Policy and Party Coalitions in American Government

The nature of each party’s coalition explains each party’s lawmakers’ positions on policy issues, through lawmakers’ need for voter support (party alignment) and financial donations. Therefore, they are likely to vote on policy issues in such a way that benefits from that policy are concentrated among their constituents and benefactors and costs are dispersed among a broad base. Continue reading Policy and Party Coalitions in American Government

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Political parties and interest groups’ influence on government policy

Political parties and political interest groups are both intermediaries through which people can make their views known to government and through which they can try to influence public policy. Continue reading Political parties and interest groups’ influence on government policy

A Government of Four Institutions: Major Strengths

This essay discusses the major strength of each of the four government institutions examined in the course: Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, and the Supreme Court. Without dismissing the obvious notion that each of these institutions has multiple functions, strengths and weaknesses – and each of which worthy of debate – I will here focus on one strength per institution. Continue reading A Government of Four Institutions: Major Strengths

Was Jean-Jacques Rousseau an Enlightenment figure?

This essay compares some of the ideas expressed by Immanuel Kant countered by those expressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau with regard to enlightenment. More specifically, it considers whether Rousseau can be classified as an enlightenment figure according to the definition of enlightenment proposed by Kant. Continue reading Was Jean-Jacques Rousseau an Enlightenment figure?

A Government Of Laws, Not Of Men

John Adams’ description of the ideal form of government as “a government of laws, not of men” refers to a situation in which all citizens have to be regarded as equals by the government, endowed with equal opportunity, and equally held accountable for their actions, regardless of class, race, wealth and other personal characteristics. Continue reading A Government Of Laws, Not Of Men

Stats & Politics: House of Representatives (2012-2017)

With elections coming up for the Dutch House of Representatives, it is time to reflect once more on the past four years. What can the past four years possibly tell us about the next four? Continue reading Stats & Politics: House of Representatives (2012-2017)

Stats & Politics: Women in Parliament

In 1917, just shy of a hundred years ago, a constitutional amendment1 gave women in the Netherlands the right to run for office. A year later, Suze Groeneweg was the first woman to be elected as a House representative2Continue reading Stats & Politics: Women in Parliament