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Chapter 1 notes

by: Lindzy Konrad

Chapter 1 notes PSCI 1101

Lindzy Konrad


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About this Document

These notes go over chapter 1 in intro to American Politics
Introduction to American Politics
Dr. Anand Sokhey
Class Notes
America, Politics, psci1101, Government
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindzy Konrad on Sunday September 11, 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 6 views. For similar materials see Introduction to American Politics in Political Science at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 09/11/16
PSCI1101 Key: Bold and underlined:  represents important concept in that section of notes  Highlighted: defined key terms  Chapter 1 8/30/16 – 9/1/16  Focus of chapter: Conflict, Process, Politics Everywhere  Conflict and Compromise   in American Politics:  What does this tell us about American Politics?  o Briefly illustrates why most people dislike politics:  Too complicated  (i.e. federalism)  Too argumentative   Politicians are only in it for themselves   What does   govt . do?   Govt: system or implementing decisions made via political process  Why do we have a govt? o Coercion and extraction  (refer to previous notes for more)  Example: police, military o Promote general welfare: public goods  Example: light house, clean air, environm  t  Collective action (coordination problems)  Problem of public goods: free – riding  Madison: “But what is govt itself…the greatest of al reflections of human nature? If men  were angels, not govt would be needed.”     What happens w/out govt?  o Apocalyptic State of nature  o Self­interested groups  o Oppression   What i   Polit ?   Politics: process that determines what govt. does   Remember 3 concepts:  o It’s conflictual   Regulation and action – fairly straightforward   Example: health care reform, same – sex marriage  Conflict:  o Not everyone likes it; not everyone likes compromise o It is essential – a useful lens through which to view politics  o Process matters  Not just ab. electoral politics  PSCI1101 Key: Bold and underlined:  represents important concept in that section of notes  Highlighted: defined key terms   Ab. non­elected officials   Ab. you and your participation  o It’s everywhere  Examples: drinking age (federalism), student loans     Principles of Politics  Rationality and politics: o All political behavior has a purpose  People’s goals achieved through political actions   We choose options to best achieve our interests or preferences  “being instrumental”  o Implications of this:   Act in your own calculated best interest  Personal interest doesn’t always equal social interest  o It doesn’t imply:   You always make right decision  Know everything relevant to your decision   Your decision is not beneficial for others   Collective action and politics: o All politics is collective action o Cooperation thorugh collective action is difficult – difficulties mount as # of  participants grows  o In large see tendency to free ride   Sources of Conflic  in American Politics:   Income inequality o We want equality of opportunity  o Individualism o Redistribution o Liberal tradition  Thomas Hobbes   freedoms  “Culture Wars”  o Abortion o School prayer o Gay marriage  o Religiosity vs. secularism   Voting Rights   Racial composition of U.S. (inputs into the system are changing over time) PSCI1101 Key: Bold and underlined:  represents important concept in that section of notes  Highlighted: defined key terms   Identity Politics o Racial composition in U.S.  o Different metaphors  o “what does it mean to be American?”  Ideology o Cohesive set of ideals and beliefs used to organize and evaluate political world o Think of as world view  o Conservative  o Liberal  o Libertarian   People can display inconsistencies  Preferences o Individual preferences determined by ideological, and electoral ambitions  Ideology: conservatives promote smaller govt.   Personal: support by veterans for military   Electoral: legislators want to gain re­election o Behind these ambitions are social background/demographics, upbringing,  experiences, and psychology (perhaps even genes)   Blue and Red statements: o Means different things to support different parties in different states Resolving Conflict:  How does American political system resolve conflict? o Democracy o Equality  o Liberty Reading:  Use summaries at end of chapters  


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