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Chapter 15 Politics and the State. Chapter Outline  Public Goods and the State  Functions of the State  Taming the State  Democracy and the People.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 15 Politics and the State. Chapter Outline  Public Goods and the State  Functions of the State  Taming the State  Democracy and the People."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 15 Politics and the State

2 Chapter Outline  Public Goods and the State  Functions of the State  Taming the State  Democracy and the People

3 Chapter Outline  The American “Voter”  Female Candidates  Ideology and Public Opinion  Elite and Mass Opinion

4 Two Fundamental Kinds of State  Elitist state tends toward tyranny.  Pluralist state tends to permit considerable individual freedom.

5 The Tragedy of the Commons  Many things vital to humans as social beings conflict with things vital to humans as individuals.  To provide for the common or collective good, people often must surrender control over their lives to leaders and governments.  This surrender often results in misery, when leaders use their power to repress, exploit, and enslave people.

6 Public Goods Vital to Human Society 1. Secure from harm from other members. 2. Secure against harm from external dangers. 3. Resources and services must be provided that cannot be supplied by voluntary individual actions.

7 Agricultural Development and the Scope of Political Structures Level of agricultural development Scope of political structure NoneLowMediumHigh Local only Semistate State % Number of Societies( 38)(28)(63)( 57)

8 The State and Warfare Scope of political structure Frequency of external warfare Local onlySemistateState Constant Common Occasional Rare % Number of Societies ( 39)( 38)( 7)

9 The State and Stratification Scope of Political Structure Degree of StratificationLocal OnlySemistateState Low Medium High % Number of Societies(82)( 75)29)

10 Threats to Democracy  Tyranny of the minority: A privileged few would capture the state and use its powers to repress and exploit the many.  Tyranny of the majority: A majority of citizens would use representative government to exploit and abuse minorities.  This led to the system of checks and balance in the U.S. Government.

11 The Elitist State  Power resides with a single elite group that rules the state and can use its coercive powers as it sees fit.  It is almost impossible for an elitist state to avoid being tyrannical.

12 Pluralist State  Rules governing state power are maintained by the existence of many competing elites.  Ruled by shifting coalitions of many minorities.  Pluralism is the mechanism that sustains democracy as each of many political blocs act to preserve its right to influence decision making.

13 The Power Elite  Concept that the U.S. is ruled by a small set of people who hold the most power.  The power derives from the positions they hold in three major kinds of organizations: –The military –The government bureaucracy –Large corporations

14 The American “Voter”  The wealthier and more educated are more likely are to support Republican candidates.  Men are a bit more likely to vote for Republicans, while women slightly favor Democrats.  African Americans vote for Democrats by a margin of more than 4 to 1.

15 The “American” Voter Percent who:(%) Voted in 1996 presidential election49 Displayed a campaign button or bumper sticker10 Made a campaign contribution9 Could name her or his member of Congress23 Recognized name of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 8 Read a newspaper daily31 Watch TV news daily: National29 Local 33

16 Why There Are Few Women in Elected Offices  Journalists, party leaders, and potential candidates believe voters prefer male candidates.  Party leaders may be reluctant to support female candidates when their party has a chance to win.

17 Why There Are Few Women in Elected Offices  Political action committees may be reluctant to fund female candidates.  Qualified women may be reluctant to run, believing female candidates face a handicap with voters.

18 Study of Female Candidates and Elections  Jody Newman, a researcher for the National Women’s Political Caucus, conducted a study:  She obtained the results of all elections for: –state legislatures in 1986, 1988, 1990, and –elections of U.S. representatives and senators from 1972 through –Elections for governor since 1972.

19 Study of Female Candidates and Elections  Compared the success of male and female candidates overall and against one another.  Results: “a candidate’s sex does not affect his or her chances of winning an election.”  Data showed incumbents have a huge advantage in elections.  Since current officeholders are disproportionately men, incumbents also are disproportionately male.


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