Pol Lecture 1 Ch 1.doc

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University of California - Davis
Political Science
Cheryl Boudreau

1914PolLecture 1 Chapter 1 American PoliticsWord of the day momentumforce or speed of movementrelevant during elections campaignsmomentum in 2012 republican primaries went from Ron PaulMitt RomneyRick PerryHerman CainNewt GringrichMitt RomneyRomney became the ultimate frontrunner and ultimately the nominee for presidentAmerican Politicschoices are at the heart of American Politicspolitics arises from the need to choose among alternatives when differences make it impossible for all people to get what they wantthus choices conflict whyconflicting interests ex universal healthcareconflicting values ex Abortion gun controlconflicting ideas about how to allocate limited resourcespolitics is how people attempt to manage such conflict peacefullywhat happens when politics failsmore formally politics is the process through which individuals and groups reach agreement on a course of common or collective actionsuccessful politics almost always requires bargaining and compromisebargaining prolonged exchange of proposals and counter proposalscompromise settlement in which each side concedes some of its preferences in order to secure otherspreferences are the givensindividuals and groups know what they want that must be reconciledthe more people involved in the political process an as issues become more complex and diverse unstructured negotiation generally failsone reason fear of reneging may foster mutual suspicions and beliefs that politics wont workso what is requiredeffective political institutions set of rules and procedures for negotiations a stable community whether a social club or a nationstate persists by establishing rules and procedures for reaching and enforcing agreements necessary for successful collective action ex The constitution impeachment trialConstitutions and Governmentsnations have more difficulty as organizations required to make political decisions whynations are more diverse issues are more complex larger number of participants monitoring and enforcing agreements made by participants may be difficultdegree of success depends largely on whether they have developed constitutions and governments that worka constitution of a nation establishes its governing institution and the set of rules and procedures these institutions must and must not follow to reach and enforce collective agreements range from highly formal to an informal understanding based on precedent and lawCollective Action Problemsfor nations and democratic nations in particular which are generally large and complex in
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