PLS Terms and Ideas

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PLS Terms and Ideas
2010-06-17 10:43:14
Political Science Public Policy Government Definitions

Major terms and ideas in Political Science and Public Policy.
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  1. Minority Vote Dilution
    Occurs when election laws and racial bloc voting combine to keep minorities from winning elective positions.
  2. Political Incorporation
    Including a particular race, ethnicity, gender, economic level, or age group in politics.
  3. Diffusion of Policy Innovation
    Spreading of new policies from one state to another, often within regions of a country.
  4. Spoils System
    Political parties give public jobs to their supporters.
  5. Elazars 3 Political Cultures (in American Federalism).
    What citizens believe and feel about their government, and how citizens think they should act toward it
    • Individualistic, Moralistic, and Traditional
  6. Elazar's Individualistic Political Culture
    (American Federalism, A View from the States, 1972.)
    • Government should be largely restricted to those areas which encourage private initiative.
    • Private concerns are more important than public concerns here. To a significant degree there is cynicism about government. Dirty politics tends be accepted as a fact.
    • The key to understanding this type is that people accept dirty politics as the way things are and should be.
  7. Elazar's Moralistic Political Culture
    (American Federalism, A View from the States, 1972.)
    • Government tends to be seen as a positive force.
    • This emphasizes the commonwealth conception as the basis for democratic government. Politics is considered one of the great activities of man in the search for the "good society."
    • Good government is measured by the degree to which it promotes the public good. Issues have an important place in the moralistic style of politics.
    • Politicians are expected not to profit from political activity.
    • Serving the community is the core of the political relationship even at the expense of individual loyalties and political friendships.
  8. Elazar's Traditionalist Political Culture
    (American Federalism, A View from the States, 1972.)
    • Social and family ties are prominent where this type of political culture is found. This often means that some families run the government and others have little to say about it.
    • Government is seen as an actor with a positive role in the community, but the role is largely limited to securing the maintenance of the existing social order.
    • Political leaders play a largely conservative and custodial role rather than being innovative.
  9. Sectionalism
    • Adjacent states tend to share some persistent political similarities.
    • States within particular areas, sharing a common cultureal, economic, and historical background, exhibit clearly identifiable political tendencies.
    • Major sections defines by the US Bureau of Census are Northeast, North Central (Great Lakes and Great Plains), South, West, and Mid-Atlantic.
    • States within sectional regions often define problems and formulate public policy in a similar manner.
  10. Culture War
    • Moral and religious issues have replaced traditional economic issues as the driving force in American politics.
    • The evidence for this centers around issues like "intelligent design in text books, the Ten Commandments outside government buildings, and prohibition of same-sex marriages.

  11. Political Culture
    • The particular pattern of orientation to political action in which eachh political system is embedded.
    • It is a learned behavior based on communication within a society.
    • It encompasses political attitudes, what policies can be expexted from state government, the kinds of people who become active in political affairs, and the way in which the political game is played in particular states and their localities. (Elazar, American Federalism, 1987)
  12. Dillon's Rule (1868)
    • Municipal corporations can only exercise those powers expressly granted in state constitutions and laws and those necessarily implied from granted powers.
    • Guided by Dillons Rule, local governments are clearly subordinate to the state.
  13. Home-Rule Charters
    • Home rule modifies the traditional subordinate relationship of cities to states by permitting cities to draft and approve their own charters, and it limits the abilities of states to act on certain local matters without state involvement.
    • Home-rule cities are free to act as long as their laws don't contradict state laws.
    • By allowing localities to do this, it limits the ability of states to acton certain local matters.
  14. City Charters
    The powers that cities have under state law are spelled out under general statutes.
  15. Four methods of changing state constitutions
    • legislative proposal-most commonly used, available in all states, requires a 2/3rds vote or 3/5ths approval of the legislature.
    • constitutional initiative--available in 18 states, it allows supporters of change to meet and make suggestions for limited change that can be placed on the ballot.
    • constitutional commission-available in all 50 states, formed to study the state constitution and make recommendations for change or may make arrangements for a constitutional convention to take place.
    • constitutional convention-delegates meet to amend or completely rewrite state constitutions, are the oldest method of change, most require changes to be approved in state vote.
  16. Activist government
    A government that will support generous spending for a variety of social programs and will protect the civil rights of its residents.
  17. Necessary and Proper clause of the U.S. Constitution
    States that Congress has the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the seventeen congressional powers that are specifically mentioned in the previous clause.
  18. Congressional Powers in the U.S. Constitution
    • 1. To make and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and exices in order to pay the debt of the nation.
    • 2. To provide for the defense and general welfare of the United States.
    • 3. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.
    • 4. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Indian tribes.
    • 5. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization
    • 6. To establish uniform laws on bankruptcies throughout the states.
    • 7. To coin money, regulate the value of it and foreign money.
    • 8. To fix the standard weights and measures.
    • 9. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States.
    • 10. To establish post offices and post roads.
    • 11. To secure the exclusive right of ownership to certain authors and inventors in order to progress sciences and arts.
    • 12. To constitue courts inferior to the SC.
    • 13. To define and punish piracies and felonies on the high seas and within the nation.
    • 14. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal and rules concerning caputes on land and water.
    • 15. To raise and support armies, but can only financiallly support the army for no more than two years.
    • 16. To provide and maintain a navy.
    • 17. To make rules for the government and reulation of the land and naval forces.
    • 18. To organize a militia in order to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
    • The states are able to decide officers and training for the militia.
    • 19. To exercise legislation, in all cases over a district that will be the seat of the government (Washington D.C.) that will be no larger than 10 miles.
    • 20. To make all laws necessary and proper for carring out these Constitutional powers.

  19. Dual Federalism
    • The distribution of powers between the federal government and the states is fixed and clearly separated. Within their spheres of authority, each level of government is free to act independently of the other.
    • This system is analogous to the idea of a layered cake.
  20. Cooperative Federalism
    • The federal governments powers and state responsibilites are intermingled.
    • More analogous toa marble cake.
    • Took on joint projects, where often Congress described the basic directions for programs and provide funds, but it is left for the state to carry out the program.