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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. Introduction to Political Science
    1. 1 What Is Politics and What Is Political Science?
      1. Introduction
      2. 1.1 Defining Politics: Who Gets What, When, Where, How, and Why?
      3. 1.2 Public Policy, Public Interest, and Power
      4. 1.3 Political Science: The Systematic Study of Politics
      5. 1.4 Normative Political Science
      6. 1.5 Empirical Political Science
      7. 1.6 Individuals, Groups, Institutions, and International Relations
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  3. Individuals
    1. 2 Political Behavior Is Human Behavior
      1. Introduction
      2. 2.1 What Goals Should We Seek in Politics?
      3. 2.2 Why Do Humans Make the Political Choices That They Do?
      4. 2.3 Human Behavior Is Partially Predictable
      5. 2.4 The Importance of Context for Political Decisions
      6. Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Review Questions
      9. Suggested Readings
    2. 3 Political Ideology
      1. Introduction
      2. 3.1 The Classical Origins of Western Political Ideologies
      3. 3.2 The Laws of Nature and the Social Contract
      4. 3.3 The Development of Varieties of Liberalism
      5. 3.4 Nationalism, Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism
      6. 3.5 Contemporary Democratic Liberalism
      7. 3.6 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Left
      8. 3.7 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Right
      9. 3.8 Political Ideologies That Reject Political Ideology: Scientific Socialism, Burkeanism, and Religious Extremism
      10. Summary
      11. Key Terms
      12. Review Questions
      13. Suggested Readings
    3. 4 Civil Liberties
      1. Introduction
      2. 4.1 The Freedom of the Individual
      3. 4.2 Constitutions and Individual Liberties
      4. 4.3 The Right to Privacy, Self-Determination, and the Freedom of Ideas
      5. 4.4 Freedom of Movement
      6. 4.5 The Rights of the Accused
      7. 4.6 The Right to a Healthy Environment
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 5 Political Participation and Public Opinion
      1. Introduction
      2. 5.1 What Is Political Participation?
      3. 5.2 What Limits Voter Participation in the United States?
      4. 5.3 How Do Individuals Participate Other Than Voting?
      5. 5.4 What Is Public Opinion and Where Does It Come From?
      6. 5.5 How Do We Measure Public Opinion?
      7. 5.6 Why Is Public Opinion Important?
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  4. Groups
    1. 6 The Fundamentals of Group Political Activity
      1. Introduction
      2. 6.1 Political Socialization: The Ways People Become Political
      3. 6.2 Political Culture: How People Express Their Political Identity
      4. 6.3 Collective Dilemmas: Making Group Decisions
      5. 6.4 Collective Action Problems: The Problem of Incentives
      6. 6.5 Resolving Collective Action Problems
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
    2. 7 Civil Rights
      1. Introduction
      2. 7.1 Civil Rights and Constitutionalism
      3. 7.2 Political Culture and Majority-Minority Relations
      4. 7.3 Civil Rights Abuses
      5. 7.4 Civil Rights Movements
      6. 7.5 How Do Governments Bring About Civil Rights Change?
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
    3. 8 Interest Groups, Political Parties, and Elections
      1. Introduction
      2. 8.1 What Is an Interest Group?
      3. 8.2 What Are the Pros and Cons of Interest Groups?
      4. 8.3 Political Parties
      5. 8.4 What Are the Limits of Parties?
      6. 8.5 What Are Elections and Who Participates?
      7. 8.6 How Do People Participate in Elections?
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  5. Institutions
    1. 9 Legislatures
      1. Introduction
      2. 9.1 What Do Legislatures Do?
      3. 9.2 What Is the Difference between Parliamentary and Presidential Systems?
      4. 9.3 What Is the Difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Systems?
      5. 9.4 The Decline of Legislative Influence
      6. Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Review Questions
      9. Suggested Readings
    2. 10 Executives, Cabinets, and Bureaucracies
      1. Introduction
      2. 10.1 Democracies: Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Regimes
      3. 10.2 The Executive in Presidential Regimes
      4. 10.3 The Executive in Parliamentary Regimes
      5. 10.4 Advantages, Disadvantages, and Challenges of Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes
      6. 10.5 Semi-Presidential Regimes
      7. 10.6 How Do Cabinets Function in Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes?
      8. 10.7 What Are the Purpose and Function of Bureaucracies?
      9. Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Review Questions
      12. Suggested Readings
    3. 11 Courts and Law
      1. Introduction
      2. 11.1 What Is the Judiciary?
      3. 11.2 How Does the Judiciary Take Action?
      4. 11.3 Types of Legal Systems around the World
      5. 11.4 Criminal versus Civil Laws
      6. 11.5 Due Process and Judicial Fairness
      7. 11.6 Judicial Review versus Executive Sovereignty
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 12 The Media
      1. Introduction
      2. 12.1 The Media as a Political Institution: Why Does It Matter?
      3. 12.2 Types of Media and the Changing Media Landscape
      4. 12.3 How Do Media and Elections Interact?
      5. 12.4 The Internet and Social Media
      6. 12.5 Declining Global Trust in the Media
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
  6. States and International Relations
    1. 13 Governing Regimes
      1. Introduction
      2. 13.1 Contemporary Government Regimes: Power, Legitimacy, and Authority
      3. 13.2 Categorizing Contemporary Regimes
      4. 13.3 Recent Trends: Illiberal Representative Regimes
      5. Summary
      6. Key Terms
      7. Review Questions
      8. Suggested Readings
    2. 14 International Relations
      1. Introduction
      2. 14.1 What Is Power, and How Do We Measure It?
      3. 14.2 Understanding the Different Types of Actors in the International System
      4. 14.3 Sovereignty and Anarchy
      5. 14.4 Using Levels of Analysis to Understand Conflict
      6. 14.5 The Realist Worldview
      7. 14.6 The Liberal and Social Worldview
      8. 14.7 Critical Worldviews
      9. Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Review Questions
      12. Suggested Readings
    3. 15 International Law and International Organizations
      1. Introduction
      2. 15.1 The Problem of Global Governance
      3. 15.2 International Law
      4. 15.3 The United Nations and Global Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
      5. 15.4 How Do Regional IGOs Contribute to Global Governance?
      6. 15.5 Non-state Actors: Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
      7. 15.6 Non-state Actors beyond NGOs
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 16 International Political Economy
      1. Introduction
      2. 16.1 The Origins of International Political Economy
      3. 16.2 The Advent of the Liberal Economy
      4. 16.3 The Bretton Woods Institutions
      5. 16.4 The Post–Cold War Period and Modernization Theory
      6. 16.5 From the 1990s to the 2020s: Current Issues in IPE
      7. 16.6 Considering Poverty, Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  7. References
  8. Index

8.1 What Is an Interest Group?

An interest group is an organized collection of individuals who work to influence government and policy. There are several different types of interest groups. Economic groups can be divided into categories such as business groups, labor groups, agricultural groups, and professional groups. Noneconomic groups include public interest groups, single-issue groups, civil rights groups, and ideological groups. Various theories explain why interest groups form. Pluralism suggests that diverse interests represent a variety of views and demands and that political powers are distributed among these various groups. Disturbance theory, on the other hand, asserts that interest groups change in response to complex issues in society and calls on the government to react to these changes. Transaction theory refutes pluralism, arguing that government actors only respond to a narrow set of interests.

8.2 What Are the Pros and Cons of Interest Groups?

Interest groups are important to the political process because they bring a diversity of views and demands before the popularly elected government. Interest groups also foster the development of social capital, or the maintenance of relationships and networks that allow citizens to solve collective problems. However, interest groups have their downsides. One is factionalism: while a multitude of interest groups may represent many problems, only a small number of them garner the government’s attention. This may be due to the economic bias in the interest group system, where moneyed interests are more likely to be represented and catered to. Interest groups work to influence government through inside lobbying, which is when groups create formal relationships with governmental officials. When interest groups rally public support for policies or political candidates, they engage in outside lobbying. The last attempt to reform lobbying activity was in 2007, though in 2021 President Biden signed a series of executive orders limiting lobbyist involvement in the executive branch.

8.3 Political Parties

A political party is a group of people who share a common political ideology and work to get their members elected into government. In addition to scouting and electing candidates, political parties raise money and work to influence governmental policy. Parties are also heavily involved in registering new voters. Party systems take on different forms. In the United States, we have what is called a two-party system, where there are two major political parties involved in government activity. In contrast, much of Europe uses a multiparty system where the government is made up of multiple parties that must share power. Single-party systems, like those in China and North Korea, are political systems that consist of only one party.

8.4 What Are the Limits of Parties?

Some scholars argue that political parties play a decreasing role in US politics due to the rise of the candidate-centered campaign. In candidate-centered campaigns, candidates are increasingly less reliant on parties to run for office. These candidates may be independently wealthy, and in recent years there has been a rise of populist candidates who are less reliant on traditional political structures. Lower voter registration rates, declines in party activism, economic factors, and the rise of communication technologies illustrate a weakening of party systems around the world.

8.5 What Are Elections and Who Participates?

Elections are formal decision-making processes in which groups determine which individuals will hold public office. Elections are a vital part of democracy that rests on the idea of popular will since they are the mechanism by which people express their preferences, and they are one of the most important ways people influence politicians to move in one direction or the other in terms of policy. Elections face problems in that sometimes voters do not have all the required information to make decisions that best represent their interests. Moneyed interests can have a heavy influence on election outcomes, and the people’s will can be misrepresented when political actors choose to make decisions that differ from voters’ intentions. Relative to other countries, America has low voter turnout; a significant number of people registered to vote do not actually turn out on Election Day to cast a ballot. There are a variety of reasons for this, including voter fatigue, the lack of an Election Day holiday, onerous registration requirements, and low levels of social capital.

8.6 How Do People Participate in Elections?

Americans vote in electoral districts that are drawn to be roughly the same size in terms of population. The people vote directly on members of the House and Senate, whereas the president is elected through the Electoral College. Elections are won either by plurality rule (most votes) or majority rule (at least half). Ballot initiatives and referendums represent direct democracy, in which people select policy preferences rather than relying on elected officials to vote on them. Some consider them a more democratic form of participation. In the United States, the federal government plays a limited role in administering elections, leaving the states to create their own rules and regulations in terms of when people can vote and how. Elections are run differently around the world. In many countries, voter registration is automatic, and in some countries it is even compulsory. While Election Day is a fixed day on the US calendar, in other countries elections can be called at any time.

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