2005_10_19_sss - Power Interpersonal Organizational and...

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Power: Interpersonal, Organizational, and Global Dimensions Wednesday, 19 September 2005 TOPIC: How do power differential arise? From social organization. ROBERT MICHELS (1876-1936) born in Cologne – French/German/Belgian background 1 st of our authors who was an actual academic scholar – studied problems of democracies and revolution, class conflict, trade unionism, mass society (large urban societies of highly mobilized populations), nationalism, role of intellectuals and elites his major work: Political Parties recognized for his work in formulating the problem of oligarchy (concentrations of power) democracy, oligarchy, aristocracy – We use these terms, but what do they mean? denote differences in the participation in governing – how many participate and where do they come from? de Tocqueville’s dilemma: even when there is a preference/aspiration/value for democracy, we may nonetheless get oligarchy, or oligarchy could turn into aristocracy (if become inherited and assessed as appropriate) ± democracy – broad, full participation of the populace (becomes representative when large numbers, thus representative democracy = republic). populace determines policies ± oligarchy – rule by the few, don’t know whether they are chosen or not (Michels’ point) ± aristocracy – inherited elite = few There is an important distinction between the description of observable phenomena vs. evaluation/preferences. At heart of dilemma is the question, can we describe phenomena without evaluating them? We try, work to make explicit the constraints on description, and role of evaluation. In many nations in the world, the people have “the right to vote/elect” = formal, representative democracies . The leaders should be expected to be voted in/voted out. Oligarchy implies not only that it is a few people in power but that those few are not easily controlled by the people . US: between 1/3 and 40% of eligible voters actually vote, more in a presidential, less in local elections. Why so low? Attitudinal influences: outcome is predetermined insufficient choice in candidates/ policies people don’t think they can make a difference - any particular vote/voter people don’t think they would ultimately be affected by the choices/policies offered 10/19/05, page 1 of 7
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Organizational/mechanical influences: double hurdle for voting (register to vote, vote) held on a workday during business hours media predictions of outcomes In Europe, up to 80-90% vote. Some places it is mandatory. Britain doesn’t allow for media advertising or poll results during the last weeks before voting. All of Europe has parliamentary systems – the leader of the nation is the leader of the party that has the most people in the parliament (thus minor groups get represented in the legislature and sometimes in coalition governments). Representation
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2005_10_19_sss - Power Interpersonal Organizational and...

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