PLSC 1 lecture notes

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Political Science
PL SC 001
Zachary Baumann

January 9, 2013 Thinking Systematically About Politics What is politics? - Politics is the process of achieving collective actions - But, what collective actions should be achieved? How do we decide what to do and what is “right”? Argument design - Modus Ponens: o If A, then B o A o Therefore, B - Modus Tollens: o If A, then B o Not A o Therefore, not B - Disjunctive Syllogism: o Either A or B o Not B o Therefore, A 4 types of statements: - Factual o Make a concrete assertion that can be verified as true or false o Something IS or IS NOT - Normative o Value based judgment about what is good or bad, desirable or undesirable - Interpretive o Draws on textual materials to establish what an author means using his/her statements - Causal o Make an argument about cause and effect between two concepts and can be assessed observationally Categorize the following statement - Young people tend to become more interested in politics when their parents have discussed politics in the household o Causal - The Second Amendment prevents government from restricting any kind of firearm o Interpretive - Homework is stupid. o Normative - There are 101 legislative chambers across the federal and state governments. o Factual - Weingast says “stable democracy does not imply arise because some countries happen to have the relevant shared set of values” and that “the relationship between citizen values and democratic stability is not a causal one”. o Factual - Democracy is the best form of government. o Normative - Incumbency increases the likelihood of electoral success. o Causal - The Constitution establishes the United States as a Christian nation that should honor these principles. o Interpretive How can we evaluate these different types of information? - Factual o Empirically Verify - Normative o Evaluate the founding principles (first principles)  First principle = “Foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption” o Examine the mechanics and process used - Interpretive o Examine additional/compelling interpretations - Causal o Empirically Verify January 17, 2013 Introduction and collective action theory Outline of lecture - What is politics and why is it necessary? - How can we design a working and stable government? - What is the job of government? - How are collective actions reached? - What can hinder creation of collection actions? o How are problems overcome? - What are the costs of doing business? What are the subjectects of collective actions? - Private goods o Things people buy and consume in a marketplace and are replaced according to demand o Higher education – college - Public goods o What everyone can consume and you can’t take away o Basic education – elementary, middle, high - Externalities o National defense o Private activity – coal mining Clicker - Example of politics o Congress, air force, where to eat, constitution, none of the above  Deciding where to eat  Process whereby collective actions are achieved - The person who has the right to make a decision is known as the … o The principal - Which of the following is an example of agency loss o All of the above o Bureaucracy enacting law that deviates from what congress ahs intended o Officeholder voting their own preferences instead of their districts’ - Which of the following is a public good o Housing clothing car college education  None of the above - An action taken by a group of like minded individuals to achieve a common goal is the definition of: o Collective action How do groups make decisions? – Pitfalls and problems Collective action problems: - Coordination problems o Coordination problem – members of the group must determine what they want - Prisoner’s dilemma o Prisoner’s dilemma – a situation in which two (or more) actors cannot agree to cooperate for fear that the other will find its interest best served by reneging on an agreement Prisoner’s dilemma - Free rider problem o Individuals can receive the benefits from a collective activity whether or not they helped to pay for it, leaving them with no incentive to contribute - Tragedy of the commons o Group members overexploit a common resource, causing its destruction How are these problems solved? - Coordination problems o Eliminate uncertainty - Prisoner’s dilemma o Increase cost of defection o Incentivize participation Costs of collective actions - Transaction costs = time, effort, and resources required to make collective decisions - Conformity costs – the extent to which the individual, engaging in collective action, is forced to do something they prefer not to do - Trade off between transaction and conformity costs - When might higher transaction costs be useful? - When might higher conformity costs be useful? January 24, 2013 The US Constitution Outline - Historical development of constitutions in the US o How did colonial experiences necessitate out separation from the British crown and inform our constitutions o Why did the Who influenced the constitution? - John Locke o Classical liberalism – emphasizes the rights of individuals o Right to life liberty and property o Popular sovereignty – citizen’s delegation of authority to their agents in government, with the ability to rescind that authority - Sir Isaac Newton o Laws of politics – check power with power - Baron de Montesquieu o Divide government into legislative, executive, and judicial branches - David Hume o Politics is a competition between contending interests - States and colonial governments already had existing constitutions Constitutional plans - Virginia o Two chamber legislature: representation based on state population - New jersey o Divide and fix Proponents’ main arguments - VA proposes that the authority to govern lies with the people - NJ argues that authority to govern lies with the states: o Precedent – the state were equally represented in the national legislature under the articles o Principle – the sates, not the people, were writing and ratifying the new government - Connecticut compromise – combines elements of both CA and NJ plans that formed the basis for the constitution Clicker - These people were campaigning for a strong national government o Federalists - These people were campaigning for strong state governments o Anti-federalists Politics of ratification - Rules for ratification o 9 state to ratify o Ratification by state convention - Bill of rights a big issue o Federalists to make a bill of rights their first issue the new congress would take-up - Ratification is achieved in 1788 o Rules helped o First congress meets march 1789 and approves 12 amendments for ratification by September – the bill of rights Clicker - Why did the founders agree to the Constitution and the state conventions ratify it? o They had their own distinct reasons The problem with majority rule - Majority tyranny – a situation in which the majority uses its advantage in numbers to suppress the rights of the minority Preventing majority tyranny - 3 steps to prevent majority tyranny o Electoral rules make it difficult for permanent electoral majorities to form o Divided authority among government institutions as well as between the federal and state governments o Placed formal boundaries on what government may do Preventing majority tyranny: electoral rules - Indirect elections – originally only house is directly elected by the people - Fixed terms in office – vary the length of the different fixed terms - Geographically defined representation Preventing majority tyranny: divided authority - Separation of powers – separate branches of government should exercise the legislative, executive and judicial powers of government - Checks and balances – negative powers each branch of government can use to block the actions of another branch - Bicameralism – divided lawmaking authority between two legislative houses Preventing majority tyranny: federalism - Federalism – system of government in which power is divided between a central government and several regional governments Attributes of the constitution - Supremacy clause – all national policies are superior and dominate over state legislation - Commerce clause – congress has the authority to regulate commerce with other nations and among the states - Necessary and proper clause – grants congress the authority to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying into execution their forgoing powers - Bill of Rights – first 10 amendments to the constitution - 3/5 rule – slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of apportioning representation - Judicial review – the authority of a court to declare legislative and executive acts unconstitutional and therefore invalid 3 consequences of the constitution - The rights of individuals enjoy such strong legal protections that at times they frustrate the will of the majority - The obstacles placed in the way of passing legislation create a strong bias toward the status quo - Even though the constitution makes it difficult to pass legislation, it has created a system that is sufficiently flexible to meet the country’s changing needs January 29, 2013 What is Federalism? - Federalism – a system of government in which power is divided between a central government and several regional governments - It is a mix of both: o Confederal government – authority rests fundamentally with the members of the union o Unitary government – the power is centralized in the national government Types of Federalism: - Dual Federalism o States and the national government preside over mutually exclusive spheres of sovereignty - Shared federalism o National and state government jointly supply services to the citizenry Why did the US create a federal system? - Failures of the articles of confederation o High transaction costs o Free rider problem o Coordination problems Why did the Anti-federalists agree to this system? - Compromise - Structure of the senate - Explicit functions reserved specifically to the states o Reserved powers o 10 amendment What are Enumerated powers? - Those powers expressly given to congress o Coin money o Conduct foreign relations o Regulate commerce with foreign nations o Provide for an army and navy o Regulate the postal system What are Implied powers? - Implied powers – powers derived from the enumerated powers and the necessary and proper clause - Necessary and proper clause – allows congress to make “all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers” What are reserved powers? - Reserved powers – powers reserved to the states o Establish state and local governments o Set time, place, and manner of elections o Regulate intra-state commerce o Protect public safety and health What are concurrent powers? - Concurrent powers – powers belonging to both federal and state authorities o Tax o Establish courts o Borrow money What is the logic behind creating a federal system? - Coordination January 31, 2013 Federalism Review from Tuesday - Overcoming collective actions - Types of powers Federal powers – national government, coin money, declare war/make peace, maintain armed services o States’ rights – provide education, conduct elections, provide for local governments o Concurrent – states’ rights and federal combined, enforce law, maintain course - Typology of federalism o Dual and shared Trends in federalism: - Establishing national supremacy o McCulloch vs. MD (1819)  Affirms congress’ implied powers o Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)  Only congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce - Asserting state’s rights o Prior to the civil war some individuals advocated the doctrine of states rights  Doctrine of interposition – states have the right to intervene on citizens’ behalf  Doctrine of nullification – sates have the right to block the application of federal policies - A swing back to the states o Concern by state’s rights advocates that the federal government is gaining too much power o Dred Scott (1857) awards a victory to the states  Federal ban on slavery in the territories is unconstitutional o Civil war - Swing back to the national government o Civil war changes the question from should the national government be involved directly with citizens to how much o Fiscal federalism – efficient taxation and spending decisions - Toward fiscal federalism o Great depression and the new deal o Great society  In response to poverty in the United States - Rhetoric and practice o Administrative reform o Some devolution o Tea party o Nationalization continues How can federalism encourage national movements? - Nationalization through preemption o More access points o More efficient - Devolution How does the national government ensure state support? - The carrot o Financial incentives usually in the form of grants  Categorical grants – federal dollars tied to particular programs or categories of spending  Revenue sharing – federal funds to states based on their size and wealth that come with few obligations  Block grants = appropriated to achieve a particular policy goal with specific administrative procedures - The stick o Unfunded mandate – programs that the federal government requires but does not provide funding to accomplish o Direct orders – requirements that can be enforced by legal and civic penalties o Cross-cutting requirements – statutes that apply certain rules and guidelines to a broad array of federally subsidized state programs o Crossover sanctions – funding for one program tied to unrelated program Clicker - The federal government offering states money if they establish substance abuse program is an example of o Block grant - The federal government requiring standardized testing under NCLB is a o Unfunded mandate - The EEOA prohibits job discrimination by state and local governments. This is an example of o Direct order Trends in federalism Concluding thoughts - Fiscal federalism profoundly change our understanding of federalism - How the relationship looks changes constantly over time February 7, 2013 CIVIL RIGHTS Outline - What are civil rights and where are they found? - Civil rights and the African American experience: o Constitution and founding o Civil war o Reconstruction o The rise and fall of Jim Crow o The courts, congress, and beyone – reversing an undemocratic past - How do you enforce civil rights Jim Crow Laws - Laws meant to disenfranchise black citizens and segregate African Americans and whites - Poll tax – poll tax that must be paid to qualify to vote - Literacy test – test that must be passed in order to gain access to the ballot - Grandfather clause – exempted these requirements from individuals whose grandfathers had voted before the civil war - White primary – laws which excluded African Americans from voting in primary elections Segregation - De facto segregation – segregation that results from practice rather than from law o Suburban public schools - De jure segregation – segregation enacted into law and imposed by the government o Rosa parks – law about who could sit where - Institutionalized segregation – blocks African Americans from accessing institutions o How far blacks had to be from whites in a hospital And the court says… - Although African Americans continue to bring suites, the supreme court rebuffs their claims - Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) – declares the south’s segregation laws as constitutional o Separate but equal doctrine Early 20 century - NCAAP founded – web dubois o Goal is to end racial discrimination and legal segregation o Use many strategies – chiefly known for litigation - 1943 – creation of the legal defense and education fund o Created so NCAAP could concentrate on lobbying Key legal victories of NCAAP - 1915 – grandfather clause is unconstitutional - 1917 – laws baring African Americans from buying homes in white neighborhoods are unconstitutional - Missouri ex rel Gaines vs. Canada (1938) o Law school refused to accept African Americans The new deal - Roosevelt’s new deal prohibits many forms of racial discrimination o Banned employment discrimination o Established the committee on fair employment practices o Idealism or necessity?  A little of both  R.’s wife was pro civil rights o Compromise with southern senators? - African Americans begin shifting their party loyalties from republican to democrat Truman and the courts - Smith vs. Allwright (1944) – white primary laws are unconstitutional - 1948 president Truman integrates the armed forces Beginning to reform - Sweatt vs. painter (1950) o Quantitative differences and intangible factors - McLaurin vs. Oklahoma state regents et al. (1950) o George McLauren was denied admission to Oklahoma State University o Court ruled he should have admission - What do these rulings mean Brown vs. Board - Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – separate but equal is inherently unequal - Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka 2 (1955) – schools are to desegregate with a deliberate speed - These courses deal only with education – Plessy still applies to other facets of life o Separate court decisions begin to overturn Plessy with regard to public places Reversing an undemocratic past - 1957 civil rights act o Established US commission on Civil Rights o African Americans had standing to bring suits concerning their rights to vote o No filibuster by southern legislators o Not very effective – lacked teeth - 1964 Civil rights act – passed o Voting o Public accommodations  Specifically it bars segregation based on race/nationality  Hotels, theater, transportation o Schools  If you aren’t desegregated by now, we are going to forcibly do it now  Fines o Employment  EEOC – equal employment opportunity commission  Discrimination is not used within any program that receives any federal money - Voting rights act of 1965 o Voting examiners where less than 50% of eligible voters cast ballots in 1964 o Use of literacy tests and similar mechanisms suspended o Increased African American turnout Beyond the African American experience - 2 hurdles that might be cleared for a group to gain a specific right o The right must be recognized as such by those who make and enforce the law o The right must be enforced February 18, 2013 Civil Rights Outlnie - What are civil rights and wehre are they found - Civil rights and the African American experience: o Constitution and founding o Civil war o Reconstruction o The rise and fall of jim crow o The courts, congress, and beyond – reversing an undemocratic past - How do you enforce civil rights - Moving beyond the African American experience Enforcing civil rights - Affirmative action – policies or programs designed to expand opportunities for minorities and women and usually requiring that an organization take measures to incrase the number or proportion of minorities and women in its membership or employment - Quotas – setting aside a certain share of admissions, government contracts, and jobs for those who suffered from past discrimination - Most controversial when applied to: o Government contrating o University admissions to increase minority enrollment o Employment policies to promote minority presence and advancement - Quotas have been rejected by the court and the public o Regents of the university of California vs. Bakke (1978) - Controversy persists Civil liberties Outline of lecture - What are civil liberties - How should the constitution be interpreted - How are the bill of rights protections applied to the states and individual citizens - What protections are contained in the bill of rights How should the constitution be interpreted? - Original intent (originalism) - Living constitution How does the bill of rights apply to the states? - Intended to govern relationship between the federal government and individuals o Barron vs. Baltimore (1833) – the bill of rights applies only to the relationship between the federal government and the citizenry - Incorporation – process of bringing state laws and practiths under bill of rights protections by applying the 14 amendment to the states What are the implications of the 14 amendment? - Due process clause – states cannot deny life, liberty, or property without the due process of law - Equal protection clause – all persons enjoy the same civil liberties and rights which states must apply equally to everyone - Selective incorporation – civil liberties that have been gradually “nationalized” 1 amendment: establishment clause - No official state religion - Current debate surrounds the role of government in supporting religion - Lemon test (lemon vs. Kurtzman, 1971) o Secular legislative purpose o Primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion o No excessive government entanglement - Neutrality test – government action cannot foster favoritism toward religion 1 amendment: free exercise clause - Protects individuals in the performance of their religious duties and practices - Much of the law arises from a situation-by-situation basis o Jehovah’s can witness without permit o Some forms of drug use during native American ceremonies 1 amendment: freedom of speech - Certain types of speech are abridged: o Clear and present danger test – speech that presents a “clear and present danger” - Obscenity – miller vs. California (1973) o Depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way o Conduct must be specifically described (prohibited) by law o Work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient intersects in sex and does not have a serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value - Restrictions on speech (cont.) o Libel – written communication which is false and damages another person’s reputation o Slander – spoken communication which is false and damages another person’s reputation o Distinction between public and private individuals Civil liberties Outline of lecture - What are civil liberties - How should the constitution be interpreted - How are the bill of rights protections applied to the states and individual citizens - What protections are contained in the bill of rights February 20, 2013 Outline - What is public pinion and why is it important? - How is public opinion measured? o What concerns should we have about the measurement of political attitudes - What do people know about politics? When will they learn? - What are political scientists interested in understanding using polling? - How do people form their political opinions? - What does the American public think? What are polls measuring? - Core values – moral beliefs held by citizens that underlie attitudes toward political and other issues - Ideologies – a comprehensive, integrated, set of views about government and politics - Attitudes – an organized and consistent manner of thinking, feeling, and rading with regard to people, groups, social issue, and more generally, an event in one’s environment What are polls measuring? - Aggregate public opinion – the sum of all individual opinions - Aggregate partisanship – proportion of poll respondents labeling themselves republicans or democrats How are political opinions formed? - Socialization o Political socialization – the process by which citizens acquire their political beliefs and values  Begins during childhood and young adult  Can change based on major life events  Usually developed by junior in high school age o Derived from the practical experience of growing up and living in a social and political world o Do not need to be dominated by personal experiences Demographics and attitudes - Reflect the knowledge, beliefs, and values people have acquired over time - Implication: variation in attitudes across demographic groups reflect differences in background, education, and life experiences Clicker - Do you think someone’s genetic predispositions could influence how they understand and think about politics? o No How are political opinions formed? - Information o People are “cognitive misers”  Reluctant to pay the cost to acquire additional information if it provides no practical benefit for them  Opinions may be both uninformed and unstable o People will develop a more complex, richly informed, attitudes only when the payoff is greater than the cost of doing so o Ambivalence – a state of mind produced when particular issues evoke attitudes and beliefs that pull people in opposite directions  May respond from the “top-of-the-head” o Ignorance does not prevent people from expressing opinions o There is an important distinction between individual and aggregate opinions  Individuals are uninformed and unstable  Aggregate is more informed and stable - Partisanship o Partisanship – a pe
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