58 terms

AP Gov Chapters 7, 8 & 10


Terms in this set (...)

High-Tech Politics
A politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymakers and the political agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology
Mass Media
Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and other means of popular communication
Media Event
Events purposely staged for the media and that are significant just because the media are there
Press Conferences
Meetings of public officials with reporters
Investigative Journalism
The use of in depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams and schemes which at times puts the reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders
Print Media
Newspapers and magazines, as compared with broadcast media
Electronic Media
Television, radio, and the Internet, as compared with print media
As opposed to the traditional "broadcasting," the appeal to a narrow, particular audience by channels such as ESPN, MTV, and C-SPAN, which focus on a narrow particular interest
Selective Exposure
The process through which people consciously choose to get the news from information sources that have viewpoints compatible with their own
Groups of newspapers published by media conglomerates and today accounting for over four-fifths of the nation's daily newspaper circulation
Specific locations from which news frequently emanates, such as Congress or the White House
Trial Balloons
An intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction
Sound Bites
Short video clips of approximately 15 seconds; typically all that is shown from a politician's speech or activities on the nightly television news
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
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
People who invest their political "capital" in an issue. According to John Kingdon, a policy entrepreneur "could be in or out of government, in elected or appointed positions, in interest groups or research organizations"
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
Political Party
According to Anthony Downs, a "team of men [and women] seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election"
Linkage Institutions
The channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda; elections, political parties, interest groups, media
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
Party Image
The voter's perception of what the Republicans or Democrats stand for, such as conservatism or liberalism
Party Identification
A citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other
Ticket Splitting
Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices; it has become the norm in American voting behavior
Party Machines
A type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern
One of the key inducements used by party machines; a patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone
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
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
National Party Convention
A meeting of the delegates from each state to determine the party's nominee for president and write the party platform
National Committee
Keep party operating between conventions
National Chairperson
Person responsible for the day-to-day activities of the party and is usually hand-picked by the presidential nominee
A group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends
Critical Election
An electoral "earthquake" where new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party; these periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era
Party Realignment
The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period
New Deal Coalition
A coalition forged by the Democrats, who dominated American politics from the 1930s to the 1960s; its basic elements were the urban working class, ethnic groups, Catholics and Jews, the poor, Southerners, African Americans, and intellectuals
Party Dealignment
The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification
Third Parties
Electoral contenders other than the two major parties; American third parties are not unusual, but they rarely win elections
Winner-Take-All System
An election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins all of them
Proportional Representation
An election system in which each party running receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote
Coalition Government
When two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature
Responsible Party Model
A view about how parties should work, held by come political scientists; according to the model, parties should offer clear choices to the voters, who can then use those choices as cues to their own preferences of candidates; once in office, parties would carry out their campaign promises
Blue Dog Democrats
Fiscally conservative Democrats who are mostly from the South and/or rural parts of the United States
Interest Group
An organization of people sharing a common interest or goal that seeks to influence the making of public policy
A theory of government that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group
A theory of government and politics contending that an upper-class elite will hold most of the power and thus in effect run the government
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened
Iron Triangles
Subgovernments 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 that policy
Potential Group
All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest
Actual Group
The people in the potential group who actually join
Collective Good
Something of value (money, a tax write-off, prestige, clean air, and so on) that cannot be withheld from a group member
Free-Rider Problem
The problem faced by unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining
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
According to Lester Milbrath, a "communication, by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directed to a governmental decisionmaker with the hope of influencing his decision"
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 (PACs)
Political Action Committees
A committee set up by a corporation, labor union, or interest group that raises and spends campaign money from voluntary donations
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
Right-To-Work Laws
A state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs; state right-to-work laws were specifically permitted by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947
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"