Chapter 1

1.         Government

a.          The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society

2.         Public Goods

a.          Goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share

3.         Politics

a.          The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.

4.         Political Participation

a.          All the activities by which citizens attempt to influence the selection of political leaders and the policies the pursue. Voting is the most common means of political participation in a democracy. Other means include protest and civil disobedience.

5.         Policymaking System

a.          The process by which policy comes into being and evolves. Peoples interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.

6.         Linkage Institutions

a.          The political channels through which peoples concerns become political issues on the political agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups and the media.

7.         Policy Agenda

a.          The issues that attract the serious attention of the public officials and other people involved in politics at the moment.

8.         Political Issue

a.          An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.

9.         Policymaking Institutions

a.          The branches of government charged with taking action on a political issue. The US constitution established three policymaking institutions- congress, the presidency, and the courts. Today the power of the bureaucracy is so great that most political scientists consider it a fourth policy making institution.

10.   Public policy

a.          A choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem.

11.   Policy impacts

a.          The effects of a policy have on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.

12.   Democracy

a.          A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that the policy represents and responds to the publics preferences.

13.   Majority Rule

a.          A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In democracy choosing among alternatives requires that the majorities desire be respected.

14.   Minority Rights

a.          A principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities.

15.   Representation

a.          A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers

16.   Pluralism

a.          A theory of American democracy emphasizing that the policymaking process is very open to the participation of all groups with shared interests, with not single group usually domination. Pluralists tend to believe that as a result public interest generally prevails.

17.   Elitism

a.          Upper Class Hold all of the power

18.   Hyper pluralism

a.          A theory of American democracy contending that groups are so strong that government, which gives in to the many different groups is thereby weakened.