♥Comparative Government & Politics Unit-11 Society, Economy and State

♥Comparative Government & Politics Unit-11 Society, Economy and State

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UNIT 11 SOCIAL BASES OF STATE POWER Structure 11.0 Objectives 11.1 Introduction 11.2 Meaning 1 1.3 Classification of Power 11.4 Distribution of Power : How'? 11.4.1 Elite Theory : Pareto and Mosca 11.4.2 Elite Theory in the United States of America C. Wright Mills 1 1.4.3 Pluralism 11.4.4 Power as Coercion: Max Weber 11.5 Contending Approaches to Power 11.5.1 Pluralistic Conception of Power 1 1.5.2 American Empirical Democratic Theory or Classical Pluralism 11.5.3 Group Theory S.4 Corporatist Theory 1 1.6 Marxist Theory 11.7 Let Us Sum Up 11.8 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 11.0 OBJECTIVES This unit discusses Power and its social bases and the theorists who have studied power and its distribution. Reading this unit will enable you to understand: Meaning of power; Classification and Distribution; and Different theories of power. 11.1 INTRODUCTION Power is the most fundamental among all the political concepts. It is one of the foundations of Political Science. While there is a near unanimity anlong political scientists about tlie importance of power, they have differences about its definition and the manner in which it should be conceived and measured. - - - - 11.2 MEANING In a broad sense, power is the production of intended effects. It is the capacity to get what one wants to get. Among the several approaches to power, the 'Power to', approach as$ocipted with Talcott Parsons is the most significant. According to Parsons political power is the capacity of a govenuiient to draw on the commitment of its citizens in order to achieve societal, political and economic goals. The power of tlie govenuiient is decided by tlie effectiveness with wllich it achieves community's goals. Thus, for Parsons, power is a device kvliich enables the govermient or tlie rulurs to filfill the objectives of society. It is not tlie ability of one group or tlie other to will control of tlie state. Wliy was Parson's definition of power not found adequate? Despite its positive connotations, Parson's view of power is considered too narrow by several political scientists. For those who disagree with Parsons, politics is an arena of conflictual opinions regarding what goals and whose goals or rather which group's goals sliould be pursued.
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The underlying view of power is conflict and not consensus. Power consists in Soeirll Banes of stst; Power the ability to get ones way, usually in the face of opposition. This opinioil supported by Robert Dahl and other pluralists talk of power over rather than power to. The former Soviet Union during the last years of its existence witnessed such a distinction between power over and power to. The quantity of power available to a central government can decline to a point when the issue of its distribution becomes secondary. 11.3 CLASSIFICATION OF POWER As power is not merely authority, violence, force or war alone, Ke1meth:Boulding in his Three faces of power provides a classification of forms.
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♥Comparative Government & Politics Unit-11 Society, Economy and State

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