Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chapter 8 Part III


  • Party Eras
  • Critical Election
  • Party Realignment
  • New Deal Coalition
  • Party Dealignment
  • Third Party
  • Winner-take-all System
  • Proportional Representation
  • Coalition Government
  • Responsible Party Model


What prompts a critical election or party realignment?
-Consider the Civil War and the Depression as examples.

What is party dealignment?  Why has this been occurring recently?

Why does the US not have third parties, when most European countries do?

To what extent do American parties meet the criteria for the Responsible Party Model?

Chapter 8 Part II


  • Party Machines
  • Patronage
  • Closed Primaries
  • Open Primaries
  • Blanket Primary (not in book -- look up)
  • National Convention
  • National Committee
  • National Chairperson
  • Coalition


As urban party machines died out, what replaced them?

How do states have significant control over party activities and elections?

To what extent is the suspicion that politicians break their promises actually true?

Chapter 8 Part I

Terms to Outline

  • Party Competition
  • Political Party
  • Linkage Institution
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Party Image
  • Party Identification
  • Ticket Splitting


Why do political scientists see party competition as a positive contributor toward democracy?

How does rational-choice theory affect how political parties represent themselves to the voter?

How has party identification changed since the 1950s?

Chapter 10 Part III

Terms to Define:

  • Types of Interest Groups:
    • Economic Interests: Labor, Business
      • union shops, right-to-work laws, Taft Hartley Act
    • Environmental Interests
    • Equality Interests
    • Consumer and Public Interest Lobbies
      • Ralph Nader: Unsafe at Any Speed
      • Consumer Product Safety Commission


Why have labor interest groups declined while business interest groups have proliferated in recent decades?

What are the shifting political goals of Equality interest groups in recent years?  For example. what have minority rights groups advocated since the Brown v. Board decision, and what have women's rights groups supported since the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)?

What types of issues and people do Consumer and Public Interest groups represent?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chapter 10 Part II

Terms to Define

  • potential group
  • actual group
  • free-rider problem
  • selective benefits
  • single-issue group
  • lobbying
  • electioneering
  • political action committees (PACs)
  • amicus briefs


Why do certain types of interest groups have an easier time recruiting potential group members to become actual group members?

Why does the free rider problem exist, and what have certain groups done to overcome it?

What, in your opinion, is the greatest contributor to the influence of an interest group--size, intensity, or money?  Why?

Do PACs hinder or help the political process?  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chapter 10 Part I

Terms to Define:

  • beverage tax (from intro section) -- how it impacts interest groups
  • difference between an interest group and a political party
  • theories of interest group politics (review with some new terms)
    • pluralism
    • elitism
    • hyperpluralism
      • interest group liberalism
      • iron triangles
Broad question for Consideration:

What, in your opinion, is the most plausible theory of interest group politics?  What particular types of interest groups come to mind that make you come to this conclusion?