Chapter 1: Introducing Government in America
1. Democracy: A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preferences. 2. Elite and class theory: A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. 3. Government: The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society. 4. Hyperpluralism: A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism. 5. Individualism: The belief that people can and should get ahead on their own. 6. Linkage institutions: The channels or access points through which issues and people’s policy preferences get on the government’s policy agenda. In the United States, elections, political parties, interest groups, and the mass media are the three main linkage institutions. 7. Majority rule: A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority’s desire be respected. 8. Minority Rights: A principle of traditional of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument. 9. Pluralist theory: A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. 10. Policy agenda: The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time. 11. Policy gridlock: A condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy. The result is that nothing may get done. 12. Policy impacts: The...
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