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Studying Texas Politics and Government A Framework Pulls together facts and places them in context Explains the history of Texas politics and government Results An appreciation for Texas’s political past A comprehension of contemporary politics and government An understanding of change

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Presentation Transcript
a framework
A Framework
  • Pulls together facts and places them in context
  • Explains the history of Texas politics and government
  • Results
    • An appreciation for Texas’s political past
    • A comprehension of contemporary politics and government
    • An understanding of change
components of the framework
Components of the Framework
  • Conceptions of Politics and Government
  • Central Role of Ideas: The American Creed
  • Analyzing Politics
    • Individualism
    • Liberty
    • Equality
  • Analyzing Government
    • Constitutionalism
    • democracy
  • Analyzing Political Change
politics and government
Politics and Government
  • Politics involves “the authoritative allocation of values for a society.”
  • Government consists of those institutions and process for making public policy
    • Public policy is any government decision
    • Institutions include the structures of government that make the decisions
    • Processes include the way decisions are made
american creed
American Creed
  • America was built on a set of ideas
  • These ideas have been strongly supported since the late 18th century
  • The ideas perform two functions:
    • Provide a national identity
    • Limit government
five ideas individualism
Five ideas: Individualism
  • Most important and source for other ideas
  • Confirms the worth of each individual
  • Grants a person the right to pursue life, liberty and property free from social constraints
  • Allows person to act in accordance with his/her own conscience
five ideas liberty
Five Ideas: Liberty
  • Different from individualism
  • Freedom from government
  • Disagreement over how much liberty a person should have
  • Conflict between liberty and social order
five ideas equality
Five Ideas: Equality
  • Greatest problem for Americans
  • Three meanings
    • Political equality
    • Economic equality
    • Social equality
five ideas constitutionalism
Five Ideas: Constitutionalism
  • Places limits on government
  • Contract among members of the political community
  • Provides the structure of government
  • Distributes the powers of government
five ideas democracy
Five Ideas: Democracy
  • Rule by the people
  • Procedures for making decisions
    • How government decisions are made
    • Who participates in government decisions
    • How much weight is assigned to each participant’s preferences
conditions of democracy fiskin
Conditions of Democracy: Fiskin
  • Political equality
    • Each person’s preferences given equal consideration, and each person has an equal opportunity to formulate his or her preferences
  • Nontyranny
    • Public policy must not infringe on the fundamental rights of any member of society.
conditions of democracy
Conditions of Democracy
  • Participation
    • A significant percentage of the population is engaged in politics and government.
  • Deliberation
    • There is a meaningful discussion of political issues so that each person can make an informed choice on issues and candidate.
forms of democracy conditions
Forms of Democracy & Conditions
  • Majoritarian democracy
    • Majority rules
    • Values majority rule; formal political equality
    • Direct or indirect
    • Protection of minority may present a problem
forms of democracy conditions14
Forms of Democracy & Conditions
  • Pluralist democracy
    • Interest-group democracy
    • Values protection of minority rights; representative government in diverse society; deliberation
institutions forms of democracy
Institutions & Forms of Democracy
  • Majoritarian Democracy
    • Unification of authority; centralized politics
    • Institutions: executive and political parties
    • Separation of powers: undesirable
    • Judicial review: undesirable
institutions forms of democracy16
Institutions & Forms of Democracy
  • Pluralist Democracy
    • Separation of authority; decentralized politics
    • Institutions: legislature and interest groups
    • Separation of powers: desirable
    • Judicial review: necessary
non democratic alternative
Non-democratic Alternative
  • Elitism
    • Power is concentrated and held by those who control the economy.
    • The conditions of democracy are not met.
    • Decisions made by the elite flow down to the masses, who do not influence those decisions.
    • Most politicians are merely intermediaries between the elites and the masses.
political change
Political Change
  • IvI Gap
  • Attempt to create institutions that reflect all five ideas
  • Impossible since the ideas are often in conflict
  • Creates a cognitive dissonance: discrepancy between what we believe (five ideas) and what we do (institutions)
factors influencing responses
Factors Influencing Responses
  • Strength in belief in the ideal
    • Strong
    • Weak
  • Clarity of perception of the gap
    • Clear
    • Unclear
responses to the ivi gap
Responses to the IvI Gap

Perception of the Gap

Clear Unclear


Strength of

Belief in Ideal


historical responses to the ivi gap
Historical Responses to the IvI Gap
  • Moralism: 1965 – 1975, reaction to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Civil Rights Movement, Voting Rights, Women’s Movement
  • Cynicism: 1975 – 1980, removal of a president, war continued, improvement in many areas, gap was not eliminated.
  • Complacency: 1980s +
  • Hypocrisy: 1961- 1965, Kennedy’s inaugural address, Peace Corps,
factors associated with periods of moralism creedal passion
Factors Associated with Periods of Moralism (Creedal Passion)
  • Economic growth followed by downturn
  • Disparities in wealth in society
  • Large number of young people in society
  • Leadership—people who point out that America has not achieved the ideal