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The Commentary of the Pluralist Democracy of Dahl

Author: GuoZhaoXiang
Tutor: HanDongXue
School: Jilin University
Course: Political Theory
Keywords: Elite democracy Long reign Pluralistic society Economic Democracy Deliberative Democracy
CLC: D091
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 567
Quote: 1
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The democracy theory of Dahl holds important position in the western theory field. But for many reasons the domestic scholars did not know it completely and sufficiently,they did not give it a reasonable status.This article is based on the coming into being,developing and changing of the pluralistic democracy, and gives an analyses of the Dahl’s theory. It tries to search the inner meaning of it and find the procedure of its evolution. Thus it can postmortem the related problems of western democracy method’s changing.Dahl’s scholar research about democratic theory mainly concentrated on the 1930’s - 1980’s, It is the significant transformation time for the western society.For the Fascist,World WarII,the cold war, the American government crisis about convince,the political theoreticians carried on the ponder to the current regime systems,attempting to find the way to solve.The theory foundation about pluralist democracy based on the inheritating the elites’domocratic therory.The elites’democratic theoreticians who regard Schumpeter as the representative reckoned that the concepts such as "the public welfare","the people’s will" are persisted in the classical domocratic theory do not exist. In the modern society, the general voters are negative and passive.The true democracy is a method to select leaders through the voting.Elites’s democratic theories have made the passive supposition to the voters, but they have neglected the sect between the voters and leaders.But Dahl drew the conclusion through the observation to the real political operating systems: It is not merely the election and the elected between the voters and leaders , they also carry on the communication and the interaction through the association. Moreover,the association politics theoretician such as Laswell believed that, The power essence of the government and the political association is the same.the state power diversification basic characteristic will become the important factors.Dahl began to prove pluralist democracy .First Dahl criticized two typical democratic theories.He thought that "the most people’s tyranny" worried by Madison principle did not exist, furthermore,dividing power systems and the limitation of parties cannot prevent the tyranny.The democracy attempts to realize the people’s sovereignty and the political equality ,which is not realistic, and has the latent risk.Dahl thought that the power had been dismemberment by the innumerable associations effectively ,and the most tyranny becomes impossible.Therefore,these two kinds of systems cannot be called the democracy.After the proof,Dahl believed that,the democracy is not the most people’s rule,but is the multiple minority person’s rule,pluralist regimes’symbol is:Voting right,proposal power,most principles and so on.Dahl believed that both of society and system are needed in order to realize the Polyarchies regime. In the social factors aspect, multi-social organization,the free market,the certain social mutual recognition is the essential condition.The multiple democracy needs the corresponding system safeguard, which needs system condition that can guarantee "the widespread participation" and "the legitimate opposition".Dahl has discussed the democratic problems about system frames,and then changed the vision into the microscopic field:organization. Dahl believed that,the current multiple principles flaws mainly caused by the dual characters of the association ,the un-equality between the associations has resulted in the negative influence on the policy.In order to solve the un-equality of the organization,we should solve the economical enterprise’s ownership Firstly,reform company’s management pattern,realize the enterprise’s autonomous.This is mainly based on the priority of autonomous right. The democracy is the safeguard for individual basic right and freedom .But basic right(including political authority),to some extent ,is better than the democratic system,the autonomous right is the most important basic right.The economical democracy is the effective way for the most majority persons who want to realize the most freedom.The right which the realization enterprise staffs fully participation,the freedom will be safeguarded if the personnel of the enterprises takes part in the policy completely.Therefore, Dahl believed that the enterprise members should enjoy the autonomous right of the enterprise,carrying out the democratic process in the company and the enterprise,which can eliminate the unequal problems of the orgnization , realize the political equality and advance the democracyDahl’s democratic theories have made the important contributionto the contemporary nationality theories . He has criticized the traditional classical democratic theory,eliminating the perfect.of.thetraditional democracy ,pointing out the insufficiency and flaw of them (Madison principle and common people principle) and promulgating the democratic social basis.The ideas about social limitation have been ignored by people,which brought about the huge lighte for persons。Theoretically,Dahl linked up the recent democracy and the modern democracy. He has accurately grasped the tendency of the time and the theorydevelopment through the unremitting research of the democratic theory .They have improved and developed the multiple theories by learning the new achievements in the same time.The economical democratic theory also is a breakthrough to the traditional democratic theory . Dahl’S democratic theory also has some flaws.It is difficult to realize the Dahl’s supposition of economical democracy under the present system of private Capitalist property and the constitutional government system, and his tentative plan cannot solve the realistic un-equality of the economy and politics.In the existing regime frame,he persisted in the transformation of the microscopic democracy ,but he had not put forward the proposals to the macroscopic democratic system.From the tendency of the contemporary democratic theory development,consultation democracy can be regarded as the substitution theory of the multiple principles democracy.The consultative democracy is one kind of democratic theory which emerged since the 1980s’.The consultative democracy refers to one kind of democratic pattern of the legistic public policy developed by the equal discussion and consultation .The core of the Consultative democracy is the public consultation, which is different with the economical equality that is requested by the economy democracy .The consultative democracy advocated to expand the democratic participation through the realization of the citizen ability equality. From the reality, the consultative democracy can solve the condition of the political un-equality more better than the economic democracy .This paper is divided into five parts exposition: I﹑The thought background of Dahl’s democratic theory,.mainly the time background and the thought origin.The research mainly concentrates on 1930’s-1980’s which is the dramatic change time, and on academic,hundreds of schools of thought contend. The theory persists on the behaviorism research technique,theoretically is inflenced by the elites’principle democratic theoreticians such as Lindblom and so on.II、Democracy and Polyarchy.Dahl conducted the research based on theory.He has accepted the ideas about voter supposition and the democratic method from Elites’democracy,believing that the Madison principle and common people principle have the flaws,the true democracy is not the majority or the minority,but the Polyarchy.III、The development of the Polyarchy .Dahl thought that two facets should be highly lighted in order to develop the Polyarchies. In the social factor,we should pay attention to the cultivation of the modern dynamic multiple societies;in the system aspect,we should develop the system which can accelerate the political participation and permit the existence of opponents.IV、Dilemmas of pluralist democracy and their solution.Dahl thought the problem of multiple principles democracy mainly was caused by the political unequality based on the dual characters of the organization.In order to solve the unequality of the organization,we should change the enterprises and ownership,promoting the democracy through the pattern of the economical democracy。V、Conclusion.Dahl’s democratic theory made the significant contribution for the contemporary west democracy:The theory criticizes the Elites’democracy theory,links up the recent democratic and the modern democratic theory, complies with the trend of the times.Simultaneously,his theory also has the flaw,his theory itself has contradictory,many positions are related with the reality,but is unable to realize.The consultative democracy may be the alternative scheme of the Polyarchy,some of its positions are more reasonable than Polyarchy,it will be the direction of the western democratic theory in the future.

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