What is an agenda setter?An authority that controls what options are decided on by a group.
Define authoritarianism.A political system in which there is no expectation that the government represents the people, and the institutions of government do not give the people a direct voice in who will lead.
What is bureaucracy?An agency or office devoted to carrying out tasks for the government in a manner consistent with the law.
What is a bureaucrat?Any government employee who is not part of the ruling powers.


What is a collective-action problem?A situation in which people would be better off if they all cooperated; however, any individual has an incentive not to cooperate as long as the others are cooperating.
What is a collective dilemma?A conflict between group goals and individual goals or self-interest.
What is a coordination problem?A situation in which two or more people are all better off if they coordinate on a course of action, but there is more than one possible course of action to take.
Define democracy.Rule by the people; in practice today this means popular election of the government and basic protections of civil rights and liberties.


Define dictatorship.An authoritarian political system in which sovereign power is vested in one individual.
What is federalism?A political system with multiple levels of government, in which each level has independent authority over some important policy areas.
What is free riding?Benefitting from a public good while avoiding the costs of contributing to it.
What are institutions?Codified constraints on behavior.


What is a minimum winning coalition?The smallest size coalition necessary to achieve a goal.
What is a monarchy?A political system in which a ruler usually a king or queen) is chosen by virtue of being the heir of the previous ruler.
What is an oligarchy?A political system in which power resides in a small segment of society.
What is a one-party state?A political system in which one party controls the government and actively seeks to prevent other parties from contesting for power.


Define path dependence.The notion that earlier events or decisions deeply affect current and future policy decisions.
What is a political system?The way a society organizes and manages its politics across various levels of public authority.
Define politics.The process of making collective decisions, usually by governments, to allocate public resources and to create and enforce rules for the operation of society.
What is a principal-agent problem?An instance in which one actor, a principal, contracts another actor, an agent, to act on the principal's behalf, but the actors may not share the same preferences, and the principal lacks the means to observe all of the agent's behavior.


What is prisoner's dilemma?An interaction between two strategic actors in which neither actor has an incentive to cooperate even though both would be better off if they both cooperated.
What is a private good?A product or benefit provided such that its enjoyment can be limited to specific people, and such that one individual's consumption of it precludes others from consuming it.
What is a public good?A benefit provided to a group of people such that each member can enjoy it without necessarily having to pay for it, and such that one person's enjoyment of it does not inhibit the enjoyment of it by others.
What are public policies?Programs and decisions by the government that are enforced by the rule of law.


What is a republic?A political system in which public officials are chosen to represent the people in an assembly, which makes important policy decisions.
What is an unstable coalition?An instance in which three or more people must make a collective choice from a set of alternatives, but any voting coalition in favor of an alternative can be divided by consideration of another alternative.
Define anarchy.The absence of any form of government or political authority.
What is aristocracy?Rule by ''the best''; in reality, rule by an upper class.


Define capitalism.An economic system characterized by the private ownership of wealth-creating assets, free markets, and freedom of contract.
Define conservatism.A set of beliefs that includes a limited role for the national government in helping individuals, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
What is a democratic republic?A republic in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies.
What is direct democracy?A system of government in which political decisions are made by the people directly, rather than by their elected representatives; probably attained most easily in small political communities.


What is the divine right of kings?The divine right of kings, or divine-right theory of kingship, is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people or anything else on earth.
Define elite theory.A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power to further their self-interest.
Define equality.As a political value, the idea that all people are of equal worth.
What is government?The preeminent institution in which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges. It is unique because it has the ultimate authority within society.


Define ideology.A comprehensive set of beliefs about the nature of people and about the role of an institution or government.
What is an initiative?A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutional amendment.
What is a legislature?A governmental body primarily responsible for the making of laws.
Define liberalism.A set of beliefs that includes the advocacy of positive government action to improve the welfare of individuals, support for civil rights, and tolerance for political and social change.


What is libertarianism?A political ideology based on skepticism or opposition toward almost all government activities.
What is liberty?The greatest freedom of individuals that is consistent with the freedom of other individuals in the society.
What is limited government?The principle that the powers of government should be limited, usually by institutional checks.
What is majoritarianism?A political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.


Define majority.More than 50 percent.
What is majority rule?A basic principle of democracy asserting that the greatest number of citizens in any political unit should select officials and determine policies.
Define order.A state of peace and security. Maintaining order by protecting members of society from violence and criminal activity is the oldest purpose of government.
What is pluralism?A theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups. Political decision making is characterized by bargaining and compromise.


What is political culture?The set of ideas, values, and ways of thinking about government and politics that is shared by all citizens.
What is political socialization?The process through which individuals learn a set of political attitudes and form opinions about social issues. Families and the educational system are two of the most important forces in the political socialization process.
What is politics?The process of resolving conflicts and deciding ''who gets what, when, and how.'' More specifically, politics is the struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groups that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges.
Define property.Anything that is or may be subject to ownership. As conceived by the political philosopher John Locke, the right to property is a natural right superior to human law (laws made by government).


What is a recall vote?A procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss an elected official from state office before his or her term has expired.
What is a referendum?An electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures are referred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval.
What is representative democracy?A form of government in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies; may retain the monarchy in a ceremonial role.
Define social contract theory.A theory of politics that asserts that individuals form political communities by a process of mutual consent, giving up a measure of their individual liberty in order to gain the protection of government.


Define socialism.A political ideology based on strong support for economic and social equality. Socialists traditionally envisioned a society in which major businesses were taken over by the government or by employee cooperatives.
What is a totalitarian regime?A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.
What is universal suffrage?The right of all adults to vote for their representatives.
Define market failure.Market failure is a concept within economic theory wherein the allocation of goods and services by a free market is not efficient.


What is agency loss?The discrepancy between what citizens ideally would like their agents to do and how the agents actually behave.
What is an agent?Someone who makes and implements decisions on behalf of someone else.
Define authority.The right to make and implement a decision.
Define bargaining.A form of negotiation in which two or more parties who disagree propose exchanges and concessions to find a course of acceptable collective action.


What is a coalition?An alliance of unlike-minded individuals or groups to achieve some common purpose such as lobbying, legislating, or campaigning for the election of public officials.
What are conformity costs?The difference between what a person ideally would prefer and what the group with which that person makes collective decisions actually does. Individuals pay these whenever collective decisions produce policy outcomes that do not best serve their interests.
What is a constitution?A document outlining the formal rules and institutions of government and the limits placed on its powers.
Define delegation.The act of one person or body authorizing another person or body to perform an action on its behalf.


What is an externality?Public goods or bads generated as a byproduct of private activity. Air pollution is an example (public bad) because it is, in part, the byproduct of the private activity of driving a car.
What is an office?Subdivision of some government departments that confers on its occupants specific authority and responsibilities.
What is parliamentary government?A form of government in which the chief executive is chosen by the majority party or by a coalition of parties in the legislature.
Define plurality.A vote in which the winning candidate receives the greatest number of votes (but not necessarily a majority--over 50 percent).


What is a politician?Elected professional who specializes in providing compelling reasons for people with different values and interests to join in a common action.
What is a principal?An individual with the authority to make some decision. This authority may be delegated to an agent who is supposed to act on this individual's behalf.
Define privatization.To prevent a common resource from being over-exploited by tying the benefit of its consumption to its cost.
Define regulation.Setting up rules limiting access to a common resource and monitoring and penalizing those who violate them.


Define supermajority.A larger than fifty-one percent majority, required for extraordinary actions such as amending the Constitution or certain congressional actions. For example, in the Senate sixty votes required to stop a filibuster.
What is the tragedy of the commons?A situation in which group members over-exploit a common resource, causing its destruction.
What are transaction costs?The costs of doing political business reflected in the time and effort required to compare preferences and negotiate compromises in making collective decisions.
What is tyranny?A form of government in which the ruling power exploits its authority and permits little popular control.


What is popular sovereignty?Citizens' delegation of authority to their agents in government, with the ability to rescind that authority.
What is status quo bias?When the system fundamentally favors a continuation of its current design, making deviation from the basic blueprint difficult