Political Science

  1. American Exceptionalism
    the view that the united states is unique, marked by a distinct set of ideas such as equality, self-rule, and limited government
  2. Conservatives
    americans who believe in reduced government spending, personal responsibility, traditional moral values, and a strong national defense
  3. Democracy
    a government in which citizens rule directly and make government decision for themselves
  4. Economic Equality
    a situation where there are only small differences in wealth between citizens
  5. Equality
    all citizens enjoy the same privileges, status, and rights before the law
  6. Equal Opportunity
    the idea that every american has an equal chance to win economic success
  7. Equal Outcome
    the idea that citizens should have roughly equal economic circumstances
  8. Freedom
    the ability to pursue one's own desires without interference from others
  9. Individualism
    the idea that individuals, not the society, are responsible for their own well-being
  10. Institutions
    the organizations, norms, and rules that structure government and public actions (e.g. congress, the supreme court, department of homeland security)
  11. Liberals
    americans who value cultural diversity, government programs for the needy, public intervention in the economy, and individual's rights to a lifestyle based on their own social and moral positions
  12. Libertarians
    people who believe in minimal government; specifically, that public officials only role should be defending borders, prosecuting crime, and protecting private property
  13. Median
    a statistical term for the number in the middle or the case that has an equal number of examples above and below it
  14. Negative Liberty
    freedom from constraints or the interference of others
  15. Political Culture
    the orientation of citizens of a state toward politics
  16. Political Equality
    all citizens have the same political rights and opportunities
  17. Positive Liberty
    the freedom and ability to pursue one's goal
  18. Rational Choice Theory
    an approach to political behavior that views individuals as rationals, decisive actors who know their political interests and seek to act on them
  19. Republic
    a government in which citizens rule indirectly and make government decisions through their elected representitives
  20. Self-rule
    the idea that legitimate government flows from the people
  21. Social Democracy
    a government in which citizens are responsible for one another's well being and use government policy to ensure that all are comfortably cared for
  22. Social Equality
    all individuals enjoy the same status in society
  23. Seven Important Ideas Influence American Politics
    • freedom
    • self rule
    • limited government
    • individualism
    • american dream
    • equality
    • religion
  24. Four Questions in American Politics
    • 1. Who governs?
    • 2. How does American politics work?
    • 3. What does government do?
    • 4. Who are we?
  25. Pluralism
    an open, participatory style of government in which many different interests are representedĀ (one of four theories for (Who governs?")
  26. Elite Theory
    power actually rests in the hands of a small number of wealthy and powerful people (one of four theories for (Who governs?")
  27. Bureaucratic Theory
    the real control of government lies with the millions of men and women who carry out the day-to-day operations of modern government and businessĀ (one of four theories for (Who governs?")
  28. Social Movement Theory
    that mass popular uprisings have the potential to introduce great change regardless of who is in control of ordinary, day-to-day politicsĀ (one of four theories for (Who governs?")
  29. Four "I's" to understand our Political Decision Making
    • 1. Ideas
    • 2. Institutions
    • 3. Interests
    • 4. Individuals
  30. Solidarity
    the idea that people have a tight bond and are responsible for one another
  31. Why do Americans prefer being individualistic rather than having a social democracy?
    unprecedented economic opportunity and vast social division have reinforced individualism (but we often pull together as a nation) so we have a sense of both
  32. How do the foundational ideas influence politics
    • 1. ideas shape american culture, thereby affecting our policies
    • 2. ideas operate through political institutions
    • 3. ideas may have their own independent power
Card Set
Political Science
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