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PSCI 1050 Weekly Notes

by: Tressa Roberts

PSCI 1050 Weekly Notes PSCI 1050

Tressa Roberts
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These notes will cover some of what is on the exam. These notes further explain the power point and provide additional notes.
American Government: Process and
Eshbaugh-Soha,Matthew Joseph
Class Notes
UNT, PSCI1050, notes, week




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tressa Roberts on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 1050 at University of North Texas taught by Eshbaugh-Soha,Matthew Joseph in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 100 views. For similar materials see American Government: Process and in Political Science at University of North Texas.

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Date Created: 01/28/16
“An Introduction”  Rational Choice Theory:  ­Government: The ways and steps where public policies are made and discussed for the  society.  > How should officials govern and what should government do to govern correctly?  > Roles of government: provide services, collect taxes, and maintain order.  ­Politics: The certain ways that society selects our governmental representatives and choose  which policies our representatives will produce.  > The candidates persuade people to vote for them.  > Direct Democracy varies by state.   >Texas is a Republic state and is a Representative democracy.  >Politics allow for authentic and valid decisions about public issues.  ­Lawell’s definition= “who gets what, when, and how”  ­The participants in politics truly matter because political events rely on the participants.  ­Democracy: A system of government that allows for policies to represent the people.      ­ Democracy= equality of voting and rights; control of the lineup of government to rely on the  people; the people’s need to approve things; and personal liberty.  ­Views of Democracy:  1. The Traditional View: creates an unsuccessful government, the “mob rules”, Aristotle  and the framers were the outline  2. The Contemporary View: a replica of the current view of democracy; the people prefer  democracy  ­Group Theories of Democracy:  1. Pluralism: a system where politics relies on the competitive forces between groups which  results in a high public interest.  2. Elite and Class Theory: Inequality amongst society; the wealthy will prevail and take  control.  3. Hyperpluralism: the creation of a weakening democracy; the different groups become too  powerful and take over politics.   4. Rational Choice Theory: a theory that assumes that each person will act in their own  best interest; each person votes for whoever agrees with their own ideas; looks for  situations to maximize their benefits while making sure the cost is lowered.   ­ resources will determine whether a group will prevail in their goals or not.   ­Rational Choice Applied:  >policymaking: The president, candidates, and legislatures will choose to support or agree with  anything that will create votes for them on election/reelection day.   Ex: gun control, same­sex marriage, immigration reform  ­Voting and Political Parties:   >individuals will vote for the person who maximizes their benefits and agrees with the ideas.  ­Interest Groups:  >These groups are not always rational, but citizens still do them to get their ideas out there and  take risks.   ­Public Policy:   >policy: A governmental decision in response to the citizen’s concerns.   ­American Democracy allows for expression of policy concerns through:  1. parties, media, or linkage institutions  2. actions taken by president, congress, bureaucracy, or court      Political Participation  1. What are political parties?  ­ party: a group of people with similar interests that search for ways to influence public  policy so that they can elect their candidates.   2. What are the historical party eras?  ­ certain eras where the majority of people clung to one specific power which results in  that power to win elections.  3. What about parties today?  ­ parties today are still solely democratic, republican, or independent.  ­The Downs Model:  (Rational Choice Theory: the assumption that each person will act according to their best  interests.)  >Downs Model: voters will do things to allow for their favored policies to be highly thought of and  maximized.  >Voters will find the areas where the most voters are and try to convince them to join their side.  ­ Republicans= conservatives  ­ Democrats= liberals  ­Tasks of Parties:   1. Pick possible candidates.  2. Run campaigns to further their candidates.  3. Give cues to voters.  4. They persuade policies.  5. They coordinate policymaking.  6. A political party is a linkage institution (ways in society that connect policies to the  people. Ex: media)  ­How parties influence Policy opinions:   1. They act as mental shortcuts.  2. They ensure that the public has little knowledge of politics.  3. Party­identifiers take cues from elites in their party, so they can take a political position  which allows for underdeveloped political ideas.  ­Components of Parties:   >Party Identification: One’s personal preference for a political party.  >Ticket­splitting: When one person chooses to vote for one political party in one election, but  chooses the opposing or different political party in the next election.  ­ This term is most likely used by independents who do not prefer democrats or  republicans and are apolitical.   ­ Ticket­splitting allows for unsafety in all states and races.   ­Local Party Organizations:   >Grass Root Organizations: local people who work for a party and are important in early  presidential primaries.   ­Local Parties:  1. Party Machines: An organization headed by a main boss that demands the right amount  of endorsements to win the votes.  2. Patronage: When one is rewarded with a job, promotion, or contract in exchange for their  loyalty.  ­ both local parties are weak in today’s society.  ­State Party Organizations:   >heavily affects how and who is selected for president.   >primaries: preliminary election to select possible presidential or other candidates.  >caucasus: When the state legislature of a specific political party meets to decide on candidates  or policies.  >Republican party has no more state­wide variation in selection processes.  ­Texas Party Organizations: Precincts   >precinct: a district or down that is politically defined for political purposes.  >Precinct chair is selected by voters in specific precinct.  ­State Conventions:   >state chair is chosen by the state convention delegates.  >State executive committee has 64 members.  >they select the electors for the electoral college.  ­National Party Organization:   >National Convention: Party delegates meet every 4 years to agree on a presidential ticket.  ­ they agree on the formal send­off for the president and vice president.  ­ approve the candidates chosen by each party.  >National Committee: keeps the parties going through conventions by fundraising.  ­The Party in Government:  >those who are actually elected to govern in their parties.  >Coalition: a group with combined action to reduce the dominance of one party.  ­Party in Government today:  >President is democratic.  >114th Congress: The House and Senate are both mainly republican.  Parties in American History:  >Critical Election: When a big change in policies occurs due to new issues and coalitions  emerge in one election.(Usually around a country crisis. Ex: The Great Depression)  >Party Realignment: When the minority party replaces the majority party. (usually during a  critical election)  >The Progressive Era:   ­ During the 2nd Republican Era (1896­1916)  ­ progressives pushed away patronage and voting corruption in order to undermine the  party machines.   


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