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American Government Week 1, Class 2

by: Becky Stinchcomb

American Government Week 1, Class 2 Government in Multicultural World - POLI 1090 - 001

Becky Stinchcomb
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These notes cover what we went over on the second day of class!
American Government in Multicultural World
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becky Stinchcomb on Tuesday August 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Government in Multicultural World - POLI 1090 - 001 at Auburn University taught by in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views.

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Date Created: 08/23/16
Am Gov’t August 19, 2016 2ndDay of Class!!! Chapter 1 & 2 Combined  Government: institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled; settle disputes and provide security at its most basic  Hobbs thought we needed government for security of people from themselves  Saw life as “short, cruel, and broodish”  John Locke saw life as more peaceful than Hobbs did; thought government was needed to settle economic disputes  Jean Jacques Crusseau was more utilitarian in his view of government in that he saw a more general purpose for it Forms of Government:  Autocracy: one individual ruler (monarchy [King, Queen], dictator, etc.); more recently decided by a parliament but in some places still decided by inheritancy and genetic supremacy  North Korea  Oligarchy (Aristocracy): small group controls most decisions (landowners, military, merchants)  Iran (council of guardians and clergy decides who can run, etc.)  Democracy: system of rule permitting significant citizen participation often through elections; can be achieved through elections or by being a part of the government itself; major choices now decided through referendum rather than vote  USA Differences in Governance  Constitutional government: formal and effective limits on powers of government but also gives greater strengths to the government in certain situations  Authoritarian or Totalitarian: no formal limits on government; ruler can make decisions with no opposition  There are some cases where an autocratic territory can choose to have constitutional governance as well (like Great Britain)  Democracy HAS to have a constitutional government to make sense What is Politics?  Conflicts and struggles over leadership, structure, and policies of government  Takes many forms- voting, running for office joining groups and parties, lobbying (even groups like AARP, AAA, etc.), and even speaking to friends and neighbors  5 principles of politics can be used to explain political action Introducing the 5 Principles of Politics  All political behavior has a purpose  Institutions structure politics  All politics is collective action  Political outcomes are the products of individual preferences, institutional procedures, and collective action  How we got here matters Rationality Principle  All political behavior has a purpose  Political actors pursue policy preferences, reelection power, and to maximize their agency budgets Institution Principle  Institutions structure politics  Institutions are the rules and procedures that provide incentives for political behavior  Remember that institutions themselves are not necessarily permanently fixed; rules may change; they don’t just change easily  Not fixed, but hard to change (more incremental change than rapid change) Institutions Provide Authority in Four Ways (not being tested on but some basic info for own knowledge)  Jurisdiction: the domain over which decisions may be made  Agenda and Veto Power: control over what a group will consider for discussion and the ability to defeat something  Decisiveness: rules for decision making  Delegation: transmission of authority Principal- Agent Relationship  May be affected by the fact that each is motivated by self- interest, yet their interests may not be well- aligned  As a result, the principal needs to have some way to monitor and validate what the agent is doing  Leads to transaction costs: cost of clarifying the relationship and making sure arrangements are complied with  Problematic in that when I have a representative, how do I know that they are going to have the same thoughts and ideals that I have Collective Action Principle  Collective action: the pooling of resources and coordination of effort and activity to achieve common goals  Public goods: those that may be enjoyed by anyone and may not be denied to anyone  Free Rider Problem: someone that is a part of the problem but doesn’t do anything to contribute to the solution (group projects, people without insurance, etc.)  Tragedy of the Commons: result of free riding problem; common good not taken care of or overused (park is trashed, insurance prices raised, etc.)  All politics is collective action  Collective action difficult and difficulty mounts as number of people and interests involved grows (particularly hard in larger populations)  Sometimes there are collective action dilemmas: situations in which individually rational incentives do not align with shared, collective interests A Collective Dilemma - Safe bet to not do it because neither of them lose any money Policy Principle  Political Outcomes: the products of individual preferences and institutional procedures  Policy principle is LOGICAL COMBINATION of first three principles  Policy outcomes are frequently “lacking in neatness” because we have a system where personal ambition mixes with a decentralized political system History Principle  How we got here matters  Path dependency: certain possibilities are made more or less likely because of the historical path taken  Three reasons why history matters:  Rules and procedures  Loyalties and alliances  Historically- conditioned points of view


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