Subject: General Questions    / General General Questions    

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Politics in Our Daily Lives (graded)

As we read and discuss the definition of politics, let's also consider the consequences of political decisions on our everyday lives. Can you think of examples from your everyday life when you encounter politics? What makes these experiences "political?"

As you discuss this with one another, let's not forget to comment on other people's experiences. Have you experienced similar situations? Can you think of creative ways in which politics plays itself out in your daily life?

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The Study of Political Science (graded)

The reading this week discusses the role of political scientists and their attempts to treat the study of politics as a science. In these efforts, they build scholarship based on reason, balance, and supporting evidence, although much of this scholarship is based on theory.

Discuss how political scientists attempt to quantify data, manipulate data statistically, and attempt to validate hypotheses.

DeVry POLI330 Week 2 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Understanding the Theories (graded)

As your text explains, Plato is considered the father of political science. Within The Republic, he presents his theories on the foundations of a perfect government. Rather than a theoretical examination of government, The Republic is written in story form, as the main character Socrates explores the ideal way to form a city.

A largely studied portion of The Republic deals with Plato’s cave allegory. The story goes something like this: You, as a person, find yourself within a cave, chained to the ground, facing a stone wall. You cannot stand, and all you know are the images that play out before you, which are the shadows cast by a light source from behind you. You cannot see behind you, but you know that there are others in the cave with you. This is the only state you have ever known. It is your only reality of the world. Plato goes on to explain that then one day, people come and remove your chains, and take you out of the cave. As you can imagine, you are scared and frightful, and thus fight these individuals as they drag you into this new setting. However, over time you learn to accept the larger image of the world around you and come to understand life outside of the cave. You then attempt to go back into the cave to free others.

This story was Plato’s attempt to explain the world around us. Just picture it: You are chained to the ground and all you can see in front of you is a cave wall. There is a light source behind you, which casts reflections on the wall.

What do you think you would think of these reflections? Could they represent family members? Or friends? What about a god?

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Liberalism versus Socialism (graded)

The term liberalism,when applied to governments, is very different from the term liberalin America. Where liberalism implies a limited government, here in the United States a liberal is not usually seen as supporting a smaller government. This can be very confusing. In an effort to better understand these various meanings, we need to explore the variations within liberalism itself.

So who would like to explain how modern liberalism varies from classical liberalism? In addition, in what ways is classical liberalism similar to conservatism today?

DeVry POLI330 Week 3 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Democracies Compared (graded)

Over the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to explore the roots of political philosophy. Let’s take a moment to focus in upon the idea of democracy. What is the true definition of democracy?

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The Division of Power (graded)

As we have seen through our readings, governments differ on where the power of the state should be held.

Unitary systems concentrate the power within the central government and little or no authority is granted to the component areas. In contrast, federal systems allow first-order civil divisions to have some autonomy, while the central government maintains authority over some areas.

Take a moment to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each system.

DeVry POLI330 Week 4 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Political Parties and Interest Groups (graded)

We continually hear about interest groups in the news. Understanding this, what is the relationship between interest groups and government? How does this apply to government-created interest groups? In addition, what are the effects of bureaucrats as interest groups? Do you believe this crossover between bureaucrats and interest groups to be right? Please be sure to provide specific examples in your response.

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Elections (graded)

Compare and contrast single-member districts and proportional representation (PR). How effective is each electoral system in representing its people’s interests? How do they support the party systems around which they arose?

DeVry POLI330 Week 5 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Parliamentary and Presidential Systems (graded)

As we turn our focus to the international realm, let’s take a moment to compare the governmental systems of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Identify a few key differences between a parliamentary and a presidential system. How is the top leader selected differently? How do you think this difference impacts the kind of people who are chosen?

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The U.S. Supreme Court (graded)

The lecture this week suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court is the least democratic branch of government, and yet it serves an important function in our democracy.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a branch of government that is not democratically elected? Would you change the way the court is appointed?

DeVry POLI330 Week 6 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Welfare Systems (graded)

Examine the efficacy of U.S. welfare programs. What do such programs intend to accomplish? What are some criticisms against them? Be sure to cite specific academic examples, not just ones from your opinion.

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Global Markets (graded)

Several countries around the world are transitioning to market economies; the most significant of these are China and Russia. What do you think the impact will be on other countries around the world as these two countries become even more significant in the global economy? What are some examples of this impact?

DeVry POLI330 Week 7 Discussion 1 & 2 Latest 2016 November

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Ethnic Violence (graded)

In discussing the concept of violence this week, let’s take a moment to consider the following situation.

Imagine a country where religious factions inside a nation want to have their own separate homeland. The government refuses, claiming that the territory in question, which commands the nation’s only source of clean water, is vital to security. Is violence inevitable?

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International Treaties (graded)

In considering the international realm, let’s consider the concept of economic treaties. Specifically, let's think about an organization like the European Union (EU).

Why was it formed? In addition, what are some of the objectives of the nations that are joining the EU?