The three contemporary theories of American democracy

Topics: Government, Pluralism, Democracy Pages: 1 (370 words) Published: September 21, 2013
The three contemporary theories of American democracy are the pluralist theory, elite and class theory and hyperpluralism. The pluralist theory is a theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. Pluralist theory describes a society ruled by the opinions of many views which inevitably results in conflicting views. This conflict tends to cancel out any gains made by one side, resulting in a kind of natural equilibrium. An example of pluralist is the inability of the House and the Senate to swiftly come to actions because of Democratic/Republican conflict. The elite and class theory is a theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. Over a third of the nation's wealth is currently held by just one percent of the American Population. Elite and Class theorists believe that this one percent of Americans controls most policy decisions because they can afford to finance election campaigns and control key institution, such as large corporations. They tend to live in the Northeast and attend exclusive prep schools and Ivy League universities. They tend to belong to mainline Protestant churches and they marry one another. Often members of the elite do not occupy governmental positions themselves, but depend on elected and appointed officials who do their work for them. Hyperplurism is a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. There are several different groups, such as religions, cultural groups, ethnicities or interest groups that the government can't control due to hyperplurism. It is an extreme form of pluralism. An example would have to be the stance on abortion or gay marriage, pertaining to the state's constitution. Some states are passing laws either allowing...
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