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Chapter One The Foundations of American Government What is politics? Chapter One David Easton – “ the authoritative allocation of values ” Harold Lasswell – “ who gets what, when and how. ” most definitions refer to the struggle over the distribution of benefits What is Government?

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Chapter One

The Foundations of American Government

slide2

What is politics?

  • Chapter One
  • David Easton – “the authoritative allocation of values”
  • Harold Lasswell – “who gets what, when and how.”
  • most definitions refer to the struggle over the distribution of benefits
slide3

What is Government?

  • a permanent structure of decision makers
  • who make society’s rules about conflict resolution
  • and who make rules about the allocation of resources and who possess the power to enforce those rule
slide4

Why Do We Need Government?

  • to provide structure for conflict resolution
  • to provide public services
  • to establish and implement public policies
slide5

Who Governs?

  • totalitarian regime – rule by a small group or an individual dictator.
  • oligarchy—rule by a few elites, who make decisions to benefit their own group
  • aristocracy – rule by the best suited, through virtue, talent or education (now means rule by the upper class)
  • anarchy – having no government or laws
  • democracy – political power is vested in the people
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Principles of American Democracy

  • universal suffrage
  • majority rule
  • limited government
  • popular sovereignty
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Do we have a democracy?

  • elite theory – the idea that society is ruled by a small group who exercise power in their self-interest
  • pluralism – a theory that views politics as conflict among interest groups, where decisions are made through bargaining and compromise
  • hyperpluralism – when interest groups are so powerful that they dominate decision-making, making individual input impossible
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What is Political Culture?

  • the collection of a beliefs and attitudes toward government and the political process held by a community or nation
  • individuals learn political culture through political socialization
    • political socialization occurs in many settings, including the family and schools
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The Fundamental Values of American political culture

  • liberty –the greatest freedom of individuals that is consistent with the freedom of other individuals in society
  • equality – all people are of equal worth
  • property – anything that can be subject to ownership
political ideology
A set of beliefs about the goal of politics and the most desirable political order.

Ideologue: A person who believes strongly about how government should operate.

They can be placed on a continuum…

Political Ideology
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Hot Links to Selected Internet Resources:

  • http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M2&discipline_number=20&product_isbn_issn=0534592651
  • http://www.wadsworth.com/politicalscience
  • http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/govweb.html
  • http://www.puaf.umd.edu/IPPP