1. Politics: The process of deciding who benefits in society and who does not.

2. Efficacy: Citizen’s belief that they have the ability to achieve something desir- able and that the government listens to people like them.

3. Civic Engagement: Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern.

4. Political Engagement: Citizen actions that are intended to solve public prob- lems through political means.

5. Government: The institution that creates and implements policies and laws that guide the conduct of the nation and its citizens.

6. Citizens: Members of the polity, who, through birth or naturalization, enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities attached to membership in a given nation.

7. Naturalization: The process of becoming a citizen by means other than birth, as in the case of immigrants.

8. Legitimacy: A quality conferred on government by citizens who believe that its exercise of power is right and proper.

9. Public Goods: Goods whose benefits cannot be limited and that are available to all. The government makes them available through revenue collected by taxes.

10. Key Function Performed by Government: – To protect their sovereign terri- tory and their citizenry and to provide national defense.
– To preserve order and stability.
– To establish and maintain a legal system.

– To provide services.
– To raise and spend money.
– To socialize new generations.

11. Socialization: The process by which individuals develop their political values and opinions. Examples include providing funding for schools, setting requirements for curriculum, and facilitating participation in civic life.

12. Monarchy: Government in which a member of a royal family, usually a king or queen, has absolute authority over a territory and its government. Power tends to be inherited.

13. Constitutional Monarchy: A form of monarchy where the monarch plays the ceremonial role but has little say in governance, which is carried by elected leaders. Examples include Spain and Great Britain.

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14. Oligarchy: Government in which an elite few hold power. Some are dictator- ships, in which a small group supports a dictator. North Korea is a present day example.

15. Democracy: Government in which supreme power of government lies in the hands of its citizens.

16. Republics/Representative Democracies: Citizens elect leaders to represent their views.

17. Totalitarianism: System of government in which the government essentially controls every aspect of people’s lives. Citizens do not have rights or freedoms. Tend to center around on particular ideology or religion. Current example is North Korea. State is the tool of the dictator.

18. Authoritarianism: System of government in which the government holds strong power but is checked by some forces. Leaders are restrained by political parties, constitutions, and militaries. Citizens may enjoy some right, but often those rights are not protected by the government.

19. Constitutionalism: Government that is structured by law, and in which the power of the government is limited. Can be a democracy or a monarchy.

20. Constitutional Democracy: A constitution creates a representative democra- cy in which the rights of the people are protected.

21. Limited Government: Government that is restricted in what it can do so that the rights of the people are protected.

22. Divine Rights of Kings: The assertion that monarchies, as a manifestation of God’s will, could rule absolutely without regard to the will or well-being of their subjects. Questioning the monarch was like challenging the will of God. Theory articulated by Jaques-Benigne Bossuet.

23. Social Contract: An agreement between people and their leaders in which the people agree to give up some liberties so that their other liberties are protected. An example is the Mayflower Compact which established the idea of the consent of the governed.

24. The Enlightenment: A philosophical movement that stressed the importance of individuality, reason, and scientific endeavor.

25. Natural Law: The assertion that standards that govern human behavior are derived from the nature of humans themselves and can be applied universally. Stems from Sir Isaac Newton.

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26. Thomas Hobbes: Argued that the strong naturally preyed on the weak, and that through a social contract, those that relinquish their rights can enjoy protection by a sovereign. Life without a monarch and social contract would be “brutish and short.”

27. John Locke: Rejected Divine Rights of Kings. Argued that individuals posses certain unalienable (natural) rights, such as the rights to life, liberty, and property. These rights are inherent in individuals and cannot be taken or given by the government. When people enter into a social contract, they do so with the un- derstanding that government will protect their natural rights. They agree to accept the government’s authority; but if government fails to protect the inherent rights of individuals, then the people have the right to rebel.

28. Popular Sovereignty: The theory that government is created by the people and depends on the people for the authority to rule. Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

29. Social Contract Theory: Formed the theoretical framework for the Declaration of Independence. The idea that individuals possess free will and that every indi- vidual is equally endowed with the God-given right of self-determination and the ability to consent to be governed.

30. Direct Democracy: A structure of government in which citizens discuss and decide policy through majority rule. Ex. Town Hall Meetings

31. Indirect Democracy: Sometimes called a representative democracy, a system in which citizens elect representatives who decide policies on behalf of their constituents.

32. Political Culture: The people’s collective beliefs and attitudes about govern- ment and political processes. These ideals include liberty, equality, capitalism, consent of the governed, and the importance of the individual (as well as family and community).

33. Liberty: The most essential quality of American Democracy; it is both the freedom from governmental interference in citizens’ lives and the freedom to pursue happiness.

34. Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of producing wealth are privately owned and operated to produce profits.

35. Property: Anything that can be owned.
Consent of The Governed: The idea that, in a democracy, the government’s

power derives from the consent of the people

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37. Majority Rule: The idea that, in a democracy, only policies with 50 percent plus one vote are enacted.

38. Political Ideology: Integrated system of ideas or beliefs about political values in general and the role of government in particular.

39. Liberalism: An ideology that advocates change in the social, political, and economic realms to better protect the well-being of individuals and to produce equality within society.

40. Conservatism: An ideology that emphasizes preserving tradition and relying on community and family as mechanism of continuity in society.

41. Socialism: An ideology that advocates economic equality, theoretically achieved by having the government or workers own the means of production (businesses and industry).

42. Libertarianism: An ideology whose advocates believe that government should take a “hands off” approach in most matters.

43. Correlation: A relationship between variables, such that a change in one is accompanied by a change in another.

44. Causation: A relationship between variables such that a change in one is directly responsible for causing a change in the other.

45. Spurious Relationships: A relationship between variables that presents cor- relation as a causation.
Example: As number of fire fighters at a fire increases, the amount of damage at the scene increases. Obviously firefighters are not causing the fire.

46. Alan Gitelson’s Myths: Sayings, persuasive attitudes and other narratives that we use to help us think about the world around us; How we make sense of the world. Gives an explanation for something that cannot be explained.

47. Key Questions About Myths: Who perpetuates the myth? Who is telling the story?
How do they benefit?

48. Myth: Racial and Gender Inferiority: Doctors testified under oath about these as “facts” that brains of black people and women were smaller across the board. Some people still buy into this white male superiority. White males are perpetuating this myth, and are benefiting with white privilege.

49. Myth: George Washington and the Cherry Tree: The story is entirely false. Originated in the 1860s during the Civil War reconstruction period- after all family of Washington died.His father did not have a cherry tree plantation- he grew tobacco

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in Virginia.
Elementary School teachers tell it. Encourages respect for authority and obedi- ence.

50. Myth: Transportation Security Administration: The myth is that TSA keeps us safe when we fly. But in recent experiment, 63 out of 65 people with contraband got through security. TSA cannot tell us how they’re protecting us- due to security reasons. TSA is perpetuating the myth, they continue to have jobs and operating budget. Government is also benefiting; We’re all scared after 9/11, so government put TSA to make us feel better/safer. We only fly if we feel that they’ve done everything possible to get us to our destination safely. WE BUY INTO THE MYTH BECAUSE IT GIVES US A SENSE OF SECURITY.

51. Myth: The Youth Vote: Myth is that the youth vote does not matter- it’s a waste of time, so you should stay home. 18-25 year olds elected Obama- there are more of us than any other age group. We have the lowest voter turnout rate; They do not expect us to vote. 68% of 18-25 year olds voted in 2008 election; 85% of them voted for Obama. Incumbents are perpetuating it- so they can stay in office. You staying home got them elected- so you staying home is their best job security.