For the first midterm, I will give you a mix of short answer and essay questions. The questions will be drawn from the readings, lectures and class discussions. Many of the questions will be taken directly from the list below.
You essay answers will be evaluated based upon
1. the clarity of your argument
2. the use of the readings and lectures
3. the creative use of examples from lectures and readings to make your arguments
4. the clarity of concept definitions.
Below are series of key concept and study questions. Many of the short essay questions will be taken directly from the list below. Use specific examples to support your arguments. The list below is a good place to start. “Federalism can promote a race to the bottom” is not as good an answer as “Donahue suggests federalism can promote a race to the bottom like with the spread of gambling” Your answers should be concise and avoid unnecessary words and fluff (e.g. The framers had just won the revolutionary war against the oppressive British Government and King George and now faced the difficult challenge of . . ). You may also abbreviate i.e. Pres, H of R, EC for electoral college, Con. for Constitution etc; just make sure it is relatively clear. I will not be able to guess that CB stands for checks and balances. You are encouraged to form study groups with your fellow classmates.
List of Key Concepts
What is the difference between elite and popular democrats according to the Miroff (p. 1-13) Give an example of one elite and one popular democrat authors from elsewhere in Debating Democracy and why they fit the elite or popular label?
What is the New American Democracy, according to Fiorina?
Articles of Confederation; consent of the governed; separation of power; checks and balances; Shays rebellion; Connecticut Compromise; Electoral college compromise; 3/5ths compromise; “extend the sphere”; “ambition must be made to counteract ambition”; “men are not angels”; “causes of faction are sown in the nature of man”; "problem of pure democracy," “The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.” Madison's solution to the problem of faction; Latent causes of faction; Tyranny of the majority, Brutus on small republics and civic virtue; cleavages at the Constitutional Convention, slavery 3/5ths clause, 1808 date for banning importation of slaves, Navigation Acts
What were the major challenges faced by the framers and how were they addressed?
What was Shays’ Rebellion and why does it matter?
What are some of the political compromises in the Constitution? Why were they adopted? What political problem did they solve? How do those compromises hamper democracy today?
What are BEARD, RIKER, Roche, Diamond, and Akhil Amar/Wood’s interpretations of the constitution? What specific elements of the Constitution or the Federalist Papers do they use to make their argument? Whose argument seems most plausible and why?
What did Madison and the founders believe was the causes and consequences of “tyranny of the majority” and how did the founders hope to avoid it?
What is meant by the separation of powers?
What are checks and balances and what are there consequences for government performance?
What intellectual differences split the anti-federalists and federalists? What are Madison and Brutus’s view of human nature? Of participation by ordinary citizens? Of
Fed #51 “each department (must have) the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others”
federalism; unfunded mandates; devolution; dual federalism; Cooperative federalism;
Categorical grants; Block grants; Laboratories of democracy; “separate checks” (from Eggers); devolution revolution; laboratories of democracy; race to the bottom; expansion of gambling;
What is dual federalism? Cooperative federalism? New federalism? Coercive Federalism?
How do categorical grants, block grants, and unfunded mandates differ?
How has the relationship between state governments and the national government changed since the early years of the republic?
Which level of government (federal or state and local) is the most appropriate one to make to make decisions on an issue like oil drilling or gay marriage? Why? What are the specific advantages and disadvantages of having state or local governments versus the federal government make policy on each issue?
The Role of the Market in a Democracy
Voluntary exchanges; Neighborhood effects; Capital Strike; limits of democratic control of the capitalist economy;
Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
1.What is the relationship between economic freedom and political freedom? Why do markets promote or enable political freedom?
2. What are voluntary exchanges and why are they important?
3.What is the appropriate role for government? What are neighborhood effects and their implication for government action?
4.What is his view of the growth of market on political freedom?
Bowles and Edwards, The Market Erodes Democratic Government
1.What is the relationship between government activity and the market
2.What is their view of the growth of market on political freedom?
3.What are the limits of democratic control of the capitalist economy? How do markets erodes democratic government?
1. What is the relationship between economic freedom and political freedom? How do markets promote or enable political freedom? How do they impinge upon it?
2. What are voluntary exchanges and capital strikes and why are they important?
3. What are the limits of democratic control of the capitalist economy? How do markets erodes democratic government? Give an example.
4. What might each author say about the causes and consequences of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more commonly known as Obamacare?
Citizens and Democracy
Beverly Hillbillies vs. CSPAN; Pete Knutson; elite and popular democrats view of the role of citizens; Mueller’s definition of democracy; citizen apathy; Learned helplessness
Mueller’s empirical and normative theory of democracy;
Mueller’s views on the potential and problems of political equality. “Democracy is a form of government in which individual is left free to be politically unequal”.
Loeb – “public participation is the very soul of democratic citizenship”, learned helplessness, Pete Knutson, fishing together
1. What are Mueller and Loeb’s arguments about the role of citizens in a democracy? What does the good citizen look like? What is expected from citizens? Why do
citizens participate (or not) in politics?
2. What would both authors say about the causes and consequences of the outpouring of citizen interest and activism in America after the September 11 terrorist attacks
for American democracy?
3. The US has never had significant participation or civic involvement in our history, it demonstrates that wide participation is not necessary for it to work. True or False?
American individualism; Traditional explanations of American political culture; Limits of political culture for explaining public policy; Multiple Traditions explanation of political culture;
What is the liberal consensus?
Why is it important for understanding American politics?
What are the components of this consensus?
What is the political culture explanation for why America doesn't have a national health care system?
What are the limits of political culture for explaining public policy in US?
Wattenberg and Gingrich (global competition of civilizations; patriotic immigration; assimilation; Office of Migrant Education; Identity card)
Why does Wattenberg think immigration is good?
Why does Wattenberg believe that high levels of immigration do not threaten our political culture?
What are the implications of Wattenberg’s ideas for our immigration policy?
What are the components of Gingrich’s patriotic immigration policy?