Political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the 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. (List of Priorities)
5 corner stones of an ideal democratic society
Equality in voting
Citizen control of the agenda
Elite and Class Theory
Society divided along class lines; the upper-elite pulls the strings of Gov't
A system of selecting policymakers and organizing gov't so that policy represents and responds to the public's preference
Challenges facing American democracy today
*Increased technical expertise (as the human knowledge has expanded, it has become increasingly difficult for individual citizen to make well-informed decisions)
*Limited participation in Gov't
*Escalating campaign cost
*Diverse political interest
Principle components of the policymaking system
5 Elements of the American Creed
*Egalitarianism (political equality [equal voting rights for all American citizens])
*Individualism (belief that people can & should get ahead on their own)
*Laissez-faire (promote free markets & limited gov't)
*Populism (political philosophy supporting the rights of average citizens in their struggle against privileged elites)
Functions that Gov't performs
*Maintain National Defense
*Provide public services called "public goods"
*Socialize the young
Harold D. Lasswell
"Who gets what, when and how"
1902-1978 one of the most original and productive political scientists and communication theorists of his time.
Michael Delli Carpini and Scott Keeter
Political knowledge, "1.Fosters civic virtues, such as political tolerance; 2.Helps citizens to identify what policies would truly benefit them and then incorporate this information in their voting behavior; 3.promotes active participation in politics."
What is the Nature of American political Culture?
Supportive of cultural values like liberty and egalitarianism, however divided onto different sides of the political field which have different political cultures.
Have narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, cast votes based one issue, ignoring the politicians stand on everything else.
Branches of Gov't charged with taking action on political issues (Congress, The Presidency, and The Courts)
Guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument.
Occurs when each policy coalition (group) finds its way clocked by others; when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy