Gov Quiz Chapter 1

governments around the world all do these things:


linkage institutions

The channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.

public policies

statute, presidential action, court decision, regulation, budgetary choice

Robert Dahl

one of America's leading theorists - suggest the five criteria that an ideal democratic process should satisfy:
-equality in voting
-effective participation
-enlightened understanding
-citizen control of the agenda


the theory that all interests are and should be free to compete for influence in the government; the outcome of this competition is compromise and moderation


A theory of government and politics contending that an upper-class elite will hold most of the power and thus in effect run the government.


a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened

political culture

liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire

people enter political societies to

protect their rights and uncertainties


The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies

collective goods

Goods and services that cannot be denied to anyone and therefore must be shared by everyone


the process of determining who we select as our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue

political participation

all the activities by which citizens attempt to influence the selection of political leaders and the policies they pursue. Voting is the most common, along with contacting public officials, protest, and civil disobedience

single-issue groups

groups so concerned with one issue that members often cast their votes on the basis of that issue only, ignoring a politician's stand on everything else

policymaking system

the process by which policy comes into being and evolves. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns

policy agenda

the issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at a given time

political issue

an issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it

policymaking institutions

the branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. Congress, the presidency, and the courts, along with powerful bureaucratic institutions

public policy

a choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem

policy impacts

the effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost


a system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences

majority rule

a fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected

minority rights

a principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities


a basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers

policy gridlock

a condition that occurs when interests conflict and no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy, so nothing gets done