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Direct democracy

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

Elite & Class Theory

theory of govt and politics stating that societies are divided along class; an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal necessities of governmental organization


institution through which a society makes and enforces public policy (typically maintain national defense, provide services, collect taxes, and preserve others)


groups that are so strong that the govt is weakened (groups control policy and preent govt from acting)

Linkage institution

political channels in which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda

Linkage institutions

Political parties, elections, news and entertainment media, interest groups are examples of


holding to traditional attitudes and values (cautious about change and innovation)


open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values

Loose Construction

favoring a liberal construction of the constitution of the US to give broader powers to the federal govt (more liberal)

Strict construction

refers to legal philosophy that limits judicial interpretation (more conservative)


theory of govt and policies emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups; each one pressures for its own preferred policies

Pluralism, public, compromise

_____________ shows that _________ interest will prevail through bargaining and _______________

Policy agenda

issues that attract the serious attention of public officials

Political parties

groups that seek govt control through winning elections and holding public office


process by which we select our government leaders and what policies to produce (produces authoritative decisions about public issues)

Representative democracy

system of govt; public policies are made by official selected by the voters and held accountable at periodic elections

Public Policy

a choice that govt makes in response to a political issue

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