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  1. 1. Chapter 1<br />American Democracy and the Irony of Democracy<br />
  2. 2. Forms of Government<br />Rule of One<br />i.e., Absolute Monarchy, Dictatorship<br />Rule of the Few<br />i.e., Oligarchy, Aristocracy, Plutocracy<br />Rule of the Many<br />i.e., Democracy<br />2<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Forms of Democracy: Direct<br />Political decisions are made by the people directly<br />Works best in small communities <br />How might it work with 300 million people?<br />(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)<br />
  4. 4. 4<br />Direct Democracy Today<br />Initiative<br />Referendum<br />Recall<br />
  5. 5. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />5<br />Is Direct Democracy Dangerous?<br />Founders: consent of the people, but no “mob rule”<br />Distrust the masses<br />Devised institutions to filter the popular will through elected elites<br />Thus, Representative (or Republican) Democracy<br />
  6. 6. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />6<br />A Democratic Republic<br />Based on elected representatives…<br /> …and no king!<br />(National Portrait Gallery)<br />
  7. 7. A Democratic Republic: A Tiered System of Governance?<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />8<br />A Democratic Republic (cont.)<br />Principles of Democratic Government<br />Broad suffrage<br />Majority rule<br />Constitutional Democracy<br />Sets govt. limits<br />
  9. 9. Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />9<br />What Kind of Democracy Do We Have?<br />Pluralist or Elite-led?<br />
  10. 10. Pluralist Theory of American Politics<br />Different groups in marketplace of politics<br />Diverse groups<br />Power changes hands<br />Equal opportunity for power<br />Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />10<br />
  11. 11. The Essence of Pluralism<br />11<br />
  12. 12. A Snapshot of Pluralism<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Competition Among Interest Groups<br />business, labor, & government leaders check one another <br />No monopoly of power<br />Good for the individual<br />Individual influences groups<br />Indirect, but meaningful political power<br />13<br />
  14. 14.  Equilibrium of Interests<br />Majority does not rule<br />Instead, balance of interests<br />Policy outputs representative of interests<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Elite Theory Of American Politics (Elitism)<br />Elites—not masses—govern<br />The few govern in the name of the many<br />An elite is inevitable in any social organization<br />Acquire a stake in the SQ<br />Thus, perspective differs from the masses<br />Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />15<br />
  16. 16. What Elite Theory is Not!<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Elite Recruitment<br />While U.S. elites disproportionately wealthy, educated, socially prominent, white, & Protestant…<br />circulation from below!<br />From the most talented & ambitious of the masses <br />Largely assimilated into elite values<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Elite Consensus<br />Core elite values:<br />Private property, limited government, individual liberty, & capitalism<br />Some variation in values, but less than with masses<br />disagreement/competition on narrower range<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Elitism<br />Motives:<br />Self interest or enlightened “public interest”<br />Regardless: Preserve the System!<br />As a result:<br />Masses not necessarily exploited or repressed<br />Interests intersect: need mass support!<br />19<br />
  20. 20. More on Elitism<br />Masses largely passive, apathetic, & uninformed<br />Elites influence Mass attitudes more than vice versa<br />Democratic institutions largely symbolic<br />Provide mass consent<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Two Sides of Elitism<br />Positive: better able to make good public policy & preserve the system<br />Negative: elites abuse their power & undermine mass confidence in the system<br />21<br />
  22. 22. 22<br />
  23. 23. The Irony of Democracy<br />Democracy is government “by the people,” but the survival of democracy rests on the elites<br />Elites must govern wisely if government “by the people” is to survive<br />Democratic values can only be preserved by multiple competitive elites!<br />23<br />Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning <br />
  24. 24. 24<br />
  25. 25. Group Exercise<br />In groups of ~10, come up with 5 real world examples of the Pluralist model and 5 real world examples that support the Elite model.<br />25<br />