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Miroff terms for gov final
Political Studies
Undergraduate 2

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Federalist No. 10

James Madison

- The evil of factions (one faction becoming a majority and controlling the minority)

- Harder for a faction to influence/ wield power over a larger, more decentralized nation

- Having a republic cures the issue of factions

Anti- Federalist Paper


- The US shouldn't be reduced to one, great republic

- The central government will have taxing power which is really bad

- We must secure liberty of citizens (later secured with bill of rights)

- Smaller republic easier to govern

John Mueller- Democracy's Romantic Myths

- Democracy is not ideal, but rather a muddle of conflicting ideas where no one ever ends up totally happy

- Apathy makes people tolerant

- Democracy works even though there's very little participation and people are not knowledgeable

- We don't need participation for the sake of participation

Loeb- The Active Citizen

- We need to actively participate in a democracy

- Learned helplessness contributes to why people don't participate

- Cites Bowling Alone, by Putnam, which says that over the last 20 years we've lost social capital and concurrently political participation. The more socially isolated our citizens become, the fewer chances they have for civic conversations that fuel involvement.


Eggers and O'Leary- Beyond the Beltway

- Argue for DEVOLUTION

- Emphasize individual freedom and local democracy

- As technology advances, decentralized decision making becomes more efficient


Donahue- The Devil in Devolution

- Argues against DEVOLUTION

- Technology connecting us all and state borders becoming more permeable

- If we give more power to the states, the tragedy of the commons will occur --> collective value squandered in the name of a constricted definition of gain

- Race to the bottom

Dinh- Defending Liberty Against the Tyranny of Terror

- Security and liberty have a symbiotic relationship

- Terrorists are destructing the foundation of order in our society and subsequently the liberty that governs our lives

- Supports the USA Patriot Act

Schulhofer- No Checks, No Balances: Discarding Bedrock Constitutional Principles

- Bush's actions inexcusable

- USA Patriot Act intrudes on rights of privacy

- Detention of foreign nationals is undemocratic 

- Erosion of habeas corpus

- Encroaching on liberty without enhancing security

Thernstrom- One Nation, Indivisible

- Americans, in comparison to other countries, are actually not that racist

- The world of complete racism towards African Americans has vanished

- Over the last half century, the position of African Americans has improved dramatically 

- Reponse to Hacker's book that describes "two nations" not "one nation"

- More progress can still be made

- Race conscious policies make for more race- consciousness 

- Affirmative Action is bad

Shipler- A Century of Strangers

- We live in a divided nation: blacks vs. whites

- America's problems are seen as black problems or as problems created by blacks

- There is scarcely an interaction between a black and a white in the US in which race is not a factor

- The situation is getting better and worse at the same time: we have more black executives and more black inmates than a decade ago

Gingrich- The Centrality of Our Creator in Defining America

- God was an important factor in the founding of our nation

- Our history clearly shows a foundation of religion

- The constitution encourages religion, not suppresses it

- Founding fathers incorporated religion into their everyday lives

Allen- Our Godless Constitution

- The omission of the word God in our constitution says the most and means it was obviously deliberately not put in

- The politicians of the day, like Jefferson, respected religion and spoke highly of it because that's what constituents wanted

Sunstein- The Daily We

- People are filtering more and more what they see on the internet, which works against democracy

- Filtering works against unanticipated encounters and common experiences, which are essential to democracy

- Individual design

- The Daily Me: a communications package that is personally designed with components fully chosen in advance

- Will lead to group polarization

- Consumer sovereignty will produce problems

- Social cascades: spread of information subsequently leading us to rely on others for information


McChesney- The Power of the Producers



- Doesn't believe there is consumer sovereignty because everything we see is controlled by so few

- Internet generates greater producer sovereignty 

Rauch- Bipolar Disorder

- American politics is polarized but the American public is not

- There isn't really a culture war

- 1996 study: on most issues Americans were becoming more united

- Most people think of themselves in the center

- Culture peace


Wilson- How Divided Are We?

- The way people talk about the Bush administration reveals polarization in America

- Growth of polarization

- Polarization over the war in Iraq is more pronounced than polarization over any other war

- As parties sharpen ideological differences, so do voters

- This polarization is fatal

Armstrong and Zuniga- Consultants versus Netroots

- Consultants are worthless

- There is no accountability and the system rewards networking and schmoozing skills in DC, not performance and results in elections

- Rise in netroots: online grassroots community in which regular people can speak up, share ideas, and influence government 

- This community is not susceptible to falling in line and goose- stepping to autocratic drummers

Dulio- Political Consultants and Electoral Democracy

- Consultants play an integral role in elections

- Consultants are professionals

Mayer and Canon- Congressional Individualism and the Collective Dilemma

- Emphasize congressional individualism

- Rational actor model: a rational utility maximizer knows what he or she wants and faced with any set of alternatives, can calculate which option will provide the greatest return on his or her utility

- The Collective Dilemma: Sometimes, individuals who act rationally in a group can produce a collective outcome that is irrational

- The Tragedy of the Commons: the shepherds could agree among themselves to limit the number of sheep each one can place on the commons, but here everyone has an incentive to cheat by marginally exceeding their allotment

- The rational choice for each member is to look after his or her own campaign, but if every member does this, then no one assumes the cost of maintaining the organization and the commons inevitably deteriorates 

- The institutional dilemma: everyone has incentive to "free ride"

- No one is working to improve congress as an institution 

- The policy dilemma: Incentive to take as much as possible and contribute as little as possible- problem because it produces at the extreme a budget with infinite expenditures and zero revenue

- Policies that have concentrated benefits and widely distributed costs


Sinclair- Political Parties in the House Today

- The parties in the House are ideologically polarized because we want strong leadership to get things done

- Within- party pressure works to accentuate party loyalty

- Party leaders' influence over committee assignments

- Responsiveness to parties necessary

- House party members promote party- regarding behavior

Greenstein- Lessons from the Modern Presidency

- How we view a president is all about his personal attributes

- Effectiveness as a public communicator, organizational capacity, political skill, Vision, Cognitive Style, Emotional intelligence


Skowronek- The Changing Political Structures of Presidential Leadership

- How we view a President's success is based on contextual conditions

- We can understand the political demands and challenges of the presidential leadership as variables mediated by the generation and degeneration of political regimes

- Politics of reconstruction, politics of preemption, politics of disjunction, politics of articulation--> each of these define a political relationship between the presidency and the political system, each engages the president in a different type of politics, and each defines a different kind of leadership challenge

Scalia- Textualism and the Constitution

- Textualism: a text should not be construed leniently or strictly, but reasonably

- We need to look for the original meaning of the text

- The Living Constitution is actually inflexible because it prevents social change and reduces rights


Breyer- Active Liberty and the Constitution

- Focus on "active liberty" which should be of more concern than specific items listed

- Constitution as the groundwork (a floor with no ceiling)

- Focus on purposes and consequences

- We need interpretations that are consistent with the peoples' will



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