A Glossary of US Politics and Government

A Glossary of US Politics and Government

A Glossary of US Politics and Government

A Glossary of US Politics and Government

Synopsis

This Glossary explains the key concepts, institutions, personalities and events most commonly referred to in the teaching of US politics and government. The emphasis is on accessibility in order to provide students with a ready source of knowledge which can supplement core reading. The book will help students to address any gaps they may have in their understanding of US politics which, in turn, will make studying this fascinating subject all the more rewarding and enjoyable.

Excerpt

The United States houses one of the most intricate systems of government in the world, and produces politics of a complex nature. As a result, to understand this political arena, one needs to take on board many variables: the functions of a whole host of individual institutions; key political events that have occurred over some 250 years; individuals who have shaped this history; and the numerous expressions scholars have ‘coined’ in order to explain this political system. This may seem daunting at first. One has to sort out the legislative branch from the executive branch, and then work out where the Supreme Court resides in this political dispensation. This is before one realises that the federal government is only part of the equation, and that there are fifty other sovereign governments in the USA: those belonging to the individual states. and then there are the people and organisations that inhabit this system of government (politicians, political parties, interest groups, government departments, courts, independent agencies, and so on). Not to mention methods of representation, in terms of general elections, primary elections, recall votes, state initiatives, lobbying and so forth. One needs some kind of mental map in order to put all these fragments of government and politics back together, to gain an overall picture. Most use the us constitution as the starting point for drawing this map. and the constitution itself introduces a plethora of phrases that need to be understood (the commerce clause, denied powers, strict construction - again the list goes on). If . . .

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