Chapter 1

  1. authoritarian government
    A form of government in which leaders, though they admit to no limits on their powers, are effectively limited by other centers of power in the society.
  2. authority
    The recognized right of an individual or institution to exercise power.
  3. autocracy
    A form of government in which absolute control rests with a single person.
  4. bureaucratic rule
    The tendency of large-scale organizations to develop into the bureaucratic form, with the effect that administrators make key policy decisions.
  5. capitalism
    An economic system based on the idea that government should interfere with economic transactions as little as possible. Free enterprise and self-reliance are the collective and individual principles that underpin capitalism.
  6. communism
    An economic system in which government owns most or all major industries and also takes responsibility for overall management of the economy.
  7. constitutionalism
    The idea that there are definable limits on the rightful power of a government over its citizens.
  8. democracy
    A form of government in which the people govern, either directly or through elected representatives.
  9. elitism
    The view that the United States is essentially run by a tiny elite (composed of wealthy or well-connected individuals) who control public policy through both direct and indirect means.
  10. equality
    The notion that all individuals are equal in their moral worth and are thereby entitled to equal treatment under the law.
  11. individualism
    The idea that people should take the initiative, be self-sufficient, and accumulate the material advantages necessary for their well-being.
  12. liberty
    The principle that individuals should be free to act and think as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonably on the rights and freedoms of others.
  13. majoritarianism
    The idea that the majority prevails not only in elections but also in determining policy.
  14. oligarchy
    Government in which control rests with a few persons.
  15. pluralism
    A theory of American politics that holds that society's interests are substantially represented through the activities of groups.
  16. political culture
    The characteristic and deep-seated beliefs of a particular people.
  17. political system
    The various components of American government. The parts are separate, but they connect with each other, affecting how each performs.
  18. politics
    The process through which society settles its conflicts and decides the policies by which it will be governed.
  19. power
    The ability of persons or institutions to control policy.
  20. public policy
    A decision of government to pursue a course of action designed to produce an intended outcome.
  21. self-government
    The principle that the people are the ultimate source and proper beneficiary of governing authority; in practice, a government based on majority rule.
  22. social contract
    A voluntary agreement by individuals to form a government, which is then obligated to work within the confines of that agreement.
  23. socialism
    An economic system in which government owns and controls many of the major industries.
  24. totalitarian government
    A form of government in which the leaders claim complete dominance of all individuals and institutions.
Card Set
Chapter 1
Political Science