AP Gov

Unit 2

Chapter 4 Vocab

ethnocentrism - belief in the superiority of one's nation or ethnic group

demography - the study of the characteristics of populations

reinforcing cleavages - divisions w/in society that reinforce one another, making groups more homogeneous or similar

cross-cutting cleavages - divisions w/in society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more heterogeneous or different

American exceptionalism - due to the circumstances of history, the Constitution, and liberty, the US is different from other nations

manifest destiny - notion held by 19th-century Americans that the US was destined to rule the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific

Sun Belt - in the South and Southwest that has seen population growth relative to the rest of the country and which, because of the climate, has attracted retirees

Bible Belt - South and states bordering the South with a large number of strongly committed Protestants who see a public role for religion

Rust Belt - states in the Midwest once known for their industrial output, which have seen factories close and have experienced relatively high unemployment

urban - densely settled territory that is often the central part of a city of metropolitan areas

suburban - area that typically surrounds the central city, is often residential, and is not as densely populated

rural - sparsely populated territory and small towns, often associated with farming

race - grouping of human beings with distinctive characteristics determined by genetic inheritance

ethnicity - social division based on nat'l origin, religion, language, and often race

fundamentalists - Conservative Christians who have become more active in politics in the last two decades and were especially influential in the 2000 and 2004 pres. election

gender gap - difference b/w the political opinions or political behavior of men and women

gross domestic product (GDP) - total output of all economic activity in the nation, including goods and services

socioeconomic status (SES) - division of population based on occupation, income, and education

Chapter 5 Vocabulary

collective bargaining - process in which a union represents a group of employees in negotiations w/ the employer about wages, benefits, and workplace safety

recall - procedure for submitting to popular vote the removal of officials from office before the end of their term

faction - term the founders used to refer to poli. parties and special interests or interest groups

pluralism - a theory of gov't that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group

interest group - collection of people who share a common interest or attitude and seek to influence gov't for specific ends. Usually work w/in the framework of gov't and try to achieve goals via lobbying

social mvmt. - large body of people interested in a common issue, idea, or concern that is significant and who are willing to take action. Mvmts. seek to change attitudes or institutions, not just policies

open shop - company w/ a labor agreement under which union membership can't be required as a condition of employment

closed shop - company w/ a labor agreement under which union membership can be a condition of employment

free rider - individual who does not join a group representing their interests yet receives the benefits of the group's influence

professional associations - groups who share a common profession and are often organized for common poli. purposes related to that profession

Nongovernmental organization (NGO) - nonprofit association or group operating outside gov't that advocates and pursues policy objectives

collective action - how groups form and organize to pursue their goals or objectives, including how to get individuals and groups to participate and cooperate. This term has many applications in the various social sciences such as poli. science, sociology, and economics

public choice - synonymous w/ "collective action," specifically studies how gov't officials, politicians, and voters respond to positive and negative incentives

lobbying - engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, esp. legislators, and the policies they enact

Federal Register - official document, published every weekday, that lists the new and proposed regulations of executive depts. and regulatory agencies

amicus curiae brief - literally, "a friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or gorup urging the Supreme Court to hear a case (or discouraging it from doing so) or, at the merits stage, to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case

Super PACs - independent expenditure-only PACs; because they may accept donations of any size and can endorse candidates. Their contributions and expenditures must be periodically reported to the FEC

bundling - tactic in which PACs collect contributions from like-minded individuals (each limited to $2000) and present them to a candidate or poli. party as a "bundle," thus increasing the PAC's influence

lobbyist - person who is employed by and acts for an interest group or corporation to try to influence policy decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches

revolving door - an employment cycle in which individuals who work for gov't agencies that regulate interests eventually end up working for interest groups or businesses that share a common policy concern

issue network - relationships among interest groups, congressional committees, and gov't agencies that share a common policy concern

political action committee (PAC) - political arm of an interest group that is legally entitled to raise funds on a voluntary basis from members, stockholders, or employees to contribute funds to candidates or poli. parties

leadership PAC - formed by an officeholder that collects contributions from individuals and other PACs and then makes contributions to other candidates and poli. parties

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) - largely banned party soft money, restored long-standing prohibition on corporations and labor unions' use of general treasury funds for electoral purposes, and narrowed the definition of issue advocacy

soft money - money raised in unltd. amts. by poli. parties for party-building purposes. Now largely illegal except for ltd. contributions to state or local parties for voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts

independent expenditures - the Supreme Court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unltd. amts. in campaigns for or against candidates as long as they operate independently from the candidates. When an individual, group, or party does so, they are making an independent expenditure

issue advocacy - unltd. and undisclosed spending by an individual or group on communications that do not use words like "vote for" or "vote against," although much of this activity is actually about electing or defeating candidates

527 organization - a poli. group organized under section 527 of the IRS Code that may accept and spend unltd. amts. of money on election activities so long as they are not spent on broadcast ads run in the last 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election in which a clearly identified candidate is referred to and a relevant electorate is targeted

Chapter 8 Vocabulary

  1. winner-take-all system - the candidate with the most votes wins

  2. single-member district - voters choose one representative or official

  3. proportional representation - election system in which each party running receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote (Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan)

  4. Electoral College - electoral system used in electing the pres. and VP in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party’s candidates

  5. safe seat - elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of that party’s candidate is almost taken for granted

  6. coattail effect - boost that candidates may get in an election b/c of the popularity of candidates above them on the ballot, esp. the pres.

  7. candidate appeal - tendency in elections to focus on the personal attributes of a candidate, such as his/her strengths, weaknesses, background, experience, and visibility

  8. national tide - inclination to focus on nat’l issues, rather than local issues, in an election campaign; impact of a nat’l tide can be reduced by the nature of the candidates on the ballot who may have differentiated themselves from their party or its leader if the tide is negative

  9. name recognition - incumbents have a large advantage over challengers in elections b/c voters are more familiar with them and incumbents are more recognizable

  10. caucus - meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform

  11. national party convention - nat’l meeting of delegates elected in primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for pres. and VP, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules

  12. Federal Election Commission (FEC) - created by 1974 amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act to administer election reform laws; consists of 6 commissioners appointed by the pres. and confirmed by the Senate; oversees disclosure of campaign finance info, public funding of pres. elections, and enforces contribution limits

  13. Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) - largely banned party soft money, restored a long-standing prohibition on corps and labor unions for using general treasury funds for electoral purposes, and narrowed definition of issue advocacy

  14. soft money - money raised in unltd. amounts by poli. parties for party-building purposes; now largely illegal EXCEPT for ltd. contributions to state or local parties for voter registration or get-out-the-vote efforts

  15. hard money - poli. contributions given to a party, candidate, or IG that are ltd. in amount and fully disclosed; raising limited funds is harder than raising unltd. funds, hence the name “hard money”

  16. issue advocacy - promoting a particular person/issue paid for by interest groups or individuals but NOT candidates; often electioneering for/against a candidate, avoiding words like “vote for” or “vote against” and was unregulated until 2004

  17. independent expenditures - money spent by individuals or groups not associated with candidates to elect/defeat candidates for office

  18. Super PACs - an independent expenditure-only committee first allowed in 2010 after court decisions allowing unltd. contributions to such PACs