Back to sample exams

POS 101 R. R. Pope

Citizens & Governance Summer 2000

4th Exam

1. Which of the following, if any, is it not reasonable to argue with respect to the question of fairness?

  1. If the view of human nature discussed in this course is reasonably accurate, then it is not realistic to expect society to ever be completely fair to everyone.
  2. In theory at least, it is not unreasonable to assume that socialism should be a fairer system than capitalism.
  3. It should be possible to make American society at least somewhat fairer in the future than it is today.
  4. _X_All of the above are reasonable to argue.

2. According to Shively, the competitive market does not result in "justice" because

  1. wealth and income are distributed unequally.
  2. the market is not very effective in producing "collective goods" such as highways and general education.
  3. the market is not good at taking into account social costs and benefits such as the cost to neighbors when someone uses a part of their private property as a trash dump.
  4. _X_Shively mentions all of the above.

3. According to Machiavelli,

  1. if you want to be sure something gets done, it is best to have one person in charge.
  2. in general, people obtain high rank by applying either force or fraud.
  3. moderation is risky.
  4. _X_ Machiavelli states all of the above.

4. According to Domhoff,

  1. government in the U.S. is mostly dominated by business.
  2. the "working class" in the U.S. generally has less political influence than does the "working class" in most European countries.
  3. when the "working class" has its fair share of power, the society will provide, for example, more public services and better old age and unemployment benefits than when the "power elite" is in control.
  4. _X_All of the above.

5. According to Neustadtl, the one thing that can be done to make our system fairer would be to

  1. _X_substantially reform campaign finance.
  2. eliminate PAC's (Political Action Committees).
  3. better inform the general public about the threat to society posed by the "power elite."
  4. None of the above.

6. According to the lecture, the concept of the "power elite"-as presented in the readings-is at least partially undermined if

  1. there are competing elites.
  2. the media is free to criticize what the elite does.
  3. there are counterbalancing elites, such as environmental groups that at least some of the time are able to "challenge" business interests.
  4. there are competitive elections.
  5. _X_All of the above.

7. According to the argument and evidence presented in this class, for a political system to be reasonably effective it needs

  1. a media that pays attention to what government, interest groups, and powerful individuals are doing.
  2. competition in as many areas as possible.
  3. an honest effort to apply the rule of law.
  4. in general, effective checks and balances.
  5. _X_All of the above.

8. Which, if any, of the following was not given priority, at least in theory, under the communist view of "civil rights"?

  1. The right to shelter.
  2. The right to an education.
  3. The right to adequate food and clothing.
  4. The right to be treated fairly by the system.
  5. _X_The communists claimed that they promoted/protected all of the above "rights."

9. According to the "definition" article on the class web site, the rule of law is supposed to prevent all but which, if any, of the following?

  1. The exercise of power without restraint.
  2. _X_Restrictions being placed on the rights of legitimate rulers.
  3. The acquisition of wealth by force.
  4. The majority from ignoring the legitimate rights of individuals.
  5. The rule of law is in fact supposed to prevent all of the above.

10. According to the lecture and/or the readings, which of the following statements, if any, does not apply to the rule of law-or at least is an exaggeration?

  1. It is essential to the success of democracy.
  2. It does not always guarantee "justice."
  3. An honest effort needs to be made to apply the law equally to every member of society.
  4. It cannot readily be applied in every culture; some basic attitudes have to be in place or the rule of law cannot function effectively.
  5. _X_All of the above apply to the rule of law.

11. In "The Rule of Law & President Clinton," which of the following, if any, does Rep. Bob Barr argue?

  1. No man, no matter how prominent and powerful he might be, has a right to defy a court of law.
  2. Even a relatively "low key" effort (vs. a "frontal assault") to obstruct justice is destructive of the rule of law in our country.
  3. The evidence is clear that President Clinton is guilty of obstruction of justice.
  4. _X_Representative Barr argues all of the above.

12. According to the author of "What Does Rule of Law Mean to a Russian?" among the important factors that must be present are

  1. respect for individual rights.
  2. predictability.
  3. trust, especially between the public and the government.
  4. _X_ All of the above are mentioned in the article.

13. Which of the following, if any, is not a good reason for protecting the civil rights of "unpopular groups"

  1. This is generally necessary in order to preserve democracy-a group that is very unpopular today may turn out to have some good ideas.
  2. The power to deny the rights of "dangerous" groups will almost certainly be abused sooner or later.
  3. Encouraging tolerance for unpopular views is an important part of the foundation of successful democracy.
  4. _X_All of the above are good reasons for protecting the rights of unpopular groups.

14. The concept of "transparency" (i.e., the ability to "see through" to what is really going on) is important because

  1. in order for democracy to work reasonably well we need to know what the government is in fact doing.
  2. without a clear understanding of what, for example, interest groups are in fact doing, we can't do much to keep them from abusing their influence.
  3. for example, in the area of political campaign financing, we have a right to know who is giving how much to whom before we decide for whom we are going to vote.
  4. _X_All of the above are good reasons to insist on transparency.

15. Which of the following, if any, is probably a good way to deal with problems created by the free exercise of civil rights?

  1. Attempt to curtail activities that clearly infringe on the legitimate rights of others.
  2. Within the law, go after groups that repeatedly violate the rights of others.
  3. Try to make sure as many people as possible understand the "threats" to society's legitimate interests inherent in the ideas and activities of some groups.
  4. Encourage the media to publicize the illegal and harmful activities of "extremist" groups.
  5. _X_All of the above should help.

16. Even though at least some of these groups would take away the freedom of everyone who disagrees with them if they had the opportunity, under U.S. law right wing militia organizations

  1. have a right to exist.
  2. in general, have the right to express their views freely.
  3. can be restricted when they are attempting to infringe on the legitimate rights of others.
  4. legitimately can be denied the right, for example, to purchase bomb making materials and military type "heavy weapons."
  5. _X_All of the above.

17. If the argument presented in the "Greed" and "Is American #1" videos is accurate, then which of the following, if any, does not logically follow?

  1. Efforts to "privatize" the public schools, like the Edison Project, are, at least in principal, a good idea.
  2. _X_ A "partnership" between private enterprise and government, with the government taking the primary initiative, will probably do the best job of dealing effectively with society's problems.
  3. Lowering the tax rate on the wealthiest people in the country should lead to improvements in the standard of living for everyone-because the wealthy will have more money to invest.
  4. The fact that the wealthy are able to flaunt their riches through "conspicuous consumption" is not all bad.
  5. All of the above follow from the perspective presented in the two videos.

18. The experiment in "communal living" discussed in the article, "The Town That Skinner Boxed," seems to suggest which, if any, of the following?

  1. In most instances, "human nature" seems to require some sort of "personal reward" in order to encourage maximum productivity.
  2. "Anarchy," that is, voluntary cooperation, might sound good in theory, but it apparently doesn't work very well in practice, especially on a large scale.
  3. Man is good enough to make experiments such as the one discussed in this article possible, but apparently "bad enough" to keep them from working very well over time.
  4. _X_It is reasonable to conclude all of the above from the information presented in this article.

19. According to, or at least implied by, the article on anarchy, "Consent or Coercion,"

  1. among the problems with traditional hierarchical organizations is the fact that the people in leadership positions are quickly corrupted by power.
  2. laws only work if they are voluntarily obeyed; they cannot be effectively "enforced"-punishing people after they have committed a crime isn't very effective.
  3. only the parties who directly negotiated a political agreement, including a constitution, can be legitimately bound by that agreement.
  4. because people are not by nature unreasonable and irresponsible, effective "anarchy" is in fact possible.
  5. _X_The article states or implies all of the above.

20. Which of the following would the instructor in this course probably be the least likely to agree with?

  1. Anyone who carefully thinks through specific issues is probably not going to be "ideologically consistent," that is, they are probably going to be more or less "liberal" on some issues and more or less "conservative" on other issues.
  2. Whenever possible, in most cases it is probably best to encourage "individual initiative" rather than try to deal with issues through government bureaucracy.
  3. _X_Students who don't pay attention in their political science classes cannot be expected to make an informed and intelligent contribution to the discussion of specific issues such as campaign finance reform.
  4. Human nature appears to put limits on what we can realistically hope to accomplish in politics; therefore, any form of "utopia" is probably not achievable.
  5. For all of its flaws, democracy is still the best "real world" political system anyone has been able to come up with to date.

Back to sample exams