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DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN POLITICS

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DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN POLITICS. The Struggle for African-American Voting Rights ... linkage sector includes political actors, institutions, and processes that are ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN POLITICS


1
Chapter 1
  • DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN POLITICS

2
The Struggle for African-American Voting Rights
  • The right to vote in meaningful elections is
    fundamental to democracy.
  • Long struggles for the right to vote
  • Despite Constitutional protections, voter
    registration among African-Americans in the South
    was miniscule until the Civil Rights Movement
    pressed the passage of the Voting Rights Act of
    1965.

3
The Struggle for Democracy
  • We live in an age of democratic aspiration and
    upsurge.
  • American political ideas and institutions often
    have provided inspiration for democratic
    movements elsewhere.
  • Yet, the struggle for democracy still continues
    in our own society.

4
Democracy
  • Demos the people Kratein to
    rule
  • Rule by the people the idea that ordinary
    people want to rule themselves and are capable of
    doing so.

5
Direct Versus Representative Democracy
  • Direct participatory democracy to the ancient
    Greeks, democracy meant rule by the people
    exercised directly in open assemblies.
  • Representative democracy rule by the people,
    exercised indirectly through representatives
    selected by the people.

6
Fundamental Principles of Representative Democracy
  • Popular sovereignty
  • Government policies reflect what the people want
  • People participate in the political process
  • High-quality information and debate are available
  • The majority rules
  • Political equality
  • Political liberty

7
Possible Objections to Majoritarian
Representative Democracy
  • Democracy leads to bad decisions
  • Majority tyranny threatens liberty
  • The people are irrational and incompetent
  • Majoritarian democracy threatens minorities

8
Democracy As an Evaluative Standard How
Democratic Are We?
  • Each of the fundamental principles of democracy
    suggests a set of questions that can be used to
    think critically about American political life.
  • These questions help us to evaluate how well the
    American political system lives up to the
    democratic ideal.

9
Understanding How American Politics Works
  • The main factors of political life are
    interconnected (illustrated in the text by the
    passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act).

10
The main factors of political life can be
organized into three categories.
  • Structural sector includes fundamental and
    enduring factors that influence government and
    politics
  • Political linkage sector includes political
    actors, institutions, and processes that are
    involved in transmitting the wants and demands of
    individuals and groups to government officials
  • Governmental sector includes all public
    officials and institutions that have formal,
    legal responsibilities for making public policy

11
American politics should be understood
holistically
  • American political life must be understood as an
    integrated, ordered whole.
  • What goes on in government can only be understood
    by considering all three sectors of analysis.
  • Feedback also occurs influences sometimes flow
    from the governmental level to the others.
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