Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

2.7: Key Terms

  • Page ID
    198655
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    authoritarianism
    a nondemocratic form of government with centralized power and limited civil rights and liberties
    capitalism
    an economic system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are privately owned and individuals are assumed to be motivated by acquisitiveness
    civil liberties
    individual freedoms, such as free speech or freedom of religion, that are protected from governmental interference
    civil rights
    rights that governments must act to protect for individuals in certain groups (such as ethnic groups or sexual identities); for example, for voting rights to exist, the government must provide ballots in a language that the voter can understand
    communism
    an economic system in which property is collectively owned and assumed to be used for the common good
    direct democracy
    a system of government in which all decisions are made, usually by voting, through the participation of all citizens
    fake news
    stories masquerading as actual news that lack any basis in fact
    game
    a competition between participants who make strategic choices, under known rules, aiming to win
    heuristics
    a cognitive shortcut for making decisions in which simple, practical rules are substituted for more complex methods
    human rights
    the fundamental, inalienable rights individuals have by virtue of being persons
    inalienable
    that which cannot be taken, transferred, or withdrawn from a person
    irrational
    human behavior that is not devoted to maximizing individual self-interest
    libertarianism
    the political philosophy that holds that individual rights or liberties should not be restricted unless an individual’s behavior causes direct harm to others
    Marxism
    the term that is used to label the political philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, which holds that a society is just when both economic and labor contributions and needed resources are distributed properly, without discrimination
    motivated reasoning
    the human tendency to embrace ideas that we want to believe while rejecting evidence that challenges those beliefs
    public goods
    resources that benefit everyone because they cannot be withheld from anyone and are not used up when individuals benefit from them
    rational
    behavior that strategically seeks to maximize an individual’s own well-being, however the individual defines it
    representative democracy
    a system of government in which citizens elect individuals to represent their interests within a legislature
    social contract
    a hypothetical contract in which individuals collectively give up some of their freedoms in return for receiving protection
    social justice
    the equitable distribution of opportunities, resources, and rights within a community
    utilitarianism
    the political philosophy holding that the goal of society is to maximize human happiness

    2.7: Key Terms is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?