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UNT / Political Science / PSCI 2305 / Who is the main authority in a democracy?

Who is the main authority in a democracy?

Who is the main authority in a democracy?

Description

School: University of North Texas
Department: Political Science
Course: US Political Behavior
Professor: Glen biglaiser
Term: Spring 2019
Tags:
Cost: 50
Name: PSCI study guide for examination 1
Description: Hey guys! I know our test isn’t until the 12th, buy this is a little study guide I put together based on the original test date. It covers workbook chapters 1-3 WITH section quiz answers! I also Included notes from all of our lectures from 1/15-1/31
Uploaded: 02/02/2019
29 Pages 60 Views 3 Unlocks
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PSCI Lecture


Who is the main authority in a democracy?



Tuesday, January 22, 2019 8:08 AM

1/22/19

Power:

Politics can be viewed in terms of power

-

○ Coercive: forceful

○ Enabling: cooperation

Authority

Democracy:

- Have functioning. Rule of law (keep gov in check)

Political leaders respond to majority population

-

○ In US: majoritarianism works in 2 party system

- Pluralism involves navigating through multiple population interests - Authority is rooted in legitimacy

Direct vs In Direct democracy -


Why is voter participation in elections at all levels of government in the united states important?



In direct- citizens opinions are funneled through representatives  

(republicanism)

○ Direct- no representatives

Participation:

Equality:

- Procedural: rules treat people the same

- Substantive: people have relatively equal resources Majority rule:

- Can the majority impose its influence to push out majority

Hyper majoritarianism pushes out ideas of acceptance/tolerance to minorities

-

○ Threat to democracy

Thinking Critically

- Designed by process which conclusions are reached - In democracies Citizens can or cannot think critically


What does amicus curiae mean?



If you want to learn more check out . where does decision making authority lie?

Focused on deciding what can be believed and using information to make  

-

political judgements

▪ Obstacles to TC:

▪ Unwillingness of citizen effort

▪ Political leaders spin messages

▪ Most citizens beliefs conform to their political views

▪ Citizens cannot know ideas are sound w/o alternative views ▪ Having more knowledge leads to greater political interest

▪ Obstacles to TC:

▪ Unwillingness of citizen effort

▪ Political leaders spin messages

▪ Most citizens beliefs conform to their political views If you want to learn more check out Why is mercantilism important?

▪ Citizens cannot know ideas are sound w/o alternative views ▪ Having more knowledge leads to greater political interest

Defining poli culture:

- Shared values legitimate societal practice (trusting vs distrusting authority. ○ CONSIDER:

▪ wide range of political prefs

▪ political prefs come from institutions

□ risk taking prefs

▪ cultural theory

▪ who am I? What shall I do?

▪ Culture instills points of concern to be debated

Culture is “Janus-Faced”

-people are guided by the symbols of culture

Culture traffics in symbols

-symbols must be interpreted in full ethnographic context

Preferences are endogenous (already formed) - internal to organizations Political studies start with interpersonal/psychologic discovery (based on personal  relationships/experiences)

1/23/19

Thinking about culture We also discuss several other topics like How do you calculate heat of fusion?

Culture is Janus-faced: people are guided by the symbols of culture

-

○ How religion is imbedded in political culture

Culture traffics in symbols (ethnographic context must be taken into  

-

consideration)

-

Preferences are exogenous:  

○ Different values/beliefs depending on the system

Strength of group boundaries

Weak

Strong

Strength of group boundaries

Weak

Apathy (fatalism)

Competition (individualism)

Strong

Hierarchy (collectivism Equality (Egalitarianism)

Hierarchy- followers and leaders

Equality (*America) - everybody is equal (NOT EQUITY) Competition- Anarchy

Apathy- "let it work itself out"

People are strategic in answering "who am i?"

○ Inability to distinguish ones self depending on the audience People are strategic in answering "what shall I do? Don't forget about the age old question of What social forces act up on the law?

Culture is a question of how people advance their interests ○ Maintain place within social hierarchy

Advancing interests is not cultural

Symbols within that culture determine that ○

These same symbols/instrumental reasoning is what people use to  

choose a person's primary cultural identification

Sharing language, religion, and historiography is to share culture

Organizational cost is low compared to other identifiers, political entrepreneurs  exploit this advantage to make claims for resources

○ Learning about black issues to try and reach that audience If you want to learn more check out How does individualism influence american family life?

AMERICAN POLITICAL CULTURE SYMBOLS

The bible, urbanization, money

1/29/19

American political culture

Shared beliefs about why we have government, how it should operate, and  what it should do

Ex- American political culture = limited gov

Classical liberalism: modern democracy with representative government, and  constitutional freedoms and liberties

Shared beliefs about why we have government, how it should operate, and  what it should do Don't forget about the age old question of Why is marginal thinking important?

Ex- American political culture = limited gov

Classical liberalism: modern democracy with representative government, and  constitutional freedoms and liberties

- Society exists because of the choices of individuals

- Individual > society

This is opposite to traditional framework, where man is defined by the society he lives in, and community  outweighs individual

Post-rev French American observations by Alexis Tocqueville: Why democracy works in America

-

Federalism & decentralization

○ Idea of majority rule

-

Associational life (community of joiners)

Americans tend to group themselves according to personal  

"interests"

- Self-interested - Individualism - Local politics

-

Possible tyranny of majority

People who looked for rights in America were a all slave-owning,  property-owning, white, men who - at the end of the day - were self  interested

These people feared people who didn't match these  "standards" would influence political culture

Post-rev French American threats to democracy observations by Alexis  Tocqueville:

-

Soft despotism: A network of small complicated rules that give people  the illusion of control

-

Tyranny of majority:

○ When majority is self interested, if often oppresses minority

Classical liberalism

Liberal democracy: democracy based on liberal institutionalism "American Dream": anyone can succeed in America  Capitalism

Religious freedom is an outgrowth of pluralism

        Capitalism

Religious freedom is an outgrowth of pluralism

PSCI workbook

Thursday, January 31, 2019 6:34 PM

1.1 -

Public opinion - general view held among the public (think majority rule) - plays a critical role in the functioning of our democracy.

1.2-

In any survey, there are opportunities to confuse or mislead participants into  expressing views that don't reflect their actual attitudes. This is called measurement  error.

Most sources of measurement error are in question wording, question order,  

-

and limited response options.

EX: A double negative is highlighted by a survey question posed in 1992 by  

the American Jewish Committee. In an effort to assess Americans’  opinions about the Holocaust, they asked, “Does it seem possible, or does  it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jews never  happened?” The double negative construction—“Is it impossible the  Holocaust never happened?”—confused many participants, causing  approximately a quarter of them to choose the “possible that it never  happened” response option and 12 percent to select the “don’t know”  option. The American Jewish Committee was justifiably alarmed to hear  that approximately a third of Americans were Holocaust doubters!

There are also ways to minimize measurement error. Questions should be clear  

-

and simple as possible, and the number assertions in the question should have  the same amount of response options.

SECTION QUIZ

According to the essay, when does measurement error occur?

- When respondents' answers to the questions deviate from their own attitudes

Which of the following is true of the holocaust question in the 1992 American Jewish committee poll?

It used a double negative, leading some respondents to reply that the holocaust  

-

may have never happened.

Which of the following is true of the holocaust question in the 1992 American Jewish committee poll?

It used a double negative, leading some respondents to reply that the holocaust  

-

may have never happened.

After answering a question that asks what you consider to be the most important  problem facing the nation, you answer a question about presidential approval. A  question-ordering effect presumes that you may do which of the following? - Consider how the president has handled your "most important" issue

Why do double-barreled questions make it difficult to evaluate the public's opinion  on an issue?

Because its difficult to know which part of the question respondents are  

-

replying to

Given the challenges presented by measurement error, what does the author of this  essay conclude?

Despite their flaws, surveys are still the best method of measuring public  

-

opinion

1.3-

Citizens believe that policymakers should be responsive to the policy preferences of  the public.

Americans remain skeptical about the results that are generated by polls.  -

This is mainly due to lack of knowledge of polling operation ○

the public’s lack of knowledge about polling practices threatens to  

undermine the impact of polling on the policymaking process.

-

Americans are also tend to think that elected officials use polls to manipulate  voters.  

Americans are committed to the principle of government responsiveness to public  opinion

a majority of Americans believe that citizens should determine the direction of  

-

the economy, health care, and education.

Americans are committed to the principle of majoritarian democracy

survey participants favor the delegate philosophy of representation over the  

-

trustee philosophy of representation.

The delegate philosophy of representation is rooted in the idea that  

elected officials should simply subscribe to policies that are consistent  with the public’s preferences.  

the trustee philosophy of representation proposes that while elected  

officials should consider the public’s will, they ultimately should rely upon  

trustee philosophy of representation.

The delegate philosophy of representation is rooted in the idea that  

elected officials should simply subscribe to policies that are consistent  with the public’s preferences.  

the trustee philosophy of representation proposes that while elected  

officials should consider the public’s will, they ultimately should rely upon  their own best judgment to make policy decisions.

Americans believe that elected officials should go against their own judgment if  

-

necessary in order to follow the lead of the public.

Despite the public’s conviction that elected officials should follow public opinion,  citizens place little trust in polling as a way of communicating their preferences to  leaders.

citizens tend to think that polls are easily manipulated, or that polls are subject  

-

to manipulation by elected officials.

The public may be suspicious of polls because it does not have adequate knowledge to  distinguish between those that are well executed and those that are poorly executed.

EX: The public is unfamiliar with basic principles of conducting a scientific  

-

survey. For instance, a majority of those surveyed believed that random  sampling, the selection method in which every individual in the population has  an equal probability of being selected for the survey sample, rarely offers an  accurate view of public opinion. In addition, only approximately 40 percent of  the survey respondents understood that randomly selecting within the  population to gather the sample was better than allowing citizens to self-select  by deciding to call in to participate in a poll.

the lack of trust in polls undermines their ability to convey the public’s  

preferences to policymakers.

Lawmakers are aware that the public has a limited working knowledge of polls  

-

and views them with suspicion, which makes them less willing to rely upon polls  in the policymaking process.

SECTION QUIZ

When thinking about the role of public opinion in the democratic process, what do  most citizens believe?

Lawmakers should follow the public's will, even if it runs counter to their own  

-

best judgement

What did the 2001 Kaiser/Public Perspective survey reveal?

- The public does not have a strong understanding of polling practices

Which one of the following statements accurately describes many Americans when  they consider polling practices?

- They believe randomly selected samples lead to inaccurate conclusions

Wat  te  KaserPuc Perspectve survey revea

- The public does not have a strong understanding of polling practices

Which one of the following statements accurately describes many Americans when  they consider polling practices?

- They believe randomly selected samples lead to inaccurate conclusions

1.4-

Democracies function based on citizens’ preferences. Therefore, accurately assessing  public opinion is critical to a functioning and healthy democracy.

The reliability of a poll can vary widely depending on the way individuals are  

-

selected to participate in it. If a sample contains individuals with characteristics  that are not similar to those of the broader population, the results of the poll  may be unreliable. This phenomenon is called sampling error.

EX: Literary Digest poll was widely considered to be one of the more  

reliable polls in presidential elections. In fact, the poll had correctly  predicted the winner of each presidential election since 1920. The Literary  Digest predicted that Alf Landon would defeat Franklin Roosevelt by a  landslide in 1936.

The actual vote returns revealed that it was Roosevelt who won by a  landslide. The results of the 1936 Literary Digest poll were an  embarrassment to the magazine and contributed to its eventual failure.  The Literary Digest poll was conducted by sending out approximately 10  million straw vote ballots. The magazine relied chiefly on car registration  lists and phone books to draw its sample. Of the large number of ballots  sent out, only approximately 25 percent of them were returned. When  discussing the mishap, some argued by sampling only from among car and  telephone owners, the poll introduced bias into the sample. Others  argued that Landon supporters were simply more likely to return the  survey ballot than Roosevelt supporters

On one hand, sampling in a way that systematically includes certain groups and  excludes others may create a sample that is unrepresentative of the population. On  the other hand, sampling error can occur due to a self-selection bias. Specifically,  there may be certain types of people who will be more inclined to participate in the  poll than others; therefore, unless there are measures put in place to neutralize this  possibility, there will be groups of people that are overrepresented in the sample.

SECTION QUIZ

Based on the essay, what may occur as a consequence of sampling error? - Survey participants will not be representative of the broader population

   ,            possibility, there will be groups of people that are overrepresented in the sample.

SECTION QUIZ

Based on the essay, what may occur as a consequence of sampling error? - Survey participants will not be representative of the broader population

Which group is likely to be overrepresented by choosing a survey sample from  among car owners and people listed in telephone books during the 1930s? - Wealthy voters

Based on Table 1, Roosevelt supporters were most likely to own which of the  following?

- Neither a car nor a phone

Based on Table 2, whose supporters were most likely to have not known whether  they received the Literary Digest ballot?

- Roosevelt

1.5-

Democracies function on the citizens preferences about whom they want to elect and  the public policies that they want enacted.

far too many Americans are uninformed about the structure of their own  

-

government, the names and policy stances of their elected officials, and their  own views on key issues of public policy.

Uninformed voters may be more vulnerable to manipulation by political  

elites

citizens express little desire to consider policy issues and have a limited  

understanding of their political beliefs.  

A large proportion of the public does not understand the terms frequently  

used in political discourse

Voters who lack constraint may argue for increased spending on social services,  

-

yet also believe in the need for lower taxes.

A large number of voters lack stable attitudes

- a large number of people do not maintain their beliefs over a two-year period.

political knowledge seems to solve the problem of constraint

- knowledgeable citizens have been shown to hold more stable attitudes

-

-

Political knowledge also gives individuals the ability to understand political  events and integrate new information with existing political knowledge. olitical knowlede facilitates more reliable and more meaninful oll  

political knowledge seems to solve the problem of constraint - knowledgeable citizens have been shown to hold more stable attitudes

Political knowledge also gives individuals the ability to understand political  

-

events and integrate new information with existing political knowledge. political knowledge facilitates more reliable and more meaningful poll  

-

responses.

In addition to the fact that more knowledgeable voters generate better poll results,  there are a number of other ways that political knowledge helps voters to become  more engaged in democratic citizenship.

- citizens tend to express less distrust of government and the political process.

knowledgeable voters are more sophisticated in their evaluations of public  

-

officials and tend to appreciate vigorous political debate

an informed public tends to place greater value on democratic principles and  

-

tends to have higher levels of political participation.

less knowledgeable voters often view public officials’ mistakes as an indicator of  

-

their bad character and view vigorous debate as petty squabbling between self serving politicians.

SECTION QUIZ

Phillip Converse's 1964 study revealed which of the following about the electorate? - Most voters' attitudes about issues are not consistent

What is a benefit of a more informed electorate, according to the text? - Greater agreement between what citizens want and what policymakers do

2.1-

In a democracy, the purpose of elections is to choose leaders and to hold them  accountable for their performance in office.

However, the rate of participation in elections (voter turnout) is exceedingly low at all  levels of American government.

in the 2008 presidential election—one of the most highly publicized elections in  

-

several decades—only 57 percent of the voting-age population actually  participated.

2.2-

In a democracy, the authority of the government rests solely on the consent of those  governed. (the government is empowered by the people.)

2.2-

In a democracy, the authority of the government rests solely on the consent of those  governed. (the government is empowered by the people.)

-

The consent of the people in a democracy is expressed in part by participation  in elections.

Citizens in a democracy agree to abide by the authority of a government, and in turn,  the government is tasked with providing public goods to citizens and protecting the  rights of the people

Elected officials make decisions about how to disburse common resources. They  

-

also vote on legislation that may directly influence the circumstances of citizens  (allocate funds to public education, determine age requirements for driving,  allocate funds to highway safety, and set the drinking age.)

Participation rates in U.S. elections are among the lowest of any democracy in the  world.

On average, 53% of the voting-age population participates in presidential  

-

elections

-

In midterm elections, the rates of participation are even lower: on average, only  37% of the U.S. voting-age population turns out to vote.

In local elections, the average rate of participation barely approaches 25  

-

percent.

Some find it easy to explain why choosing not to vote might be seen as a  

-

rational decision by nonvoters

An individual may choose not to vote because in virtually all elections, no  

single vote is the deciding vote.

Acquiring the information needed for voting decisions takes time, and is  

simply very difficult for Americans— they have school, jobs, families, and  social lives

Low rates of voter participation may undermine the legitimacy of a democracy. If only  a subset of eligible voters participates in elections, it leads to questions regarding  whether the preferences of the entire population are represented in public policy.

Research indicates that Anglos, the highly educated, older individuals, and  

-

wealthier individuals are more likely to cast a ballot than non-Anglo, less  educated, younger, and poorer individuals.

Low participation rates coupled with the demographic differences between  

-

voters and nonvoters suggest that the outcomes of elections in the United  States may not reflect the will of the entire population.

Optimally, in a democracy, voter participation rates will be high to ensure that the

, ,   .

Low participation rates coupled with the demographic differences between  

-

voters and nonvoters suggest that the outcomes of elections in the United  States may not reflect the will of the entire population.

Optimally, in a democracy, voter participation rates will be high to ensure that the  preferences of all segments of the electorate are recorded.

SECTION QUIZ

Why is voter participation in elections at all levels of government in the United  States important?

It promotes the stability of our democracy, it is an opportunity to vote on one's  

-

preferences, and it is a measure of the accountability of elected representatives.

Voter participation rates in the United States are lowest in what type of election? - Local elections

2.3-

There are several common characteristics that affect levels of voter turnout. Age,  education level, socioeconomic status, and race all help to predict voter turnout rates  among Americans.

younger, non-Anglo, poorer, and less educated Americans participate in  

-

elections at lower rates than older, Anglo, wealthier, and more highly educated  Americans.

In addition to the demographic characteristics that predict voter turnout, there are  also institutional barriers that limit participation in American elections.

The least restrictive states—including Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois,  

-

Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, and Wyoming—allow eligible voters to  register in person on Election Day.

- North Dakota does not even require citizens to register in order to vote!

In Texas, for instance, citizens must register to vote at least 30 days before a  

-

given election to be eligible to vote in it.

states that have fewer restrictions on registering to vote often have higher  

-

voter turnout rates.

To help minimize the inconvenience of registering to vote for eligible Americans,  Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act—also known as the Motor Voter  Act—in 1993. The Motor Voter Act required states to allow citizens to register to vote  at their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, at public agencies, and by mail.

The objective of this legislation was to increase the number of registered voters  -

To help minimize the inconvenience of registering to vote for eligible Americans,  Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act—also known as the Motor Voter  Act—in 1993. The Motor Voter Act required states to allow citizens to register to vote  at their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, at public agencies, and by mail.

The objective of this legislation was to increase the number of registered voters  

-

(and hopefully turnout in U.S. elections)

law is particularly advantageous for those who move from one state to another,  

-

as such individuals can get a driver’s license in their new state and register to  vote in that state at the same time. It is also helpful to lower-income individuals  who may visit government agencies to apply for public assistance, and who can  register to vote while there.

overall voter registration rates remained mostly flat after the law’s passage and  

-

increases in voter registration attributable to it vary by state

Law is associated with a registration increase, particularly among lower-income  

-

earners.

numerous states have also tried to increase voter registration and participation in  elections.

37 states—including Texas—allow any eligible and registered voter to cast a  

-

ballot before Election Day

almost all states (47 of 50) allow some form of absentee voting, which means  

-

that registered voters are allowed to submit their vote prior to Election Day via  mail or in person.

Although many states have enacted legislation to relax the registration and voting  process on a number of fronts, several states now mandate that voters show some  form of identification to cast a ballot.

In addition to state voter identification laws, there is also a federal law that affects  first-time voters. The Help America Vote Act, passed in 2002, orders all states to  require first-time voters who register to vote by mail to provide photo identification  or other documentation (a utility bill, paycheck, bank statement, etc.) before  processing the applicant’s registration.

Supporters of voter identification laws argue that heightened requirements for  identification ensure that every vote cast is legitimate and serve to avert voter fraud.

Supporters also argue that voter identification laws do not discriminate against  

-

any group of citizens, as the laws are universally applied

- increases public trust in the electoral process.

Critics of voter identification laws argue that strict identification requirements serve  to decrease voter turnout.

these laws may serve to disenfranchise some U.S. citizens, as they have a  

-

disproportionate impact on lower-income, minority, and younger voters, who  

- increases public trust in the electoral process.

Critics of voter identification laws argue that strict identification requirements serve  to decrease voter turnout.

these laws may serve to disenfranchise some U.S. citizens, as they have a  

-

disproportionate impact on lower-income, minority, and younger voters, who  are less likely to have a valid form of identification.

the cost of valid state identification cards varies from a low of $14.50 in  

Indiana to a high of $58.50 in Rhode Island. These costs for required  identification may not seem high, but they are likely prohibitive to some  citizens.

Opponents of voter identification laws argue that there is little evidence of  

-

voter impersonation

SECTION QUIZ

Which of the following demographic groups exhibits the highest rate of  participation in U.S. elections?

- Elderly voters

Which of the following statements represents the views of those who support voter  identification laws?

Showing a valid form of identification to vote increases public trust in election  

-

outcomes

Which of the following groups is most affected by voter identification laws? - Lower-income, young, and minority voters

2.4-

See graphs in section to evaluate the rate of voter  participation in other democratic countries compared to  the U.S. 

SECTION QUIZ

In general, where does voter participation in the U.S. elections rank in comparison  with voter participation in Belgium, France, and The UK?

- Among the lowest percentages  

What country has the highest overall level of voter participation among these four  countries?

- Belgium

- Among the lowest percentages  

What country has the highest overall level of voter participation among these four  countries?

- Belgium

What country has experienced the largest overall decline in voter participation  rates?

- The UK

voter turnout rates in U.S. elections vary across the different types of election  (federal, state, and local).

Midterm elections are elections that occur between presidential elections. In  midterm elections, voters cast ballots for candidates running for the United States  House of Representatives or United States Senate, candidates in state-level races  (state house of representatives, state senate, governor, etc.), and candidates in local  elections (mayor, city/county council, etc.).

See graphs in section to evaluate the rate of voter turnout  in the United States over time 

SECTION QUIZ

Which of the following statements best describes the changes in presidential  election turnout expressed in figure 2?

- The highest rate of increase in turnout was between 2000 and 2004

Which of the following statements best describes the data presented in figure 2? - Voter turnout in U.S. midterm elections has remained constant over time.

See graphs in section to evaluate the rate of voter  participation among different ethnic groups in the U.S. 

SECTION QUIZ

What racial/ethnic group consistently turns out to vote at the highest rate in

           participation among different ethnic groups in the U.S. 

SECTION QUIZ

What racial/ethnic group consistently turns out to vote at the highest rate in  presidential elections?

- Anglos

What racial/ethnic group has shown the greatest increase in voter participation  rates in presidential elections?

- African Americans

What two racial/ethnic groups are consistently most similar in their rates of voter  participation across elections between 1996 and 2016?

- Latinos and Asian Americans

See graphs in section to evaluate the rate of voter  participation among different ages in the U.S.

SECTION QUIZ

What do the bar graphs in figure 4 reveal?

- Voter turnout is highest among citizens 60 and older

How much did participation in the U.S. presidential elections among voters aged 18  to 29 change between 2012 and 2016?

- It increased by 1%

2.5-

In the 2014 midterm elections, voters in Denton, Texas, were asked to vote for or  against a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” within the city limits of Denton.  This was a highly charged issue for the community, pitting those citizens concerned  about the dangers of fracking against those interested in the economic benefits of  fracking.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hydraulic fracturing “produces

This was a highly charged issue for the community, pitting those citizens concerned  about the dangers of fracking against those interested in the economic benefits of  fracking.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hydraulic fracturing “produces  fractures in the rock formation that stimulate the flow of natural gas or oil

Opponents of fracking argue that this technique is harmful to human health and the  environment. The hazards posed by this technique, they say, are not worth the  economic benefits

fracking presents numerous environmental and health hazards. Some argue  

-

that the impact of fracking on the environment includes the following issues: it  reduces air quality, contaminates groundwater, releases toxic chemicals into the  environment

The impact of fracking on human health is thought to include higher rates of  

-

asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological damage

Supporters of fracking argue that a ban on fracking would violate the mineral and  royalty rights of some citizens and would be harmful to the local economy. They  assert that fracking is a safe method of extracting resources under the ground and  offers personal and community economic benefits.

Potential financial windfall for your family will allow you to pay off your  

-

mortgage, pay for your children’s education, and save for your retirement. From  a self-interested perspective, it would be financially lucrative if the Denton  fracking ban failed to pass

SECTION QUIZ

According to the text, what is a potential environmental hazard of fracking? - Reduced air quality

A supporter of the initiative is MOST likely to make which of the following  arguments?

The immediate economic impact does not outweigh the potential long-term  

-

environmental hazards

Why is it important to be more informed when voting on initiatives than when  voting for office holders?

Initiatives do not have partisan cues, which can provide a shortcut for decision  -

 

Why is it important to be more informed when voting on initiatives than when  voting for office holders?

Initiatives do not have partisan cues, which can provide a shortcut for decision  

-

making

3.1-

An interest group is loosely defined as a collection of like-minded individuals or  groups that pool resources in an effort to affect government policy.

They can have a major influence on policy by engaging in lobbying, drafting  

-

model legislation, participating in litigation, and mobilizing voters. -

Government has imposed its own limitations on the types of interactions  members of government can have with interest groups.

3.2-

the collective action problem (interest groups)

Imagine you are in a class and are assigned a group project. You’re given the  

-

names and contact information for the members of your group, but then  nothing happens. You’re waiting for someone else to take on the task of  contacting everyone and arranging an initial meeting... but everyone else is  waiting for the same thing. Finally, the class instructor arranges for your group  of ten students to meet during class. The group knows that it needs to divide up  the labor, but no one volunteers to take on the first task. The group leaves with  nothing accomplished.

participating in achieving that goal has costs (such as time). All members of the  

-

group believe that their own contribution is small relative to the costs they  would suffer, so each person declines to participate

Each person has an incentive to be what is known as a “free rider”: a person  

-

who enjoys the collective benefit without paying the individual cost.

If the collective action problem is really so bad, how do interest groups ever manage  to form and continue long enough to accomplish their objectives?

lare interest rous often form because of the dedication of one or more  -

 

who enjoys the collective benefit without paying the individual cost.

If the collective action problem is really so bad, how do interest groups ever manage  to form and continue long enough to accomplish their objectives?

large interest groups often form because of the dedication of one or more  

-

“political entrepreneurs.”

Political entrepreneurs are people who have a higher-than-average stake  

in the results of the group’s efforts.

EX Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded by Candace  

Lightner after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Some people want to form a group so they can take credit for the  

group’s formation (for example, by adding a line to a résumé or  receiving public attention).

Once a political entrepreneur steps up to the plate to get a group started, he or she  has to attract other members. This can be accomplished by providing something  called “selective benefits”

Selective benefits are benefits you can only get if you participate. (discourages  

-

free riders)

SECTION QUIZ

Who developed the idea of the collective action problem?

- Mancur Olson

Candace Lightner is an example of which of the following?

- A political entrepreneur  

If there is a difference of opinion between an industry (such as 5 big auto  manufacturers ) and its consumers (people who buy cars), which side of the dispute  is more likely to coalesce into an interest group?

- Auto manufacturers are more likely to coordinate and form an interest group.

How do interest groups overcome the free-rider problem?

- By offering selective benefits

3.3-

As your textbook notes, interest groups seek to affect public policy through a variety  of means.

Draft model legislation -

3.3-

As your textbook notes, interest groups seek to affect public policy through a variety  of means.

Draft model legislation -

NRA actually drafts versions of the laws it wants passed. This is a clever  

approach, because writing legislation is both time-consuming and  difficult. By taking that burden off of politicians and their staff, the NRA is  more likely to see action on its policy priorities.

-

Lobbying

involves face-to-face meetings with politicians during which the interest  

group tries to persuade the politicians that the group’s policies are  generally beneficial.

ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills itself as a free-market oriented think tank. Its members include quite a few large corporations, all of whom  have a financial stake in free-market economic policy. Its members also, however,  include a host of state legislators. Those state legislators, in consultation with private sector members of ALEC, draft model legislation for free-market economic policies.  ALEC also provides a forum in which members of ALEC’s staff, representatives from its  corporate members, and actual politicians can meet to discuss policy issues.

ALEC, however, denounces the notion that it is an interest group. It declares  

-

that it is, instead, a think tank

ALEC argues, it can’t be an interest group, or it wouldn’t be allowed to include  

-

state legislators among its membership.

ALEC engages in activities that are almost indistinguishable from those undertaken by  interest groups, so ALEC itself should be categorized as an interest group.

SECTION QUIZ

What is ALEC?

- The American Legislative Exchange Council

What is model legislation?

- Drafts of potential laws written by a group for use in multiple jusrisdictions  

Who belongs to ALEC?

- Corporations and legislators from various states

3.4-

- Corporations and legislators from various states

3.4-

Although many interest groups focus on changing policy by lobbying the elected  branches of the state and national governments, others devote at least a portion of  their resources to obtaining Supreme Court decisions that enshrine their preferred  policies as case law.

Groups may do that by filing litigation on their own behalf or by providing the  

-

resources and attorneys to sponsor what’s called a “test case.” However, the  most common way in which interest groups participate in Supreme Court  litigation is through filing amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs.

Amicus briefs are filed by parties (groups or individuals) who are not  

actually involved in the case before the Court but who have some sort of  stake in its outcome.

Endorsement amicus briefs simply endorse or reinforce the  

argument made by one of the parties to the case.

Technical amicus briefs, as the name suggests, provide technical  

information to the Court

Risk-taking amici present arguments that are unusual, that go  

beyond what the parties themselves are presenting.

The more amici there are, the more likely the Court is to accept the case for  

-

review.

We know that amicus briefs affect the Court’s decisions because the Court will  sometimes reference or quote one of the briefs or adopt the legal argument  presented in one of the briefs. Even when we don’t have evidence of a direct link  between the briefs and the Court’s opinion, interest groups can point to their  involvement in the litigation as evidence that they are doing something to further the  collective cause.

SECTION QUIZ

What does amicus curiae mean?

- Friend of the court

Why (among other reasons) do interest groups file amicus briefs? - Because they may be very effective

If lots of individuals and groups file amicus briefs saying that the supreme court  should not take the case for review, how is the court likely to respond? - It will take the case because groups' involvement signals the case's importance

In addition to filing amicus briefs, interest groups can effect the outcome of

If lots of individuals and groups file amicus briefs saying that the supreme court  should not take the case for review, how is the court likely to respond? - It will take the case because groups' involvement signals the case's importance

In addition to filing amicus briefs, interest groups can effect the outcome of  litigation by doing which of the following?

- Bringing suit and being a party

See graph to evaluate the average number of Amicus  Curiae briefs in the U.S. over time 

SECTION QUIZ

Which of the following statements best describes the data presented in figure 1?

The number of amicus curiae briefs filed per cause has increased significantly  

-

over time

3.5-

In 2007, the House passed sweeping ethics reforms that limited the ability of  members of Congress to accept gifts (including meals, event tickets, and plane fare)  from individuals and organizations other than family and personal friends.

These loopholes in the new ethics rules allow for some minor transactions between  lobbyists and members of Congress

members may accept free attendance at widely attended events (those that  

-

include at least 25 people who are not politicians).

they may be provided with meals that are part of the event itinerary and  

are served to all event attendees.

This exception only applies to events that are related to congressional  

responsibilities

This loophole allows lobbyists to create meet-and-greet events that put the  

-

group’s members in close proximity to members of Congress

“the toothpick rule”  

-

While interest groups can only provide meals to members of Congress  

under very specific circumstances, they can always provide hors  d’oeuvres. Specifically, all handheld food is fair game.

Washington catering companies have developed a cottage industry in  

providing delicious and filling little tidbits, all of which can be fed to  members of Congress as long as they can be served on a toothpick

under very specific circumstances, they can always provide hors  d’oeuvres. Specifically, all handheld food is fair game.

Washington catering companies have developed a cottage industry in  

providing delicious and filling little tidbits, all of which can be fed to  members of Congress as long as they can be served on a toothpick

Clearly the days of lavish trips abroad and five-course meals are over. The question  remains, however, whether the new ethics rules go far enough in insulating members  of Congress from the pressures of interest group lobbying.

By reorganizing events as “training events” and incorporating nonpoliticians into  

-

the mix, interest groups can still create destination events for members of  Congress to enjoy

The NRA can discuss gun safety reforms at a vacation destination just as easily  

-

as in Peoria, Illinois.

As long as they abide by the toothpick rule, interest groups can stuff members  

-

of Congress with the best food to be had.

SECTION QUIZ

Which of the following does the toothpick rule allow?

- Lobbyists may serve food to members of congress as long as it is handheld food.

Imagine you are a member of congress. You have met with the head of a Big  Lobbying Firm, LLC, and you have discovered you have a mutual interest in rock paper-scissors competitions. You have never met with this man outside of the  Capitol Building, but you know his wife's name and your kids all go to the same  school. This man invites you to a rock-paper-scissors competition where each ticket  is worth $100 each even though he got them for only $40 each. According to the  new ethics rules, are you allowed to accept the tickets?

- No, because their face value is $100 each

PSCI Lecture

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 8:08 AM

1/22/19

Power:

Politics can be viewed in terms of power

-

○ Coercive: forceful

○ Enabling: cooperation

Authority

Democracy:

- Have functioning. Rule of law (keep gov in check)

Political leaders respond to majority population

-

○ In US: majoritarianism works in 2 party system

- Pluralism involves navigating through multiple population interests - Authority is rooted in legitimacy

Direct vs In Direct democracy -

In direct- citizens opinions are funneled through representatives  

(republicanism)

○ Direct- no representatives

Participation:

Equality:

- Procedural: rules treat people the same

- Substantive: people have relatively equal resources Majority rule:

- Can the majority impose its influence to push out majority

Hyper majoritarianism pushes out ideas of acceptance/tolerance to minorities

-

○ Threat to democracy

Thinking Critically

- Designed by process which conclusions are reached - In democracies Citizens can or cannot think critically

Focused on deciding what can be believed and using information to make  

-

political judgements

▪ Obstacles to TC:

▪ Unwillingness of citizen effort

▪ Political leaders spin messages

▪ Most citizens beliefs conform to their political views

▪ Citizens cannot know ideas are sound w/o alternative views ▪ Having more knowledge leads to greater political interest

▪ Obstacles to TC:

▪ Unwillingness of citizen effort

▪ Political leaders spin messages

▪ Most citizens beliefs conform to their political views

▪ Citizens cannot know ideas are sound w/o alternative views ▪ Having more knowledge leads to greater political interest

Defining poli culture:

- Shared values legitimate societal practice (trusting vs distrusting authority. ○ CONSIDER:

▪ wide range of political prefs

▪ political prefs come from institutions

□ risk taking prefs

▪ cultural theory

▪ who am I? What shall I do?

▪ Culture instills points of concern to be debated

Culture is “Janus-Faced”

-people are guided by the symbols of culture

Culture traffics in symbols

-symbols must be interpreted in full ethnographic context

Preferences are endogenous (already formed) - internal to organizations Political studies start with interpersonal/psychologic discovery (based on personal  relationships/experiences)

1/23/19

Thinking about culture

Culture is Janus-faced: people are guided by the symbols of culture

-

○ How religion is imbedded in political culture

Culture traffics in symbols (ethnographic context must be taken into  

-

consideration)

-

Preferences are exogenous:  

○ Different values/beliefs depending on the system

Strength of group boundaries

Weak

Strong

Strength of group boundaries

Weak

Apathy (fatalism)

Competition (individualism)

Strong

Hierarchy (collectivism Equality (Egalitarianism)

Hierarchy- followers and leaders

Equality (*America) - everybody is equal (NOT EQUITY) Competition- Anarchy

Apathy- "let it work itself out"

People are strategic in answering "who am i?"

○ Inability to distinguish ones self depending on the audience People are strategic in answering "what shall I do?

Culture is a question of how people advance their interests ○ Maintain place within social hierarchy

Advancing interests is not cultural

Symbols within that culture determine that ○

These same symbols/instrumental reasoning is what people use to  

choose a person's primary cultural identification

Sharing language, religion, and historiography is to share culture

Organizational cost is low compared to other identifiers, political entrepreneurs  exploit this advantage to make claims for resources

○ Learning about black issues to try and reach that audience

AMERICAN POLITICAL CULTURE SYMBOLS

The bible, urbanization, money

1/29/19

American political culture

Shared beliefs about why we have government, how it should operate, and  what it should do

Ex- American political culture = limited gov

Classical liberalism: modern democracy with representative government, and  constitutional freedoms and liberties

Shared beliefs about why we have government, how it should operate, and  what it should do

Ex- American political culture = limited gov

Classical liberalism: modern democracy with representative government, and  constitutional freedoms and liberties

- Society exists because of the choices of individuals

- Individual > society

This is opposite to traditional framework, where man is defined by the society he lives in, and community  outweighs individual

Post-rev French American observations by Alexis Tocqueville: Why democracy works in America

-

Federalism & decentralization

○ Idea of majority rule

-

Associational life (community of joiners)

Americans tend to group themselves according to personal  

"interests"

- Self-interested - Individualism - Local politics

-

Possible tyranny of majority

People who looked for rights in America were a all slave-owning,  property-owning, white, men who - at the end of the day - were self  interested

These people feared people who didn't match these  "standards" would influence political culture

Post-rev French American threats to democracy observations by Alexis  Tocqueville:

-

Soft despotism: A network of small complicated rules that give people  the illusion of control

-

Tyranny of majority:

○ When majority is self interested, if often oppresses minority

Classical liberalism

Liberal democracy: democracy based on liberal institutionalism "American Dream": anyone can succeed in America  Capitalism

Religious freedom is an outgrowth of pluralism

        Capitalism

Religious freedom is an outgrowth of pluralism

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