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TCC POS 2001 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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POS2001Professor Mark DruashExam 1 Study GuideChapter 1:I. Introduction, Concepts, and Discussion:- Various academic disciplines attempt to explain “reality” within their disciplines (tunnel vision) but no discipline explains reality completely.- Physics, chemistry, psychology, and political science.- Concepts of … quantitative measurement and qualitative measurement.- The discipline of political science uses a multidisciplinary approach to explaining and understanding political phenomena … applying knowledge from various disciplines and by applying both quantitative measurement techniques.- What “government” IS can be debated.- What a “government” can DO is seldom debated.- One major purpose of any constitution is to place limits on government action. - The “balance of power” concept.- “Mutually Assured Destruction” (or MAD)- Spheres of Influence- Ex: USA vs. USSR- Ex: USA vs. Russia vs. European Union vs. China vs. Japan vs. Arab world- Usually instability in the balance of power leads to armed struggles (Syria, Libya, Egypt).Politics & Government Defined:Politics: all factors used to influence decision making other than technical considerations.Politics:- View by public is negative.- Determines who gets what, when and how.- Uses influence and power to get things done.- Note the technical vs. the political influences in public decision-making.Political Science: the science that studies who gets what, when, and how (thusthe study of both public and private resources allocations.Contrasting Hard Science with Soft Science:1- The “Chemist”: uses quantitative experiments and makes decisions and conclusions with out divergent interests … resulting in a high degree of accuracy replication and predictability.- The “Politician”: uses both quantitative and qualitative data but is influenced by a number of divergent interests … results in a low degree of accuracy, replication and predictability.- “Political scientist”: study thru process and attempt to increase accuracy, replication and predictability.Governments: people and/or organizations that create, enforce, and implement political decisions for society.Essential characteristics include the following:- Freedom to select who governs.- Free/Secure ballot.- Freedom to run for office.- Freedom to debate issues thru media outlets.Illegitimate governments: those governments who have some or none of the above characteristics.- Concept of diplomatic recognition: when a nation recognizes another nation as having a representative government that satisfies their definition as a legitimate.- NOTE: The use of legitimate words for illegitimate activities and/or leaders.II. Government Functions:- Functional elements found in governments: found in all governments… however some governments do a better job than others in the performance of these functions.- Western governments models share a common structure, which recognizes and establishes legislative, judicial, executive functions in separate branches of government (no overlapping membership).- Concept of political and cultural relativism (a strong positive correlation connecting a nations culture with the development of a political system, its structure and its performance).- Concept of cultural and political parity although politically correct (popular inthe K-12 school system) is a failed theory which is generally inaccurate and fails scientific review.What Governments Do!- Rule making: an authoritative act (legislatives make laws).2- Rule execution of law: enforcement of laws (CEO/President), sometimes laws are passed legitimately but cannot be enforced largely to poorly functioning governments (immigration).- Rule adjudication: meaning the legal system (court system), the application on punishment associated with degree of guilt.These functions should be housed in separate and formal governmental institutions.Rule making (legislative) vs. Rule execution (President) vs. Rule adjunction (court system)- Regular communication with citizens (media).- Recruitment of leader (parties).- Extract resources (taxes).- Function of political socialization (schools).Age/Life experiences as a cohort to political influences.- Life cycle vs. Big event influences- (Know your audience when seeking public office!)III. Traditional Classification of Governments (general classes)- Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) is considered to be the “father” of political science.- Termed it as “the master science” since it determines “who gets what”.- Political science studies resources allocation.- The free market does not exist absolutely. - The “zero sum game”- The impact of minimum wage.- Aristotle defines the basic forms of government.A. Democracy: bottom up system of governance where authority comes from the populace and directs those who are elected… this includes the following characteristics:- Everyone past a certain age has the right to vote (this age is defined byall governments).- Political equality : all votes count equally! For example, the rich do notget more votes than the poor.- Popular consultation: anyone of voting age can run for office except inthose special conditions as outlined in a nations constitution.- The majority rule - Rights of minority: is maintained as defined in constitutional law.3Aristotle did not favor this type of government for a number of reasons. Among these is that it could not sustain itself.- Today’s threat to democracy is the Oligarchy: entry to political arena thru family (blood) or tribe or association…Representation: Types of Elected Officials- Mandate (elite) vs. Populist (asks voters)- NOTE: differences between USA and British Democratic systems and the rare separation of power model… decentralized vs. centralized systems… but remember the parliamentary system most popular system in the world.- Mandate : talks only when needed (gets votes and leaves).- Populist : ask voters.- Decentralized : common man counts.- Centralized : majority part chooses who wins.B. Authoritarian: top down system of governance (monarchy).- Controlling (consumption is controlled, speed is controlled, etc).C. Totalitarian: extreme top down system of governance.- Very controlling (tell you who to marry, etc.).*Review handout of Table 5.1IV. The Stakes of Politics-Five (5) ConsequencesA. Allocation of Resources - Majority of political decisions are made here!- The redistribution of income and


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