democracy • National • Primaries and Runoffs • General Election • State and Local • Primaries and Runoffs • General Election • Recall Polish Solidarity Election Poster

    28. 2003 California Recall Election • Governor Gray Davis of California was recalled as Governor • Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated 135 candidates • Gary Coleman finished 8th • Porn star Mary Carey finished 10th

    29. Types of Elections in a Direct Democracy • Initiatives • Referendums • Constitutional Amendments • Texas • Colorado • New England Town Hall Meetings

    30. How Do Governments Govern? Constitutional versus Totalitarian

    31. Totalitarian Government • Totalitarian governments are free from legal limits and seek to eliminate those organized social groups that might challenge or limit the governments authority • Soviet Union • Nazi Germany

    32. Authoritarianism • Authoritarianism is the psychological “profile” that supports totalitarian political systems • Adorno, et al developed the F-Scale after WWII • Milgram Experiment • Stanford Prison Guard Experiment

    33. 1984 • George Orwell’s novel depicts the totalitarian state • Big Brother • Thought Police • Thought Crime

    34. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn • The power of the police state is vividly described in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    35. Constitutional Government • Constitutional governments are limited as to what they are permitted to control (substantive) as well as how they go about it (procedural)

    36. The Politics of Ideology • Governments are also classified based on the role government is expected to play in society • Left versus Right • Two Dimensional • Three Dimensional

    37. The Politics of Ideology • The Left • Communism (Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che) • Soviet Union • China • Cuba • Social Democracy • Sweden • Norway • Germany

    38. The Politics of Ideology • The Center • Classical Liberalism • David Hume • Simon Bolivar • Conservatism • Edmund Burke

    39. The Politics of Ideology • The Right • Fascism • Nazi Germany • Mussolini’s Italy • Peron’s Argentina • Franco’s Spain???

    40. Evolution of Government • Hobbes and Locke both contend that man began in the state of nature and were absolutely free • Hobbes notes that during this period man was in a “condition called war; and such war as is of every man against every man”

    41. Lord of Flies • William Golding’s Lord of the Flies depicts school boys being thrust into the state of nature and their attempts to form civil society “Poor Piggy”

    42. Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha • The first Kings were the fathers of their families as Adam was lord over his family • This lordship which Adam by creation had over the whole world, and by right descending from him the patriarchs did enjoy, was as large and ample as the absolutist dominion of any monarch which hath been since the creation.

    43. The Evolution of Government • Families and Clans • Tribes and Villages • Cities/City-States • Empires • Nation-States

    44. Europe, 500 CE

    45. The Peoples of Britain

    46. The Unification of England • Alfred the Great began the unification of England • Alfred’s son Edward the Elder becomes first King of England in 899

    47. The Norman Invasion • William the Conqueror defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066

    48. The Normans and Feudalism • Feudalism was essentially a pyramid scheme in which military support was exchange for land and titles

    49. Feudalism

    50. Feudal Japan • Japan also developed a feudal society out of which the legend of the Samurai was born