About This Chapter
Basic Terms & Concepts for Political Science - Chapter Summary
Make sure you understand the basic terms and concepts associated with political science with this chapter. Find out more about how political power works, and how it is connected to the larger society. With these lessons, you can learn about:
- Definitions of politics, political power and political science
- The role of democracy, constitutionalism and capitalism in American politics
- How power shifts away from the majority
- Representation and the connection between political culture and public opinion
- Ways that countries, nations, states and governments differ
- Connections between citizenship and civil society
- Applications of political justice and rights
- Globalization, modernization, development and politics
Experts in the field of politic science have crafted each of these video lessons. The lessons contain timelines that allow you to navigate directly to the information you want to study. We've also included interactive quizzes in this chapter, so that you can measure your understanding of these terms and concepts.
1. What is Political Science?
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once called political science the master science. In this lesson, you'll learn what political science is, different subfields in the discipline, and why the study of political science is important.
2. Politics: Definition and Source of Governmental Conflict
In this lesson, we will explore the concept of politics. We will examine the various definitions of the word, take a close look at the role of politics in government, and investigate the conflicts sometimes caused by politics.
3. The Rules of American Politics: Democracy, Constitutionalism & Capitalism
In this lesson, we will explore the three rules of American politics: democracy, constitutionalism, and capitalism. We will define each rule and see how it works to keep the political system running smoothly.
4. Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources
In this lesson, we will take a close look at political power. We will define the term, examine its elements, and learn about several theories that help determine who gets to use political power.
5. Shifting Power From Majority to Only a Few: Factors & Process
In this lesson, we will explore factors that have shifted power from the majority of voters to specific groups. We'll pay special attention to voter participation, single-issue voters, uninformed citizens, the nomination of candidates, and campaign expenses.
6. Representation in Political Science
Given the size and complexity of a modern state, direct democracy is impractical, if not infeasible. In this lesson, you'll learn about representative democracy, its different forms, and how it differs from direct democracy.
7. The Difference Between Countries, Nations, States, and Governments
The study of political science requires you to relearn familiar terms that hold a different meaning than found in common everyday usage. In this lesson, you'll learn about the difference between countries, nations, states and governments.
8. The Relationship Between Political Culture and Public Opinion
Politicians are always trying to take the pulse of public opinion, either to follow it or to try to change it. In this lesson, you'll learn about public opinion and its relation to political culture. A short quiz follows.
9. Civil Society and Citizenship
Citizenship and civil society are important concepts in the study of political science. In this lesson, you'll learn what citizenship is and what it means for people that hold it. You'll also learn about the important role of civil society in a democracy.
10. Political Justice and Political Rights
Some of the greatest questions in political thought revolve around the nebulous concepts of justice and rights. In this lesson, we'll be exploring these complex concepts. You'll also have a chance to reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz.
11. Globalization & Politics
The term 'globalization' gets tossed about quite a lot, but what exactly does it mean? In this lesson, you'll learn what globalization is and how it can affect states and their citizens. We'll also discuss the North-South gap. A quiz follows.
12. Modernization, Development & Politics
The current disparity in international development, wealth and resources across the globe makes economic development an important international issue for the 21st century. In this lesson, you'll learn about development and its relation to international politics.
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