concepts for analyzing democratic government.
for representative government
- How can
decision makers determine what people want?
MECHANISMS -- established procedures and organizations
-- to promote government responsiveness.
elections, political parties, legislatures, and
much responsiveness is
MAJORITARIAN MODEL of democracy relies on the classic,
textbook theory of democracy.
by the majority of the people
participation in politics is required
are well-informed on political issues and make
thoughtful voting decisions.
to participate directly in decisionmaking
PLURALIST MODEL of democracy
people group along economic, religious, ethnic or
with similar interests form INTEREST GROUPS
classic case: the Spotted Owl in the pacific
v. environmental groups
can a conflict between intense minorities be
by people operating through competing interest
plural model favors
decentralized and organizationally complex
providesgroups open access to public officials
who consider their views
PLURALIST DEMOCRACY with MAJORITARIAN
- Built from
majoritarian model: "atomistic"
blocks are individual citizens
input preferences themselves
groups are building blocks.
is served by the free interplay of interest
institutional mechanisms for democratic
counts individuals through
democracy relies on numerous points of access
views of centralized government.
government fits majoritarian democracy.
representatives are expected to respond quickly to
the wishes of the people.
place for partitioned authority -- the government
should be structured to provide for immediate
expression of public opinion.
MAJORITY RULE over MINORITY RIGHTS.
government fits pluralist democracy.
rule": many minorities in conflict
are organized into competing interest
not stress governmental responsiveness to majority
demands but governmental for the public
pursuit of this public interest comes from the
interplay of contending groups
Pluralist Democracy in the United States
(1967), Robert Dahl advanced the FUNDAMENTAL AXIOM
of pluralism: "Instead of a single center of
sovereign power, there must be multiple centers of
power, none of which is or can be wholly
sovereign." ( p. 67)
comes about through the openness of the system to
models of democracy link to different values.
favor government for social ends.
- In some
societies, majorities may favor equality
others, they may favor order.
is unlikely to favor freedom
are value relativists
validity of claims by conflicting groups.
as manifested in free speech and freedom of choice, is
perhaps most valued
Theory--An undemocratic model
government decisions are made by a small but powerful
group of people with great wealth
- They make
decisions in the interest of the financial,
communications, industrial, and government institutions
from pluralist theory in identifying the ruling
theory: a small, distinct, and durable
theory: different minorities win on different
does not tend to support elite theory
- Tests for
democratic government in countries
five criteria for democratic governmennt:
legitimacy desires of its citizens.
are chosen in free elections, contested by at least
two viable political parties.
adults can participate in the electoral
votes are secret and are not coerced.
leaders, and party officials enjoy basic freedoms
of speech, press, assembly, relgion, and
about 20 of of the world's 100 largest nations qualify
as democracies in all five ratings.
- The United
citizens do not participate regularly in
government sometimes does not do what the majority
U.S. does not rate very highly on criteria of
decentralized and open structure fits the pluralist
model very well.
- So U.S.
looks democratic by pluralist model
the pluralist model an adequate expression of
the majoritarian model result in a more desirable
type of democracy?
one devise new mechanisms of government to produce
a better mix of majority rule and minority