Govt Notes

Topics: Democracy, Political science, Government Pages: 6 (1582 words) Published: September 19, 2013
1. Introduction

A. Definitions of politics

Harold Lasswell (1902-1978)
A leading American Political scientists.
Defined politics as process of deciding who gets what, when, and how. About what outcomes are proceeded, and when and how are political decisions made.

David Easton
Defined politics as authorizing allocation of values (Distribution of values).

Politics is deciding “who gets what, when, and how.” It is an activity by which people try to get more of whatever there is to get-money, prestige, jobs, respect, sex, even power itself. Politics occurs in many different settings.

Who governs?: participants—Governmental and nongovernmental For what ends?:
By what means?

a. Who governs: Participants
--President and White House staff, Executive Office of the President, Cabinet officers and executive agency heads, Bureaucrats --Congress members, Congressional staff
--Supreme Court justices, Federal appellate and district judges

--Voter, Campaign Contributors, Interest Groups leaders and member ---Party leaders and party identifiers in the electorate --Corporate and union leaders (special-interest groups) --Media leaders, including press and TV, TV anchor and reporters --Lawyers and lobbyist

--Think tanks and foundation personnel
Think Tank: Brooking Institution,
The American Enterprise Institute
The Heritage Foundation
The Center for American Progress
The Council on Foreign Relations

b. What outcome: Public Policies
The decision that governments make concerning social welfare, health care, education, national defense, law enforcement, the environment, taxation, and thousands of other issues, civil rights, civil liberties, equality, criminal justice,

c. When and how are the political process (institution and process) Institutions
---Constitution: separation of power, Checks and balances, Federalism, Judicial Review, Amendment procedures, Electoral system --Presidency
-- Congress (Senate and HOR)
--Court (SC, Appellate Courts, District Courts)
--Parties (National Committee, Convention, State and local organization) --Media (TV, Press, and Internet).

--Socialization and learning, opinion formation, party identification, voting, contributing, joining organizations, talking policies --Running for office, campaigning, polling, fund-raising, parading and demonstrating, nonviolent direct action, violence --lobbying, logrolling, deciding, implementing and evaluating, adjudicating --Agenda setting, news making, interpreting, persuading

Throughout this book, we are concerned with who participates in politics, how government decisions are made, who benefits from those decisions, and who bears their greatest costs. Politics would be simple if everyone agreed on who should govern, who should get what, who should pay for it, and how and when it should be done. But conflict arises from disagreements over these questions, and sometimes the question of confidence in the government itself underlies the conflict.

B. Politics and Political Science
Political science usually limits its attention to politics in government. Political Science is the study of politics, or the study of who gets what, when, and how. Political Science—American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political theory, methodology, so on. Public Administration Three questions in political science:

C. Politics and Government: Compare and contrast governmental politics with politics in other societal organizations. What distinguishes governmental politics from politics in other institutions in society? After all, parents,...
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