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Five Principles of the US Politics


The governance and politics of US are extensively complex. The American law partitions state authorities and errands amongst the executive, legislative, and lawful components in order to segregate power and bestow various authorities to varying arms of government. According to the authors of this chapter, the move was to enhance governance and assign responsibilities to various components of government in order to enhance responsibility, integrity, commitment, and cooperation amongst various arms of government with the intent of working together for the nation.

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According to the American constitution, it is notable that within each state, there is a federal government, which is answerable to the national government. The complexity in this governance phenomenon was intended to disperse the political power in the entire nation to enhance commitment and political participation of every stakeholder. Nonetheless, the trend has bestowed considerable burdens on political activists and those who intend to influence the government policies.

Main Body

The chapter formulates a sense of government and politics by initially striving to define the aspects of government, the kinds of governments that exist, necessary elements of a typical government as well as the roles governments play in the society. In this context, government refers to formalized institutions established to rule the concerned land and its constituents (people). A tribal council or a state can constitute the aspects of government. It is evident that governments vary considerably from one region to the next depending on the nature of authority and the number of people governed by the concerned government or authority. From the chapter (chapter one), it is evident that there are various types of government ranging from autocracies to democracies.

When a government is ruled by a single individual, it constitutes an autocratic government. Conversely, an oligarchy government is ruled by several individuals who have agreed to rule together. However, democratic governments allow individuals (its subjects) to participate in the governance aspects and decision-making processes. With this respect, there are totalitarian governments, which exercise their authorities limitlessly/boundlessly due to magnificent powers they assume. Conversely, authoritarian governments are under stringent scrutiny by political/economic institutions meant to assess their integrity and commitment to the citizens. There are also constitutional governments, which dedicate the limits of their authorities to the constitution of the state.

There are two elements of an effective government. Firstly, a considerable government needs a means through which it can enforce law and order within its concerned societies. Secondly, the revenue collection aspects are important in every government. From the chapters, it is evident that governments are established to execute certain special functions, which societies can hardly do on their own. In fact such services can be missed by the society in question if there is no government to execute them. Additionally, governments are expected to keep order, guard private properties, and to supply public commodities.

While considering the fundamentals/principles of politics, chapter one emerges with five critical political provisions. The first principle identifiable in this context is the rationality principle, which states that every political behavior (regardless of the territory) is purposeful. Politicians set goals for their political activities. Additionally, political activists always stage instrumental choices on how to act and formulate how they will achieve their intended goals.

It is important to recognize that all political activities have a purpose to fulfill. This is what keeps them moving. Another important political principle is the Collective-Action Principle which states that bargaining and collective deeds in politics are daunting and complicated. This complication increases as the number of political movements mount. Evidently, there is a continued diversion of interests as the number of political groupings increase.

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Each political group might possess a different interest from the rest indicating the mentioned divergence. It is important to recognize the characterizing factors in this context. It renders everything quite constructive in various contexts. Additionally, having a political atmosphere with multiple contenders might distract the aspects of collective bargaining due to diverging interests.

The third political principle evident in this chapter is the institutional principle. This principle recognizes that it is the political institutional, which can resolve collective troubles. This is evident by the fact that there are institutional orders and procedures that are politically installed. The first example considered is the jurisdictional aspects where political influences dictate the final authority to pass decisions. The aspects of decisiveness, agenda power, veto power, and delegation equally emerge as components of this political principle. Political outcomes are numerous in these contexts and they confer numerous provisions in the political and governmental context.


The fourth political principle evident in this chapter is the policy principle. This principle indicates that political results are the products of personal inclinations and institutional procedures. Obviously, an individual’s preferences can dictate the outcome of a given political activity. Additionally, institutional procedures have always dictated political atmospheres. Individualized goals and those of their respective institutions will determine the outcome of a given political movement. The fifth principle in this context is the history principle, which indicates the importance of history on political circumstances.

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