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24 terms

Introduction to the Study of American Government

Vocabulary
STUDY
PLAY
Power
The ability of one person to cause another person to act in accordance with the first person's intentions
Political Power
Power when used to determine who will hold government office and how government will behave
Authority
The right to exercise political power
Legitimacy
The widely-shared perception that something or someone should be obeyed
Representative Democracy
conferring political power on those selected by the voters in competitive elections
Polis
Term for Greek city-state
Elite(political)
An identifiable group of people with a disproportionate share of political power
City-State
A relatively small political unit within which classical democracy was practiced
Majoritarian Politics
A political system in which the choices of the political leaders are closely constrained by the preferences of the people
Aristotle
A philosopher who defined democracy as the "rule of many"
Marxist Theory
A theory that government is merely a reflection of underlying economic forces
Mills
A sociologist who presented the idea of a mostly nongovernmental power elite
Hamilton
Individual who worried the new government he helped to create would be too democratic
Weber
A sociologist who emphasized the phenomenon of bureaucracy in explaining political developments
Community Control
A political system in which local citizens are empowered to govern themselves directly
Citizen Participation
A political system in which those affected by a governmental program must be permitted to participate in the program's formulation
New England Town Meeting
A North American approximation of direct or participatory democracy
Pluralist Theory
A theory that no one interest group consistently holds political power
Bureaucracy
Structures of authority organized around expertise and specialization
Schumpeter
An economist who defined democracy as the competitive struggle by political leaders for the people's vote
Bureaucratic Theory
A theory that appointed civil servants make the key governing decisions
Democracy
A term used to describe three different political systems in which the people are said to rule, directly or indirectly
Direct or Participatory Democracy
A political system in which all or most citizens participate directly by either holding office or making policy
Elitist Theory
A theory that a few top leaders make the key decisions without reference to popular desires