Below are four statements describing major theories of political power in U.S. cities, as summarized by Professor Lewis: “Power elite” or stratification theory : Decision making in cities is dominated by a small hierarchy of corporate leaders and (to a lesser degree) government officials, who interact regularly in the same clubs and social circles. The city government merely ratifies and carries out the decisions previously agreed to by major local businesses. Some important community issues are never brought up for public discussion (so-called nondecisions), because debate over these issues would be threatening to dominant local businesses. Pluralist theory : Power is widely, although unequally, distributed among numerous groups in the city. People, firms, and organizations who seek something specific from government tend to form groups to lobby for what they want, and city politics is basically an arena for conflict, bargaining, and compromise among these groups. However, most people, most of the time, do not pay much attention to local government – unless their
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 05/04/2010 for the course POS 410 taught by Professor Lewis during the Spring '10 term at ASU.