Political Science discussion questions I just need all the questions answered but can you please write down the question along with the answer so I know which belongs to each question. Another thing, please choose to answer this question only if you will be able to answer all of them correctly. Thank you! Federalism
1. When did devolution become an important part of federalism, and why?
2. Discuss why intergovernmental lobbies have become such an important part of the political
1. Explain the difference between civil liberties and civil rights.
2. What was the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Miranda case?
3. Give an example of the impact of the lack of an explicit right to privacy in the Constitution on
4. Define and give an example of libel.
5. Why do public figures have fewer First Amendment protections?
6. Explain the process of selective incorporation.
7. Explain how slander differs from libel and provide examples of each.
8. Discuss the extent of an individual’s right to privacy.
1. What is de jure segregation, and how does it work?
2. How has Title IX changed higher education?
3. Explain the consequences of the decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
4. What is the myth of guaranteed political and social equality, and why is it a myth?
5. What are Jim Crow laws, and how were they used?
6. Explain the consequences of the decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.
7. Give three examples of how states employed massive resistance during the civil rights
8. Explain the consequences of the decision in Shelby v. Holder for voting rights.
9. Define and explain the importance of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
10. What were anti-miscegenation laws, and whom did they impact?
11. Give examples of different interpretations of the Second Amendment’s meaning.
12. Describe the protections afforded criminal defendants under the Constitution.
13. Discuss the extent of an individual’s right to privacy.
14. What are major components of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and why is it still important?
15. What are the major components of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and why is it still important?
1. Explain the purpose of a bicameral legislature.
2. Why do members of Congress engage in casework?
3. Describe how a legislative veto differs from a presidential veto.
4. What is the relationship between a filibuster and cloture?
5. Discuss the role of the conference committee in the legislative process.
6. Define pork-barrel legislation and give an example of it in action.
1. What are executive agreements, and why do presidents often prefer them to formal treaties?
2. What role does the National Security Council play in the White House?
3. Define executive privilege and explain its purpose.
4. Argue for or against the effectiveness of the War Powers Resolution.
5. What is an executive order, and how can it be used to circumvent congressional decisions?
1. Define the “equal time” rule and provide an example of how it works.
2. What is priming and how does it work?
3. What is the role of the Federal Communications Commission?
4. Why are pseudo-events valuable for both politicians and the media?
5. What roles do elites and media play in opinion formation? Give two examples.
6. Why does the media prefer to cover the president rather than Congress?
7. How did William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer change political journalism?
8. Discuss how social media is changing political campaigning.
9. Define a media conglomerate and discuss how they can impact media diversity.
10. Why are selective exposure and selective attention important concepts in Political
11. What is the Low-Choice media environment and High-Choice media environment? Why
are they important?
12. How does horse-race journalism affect the coverage of campaigns and voters’ impression of
13. Identify some of the techniques candidates have developed to bypass the established media.
14. Discuss the criteria that are employed in deciding whether or not to report something as
1. Discuss how the framing effect can change the results of a survey and provide an example.
2. Explain why straw polls are not good measures of public opinion.
3. Define opinion stability and provide an example of opinion instability.
4. Choose two of the agents of socialization that have had the greatest impact on your political
views and explain why.
5. What is partisan sorting? Why it is significant?
6. Explain the relationship between participation and socialization.
7. What is the connection between opinion intensity and opinion saliency?
8. Discuss two of the differences between African American and Hispanic political opinion.
9. Describe how a random probability sample works.
10. What is rational ignorance ?
11. Name two important information shortcuts ?(p.385)
12. What is social identity and why is it important?
13. Explain why political efficacy matters when we try to study public opinion.
14. Why has public trust in government declined since the 1960s? Give at least three examples.
15. Define political culture and explain why it is important in understanding politics
16. Compare and contrast the general political views of men and women.
17. Compare and contrast the general political views of whites and African Americans and
Latinos. Address major within group differences.
Campaigns & Elections
1. What is a candidate-centered campaign, and how do such campaigns impact parties?
2. Give an example of a current electoral coalition for one of the major parties.
3. What do Keynesians believe, and to which party are they connected?
4. What are platforms, and why do parties create them?
5. Who is involved in the party-in-the-electorate, and what role do they play in party politics?
6. Define and give an example of patronage.
7. What is dealignment, and how is it different from realignment?
8. Explain how a political party differs from an interest group.
9. What is the importance of the candidate-centered campaign, and how has it changed
1. What is political gridlock? Is one party more responsible for this, how so?
2. What is partisan sorting and how has it contributed to hyperpartisanship?
3. What is the difference between closed and open primaries?
4. How are super delegates different from regular delegates?
5. Explain the difference between an initiative and a referendum.
6. Discuss the advantages incumbents have in an election.
7. What is soft money, and why is it important in a campaign?
8. What are the differences between a PAC and a super PAC?
9. Discuss how the introduction of political consultants has changed the nature of campaigning.
10. What is the importance of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court for political
11. What is the importance of the McCutcheon decision by the Supreme Court for political
12. What is a partisan primary, and how does it differ from a nonpartisan primary?
1. What is the free-rider problem, and why does it matter?
2. Define and provide an example of grassroots pressure.
3. What makes a super PAC different from a regular PAC?
4. What is astroturfing, and why does it cast a negative light on lobbying?
5. Define single-issue interest groups and give an example of a group that might create such an
6. What would the likely countervailing forces be for a group lobbying on behalf of college
students? Provide two examples.
7. Under what circumstances is the size of an interest group irrelevant?
1. Under what circumstances will the Supreme Court issue a writ of certiorari?
2. Give two examples of federal courts that have original jurisdiction.
3. What is the purpose of an amicus curiae brief?
4. Give two examples of federal courts that have appellate jurisdiction.
5. When do justices typically write concurring opinions, and why?
6. When do justices typically write dissenting opinions, and why?
7. Explain why judicial activism matters and give an example.
8. What is judicial review? What grants the Courts this power?
9. What is the primary flaw underlying original intent theory or strict constructionism?
10. Describe the differences between judicial activism and judicial restraint.
11. Describe the differences between judicial activism and judicial restraint.
12. Explain how opinion assignment works on the Supreme Court and identify the types of
opinions that justices write.
Social, Economic Policy
1. Name the three types of public policy, and identify examples of each that are currently being
2. Name the five steps in the policymaking process.
3. What are the differences between a social welfare program and a social insurance program?
4. What reforms have been proposed to change the current tax code? What are the pros and
cons of each reform? Which reform do you think is best? Or do you believe that the tax code
does not need to be changed? Why?
What are the two broad types of economic policy?
What are the two theories of trade policy?
1. What is the Bush doctrine and how has it been used?
2. What was the Authorization of the Use of Military Force (2001) who has it been used?
3. Why did the United States acquire overseas territory? How did this change American Foreign
1. Why was the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 so significant?
3. Describe the political reforms established by the Progressives who dominated state
government from 1911-1917.
4. Why was the Southern Pacific Railroad compared to an octopus?
5. Name four Progressive era reforms that were designed to disable political parties.
6. What are the political consequences of a plural executive?
7. Explain how Progressives helped to trigger California’s first “giant political earthquake.”
8. How does direct democracy challenge the theoretical assumptions of representative
9. Describe the three types of direct democracy in California.
10. In what sense is California government a “hybrid” government?
11. Name three landmark propositions (initiatives) passed in California after 1965; use the
proposition number and give a short title or description.
12. In what ways does the initiative process in California advantage resource-rich, “special
interests” and disadvantage average citizens?
13. Describe term limitations (or “term limits”) for California legislators.
14. Describe the effects of term limits on the California state legislature.
15. Describe the work that staff members perform.
16. What is the function of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO)?
17. How have California policy makers tried to reduce overcrowding in state prisons?
18. An example of a special district is:
19. Outline the major steps involved in preparing and passing the annual budget.
21. What are the causes of budget deficits in California?
22. How does Proposition 13 affect budgeting today?
23. What are some of the major factors (political or otherwise) that influence the budget process?
24. What kinds of media sources do Californians rely on for political information?
25. Describe three forms of political or civic participation other than voting.
25. What factors are positively associated with civic and political participation?
26. What are some of the demographic (personal background) variables that have been
associated with lower levels of political participation?
27. Why don’t people participate in politics? What variables are associated with non-
28. Is there any evidence that the people who vote represent fairly those who do not vote?
29. Briefly explain how age, education level, home ownership, nativity, and income are related to
voter turnout rates.
30. How do large membership organizations such as the CTA (California Teachers Association)
try to influence politics?
31. Why are lobbyists in Sacramento collectively known as the third house”?
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