US Government Chapter 1 Vocab. - Erin Huffer

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Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy Chapter 1 Vocabulary Flash Cards - Erin Huffer

Government

The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society.

Public Goods

Goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share.

Politics

The process by which we select our government leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.

Political Participation

All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. Voting is the most common but not the only means of this in a democracy. Other means include protest and civil disobedience.

Single-Issue Groups

Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. These features distinguish them from traditional interest groups.

Policymaking System

The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.

Linkage Institutions

The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.

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.

Political Issue

An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.

Policymaking Institutions

The branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established three of these—the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Today, the power of the bureaucracy is so great that most political scientists consider it a fourth of this.

Public Policy

A choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A course of action taken with regard to some problem.

Policy Impacts

The effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.

Democracy

A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.

Majority Rule

A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected.

Minority Rights

A principle 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.

Representation

A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers.

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.

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.

Hyperpluralism

A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. An extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism.

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.

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