61 terms

AP Gov Unit 3 - Chapter 7, 8, 11


Terms in this set (...)

specific locations from which news frequently emanates, such as Congress or the White House. Most top reporters work a particular place, thereby becoming specialists in what goes on at that location.
Broadcast media
Communications technologies, such as television and radio, that transmit information over public airwaves.
Newspapers published by massive media conglomerates that account for over four-fifths of the nation's daily newspaper circulation. Often these control broadcast media as well.
High-tech politics
A politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymakers and the political agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology.
Investigative journalism
The use of detective-like reporting to unearth scandals, scams, and schemes, putting reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders.
Mass media
Those means of communication that reach large audiences, especially television, radio, printed publications, and the Internet
Media event
Events purposely staged for the media that nonetheless look spontaneous. In keeping with politics as theater, these can be staged by individuals, groups, and government officials, especially presidents.
media programming on cable TV or the Internet that is focused on one topic and aimed at a particular audience. Examples include MTV, ESPN, and C-SPAN.
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
Policy entrepreneurs
Activists in or out of government who pull together a political majority on behalf of unorganized interests
Press conferences
scheduled meetings between reporters and political figures, like the president, which give the press access to the official and an opportunity to ask him or her questions firsthand.
Print media
Newspapers and magazines, as compared with broadcast media.
Sound bites
30-second statements on the evening news shows. The media have been accused of simplifying complicated political issues by relying on sound bites to explain them to the public.
Talking head
a shot of a person's face talking directly to the camera. Because this is visually unappealing, the major commercial networks rarely show a politician talking one-on-one for very long
Trial balloons
an intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction
Blanket primaries
elections to select party nominees in which voters are presented with a list of candidates from all the parties. Voters can then select some democrats and some republicans if they like.
a combination, union, or merger for some specific purpose
Coalition government
When two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature. This form of government is quite common in the multiparty systems of Europe.
Closed primaries
elections to select party nominees in which only people who have registered in advance with the party can vote for that party's candidates, thus encouraging greater party loyalty
Critical election
an electoral "earthquake" whereby new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. These are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era
Linkage institutions
the channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda. In the United States, these include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.
National chairperson
Person responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party and is usually hand-picked by the presidential nominee.
National committee
delegates who run party affairs between national conventions
National convention
A national meeting of delegates elected in primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules.
New Deal coalition
coalition forged by the Democrats who dominated American politics from the 1930's to the 1960's. its basic elements were the urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners, African Americans, and intellectuals.
Open primaries
elections to select party nominees in which voters can decide on Election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests.
Party competition
the battle of the parties for control of public offices. Ups and downs of the two major parties are one of the most important elements in American politics.
Party dealignment
The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification.
Party eras
Historical periods in which a majority of voters cling to the party in power, which tends to win a majority of the elections.
Party identification
a citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other
Party image
The voter's perception of what the Republicans or Democrats stand for, such as conservatism or liberalism
Party machine
an organized group of individuals who dominate a political party within a geographic area and who use the party's resources to further their own power and to fight off challenges from other party members for party control.
Party realignment
The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period
granting favors, giving contracts or making appointments to office in return for political support
Political party
a group of individuals with broad common interests who organize to nominate candidates for office, win elections, conduct government, and determine public policy
Proportional representation
an electoral system used throughout most of Europe that awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election.
Rational-choice theory
A popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. It assumes that individuals act in their own best interest, carefully weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives.
Responsible party model
A model stating that parties should give clear choices to the voters, and once in office, should make good on their campaign promises.
Third parties
electoral contenders other than the two major parties. These are not unusual, but they rarely win elections.
voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior.
Winner-take-all system
an electoral system in which legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies. In US presidential elections, the system in which the winner of the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of that state
Actual group
the part of the potential group consisting of members who actually join
Amicus Curiae briefs
"friend of the court" documents filed by interested parties to encourage the Court to grant or deny certiorari or to urge it to decide a case in a particular way
Class action lawsuits
lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated
Collective good
something of value (money, a tax write-off, prestige, clean air, and so on) that cannot be withheld from a group member
Direct group involvement in the electoral process. Groups can help fund campaigns, provide testimony, and get members to work for candidates, and some form political action committees (PAC)
Elite 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.
Free-rider problem
the problem faced by interest groups when citizens can reap the benefits of interest group action without actually joining, participating in, or contributing money to such groups.
Hyperpluralist theory
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. It is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism.
Interest groups
organization of people who share political, social or other goals; and agree to try to influence public policy to achieve those goals.
direct contact made by an interest group representative in order to persuade government officials to support the policies their interest group favors
Olson's law of large groups
Advanced by Mancur Olson, a principle stating that "the larger the group, the further it will fall short of providing an optimal amount of a collective good."
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.
Political action committees
(PACs) Organizations that collect money to distribute to candidates who support the same issues as the contributors.
Potential group
All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest. This is almost always larger than an actual group.
Public interest lobbies
According to Jeffery Berry, organizations that seek "a collective good, the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership of activities of the organization.
Right-to-work law
A state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs. It was specifically permitted in states by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947
Selective benefits
Goods (such as information publications, travel discounts, and group insurance rates) that a group can restrict to those who pay their annual dues.
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.
A network of groups within the American political system that exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas. Also known as iron triangles, they are composed of interest group leaders interested in a particular policy, the government agency in charge of administering that policy, and the members of congressional committees and subcommittees handling policy.
Union shop
A provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employees of a business to join the union within a short period, usually 30 days, and to remain members as a condition of employment.