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basic public policy terms.


to be exactly the same


enough, sufficient


basic, fundamental


to plan, to have in mind


to get rid of, to remove


to incorporate, to include


a model, a design


something accepted as true


to make sure something is done according to a law


to make (a bill) into law


a law passed by a legislature


not the same, different


to expect, to predict


coming after


the underlying structure


to recognize as being a particular thing


a list of things to be done or considered

interest group

an organization of individuals who share a common political goal and unite for the purpose of influencing government decisions


to require as a necessary consequence, to involve


the process of putting a law into practice through bureaucratic rules or spending.


the action of putting a theory to practical use


to work out in detail


to change, to modify


to make judgement about the strengths and weaknesses of something


prejudiced, not neutral


an effect or result


to give a specific role, responsibility


in a certain order

Civil Liberties

The legal constitutional protections against government. Although our civil liberties are formally set down in the Bill of Rights, the courts, police, and legislatures define their meaning.

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendant's rights

Incorporation Doctrine

The legal concept under which the supreme court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment

Establishment Clause

Part of the First Amendment stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

Free Exercise Clause

A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion

Prior Restraint

A government preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but it is usually unconstitutional in the United States, according o the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court case of Near V. Minnesota


The publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone's reputation

Symbolic Speech

Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the First Amendment.

Commercial Speech

Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court.

Probable Cause

The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.

Unreasonable searches and seizures

Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Probably cause and or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence.

Search Warrant

A written authorization from a court specifying the are to be searched and what the police are searching for.

Exclusionary Rule

The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure/

Self Incrimination

The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids self-incrimination

Plea Bargaining

A bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Court Sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Right to Privacy

The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government.

Civil Rights

Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals

Fourteenth Amendment

The constitutional amendment adopted after Civil War that states "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Equal Protection of the Laws

Part of the Fourteenth Amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent "protection" to all people

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination


The legal right to vote, extended to African Americans by the Fifteenth Amendment to women by the 19th Amendment, and to people over the age of 18 by the 26th Amendment

Poll Taxes

Small taxes levied on the right to vote that often fell due at a time of year when poor African-American sharecroppers had the least cash on hand. This method was used by most Southern States to exclude African Americans from voting. Poll taxes were declared void by the 24th Amendment in 1964.

White Primary

One of the means used to discourage African-American voting that permitted political parties in the heavily Democratic South to exclude African Americans from primary elections, thus depriving them of a voice in the real contest. The Supreme Court declared white primaries unconstitutional in 1944.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

A law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African-American suffrage. Under the law, hundreds of thousands of African-American elected officials increased dramatically

Equal Rights Amendment

A constitutional amendment originally introduced by Congress in 1972, stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Despite public support the amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from 3/4 if the state legislatures

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

A law passed in 1990 that requires employers and public facilities to make "reasonable accommodations" for people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination against these individuals and employment

Affirmative Action

A policy designed to give special to or compensatory treatment for members of some previously disadvantaged group.

Comparable Worth

The issue raised when women who hold traditionally female jobs are paid less than men for working at jobs requiring compatible skill

public policy

a law, rule, statue, or edict that expresses the government's goals and provides for rewards and punishments to promote their attainment


confiscation of property with or without compensation

eminent domain

the right of government to take private property for public use, with reasonable compensation awarded for the property

categorical grants-in-aid

grants by Congress to states and localities given with the condition that expenditues be limited to a problem or group specified by the national government

antitrust policy

government regulation of large businesses that have established monopolies


a policy of reducing or eliminating regulatory restraints in the conduct of individuals or private institutions

monetary policies

efforts to regulate the economy through manipulation of the supply of money and credit; Federal Reserve Board

Federal Reserve System

consisting of 12 Federal Reserve Banks, an agency that facilitates exchanges of cash, checks, and credit; it regulates member banks; and it uses monetary policies to fight inflation and deflation

discount rate

the interest rate charged by the Federal Reserve when commercial banks borrow in order to expand their lending operations; an effective tool of monetary policy

reserve requirement

the amount of liquid assets and ready cast that the Federal Reserve requires banks to hold to meet depositors' demands for their money

open-market operations

the buying and selling of government securities to help finance government operations and to loosen or tighten the total amount of credit circulating in the economy

federal funds rate

the interest rate on loans between banks that the Federal Reserve Board influences by affecting the supply of money available

progressive/regressive taxation

taxation that hits the upper income brackets more heavily or the lower income brackets more heavily

budget deficit

the amount by which government spending exceeds government revenue in a fiscal year

mandatory spending

Federal spending that is made up of


budgetary items that are beyond the control of budgetry committees and can be controlled only by substantive legislative action in Congress; some are the debt because it is beyond the power of Congress because the terms of payments are set in contracts

discretionary spending

Federal spending on programs that are controlled through the regular budget process

contributory programs

social programs financed in whole or in party by taxation or other mandatory contributionsby their present or future recipients; social security, which is financed by a payroll tax

Social Security

a contributory welfare program into which working Americans contribute a percentage of their wages, and from which they receive cash benefits after retirement


periodic adjustments of welfare payments, wages, or taxes, tied to the coast of living


National health insurance for the elderly and for the disabled

noncontributory programs

social programs that provide assistance to people based on demonstrated need rather than any contribution they have made

Aid to Families with Dependent Children

Federal funds, administered by the states, for children living with persons or relatives who fall below state standards of need; abolished in 1996

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

a policy by which states are given block grants by the federal government in order to create their own programs for public assistance

means testing

procedure by which potential beneficiaries of a public assistance program establish their eligibility by demonstrating a genuine need for the assistance


a federally financed, state-operated program providing medical services to low-income people

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

a program providing a minimum monthly income to people who pass a "means test" and who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled; financed from general revenues rather than from Social Security contributions

food stamps

coupons that can be exchanged for food at most grocery stores; the largest in-kind benefits program

in-kind benefits

goods and services provided to needy individuals and families by the federal government


eligibility for benefits by virtue of a category of benefits defined by legislation

promotional technique

a technique of control that encourages people to do something they might not otherwise do, or to continue an action or behavior; subsidies, contracts, and licenses


government grants of cash or other valuable commodities, such as land, to individuals or organizations; used to promote activities desired by the government, to reward political support, or to buy off political opposition

contracting power

the power of govenment to set conditions on companies seeking to sell goods or services to government agencies


permission to engage in some activity that is otherwise illegal, such as hunting or practicing medicine

regulatory techniques

techniques that government uses to control the conduct of the people

police power

power reserved to the state to regulate the health, safety, and morals of its citizens

administrative regulation

rules made by regulatory agencies and commissions

spending power

a combination of subsidies and contracts that the government can use to redistribute income


the art of persuation


The use of well-known respected people to endorse a product or sevice

Glittering Generalities

The act of refering to words or ideas that evoke a positive emotional response from an audience


The act of relating something or someone we like or respect with a product.Symbols are constantly used. Flags.

Plain Folks

The use of everyday people to see a product or service.Speakers and asd appear to make the person to be "one of the people"


Attepts to persuade the target audience to take a course of action anyone else is taking "Join the crowd"

Name Calling

The use of names to evoke fear ot hatred in the viewer links a person os idea to a negative symbol

Card Stacking

The strategy of showing the products best features telling half truths and omiting or lying about it potential problems


You must...


If you do, you will get...


This is banned...


If you do, you must...


The government will...

Federalist 10

Constitution protects against factionalism.


Both national and state governments derive independent legal authority from their own citizens.

Public Policy Definition

What governments choose to do or not do; regulate behavior, organize bureaucracies, distribute benefits, or extract taxes (Dye)

Action versus Inaction

attempt to change status quo VERSUS accepting it

Policy Analysis Definition

finding out what governments do, why, they do it, and what difference, if any, it makes (Dye)


ability to alter or influence a course of action; relevance to public policy: 1) The Influence on decision making: 2) The ability to set the agenda and: 3) The ability to persuade and alter perceptions


disparity in the power relationship between the actor trying to influence and the target


those who possess the power to make policy decisions do so under some public ascension of right; public willingly grants right to influence


officials will be elected by the people to serve their interests and the interests of the state; people govern indirectly

Public Interest

what is in the best interests of the nation; public policy imposes definition of public interest on society


dynamics and exchanges that interweave institutional determination of public policies; competitive communication, exchange, discussion, and debate

Pluralism versus Elitism

political competition and conflict among groups ensures a path by which consensus, compromise, and negotiation can permit a variety of constituent groups to check the influence of other groups VERSUS political and policy process as dominated by the few rather than the many

Private versus Public

government has no responsibility or role VERSUS government attempts to dictate (en/discourage; prohibit/prescribe) behavior

Needs versus Rights

fundamental to human survival, essential to one's existence, and critical to the sustenance of life VERSUS moral entitlement that one expects to be treated by others and the state in a certain manner, check against power of the state

Equality versus Justice

foundational (protection), opportunity (footing), outcome (critical needs and rights) VERSUS equality across society that alleviates obstacles and removes harmful forces

Efficiency versus Effectiveness

program or service operating at most optimal resource level VERSUS program or service is achieving desired effects

Human Nature

essential and immutable character of all human beings enabling us to generalize expected behavior; justify public policies

Rational Model of Policy Process

problem identification, agenda setting, policy formulation, policy legitimation (adoption), policy implementation, policy evaluation, policy change or termination

Types of Policy

Substantive, Procedural, Distributive, Re-distributive, Regulatory, Self-regulatory, Material, Symbolic

Substantive Policy

deals with a particular policy problem; specific actions, with costs and benefits, advantages and disadvantages

Procedural Policy

set of legislative criteria that prescribe the conditions, actors responsible for action; determine which institutional or bureaucratic actors are responsible

Distributive Policy

assignment of goods and services to target populations specified by the government; "win-win"; pork-barrel

Re-Distributive Policy

shift resources, material benefits, rights, and privileges among the various population segments; reallocation of public or private resources from one particular class to another

Regulatory Policy

mandated rules on the actions of specific target populations; mandated rules on the actions of specific target populations with negative effects

Self-Regulatory Policy

an attempt to self-manage rules that restrict or control behavior by the actual target population; benefits regulated group because it preempts degree of gov't regulation

Material Policy

provides tangible benefits or substantive power to beneficiaries, or imposes disadvantages on others

Symbolic Policy

principally rhetorical and seek to inform or persuade the population, often by presenting a particular point of view; may attempt to appeal to the emotional or patriotic nature of the population

in conflict with

the constitution established a political system that is essentially __________ itself.

to be inefficient

, the legislative structure of American government is designed _________ to promote government stability

federal versus state sovereignty

The un-resolvable issue of the founding era was _______

freedom and power

The Framework of the U.S. Constitution is comprised of ________ and ________

expansion, contraction

Americans have been raised to believe that every ________ of the government's power involves a _________ of personal freedom


________ exist as society's means of maintaining order and predictability through routines, customs, shared values

Public Arena

republic, not direct democracy; indirect and direct nature of representation insures nat'l gov't legitimacy and mitigates power of the masses

Separation of Powers; Checks and Balances

national policy making involves a series of institutional partners; crisis can overcome these and lead to efficient policy making

Fiscal Federalism

federal government public policy administered at the state level

toward the national level

the fiscal role of the Federal government represents a powerful force in ensuring that the legislative center remains somewhat skewed ____________

Policy Arenas or Sub-Governments

legislative centers of policy development that extend beyond specific institutions or levels of government outlined by the Constitution: iron triangles, policy sub-systems, issue networks, advocacy coalitions

Iron Triangle

congressional committees, executive branch agencies, organized interests: jointly control policy making

Issue Networks

constant flow of participants in and out of the decision-making arena

Institutional Actors

members of congress, congressional staff, president and inner circle, executive office of the president, cabinet, federal courts, bureaucracy

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