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Intro to American Politics, Week 1 Notes

by: Lindzy Konrad

Intro to American Politics, Week 1 Notes PSCI 1101

Marketplace > University of Colorado at Boulder > Political Science > PSCI 1101 > Intro to American Politics Week 1 Notes
Lindzy Konrad


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About this Document

These notes are from the first class; they go into the concept of government. The reading assignment due for this class was the preface.
Introduction to American Politics
Dr. Anand Sokhey
Class Notes
american, Politics, political, Science, Government, state
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindzy Konrad on Wednesday August 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 1101 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Dr. Anand Sokhey in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American Politics in Political Science at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 08/24/16
PSCI 1101 American Politics  8/25/16  After Reading Preface *All notes on D2L  Concept of  Government  Def: power to make and enforce laws ­ Or state and its administration view as the ruling political power  When talking about government authority meaning: power of coercion (policing),  power of extraction => the gov. can do this to us  The state: institution within gov. that implement power …  i.e. congress: their role (pass  laws), their responsibility (provide for common defense), ability (“power of the purse”)  Forms of Government   Many different types ­ Democracies (free and fair elections) ­ Non­democracies   Differences depend on organization of power ­ Scope of power  ­ Concentration of power ­ Effect of power i.e. United States vs. Nazi Germany  Scope: U.S. shared; Germany absolute  Concentration: U.S. fragmented; Germany hierarchical, centralized  Effect: U.S. weak, slow, responsive; Germany decisive, efficient, unresponsive  Form of gov.: U.S. Republic; Germany Dictatorship   Concept of  Politics  Def: process by which groups or people make decisions/process that determines what  gov. does ­ Or “who gets what, when, and how”  Elements of Politics  People or groups who have a role in making decisions  Think of these people as Actors that want to “win”  They have goals; these instrumental goals can lead to conflict   Presence of conflict lead to debate/argument, negotiation, and compromise  Actors employ strategies to influence eventual decisions that are made to get outcomes PSCI 1101 Understanding the American Political System  Government and Politics:  Parts of the Political System…  i.e. constitution [What is its Plan? Ingredients? Machine? Output?]  Plan   Ingredients   Machine (how ingredients are put together)  Output  Analyzing Politics  EXAMPLE: Consider health care reform: Why is the U.S. distinctive relative to many  democracies?  Analyzing Politics  ­ Does the constitution allow it? ­ Does the public support it?  ­ What do key MoCs (members of congress) think? ­ What kind of outputs do we get?  Ideas in American Politics  Politics if conflictual (refer to Concept of Politics; when talking about politics talking  about conflict)  Political process (refer to Understanding the American political system)  Politics is everywhere (i.e. being in college, the gov. is involved)  Politicians are people (refer to the actors in Concept of Politics)  


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