From classical to elite pluralism
classical pluralism by Sam Cook a former student
Weber’s theories about power were further developed by Robert Dahl in the 1960s in his book ‘Who Governs?’. His theory is known as ‘classical pluralism’ for more details follow this link classical-pluralism.
The best way of understanding and seeing classical pluralism is through pressure groups. Follow this link to get a better understanding of pressure groups. The BBC has produced an even more detailed look at pressure groups here. Alternatively here are some of my detailed notes on pressure groups which you need to know. pressure-groups.
However there are criticisms of Dahl’s analysis of power which are available a-critique-of-classical-pluralism. This prompted David Marsh to develop his ideas which are known as elite pluralism (elite pluralism must not be confused with Elite Theory which is discussed later). Here are some notes on elite pluralism elite-pluralism.
- Elite pluralists such as Marsh say that classical pluralists are far too optimistic
- Elite pluralists recognise that all competing groups are not equal like classical pluralists suggest. For example the CBI – insider pressure group (Confederation of British Industry) has more power than the Fathers for Justice – outsider pressure group
elite pluralism by Sam Cook a former student