Political Elites

Political Elites

Author: Geraint Parry

Publisher: ECPR Press

ISBN: 9780954796600

Category: Political Science

Page: 160

View: 447

Elites have been described both as the bulwarks of democracy and its very antithesis. Political Elites, first published in 1969, reviews the literature on the role of elites in politics. It deals with both the 'classic' elite theorists - Mosca, Pareto, Michels, Burnham and C. Wright Mills - and with many of the empirical and theoretical works on elites by modern political scientists and sociologists. It seeks to clarify the central terms of elite discourse, some of which have entered the everyday political vocabulary - 'elitism', 'power elite', 'establishment', 'elite consensus', 'iron law of oligarchy' and 'mass'. It explores the ways in which the descriptions of power relationships can subtly be infiltrated by the values of the observers. For this ECPR Classics edition Professor Parry has added an introduction reviewing significant new developments in elite political science.

Beyond the Ruling Class

Beyond the Ruling Class

Author: Suzanne Keller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351289184

Category: Social Science

Page: 380

View: 370

Influential minorities have existed in some form in all human societies. Throughout history, such elites have evoked varied responses--respeet. hos-tility, fear. envy, imitation, but never indifference. While certain elite groups have been of only passing historical importance, strategic elites, whose mem-bers are national and international leaders, today are ultimately responsible for the realization of social goals and for the continuity of the social order in a swiftly changing world. This volume, which first appeared in 1963, markeda major advance in our theoretical understanding of these elites, why they are needed, how they operate, and what effect they have on society. Drawing upon the work of such classical writers as Saint-Simon. Marx. Durkheim. Mosca. Pareto. and Michels, and such modern scholars as Mann-heim. Lasswell, Aron. Mills, and Parsons, the author presents a challenging theory of elites that provides the framework for her examination of their co-existence, their social origins, and their rise and decline. The elites discussed here include political, diplomatic, economic, and military, as well as scientific, cultural, and religious ones. Systematically, the author surveys available em-pirical data concerning American society, and selected materials on Great Brit-ain. Germany, the Soviet Union, and the developing nations of Asia and Africa. Written with clarity and distinction. Beyond the Ruling Class remains a thorough and provocative treatment, rich in empirical insights, of a subject that will compel the attention of political scientists, sociologists, and historians concerned with themes of power, influence, and leadership in national and international life. Her new introduction to Beyond the Ruling Class is at once an appraisal of the current status of elite studies and a careful self-evaluation of her efforts.

From Socrates to Summerhill and Beyond

From Socrates to Summerhill and Beyond

Author: Ronald Swartz

Publisher: IAP

ISBN: 9781681235547

Category: Education

Page: 471

View: 366

In From Socrates to Summerhill and Beyond: Towards a Philosophy of Education for Personal Responsibility, Ronald Swartz offers an evolving development of fallible, liberal democratic, self?governing educational philosophies. He suggests that educators can benefit from having dialogues about questions such as these: 1). Are there some authorities that can be consistently relied upon to tell school members what they should do and learn while they are in school? 2.) How should the imagination of social theorists be both used and checked in the development and implementation of innovative educational reforms? 3.) How can teachers in personal responsibility schools help their students learn? These questions are representative of problems that Swartz raises in his book. Swartz identifies four educational programs as personal responsibility schools. These are Little Commonwealth (Homer Lane); Summerhill (A.S.Neill); Orphans Home (Janusz Korczak) and Sudbury Valley School (Daniel Greenberg). Swartz then suggests that these learning environments create social institutions that are liberal, democratic, and self?governing and therefore endorse the policy of personal responsibility. This policy states: All school members, students included, are fallible authorities who should be personally responsible for determining their own school activities and many policies that govern a school. Schools which incorporate this policy can interchangeably be referred to as personal responsibility, self?governing, or Summerhill style schools. In providing an historical and philosophical understanding of Summerhill style schools, Swartz suggests that these educational alternatives have intellectual roots in the ideas associated with Socrates as portrayed in Plato’s Apology. Specifically, in personal responsibility schools teachers are not viewed as authorities who attempt to transmit wisdom to their students. Rather, self?governing schools follow the Socratic tradition which claims that teachers can be viewed as fallible authorities who attempt to engage students in dialogues about questions of interest to students. The interpretation of Plato’s works used by Swartz can be found in Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. Swartz has also been significantly influenced by the educational writings of Bertrand Russell and Paul Goodman. Goodman’s Compulsory Miseducation makes it clear that schools which follow in the tradition of Summerhill compete with the educational programs that are an outgrowth of John Dewey’s writings. In summary, Swartz’s book aims to engage educators in dialogues that will lead to improved educational theories and practices.

The First Liberian Civil War

The First Liberian Civil War

Author: George Klay Kieh

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 0820488399

Category: History

Page: 228

View: 716

This book challenges the dominant view that the first Liberian civil war was caused by ethno-cultural antagonisms between and among the country's various ethnic groups. Alternatively, the book argues that the war was the consequence of the multifaceted crises of underdevelopment - cultural, economic, political, and social - generated by the neo-colonial Liberian State.