Theory of Modern Government
Institutions that create public policy
Executive, Judicial, Legislative
Conflict and resolution, compromise, and interrelationship of individuals and groups
Government + Politics = Public Policy
Success of the government = extent that public policy is achieved.
Preamble Principles to the Constitution:
Establishment of a more perfect union. Insurance of domestic tranquility
Establishment of Justice Promotion of General Welfare
Security of Individual Liberty
Who and How They Get Involved
Incumbency: Reelected become entrenched in the system.
More difficult for newcomers
Electorate: tests voter’s perceptions of the candidate and party
U.S. political system evolved from various interest groups vying to implement policy agenda
Example: Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
ŕ led to the party system.
Means by which individuals can express preference regarding the development of public policy.
Preferences are voiced ŕ public policy
Example: Democrat platform. Must assess the electorate
Policy making institutions
President Congress Courts
4th branch: development and growth of bureaucracies
Evolution of Representative Democracy
U.S. representative democracy evolved from other forms.
Influences: Ancient Greece, Montesquieu, Locke
“The basic concepts of our democracy today rely on the worth and dignity of the individual, respect for equality, majority rule with minority rights, compromise, and the guarantee of individual freedom.”
Importance of Control
Theories of Control
1. Pluralism: different groups all vying for control of the policy agenda.
No single group emerges; they are forced to compromise
2. Elite and class theory: society controlling the policy agenda.
Upperclass controls linkage institutions of government
3. Hyperpluralism: extension of pluralism run amuck. Too many interest groups cause gridlock. Dictated by which group most successfully influences government officials
NO THEORY IS IDEAL—OUR DEMOCRACY HAS ELEMENTS OF ALL THREE
Modern government changes as a result of who can best serve public interest.
Conservative A more strict and uptight way of interpreting the Constitution (Republican).
Direct democracy The type of government characterized by citizens attending a town meeting and voting on issues raised, with the majority prevailing.
Elite and class theory A group theory that revolves around an economic stratum of society controlling the policy agenda.
Government Those institutions that create public policy.
Hyperpluralism A group theory characterized by many interest groups vying for control resulting in a government that is tied up in grid lock.
Liberal A more lose and simple way of interpreting the Constitution (Democrats).
Linkage institution The means by which individuals can express preferences regarding the development of public policy.
Loose construction A liberal interpretation of the Constitution.
Pluralism A group theory that involves different groups all vying for control of the policy agenda. No single group emerges, forcing the groups to compromise.
Policy agenda Agenda that results from interaction of linkage institutions.
Political parties A group of people joined together by common philosophies and common approaches to government. This groups is often responsible for getting candidates elected and implementing public policy.
Politics Who gets what, when , how and why.
Public policy The final actions taken by government in promotional, regulatory, and distributive form.
Representative Democracy form of Government that relies on the consent of the people and is often called a republican government.
Strict constructionalists A conservative interpretation of the Constitution
Unitary system of Government Type of government that centralizes all the powers of government into one central authority.
The Meaning of Politics – We have politics for the people and quite literally by the people.
Interest Groups – The
Linkage Institutions – Public policy is affected by the linkage institutions of political parties, elections, interest groups and the media. (Informal Institutions)
Policy – Making Institutions – The formal institution created by the Constitution including the presidency, Congress, and the courts and bureaucracies are a significant and major policy- making institution. ( Formal Institutions).
Evolution of Representative Democracy – The evolution of a representative democracy evolved from other forms of democracies.
The Importance of Control – Modern political theory revolves around who controls the agenda.
Setting goals and accomplishing them should be the main service of a politician to its public. Modern Government changes as a result of who can best serve the public interest.