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By James Q. Wilson

Acclaimed for the scholarship of its famous authors and the readability of its narrative, American govt: associations and Policies units the normal for public coverage insurance whereas preserving concentrate on 3 basic themes: the significance of associations of yankee govt; the old improvement of governmental tactics, actors, and regulations; and who governs within the usa and to what ends. scholar involvement within the fabric is reinforced by means of confirmed pedagogical gains corresponding to studying targets framing every one bankruptcy, "Constitutional Connections" touching on present concerns to founding ideas, and "How issues paintings" packing containers that illustrate very important suggestions.

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For example, at one time, it was unconstitutional for the federal government to levy income taxes; energy was a nonissue because everyone (or at least everyone who could chop down trees for firewood) had enough; welfare was something for cities and towns to handle; civil rights were supposed to be a matter of private choice rather than government action; “homeland security” was not in the political lexicon, and a huge federal cabinet department by that name was nowhere on the horizon. At any given time, what is on the political agenda is affected by at least four things: • Shared political values—for example, if people believe that poverty is the result of social forces rather than individual choices, then there is a reason to enact or expand government programs to combat poverty.

The Greek city-state, or polis, was quite small, and within it citizenship was extended to all free adult male property holders. ) In more recent times, the New England town meeting approximates the Aristotelian ideal. In such a meeting, the adult citizens of a community gather once or twice a year to vote directly on all major issues and expenditures of the town. As towns have become larger and issues more complicated, many JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images democracy The rule of the many. As protestors around the world support democracy activists in Syria, the United States weighs how it should assist opposition groups in other countries that seek to establish democratic governments.

The answer to the second question is important because it tells us how government affects our lives. We want to know not only who governs, but what difference it makes who governs. In our day-to-day lives, we may not think government makes much difference at all. In one sense that is right, because our most pressing personal concerns—work, play, love, family, health—essentially are private matters on which government touches but slightly. But in a larger and longer perspective, government makes a substantial difference.

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