(p. 13) Political power is getting people to do what you want them to do. It is not finite or rational.(p.13) U.S. Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Constitutional Law, Public Policy, Political Theory
Comteanpositivism was an optimistic philosophy, holding that as we accumulate valid data by means of scientific observation—without speculation or intuition—we will perfect a science of society and with it improve societyBehavioralists: Behavioral studies were especially good in examining the “social bases” of politics, the attitudes and values of average citizens (voting behavior)Rational-choice theorists argue that one can generally predict political behavior by knowing the interests of the actors involved, because they rationally choose to maximize their interests
Unit 5: Midterm Review
Important Notes Midterm Exam 50 questions drawn from Units 1-4 You will have 3 hours to take the exam, but you only have 1 chance. You must complete the exam by Tuesday, July 12th. You cannot make-up the exam. General Points Study the vocabulary words Review the Power Points for each unit.
Unit 1 What is meant by all things being political? Is it the “master” science as suggested by Aristotle? What is political power? What conditions are determined by who has political power? What subfields are contained within political science? What do each contribute to the study?
Unit 1 The SCIENCE of Political Science What is required for scholarship? Reason, Balance, Evidence, and Theory Process of studying politics: Development of hypothesis Collection of data (quantified v. qualitative) Empirical evaluation Development of theories Retesting and alterations of theory
Unit 2 What is theory? Who was the father of political theory? What did he argue? What is contractual theory? Who developed this theory? What are natural rights? What obligations do citizens and government have to one another? Where do we see this theory reflected in the American system? Be sure to know what Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau added to this general body of theory.
Unit 2 Classical Theories: Marx Nothing happens by accident, everything has a cause! What is Marx’s basic theory? Focus on Institutions Constitutions were fundamental to this process to determine how institutions were supposed to act Contemporary Theories What is positivism and how does it influence the study of political science? Behavioralism Rational Choice
Unit 2 What is ideology? Classical Theories Liberalism: Smith Government intervention in the economy retards growth and development Which modern ideology reflects Smith’s views? Classicalism: Burke Agreed with Smith that free markets were best Opposed liberalism, believing they placed too much faith in human reason He argued that humans were irrational and must be held in check by strong social instititutions
Unit 2 Modern Theories Modern Liberalism Free markets take away freedom Focus on positive rights Modern Conservatism Limited intervention in the economy Strong social institutions such as religion Other theories? Communism and Post-Communism Feminism
Unit 3 What is meant by an effective, weak or failed state? Be sure you know what characteristics define each. Examples of each type of state. What types of government exist? Rule By One: Monarchy/Tyranny Rule By Few: Aristocracy/Oligarchy Rule By Many: Policy/Democracy What is a constitution? What is contained within a constitution? What is the notion of constitutionalism?
Unit 3 Electoral Systems: Single-Member v. Proportional What are the fundamental differences between these two systems? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each system? What is a FPTP system and how does it influence electoral outcomes?
Unit 4 Parliamentary v. Presidential: Power Structures Organization of Executive Brach Arrangement between legislature and executive Role of parties Checks and Balances/Separation of Powers Defining Characteristics Split-ticket voting Gridlock v. Deadlock Accountability (the Vote of Confidence) Party Voting