Discussion Questions

  • In this chapter, you learned about theories of state power. Would you say that U.S. governance today is characterized more by pluralism or by the concentration of power in the hands of an elite? Cite evidence supporting your belief.

  • What is authoritarianism? What potential roles do modern technology and social media play in either supporting or challenging authoritarian governments around the world?

  • The chapter raised the issue of low voting rates for young people. Recall the reasons given in the chapter and then think about whether you can add others. Do most of the young people you know participate in elections? What kinds of factors might explain their participation or nonparticipation?

  • What are the manifest and latent functions and dysfunctions of war? Review the points made in the chapter. Can you add some of your own?

  • What is terrorism? How should this term be defined and by whom? Should domestic incidents of mass violence be labeled terrorism, or should the term be reserved for international incidents?