Study Guided

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Unit 1 STUDY GUIDE – Constitutional Underpinnings

1. List and explain the five basic functions common to national governments throughout the world.

The five basic functions common to national governments throughout the world are to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. Providing justice means to ensure fairness to all people, insuring domestic tranquility to keep peace, provide for the common defense meaning provide an army to defend against attack, promoting the general welfare meaning to ensure health and needed things, and securing the blessings of liberty meaning to keep all rights of the people secure.

2. Define government and define politics.

Government is the system by which a nation, state or community is controlled under. Politics is the activities associated with the government of a country or area.

3. List and explain four common challenges to democracy.

One of the four common challenges to democracy is the fact that representatives elected by the people may not really be the most capable for forming a government; not all people know what the best way of government is or who is most capable of running it. Another is the fact that the people elected to govern may compromise the interest of the public to serve their own interests. Another of the four common challenges to democracy is the size of a democratic government; it is often very large, which can lead to conflict and gridlock. Finally, since a government is dependent on the votes of the people, the members may simply take short-term actions that will help them get elected, rather than actions which will help the nation for the long run.

4. How is public policy determined and implemented?

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a. How does a person’s problem become a policy issue?

b. List the four linkage institutions and identify how each one connects the policy issue with policymaking institutions.

c. List the four Policy Making (PM) institutions. Explain each, as well as their collective role in the PM System.

5. Contending Theories of Democracy -- Complete the table.

|THEORY |EXPLANATION & CHARACTERISTICS |EXAMPLE(S) | | |View that the government is dominated by a few top leaders, most|Leaders of the military, some of the | | |of whom are outside of government. These people tend to be |nation’s wealthiest people such as business| | |wealthy and leaders or faces of large organizations. |owners | |ELITISM | | | | | | | | | | | | |The belief that competition among all affected interests shapes |Government mainly shapes public policy, but| | |public policy. Politics and decision making are located mostly |competition amongst other groups all have | | |in the framework of government, but many non-governmental groups|their affect on it. | |PLURALISM |have influence. | | | | | | |...
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