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American Democracy ch 11-18

used for UMUC GVPT 170 final exam


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bureaucratic accountability
The degree to which bureaucrats are held accountable for the power they exercise
negative government
Government governs best by staying out of people's lives, giving them as much freedom as possible to determine their own pursuits and encouraging them to become self-reliant
clientele groups
special interest groups that benefit directly for the activites of a particular bureaucratic agency
open party caucuses
A meeting open to any registered party voter who wants to attend for the purpose of nominating a candidate
budget surplus
when the amount of government receipts is larger than its expenditure
appellate jurisdiction
the authority or power ro hear a case that has already been decided in a lower court
the issue of whether the courts decision will be respected or obeyed.
the situation in which the outcome of an economic transaction is fair to each party
a power structure dominated by two powers only, as in the case of the US and the former USSR during the cold war
presidential commissions
The commissions that provide advice to the president
Measures set up by governing organizations to protect domestic industry and economy from foreign competition
pork-barrel projects
legislative acts whose tangible benefits are targeted at a particular legislator's constituency
a general and progressive increase in prices of goods and services
weak-mayor-council system
form of municiple power in which the mayors policymaking powers are less substantial than that of the councils
state constitutional convention
a state convention convened to amend the state constitution or draft a new one
procedural law
laws governing hte legal process that define proper courses of action by government or private parties
executive leadership system
A means of coordinating the bureaucracy's activities to increase its efficiency and responsiveness based on presidential leadership and presidential tools
the president's rejection of a bill, thereby keeping it from becoming law unless Congrees overrides the veto.
government corporations
Corporations that charge clients for their services and are governed by a board of directors. They also receive federal funding and their directors are appointed by the president
the situation in which one nation takes action against another state or states
criminal law
The body of law that identifies what a state defines as legal and/or illegal as well as the punishments for the violations of the laws.
relevent circumstances of a legal dispute or offense
concurring opinion
an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning
original jurisdiction
the authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance."
a form of draft of a proposed law presented in the leglislative branch
positive government
Government intervention is necessary in order to enhance personal liberty and security when individuals are buffeted by economic and social forces beyond their control
policy implementation
The process of carrying out public policy through governmental agencies and the courts
a legislator who gives long speeches in an effort to delay or obstruct legislation that he (or she) opposes
a courts written explaination of it's decision, which serves to inform other of the legal basis for the decision
a power structure dominated by a single powerful actor
budget deficit
the amount by which government spending exceeds revenue
open-seat election
an election in which there is no incumbent in the race
a legislative proposal, or bill, that si passed by both the House and the Senate and is either signed or not vetoed by the president
spoils system
practice of handing out government jobs to supporters
home rule
a device designed to give local governments more leeway in their policies
social insurance
Social welfare programs based on the "insurance" concept, so that individuals must pay into the program to be eligible to receive funds from it
public assistance
programs that give help to people in need, eligability is determined by a means test
an organization characterized by hierarchical structure, worker specialization, explicit rules, and advancement by merit
process by which citizens can petition for the removal from office of an elected beofre the scheduled completion of his or her term
the vote of the supreme court in a particular case to indicate whhich party the justices side with
representation function
the responsibility ofa legislature to represent various interests in society
metropolitan government
government created when local governments join together ans assign it responsibility for a range of actives, such as police and sanitation, so as to reduce the waste and duplication that results when every locality in a densely populated area provides its own services
public policy
the course of action the goverment takes in response to an issue or problem
judicial activism
the philosophy that the Supreme Court shouls play an active role in shaping national policies by addressing social and political issues
monetary policy
involves controlling the supply of money and the cost of borrowing money according to the needs of the community
a system that gives the most desireable committee assignments to members of congress who have served to the longest
deterrence policy
the idea that nuclear war can be discouraged if each side in a conflict has the capacity to destroy the other with nuclear weapons
deficit spending
When a government spends more than it takes in and goes into debt.
presidential approval ratings
A poll that answers the question, "Do you approve or disapprove of how the president is doing his job?"
lawmaking function
The authority of Congress to make laws necessary to carry out the powers granted to the national government
free-trade position
the view that the long term economic interests of all countries are advanced when tarriffs and other trade boundries are kept to a minimum
a previous decision or ruling that, in common law tradition, is binding on subsequent decisions
equality of opportunity
equal chance for anyone in society to begin in the same position as others and have the same chances
a procedure for terminating debate, especially filibusters, in the Senate
economic depression
a very severe and sustained economic downturn
bicameral legislatures
legislature with two chambers
oversight function
The responsibility of Congress to see that the exeutive branch carries out the laws faithfully and spends money properly
party discipline
The willingness of a party's House or Senate members to act as a unified group
Dillon's rule
the term used to described relations between state and local government, it holds that local governments are creatures of the state, which in theory even has the power to abolish them
an election in which a bill passed by the state legislature is submitted to voters for approval or disapproval
government restrictions on the economic practices of private firms
a doctrine developed after WWII, based on the assumptions that the soviet union was an agressor nation and that only a determined US could block soviet teritorial ambitions
formalized rules
Standardized procedures and established regulations by which a bureaucracy conducts its operations
the authority of a court to rule on certain cases
demographic representativeness
the idea that the bureaucracy will be more responsive to hte public if its employees at all levels are demographically representative of teh population as a whole
the process by which citizens can place legislaive measures on the ballot through signature patitions, and if the measure receives a majority vote, it becomes law
A provision attached to a bill - to which it may or may not be related - in order to secure its passage
a written statement by a party in a court case that details its argument
Whig theory
A theory which says that the presidency is a limited office whose occupant is confined to the exercise of expressly granted constitutional authority
preemtive war doctrine
the idea, proposed by George W Bush, that the US could attack a potentially threatning nation even if the threat had not yet reached a serious and immediate level
cabinet departments
the major administrative organizations within the federal executive bureaucracy, each of which is headed by a secretary
a new apportionment (especially a reallotment of congressional seats in the United States on the basis of census results), a reallocation of congressional seats among the states every ten years, following the census
process by which governments remove, reduce, or simplify restrictions on business and individuals with the intent of encouraging the efficient operation of markets.
demand-side economics
a form of fiscal policy that emphasizes "demand". government can use increased spending or tax cuts to place more money in consumers' hands
commission system
form of municipal government that invests executive and legislative authority in a commission
unit rule
A rule by which all of a state's electoral votes are cast for the presidential candidate receiving a plurality of the popular vote in that state.
party leaders
members of the house and senate who are chosen by the democratic or republican caucus in each chamber to represent the party's interest.
majority opinion
opinion in a case that is subscribed to by a majority of the judges who participated in the decision
agency point of view
Administrators tend to look out for their agency's interests
hierarchical authority
A chain of command whereby the officials and units at the top have authority over the middle, who in turn control the bottom
merit system
A system of hiring based on their abilities.
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accomodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in populatio
persons appointed by a head of state to head executive departments of government and act as official advisers
judicial conference
a closed meeting of supreme court justices to vote and debate on the cases before them
military-industry complex
the three components that mutally benefit froma high level of defense spending
transfer payments
Government benefits given directly to individual recipients, such as the monthly social security checks that retirees receive
national debt
amount of money owed by the United States to its lenders.
strong mayor-council system
most common form of municiple government, consisting of the mayor as chief executive and the local council as the legislative body.
Cooley's rule
the term used to describe the idea that cities should be self-governing, articulated by Michigan judge Thomas Cooley
reporting others' ethics violations to management or legal authorities
senatorial courtesy
tradition of granting senior senators of the president's party considerable power over federal judicial appointments in their home states
burdens that society incurs when firms fail to pay the full cost of resources used in production
conference committees
temporary committees formed to reconcile differences in House and Senate versions of a bill
a strong showing by a candidate in early presidential nominating contests
judicial restraint
a doctrine holding that the supreme court should defer to the decisions made by the elected representatives of the people in the legislative and executive branches
an economic principle that holds that firms should fulfill as many of society's needs as possible while using as few of its resources as possible
job specialization
The responsibilities of each job position are explicitly defined, and there is a precise division of labor within the organization
The proper authority of the judiciary in a political system based in part on the principle of majority rule
cold war
A conflict that was between the US and the Soviet Union. The nations never directly confronted eachother on the battlefield but deadly threats went on for years.
laissez-faire doctrine
a classic economic philosophy that holds that owners of businesses should be allowed to make their own prodution and distribution decisions without government regulation or control
multinational corporations
companies that operate across national boundaries
supply-side economics
a form of fiscal policy that emphasize "supply"
judicial review
The power of the supreme court to decide whether or not a law is constitutional
service strategy
use of personal staff by members of Congress to perform services for constituents in order to gain their support
graduated personal income tax
The tax rate goes up substantially as income rises
legislative practice wherein reciprocal agreements are made between legislators, usually in voting for or against a bill
The inhabitants or voters in a district represented in a legislative body.
independent agencies
Agencies that resemble the cabinet departments, but most have a narrower area of responsibility
in-kind benefit
a government benefit that is cash equivalent, such as food stamps or rent vouchers
stewardship theory
A theory which calls for an assertive presidency that is confined only at points specifically prohibited by law
police power
the broad power of government to regulate the health, safety, and morals of the citizenry
fiscal policy
government effors to affect overall ouput and incomes in the economy through spending and taxing policies
laws issued by a local government under authority granted by the state government
writ of certiorari
An order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case which it will hear on appeal.
patronage system
A system whereby a composer accepted exclusive employment under the auspices of a patron
balanced budget
a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts
entitlement programs
Government benefits that certain qualified individuals are entitles to by law, regardless of need
solicitor general
the Justice Department officer who argues the government's cases before the Supreme Court
poverty line
The annual cost of a thrifty food budget for an urban family of four X 3 to include housing cost, clothes, and other stuff
effective tax rate
The actual percentage of a person's income spent to pay taxes
a person who holds the view that the country should involve itself deeply in worldly affairs
honeymoon period
The period during which Congress, the press, and the public anticipate initiatives from the Oval Office and are more predisposed than usual to support these initiatives
plurality opinion
a court opinion that results when a majority of justices agree on a decision but cannot come to a agreements as to the legal basis for the decision
means test
the income and assets of those applying for public assistance are examined, to determine whether or not the individual is eligible for assistance.
sunset law
A law that establishes a specific date when a law will expire (unless it's re-enacted by Congress)
the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent
the chief instrument by which a state governs its local units; it spells in detail what a local government can and cannot do
capital-gains tax
tax taht individuals pay on money gained from the sale of a capital asset, such as a property or stocks
city manager system
form of manicipal government that entrusts the executive role to a professionally trained manager, who is chosen, and can be fired, by a city council
economic globalization
The increased interdependence of nations' economies
a person who holds the view that the country should deliberately avoid a large role in world affairs
economic recession
A less severe economic downturn than a depression
constitutional initiative
process in which citizens can propose an amendement by gathering a required number of signatures on a petition
standing committees
permanent committees responsible for legislation in particular policy areas
neutral competence
The administrative objective of the merit system
regulatory agencies
independent governmental commision astablished by legislative act in order to set standards in a specific field of activity, or operations, in the private sector of the economy and to then enforce those standards
the situation in which nations act together in responce to problems and crises
dissenting opinion
written explanations by judges who do not agree with the Court's majority decision
civil law
body of law dealing with private rights of individuals
party caucus
a meeting of the members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and to develop party policy. Called a conference by the republicans

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