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AP Gov - Ch. 1

America in the 21st Century

institution an ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society
social conflict disagreements among people in a society over what the society's priorities should be when distributing scarce resources
politics the process of resolving conflicts over how society should use its scarce resources and who should receive various benefits
government the individuals and institutions that make society's rules and that also possess the power and authority to enforce those rules
power the ability to influence the behavior of others, usually through the use of force, persuasion or rewards
authority the ability to legitimately exercise power, such as the power to make and enforce laws
public services essential services that individuals cannot provide for themselves, such as building and maintaining roads, providing welfare programs, operating public schools and preserving national parks
democracy a system of government in which the people have ultimate political authority
direct democracy a system of government in which political decisions are made by the people themselves
representative democracy a form of democracy in which the will of the majority is expressed through smaller groups of individuals elected by the people to act as representatives
republic a representative democracy in which there is no king or queen and the people are soverign
parliament the name of the national legislative body in countries governed by a parliamentary system
bicameral legislature a legislature made up of two chambers
social contract a voluntary agreement among individuals to create a government and to give that government adequate power to secure the mutual protection and welfare of all individuals
natural rights rights that are not bestowed by governments but are inherent within every man, woman, and child by virtue of the fact that he or she is a human being
equality a concept that holds, at minimum, that all people are entitled to equal protection under the law
capitalism an economic system based on the private ownership of wealth-producing property, free markets, and freedom of contract
ideology a system of political ideas that are rooted in religious or philosophical beliefs concerning human nature, society, and government
liberalism a set of political beliefs that include the advocacy of active government, including government intervention to improve the welfare of individuals and to protect civil rights
conservative a set of beliefs that include a limited role for the national government in helping individuals and in the economic affairs of the nation, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change
progressivism an alternative, more popular term for the set of political beliefs also known as liberalism
moderate a person whose views fall in the middle of the political spectrum
radical left persons on the extreme left side of the political spectrum, who would like major changes in the political order, usually to promote egalitarianism
radical right persons on the extreme right side of the political spectrum which includes reactionaries and former libertarians
ideologue an individual who holds very strong political opinions
Created by: bquon