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Pluralism, democracy and political knowledge : Robert A Dahl and his critics on modern politics

Author: Hans Theodorus Blokland
Publisher: Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:

Taking his work as a point of reference, this book not only provides an illuminating history of political science, told via Dahl and his critics. It also offers a revealing analysis as to what  Read more...

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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Blokland, Hans Theodorus.
Pluralism, democracy and political knowledge.
Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2011
(DLC) 2011013144
(OCoLC)710045206
Named Person: Robert A Dahl
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Hans Theodorus Blokland
ISBN: 9781409429326 1409429326
OCLC Number: 756042390
Description: 1 online resource (374 pages)
Contents: 1.Introduction --
1.The Three Theoretical Levels or Discourses of this Book --
2.Structure of the Argument --
2.An American Preamble --
1.Personal Background: The Absence of Decisive Sources of Inspiration --
2.Some Observations on the Historical Context --
2.1.The Great Depression and the New Deal --
2.2.The Keynesian paradigm --
2.3.The postwar reassessment of market and politics --
2.4.Inventing a better society --
3.Political and Philosophical Background --
3.1.The overarching liberal political context --
3.2.Ethical pluralism and liberalism --
3.3.Pragmatism as attitude toward life --
4.Pluralistic Antecedents --
4.1.The traditionally strong role of civil organizations in America --
4.2.Statism in nineteenth-century political scholarship --
4.3.The pluralist critique of statist thought in the interbellum --
4.4.An unstable pedestal for Arthur F. Bentley --
4.5.Earl Latham on the relentless power struggle between groups 4.6.David B. Truman --
5.Concerns about Electoral Political Incompetence --
5.1.The psychological discourse in the interbellum --
5.2.Political science requires a new theory of democracy --
5.3.Deweyism as democratic theory --
5.4.Postwar empirical investigations of electoral competence --
5.5.Bernard Berelson on benevolent political indifference --
6.Conclusion --
3.Foreign Policy and Political Competence --
1.Citizens, Congress, and Foreign Affairs --
1.1.Three criteria for democratic decision making --
1.2.Influences on and limitations of the elected representative --
1.3.Three methods to improve current decision making --
1.4.Why the choice of means cannot be left up to the experts --
1.5.Fostering political competence --
1.6.Desired reforms of the political system: Party government --
1.7.Influences on Congress and Foreign Policy --
2.The Elected Dictator and Iraq --
2.1.Concentration of power and complacency 2.2.The rationality of the democratic decision making on Iraq --
3.Electoral Competence and the Emancipation Dilemma --
4.A Common Point of Departure --
1.Appropriate Social Techniques and the End of Ideology --
2.Seven Broadly Endorsed Goals of Rational Social Action --
3.Calculation and Control as Prerequisites for Rational Social Action --
3.1.Processes of calculation: Science, incrementalism, calculated risk, utopianism --
3.2.Four techniques of control --
4.The Price System --
4.1.How businessmen are controlled through the market mechanism --
4.2.The market and socialism can coexist --
5.The Hierarchical Order --
5.1.Bureaucracy and the causes of and reasons for its expansion --
5.2.The inevitable costs of indispensable bureaucracies --
5.3.The primacy of politics and decentralization as counterweights --
6.Polyarchy --
6.1.Polyarchy as solution to the basic problem of politics --
6.2.The social preconditions for the existence of a polyarchy 7.Bargaining --
7.1.The negative consequences for political rationality and responsiveness --
7.2."Party Government" to combat the negative aspects of bargaining --
8.Hierarchical and Polyarchical Versus Price System Techniques --
8.1.Some technical shortcomings of polyarchy and hierarchy --
8.2.Some shortcomings of the price system --
8.3.Efficiency and innovative potential of public and private organizations --
9.Bargaining Versus the Price System --
9.1.Co-management and the illegitimacy of private enterprise --
9.2.A prelude to the neocorporatism debate: National bargaining --
10.Improved Social Techniques to Realize the Enlightenment Project --
10.1.The end of classical liberalism and socialism --
10.2.The planning of personalities --
11.Interim Balance --
11.1.Interdisciplinarity, scientific progress, and naivete --
11.2.The reception of Politics, Economics, and Welfare --
11.3.The endless "end of ideology" movement 11.4.Modernization and the end of Big Politics --
11.5.The spirit of the time by Weber, Mannheim, and Schumpeter --
5.The Behavioralist Mood --
1.The Breeding Ground of Behavioralism --
1.1.Bentley, Wallas, and Merriam --
1.2.German refugees, social irrelevance, the survey, and the Social Science Research Council --
1.3.The influence of Popper's epistemological notions --
2.The State and the Future of Political Science According to David Easton --
2.1.Facts, trivia, and little laws --
2.2.The necessity of theories --
2.3.Can political scholarship become a science? --
2.4.The unfulfilled function of normative political theory --
2.5.The potential of the equilibrium theory prevailing in political science --
3.Dahl's Critique of the Old and New Science of Politics --
4.Lindblom's Praise of Current Political-Scientific Knowledge --
5.An Epitaph for a Successful Protest --
5.1.An austere description of behavioralism --
5.2.The achievements of behavioralism 5.3.Putting the fragments of political science back together again --
6.Some Preliminary Observations on Behavioralism --
6.1.The scarcity of epistemological reflection --
6.2.Building from the ground up? --
6.3.Building up to the heavens? --
6.4.Behaviorism versus behavioralism: Only sensory perceptions? --
6.5.Opposed to political philosophy? --
6.6.Economic theory of democracy, equilibrium, rational choice, and modernization --
6.A Logical Analysis of Polyarchy --
1.A Preface to Democratic Theory --
1.1.Democracy according to James Madison --
1.2.The populistic democracy --
1.3.A feasible alternative: Polyarchy --
1.4.The relative importance of constitutional guarantees against tyranny --
1.5.How minorities rule within the parameters set by the majority --
2.Some Remarks on A Preface --
2.1.Symbolism and deductive logic --
2.2.Natural rights or a social decision procedure --
2.3.Normative assumptions and political science 2.4.Dahl's growing economic individualism --
7.Empirical Research on Polyarchy --
1.Empirical Research on the Distribution of Power --
1.1.The debate between elitists and pluralists --
1.2.Defining and investigating power --
1.3.Dahl's research in New Haven --
2.A Contented Political Democracy or a Contented Political Scientist? --
2.1.Politics as a method of conflict resolution --
2.2.Pluralism instead of majority decisions --
2.3.Social consensus as precondition for democracy --
2.4.Political parties and the rationality of public decision making --
2.5.Four strategies to influence political decision making --
2.6.Interim balance: Pluralistic democracy and modernization --
3.Comparative Research on the Preconditions for Polyarchies --
3.1.The characteristics of a polyarchy --
3.2.The limited explanatory power of socio-economic development --
3.3.Social inequality does not obstruct political stability 3.4.The generative history: From greater dispute to greater inclusion --
3.5.The presence or absence of social divisions --
3.6.The importance of spreading the democratic conviction --
3.7.The limited possibilities to democratize hegemonies --
4.Balance and Outlook --
8.Arguments in Defense of Democratic Participation --
1.The Participants, Their Objections, and Their Favorite Opponents --
2.Classical Theory: Ideal or Reality? --
3.Dubious System Thinking --
4.Fear of Ideology, Participation, and Changes in the Status Quo --
5.The Misunderstood Dynamic Character of the Classical Theory --
6.The Elitism of the Pluralists and Their Blindness to Social Discord --
7.Dahl's Defense Against Allegations of Elitism --
8.Carole Pateman on Economic Democracy and Schumpeter --
9.Digression: The Costs of Democratic Participation and Deliberation --
10.Dahl's Reaction to the Democratization Movement 10.1.The legitimation of authority and the costs of participation --
10.2.A commune is not a country: The definition of the demos --
10.3.Social inequality is an obstacle to full-fledged democracy --
10.4.The corporate leviathan and a renewed call for market socialism --
10.5.The monster of the state and the gap between politics and citizens --
11.Democratization and Basism or Neo-populism --
11.1.Political participation and the common or private interest --
11.2.Participation via the Internet and referendums: Is the citizen finally the boss? --
12.Schumpeter's Influence on Postwar Democratic Theory --
12.1.Two interpretations of Schumpeter and pluralism --
12.2.Schumpeter, the pluralists, and the economic theory of democracy --
12.3.Do pluralists indeed have no normative criteria? --
12.4.Is competition among leaders what pluralism is all about? --
12.5.Pateman and the necessity of reading the authentic texts 9.Power and Powerlessness Under Polyarchy --
1.Power and Powerlessness: Some Theoretical Notions --
1.1.Dimensions of the exercise of power --
1.2.Do people have "real" interests? --
1.3.Difficulties with the radical conception --
2.Unheard Voices --
2.1.Matthew Crenson's research on the depoliticization of air pollution --
2.2.Michael Parenti's perspective from the bottom up --
2.3.Lewis Lipsitz' grievances of the disadvantaged and the need of an ideology --
3.William Domhoff on the American Ruling Class --
3.1.Some political and methodological assumptions --
3.2.Four processes of the exercise of power by the ruling class --
3.3.New Haven too is dominated by an elite --
4.Dahl's Oblique and Implicit Response to Criticism of Who Governs? --
5.The Truth of Political Science and the Political Victory of the Right --
6.Social Inequality and its Political Consequences --
7.The Making of Social Consensus 8.Anew, Dahl's Struggle with the Emancipation Dilemma --
10.Epistemological Reservations --
1.An Overgrown Garden of Grievances --
2.Kernels of Critique --
3.Dahl's Aloofness and Complacency in the 1950s and 1960s --
4.The Influence of Conceptual Models upon Observation --
4.1.Metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical assumptions --
4.2.Images of man and society and their origin --
4.3.Neutrality in the political sciences --
4.4.Expecting and investigating consensus or conflict --
4.5.Unbalanced thinking in the equilibrium model --
4.6.By our behavior we confirm a theory we believe to be right --
5.Natural Versus Social Sciences --
5.1.Dahl's modest research findings and the reasons for this --
5.2.Positivism and positive political freedom --
5.3.The interpretative method as alternative --
5.4.Are significant, complex events usually unique? --
5.5.Some weaknesses of the scientific and interpretative method 5.6.Everyday scholarly practice and its quality --
11.Modern Political Science and Rationalization --
1.Behavioralism, Relevance, and Relativism: Dahl's Reply --
2.Arnold Brecht, Max Weber, and Scientific Value Relativism --
3.Rationalization and the Retreat from the Realm of Values --
12.Modern and Old-fashioned Politics --
1.The Naturalistic Conception of Politics: Christian Bay on Pseudopolitics --
2.The Counter Culture's Small Political Opposition to Small Politics --
2.1.Discontent about the social and political consequences of modernization --
2.2.The innocence of Charles A. Reich --
3.Political Powerlessness and the Revolution that Did Not Occur --
4.Robert Lane on Discontent in Market Democracies --
4.1.An epidemic of depression, distrust, and alienation --
4.2.The hedonistic treadmill and social malnutrition --
4.3.The road home --
5.An Old-fashioned Political Answer to Modern Social Problems --
5.1.Dahl's struggle with Small Politics --
5.2.Big and authentic politics.
Responsibility: by Hans Blokland.
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'... Blokland engages the "big issues" with confidence and skill, offering an informed interpretation of recent American political theories of democracy and pluralism and their sometimes Read more...

 
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