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by: Caitlyn Mackenzie

Module_1_Chapter_1_Study_Guide__1_.pdf POLS 1101

Marketplace > University of Georgia > POLITCAL SCIENCE > POLS 1101 > Module_1_Chapter_1_Study_Guide__1_ pdf
Caitlyn Mackenzie
GPA 3.8

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This is the module 1 study guide
American Government
Study Guide
american, American Goverment, political science
50 ?




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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Caitlyn Mackenzie on Sunday August 21, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 1101 at University of Georgia taught by Haynes in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see American Government in POLITCAL SCIENCE at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 08/21/16
Study Guide Chapter 1 updated 2016 1. What is politics and why is it important?  a. Politics is the process in which individuals or groups come to an  agreement over a common or collective action, even if they disagree with  the intended goal or outcome.  b. It is important because it is a civilized way to create compromise for those  who have different views on an issue.  2. Why are bargaining and compromise important to politics? a.  Bargaining is important to politics because it allows the disagreeing  parties to trade off ideas in an effort to come to a solution.  b. Compromise is also important because more often than not the bargaining  results in a middle ground between the two parties. This is the  compromise and it allows for both parties to be happy. 3. What are preferences? a. Preferences are the things that individuals or groups want. Political  scientists call them “givens”  4. What are institutions? Why are they important? a. Sets of rules and procedures for compromise that give you rules or  consequences if you do not comply. 5. What is a constitution? What does it do? a. A constitution is a set of rules and procedures that institutions must (and  sometimes must­not) follow to reach and enforce collective agreements.  b. Constitution’s help establishes institutions and create structure with their  rules 6. What is a government? Why are they important? a. A government consists of those institutions and the legally prescribed  process for making and enforcing collective agreements b. They are important because they create a legal process for telling the  public how to make and enforce collective agreements. c. Types of Governments i. Monarchy (Netherlands, Morocco)  ii. Representative democracy (U.S., Canada, Australia, UK*) 1. UK also constitutional monarchy iii. Theocracy (Iran, Saudi Arabia) iv. Dictatorship (Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea) d. Consists of offices that confer on their occupants’ specific authority and  responsibilities  7. What is authority? How is it different from power? a. Authority is the acknowledged right of the office to make a particular  decision i. EX: Only the president can nominate federal judges ii. Authority is assigned to the office and not the individual holding  the office b. Authority is different from power because power refers to an  officeholder’s actual influence with other officeholders and as a  consequence, over the governments actions 8. *****What is collective action? Why are there problems associated with  collective action and why are they hard to overcome? a. Collective Action is the efforts of a group to reach and implement  agreements b. There are problems in collective action because of the fact that many  individuals are involved. There are also costs involved that these  individuals need to participate in but might not agree to. This creates  coordination barriers and introduces the idea of the prisoner’s dilemma.  9. What is coordination? Make sure you can define coordination and why it is an  important aspect of collective action. a. Coordination is when members of the group must decide individually what they want, what they are prepared to contribute, and how to coordinate  their efforts with those of others b. It is important because without coordination there would never be a  collective action/decision made since everyone would be on different  pages.  10. What is the prisoner’s dilemma?  What is free­riding? What is the Tragedy of the  Commons? How are they related and why would we study them in American  Government?  You should be able to describe each of these and differentiate  between them.  Also think of ways they can be solved. a. Prisoner’s Dilemma is when individuals decide that even though they  support some collective undertaking, they are personally better off with  whatever benefits them versus the collective whole.  i. Important to government because this phenomenon helps to show  law makers that without a balance between what the people want  and what the government wants, people will not follow the  laws/rules made.  ii. Solve by creating balance in laws/rules b. Free­riding is when an individual abandon’s their contribution to the  collective undertaking while still benefitting from the collective  undertaking.  i. This happens when individuals notice their contribution to the  whole is small, and therefor they can abuse that knowing that their  lack of participation wont cause the success or failure of the  collective undertaking.  ii. Solve by creating smaller groups where everyone’s’ participation  matters therefore nobody can unnoticeably abandon their part c. Tragedy of the Commons concentrates on individuals costless  consumption of a public good( the “commons”) that results in its ruination i. Solve by having a good and proper institutional design to moderate the consumption of the public goods so they do not deplete.  1. Regulation or privatization of the goods 11. What are the costs of collective action? The visible/material ones? What about the not­so­visible/non­material ones? a. The costs of collective action are transaction(visible/material) and  conformity(not­so­visible/non­material) costs.  12. Define transaction and conformity costs and explain how they are related.  What  does it mean to be inversely related?  You should be able to tell me the why and  how of their inverse relationship. a. Transaction costs: the time, effort, and resources required to make  collective decisions.  b. Conformity costs: The difference between what any one party prefers and  what the collective body prefers c. These costs are inversely related, that means as one goes up the other goes down.  i. Ex: When a dictatorship gives minimal transaction costs (ability to  be involved in the decisions) we see the community suffering from major conformity costs (conforming to the decisions that dictator  has made whether they agree or not) ii. Bill of rights is example of an institution that limits transaction  costs so that government cannot intrude to much into one’s private  life.  13. Why are majority rule and delegation important concepts? What do they help do  in terms of collective action? a. Majority vote is important because it means that each citizens’ vote carries the same weight and all citizens have the same opportunity to participate b. Delegation is important because giving some office or institution the  power to make and implement decision helps to limit the many opinions  from the community c. Both ideas help to create equality and organization in making collective  undertakings. 14. What are veto and agenda control? How are they different? a. Veto is the right of an official or institution to say “no” to a proposal from  another official or institution b. Agenda control is the right of an actor to set choices for others. i. Helps limit opinions ii. Absence of this would create unmanageable transaction costs c. *****They are different because one is the decision against a particular  thing while the other is a creation of a list of possible decisions to be  decided.  15. What is separation of powers? Why would the Founders create a system like this? a. Separation of powers is an institution that allows for a balance of power  between all the institutions. It employs checks and balances which will  make sure no one institution takes advantage of their power or grows into  tyranny.  b. The Founders created this system to avoid issues of power in government 16. What is the principle­agent relationship? Can you think of an example from your  own life of such a relationship? What do you think is the most important  principle­agent relationship in American government? a. The principle­agent relationship is the relationship between the  people(principal) and those who carry out the wants of the people(agents). b.  I think the most important Principle­agent relationship is between the  population of the US and the president 17. What is agency loss?  Why does it occur? a. Agency loss is the difference between what a principal would ideally like  its agents to do and what they actually do b. It can occur accidentally or by the failure of the principal to communicate  its goals clearly. 18. What is a representative government? What is direct democracy? a. A representative democracy is a blend of delegation and majority rule b. Direct democracy is when citizens participate directly in collective  decision making 19. What is a republic? a. A republic is a government that is designed to allow for a degree of  popular control and avoid tyranny 20. How do a parliamentary system government and a presidential system  government compare? a. In a presidential system, the president is voted in by the people while in a  parliamentary system has a legislature vote in a prime minister. The  parliamentary system also involves less checks and balances allowing for  legislation to pass much more easily and impose more conformity costs to  the people 21. What is a coalition? a. A coalition is an alliance for a combined action, especially a temporary  alliance of political parties forming a government or of states 22. Why do politicians act strategically? a. Politicians’ act strategically because they are trying to achieve the goals of the majority and in turn get the vote to continue to represent the majority. 23. What are private versus public goods?   a. Private goods are things that people invest in and consume themselves  b. Public goods are goods which everyone can use and helps in supplying  and creating. 24. How does the institutional design of our federal government mitigate “popular  passions”? a. Within our government there are institutions to mitigate popular passions  like separation of powers, staggered legislative terms, an unelected  judiciary, and limited national authority


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