Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Mancur Olson, New Social Movements, Corporatism

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De tocqueville: modern democracy best grounded on interests, associations. Model depends upon: interests easily form into groups, fair competition of interests, influence in line with size and intensity of support. Interests groups outperform parties at linking people and government. Assumes that there is a level playing field- marxist says that there are people at a disadvantage depending on class. Elite and marxists critiques eroded confidence in model of fair group competition. Response -> neopluralism: no level playing field, but no single, united power elite . Privilege of some groups at expense of others. State corporatism: corporate groups tightly bound to authoritarian state. Liberal or neo-corporatism: emphasis on labour and capital, encouragement of effectively organized peak associations, tripartite negotiations including the state. Why is the state interested: generates acceptance and legitimacy, creates social peace, business confidence, promotes sense of shared responsibility for tough decisions. Corporatist model downsides: reinforces class divisions, sidelines representative democracy, creates opening for social movements, protest parties.

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