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UGA / Political Science / POLS 1101 / What is the difference between an interest group and a political party

What is the difference between an interest group and a political party

What is the difference between an interest group and a political party


School: University of Georgia
Department: Political Science
Course: American Government
Professor: Jason byers
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: American Government
Cost: 50
Name: POLS Final Exam Study Guide
Description: This is the final study guide for POLS 1101. The only topics on this final is the material learned after the midterm including domestic policy, foreign policy, federal courts, and congress. There is one exception as well. The topic of interest groups will be on the final as well.
Uploaded: 11/30/2017
7 Pages 34 Views 5 Unlocks

Study Guide for POLS 1101 Final Exam

What is the difference between an interest group and a political party?

Only materials on the final exam are the materials covered after the midterm exam. The only exception is that interest groups are included in the final exam.  

These topics are the only topics covered in the final exam:

1 Interest group

2 Congress  

3 Federal courts  

4 Domestic policy  

5 Foreign policy

1 Interest groups- organization that tries to influence government's programs  and policies

a Difference between an interest group and a political party: a political party is trying to get their people into office, interest groups just want to  influence policies through the exchange of funds and information with  Congressmen

a Interest groups are very diverse in the US including interest groups  involved in economic sector, corporate sector, public sector, etc.

How do we guarantee the person we vote for will act like we want?

a broad phenomena in American politics

a Founders and the interest groups

i Interest groups should be free to compete for government influence 1 Why? This creates a market place of ideas

a Equality, all people potentially have a voice, your specific  

ideas are heard by the government

 ii. James Madison pluralism We also discuss several other topics like How to measure color temperature?

1 Upper class bias is apparent  

2 In the end, Madison hoped this market place of ideas would lead  to moderate ideas; or ideas that will appeal to the masses  

 iii. Functional concept- Provoke a moderation of ideas, prevent  extreme ideas from winning

 iv. Unequal representation- equal representation is not always  guaranteed by pluralism

What are the three important aims of domestic policy?

1 upper class bias criticism- "the flaw in the pluralist heaven is  that the heavenly chorus sings with an upper class accent."

2 People who are better off financially are better at influencing the government:  

a very first premise of pluralism- everyone has access to the  

government, isn't guaranteed If you want to learn more check out What is the business cycle?

b Access to the government varies based on our  If you want to learn more check out What is the main definition of clinical psychology?

socioeconomic class

A Interest Groups

i free rider dilemma- some benefits of a group's success are available  to all

1 Collective goods- once they are produce no one can be excluded from their consumption

2 Collective goods present some problems for groups.

3 Free riding on others efforts

4 What can we do to prevent free riding?  

a Selective benefits- interest groups provide selective  

benefits to their members only, they cant exclude the  

public from collective goods, but they can exclude them  

from selective group member benefits

b Selective benefits are available to group members only

A They influence the government by lobbying and providing campaign funds i Lobbying- influencing congress and policies in ways they favor or  away from things they don’t favor;  

ii meaning of money, most important currency in lobbying is  


1 Congressmen want the expertise that interest groups can give to help them in the legislative process, the Senate especially relies  on lobbying because they tend to need to know more about  

more people circumvent congress

a Mobilize public opinion using referendum and ballot  

initiatives, sometimes they fund these ballot initiatives and  


b They organize public opinions and use the courts to change  

and influence policies by writing amicus curiae briefs or  We also discuss several other topics like What is an argument?

funding certain court cases

1 Congress

A House and Senate

i Senate- 100 members

ii House- 435 members

B Representation

i How do we guarantee the person we vote for will act like we want 1 Sociological versus Agency Representation If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of crying?

a Sociological- vote for someone like you, vote based on  

similarity, people who belong to our groups, they try to  

advocate on behalf of our group

b Agency- vote based on experience and qualification, but  

vote for someone more importantly for the incentive of  

reelection, they will act according to our interests because  

of that incentive

B Higher socioeconomic classes have more access to their congressmen C Differences in house and senate

The Senate

The House of Representatives

6 years terms- provide

2 years terms- based on population, responsive to

stability and continuity

population and public opinion shifts

Minimum age of 30

Citizenship requirement

Minimum age of 25


Degree of deliberation more because they  have more time to do so

Degree of Deliberation- Deliberates less because  members are up for reelection every 2 years, they  need to show faster outcomes

Constituency- generalist and state

Constituency- specialist and district

We also discuss several other topics like What are the 2 functions of the urinary system?

A Generalist vs Specialist

i District is much more homogenous and similar internally while States  vary vastly

ii Senate represents an entire very varied area

iii House representative represent a uniform district that is very similar  in composition

iv Generalist is harder- try to make everyone happy at once

A Incumbent- member up for reelection

A Power of incumbency is strong- chances of reelection are high i Incumbency effect is very high, senate fluctuates more than the  house

ii Incumbency effect fails whenever political trust is low and people are  dissatisfied and suspicious of the government, they look for different  people to represent them

iii Why do incumbents have such an advantage?  

1 Mailing service example of access to resources

2 We as constituents are lazy, you go with the person you know,  we vote who sounds familiar to us

A Apportionment, redistricting, and gerrymandering

i Apportionment and redistricting are done every 10 years

i Apportionment- a process occurring after every decennial census that allocates congressional seats among the 50 states

i Redistricting- a process of redrawing election districts to reflect shifts

i Gerrymandering- redistricting to help a certain party win an election,  concerning as a democracy, skewing actual distribution of the  

districts tendencies

i Miller vs Johnson 1995- add an 11th congressional district from  Savannah to Augusta to Atlanta, contain/package the minority and  inner city opinions by putting them in all in one district

i Court ruled that race could not be the predominant factor in creating  electoral districts, states continue to try and do this

I Congressional Procedures and Tools

i Private Bill- law that applies to a specific individual or group rather  than the public as a whole, requires special circumstances, for  example: issued to help immigrants, who weren't supposed to be  effected by certain law but were, grants them special status or allows them to stay here

i Filibuster- debate a certain bill just to prevent its advancement in  congress, talk and talk until congress gives up, constitutional right,  very frustrating to opposing party

1 restrictions: how to get rid of a filibuster- relating to judicial and  executive nominees, you only need a small majority to end  

filibuster (democrats did this)

2 When your political party is in power, you do your best to  

diminish the power of filibuster

ii Cloture- vote to end a filibuster, 3/5 of senate have to agree to end  the filibuster (super majority), but these are hard to come by

i Pocket Veto- presidential tool: president has specified amount of time to either sign or veto a bill while congress is not in session, if he  doesn’t respond in 2 weeks, the bill dies on its own, president doesn’t have to take a stand or address

1 Federal Courts

A Criminal Law- the branch of law that regulates the conduct of individuals,  defines crimes, and specifies punishments for criminal acts (wide range parking tickets to murder)

i Can end up paying a fine, going to jail, or facing other punishments B Civil Law- the branch of the law that deals with disputes that do not  involve criminal penalties

i Don’t go to jail

ii They pay a fine

B Precedent- a prior case whose principles are used by judges as the basis  for their decision in the present case

C Stare decisis- let the decision stand

D Precedent is applied under the doctrine of stare decisis

E Allows them to avoid making decisions on controversial topics, judges  wont be called partisan or biased

F maintaining credibility and stability of the justice/legal system G Congress determines how many justices there are- 9 actively serving the  bench right now

H How they become justices?

i Step 1- president nominates someone

ii Step 2-Senatorial courtesy- members of congress will support the  nominee if they are from their home state, they must approve the  nomination

iii Step 3- Confirmation hearing- very partisan, members of the  opposing party are going to question the candidate a lot

1 Opposing party does this to show the voters we made sure your  opinions were heard and we tried our best, attempt to appeal to  their voters

2 Domestic Policy

A Three important aims

i Address and diminish poverty

ii Promoting equality of opportunity

iii Helping Americans in difficult situations that they cannot be blamed  for- social safety net: dealing with life's hazards

B Economic Policy

i Until 1929, most Americans believed the government should do little  in managing the economy

1 Then the great depression changed things a lot, perception of  how the government should act changed

2 Keynesians economics- it is the government's job to interfere in  the economy when there is a problem

a Let the government jump in when businesses cant

b Even in a depression businesses cant invest

c Government can substitute for businesses to stimulate the  economy

d Once the economy is doing well, government can pay off its debt

2 Supply-side economics- government's place is not in the  


a Minimal role of government in the economy

b Only responsibility to provide good conditions for  

businesses so that they may flourish

c All about businesses

d Republicans

B Welfare

i Local government and private charities handled the care of the poor  for much of American history; until the great depression

1 No one had enough money to spend, so they barely had enough  money to help themselves  

2 There was no safety net for Americans

3 Great Depression changed everything

ii Up until the Great depression, people thought that unemployed  people deserved it and were lazy

1 Now people saw it could happen to anyone regardless of skill ii Contributory Programs- social programs financed by taxation or other mandatory contributions

1 FDR Created this safety nets

2 Social security- contributory program into which workers  

contribute a portion of their wages for benefit after retirement a We are bad at long-term planning- this makes our own long term plan

2 Noncontributory programs- are benefits based on demonstrated  need rather than any contributions made

a Medicaid- health insurance for the poor

i Can include children

ii Established in 1965

iii Ethical problem- hospitals and doctors don’t have to  

take Medicaid patients

iv They don’t get paid as much for Medicaid patients

b SSI- Supplemental Security Income

c TANF- Temporary Aid to Needy Families

i In-kind benefits- non-cash benefits

ii these people have to work, job training, minority of  

welfare programs include money, food stamps (SNAP),  

educational benefits, interview training  

iii Help them reenter the labor market

iv Cost of living varies a lot across states

1 Cheaper to live in GA or TX

2 More expensive to live in NY or CA

2 Foreign Policy

A Three aims  

i Security

ii Economy

iii Humanitarian rights

B Guiding foreign policy principles

i Understanding of how to protect the nation has changed over time ii Isolationism- the avoidance of involvement in the affairs of other  nations

1 We are farther away from them

ii Containment- a policy designed to curtail the political and military  expansion of a hostile power (USSR- Soviet Union)

1 Deterrence- building up the military and its power so much that  it would be pointless to attack that group: no intention of using  this military power, but you have it anyway

ii Appeasement- an effort to forestall war by giving in to demands of a  hostile power

1 WWII- Winston Churchill

a Wanted to use appeasement to keep from going to war with Germany

b Way to try and avoid violent conflict

c Sticks and carrots

B The effectiveness of deterrence

i Nation-States vs Non-state Actors

1 Target is no longer situated in a capital city: it is constantly on  the move

a When we had nation-state actors, we knew exactly where  

they were

2 Adjust our laws to apply to these non-state actors

a Foreign policy was designed to deal with nation-state actors ii Shift from deterrence to preventative war

iii Preventive war doctrine- a policy of striking first when a nation fears  that a foreign foe is contemplating hostile actions

1 Bush

ii The president  

1 Especially in times of crisis

2 Rally around the flag effect

ii UN General Assembly

1 Comprises one representative of each of the 192 states 2 Each member representative has one vote

3 Important issues require a 2/3 majority vote

ii UN security council

1 May be called into session at any time

2 Each member must be present at the UN headquarters 3 Permanent vs elected members

a 5 permanent members US Russia China France UK, winners  of WWI

ii Economic Aid and Economic Sanctions

1 Carrots- (aid) supposed to be an incentive- provide incentive to  allies to do something you desire

a 13 billion dollars to other countries in economic aid

2 Sticks- (sanctions) negative incentive or penalty: if a certain  nation doesn’t implement a policy you find desirable

i The United States is responsible for 1/3 of the world's total military  expenditures.

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