18 terms

PSC 121 Chapter 1 (Exam 1 Study)


Terms in this set (...)

rule by the people
rule by the few
rule by the one
direct democracy
the people actually meet and vote on all decisions
representative democracy
a system in which the people select representatives to act on their behalf
3 benchmarks of democracy
popular sovereignty, political equality, political liberty
popular sovereignty
people are the ultimate source of government authority
6 conditions for popular sovereignty
gov. policies reflect the wishes of the people, gov. leaders are selected in competitive elections, elections are fair and free, people participate in the political process, high-quality information is available, and the majority rules
political equality
each person carries the same weight in voting and other political decision-making
political liberty
people have basic freedoms - freedoms of speech, religion, press, and assembly & association
social contract
the idea that the government is the result of an agreement among people to form one, and that people have the right to create an entirely new government if the terms of the contract have been violated by the existing one
liberal democracy
representative democracy characterized by popular sovereignty, liberty, and political equality
3 objections to democracy
majority tyranny, people are irrational and incompetent, actual minorities (ethnic, religious, etc.) may not be heard
4 political influencer categories
structure, political linkage, government, and government action
structural factors
enduring features of American life that play key roles in determining what issues become important in politics and government; includes the economy, political culture, and the international system
political linkage factors
transmit the wants and demands of the people to government officials; includes public opinion, political parties, interest groups, the media, and elections
government factors
all public officials and institutions that have formal, legal responsibilities for making public policy for the United States
government action factors
what the government does; includes making laws, issuing rules and regulations, waging war, settling civil disputes, etc.