Soc140 Lec9 9-25 - Soc140 Lec9 9-25 Theories of the State...

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Soc140 Lec9 9-25 Theories of the State Pluralism Perspective as a whole States aggregate preferences The state is a micro decision unit that does what society decides Government is not an instrument of power, but rather a mechanism of communication. The key mechanism steering the society. When the state functions properly, the interests of the state and the society are identical For some pluralists, the state is nothing more than one more non-market institution resulting from aggregated individual choice without any power Fundamental assumption of democracy A healthy democracy can prevent pathological tendencies toward bureaucratic rigidity and class conflict Dahl defines democracy as a system in which all citizens have free opportunity to formulate their preferences, to express their preferences to other citizens and the government, both through individual and collective action, and to have their preferences weighed equally in the conduct of government. Dahl acknowledges that no existing society meets all these conditions so he offers a minimum definition of democracy: The processes by which ordinary citizens exert a relatively high degree of control over leaders Dahl and other in this theory clearly equate the democratic model with the US political system and they also stress a relationship between democracy and capitalism
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2008 for the course SOC 140 taught by Professor Enriquez during the Spring '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Soc140 Lec9 9-25 - Soc140 Lec9 9-25 Theories of the State...

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