Classical Pluralism and the Distribution of Power

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!

   agenda      arbiter      arena      decision      diffuse      dominates      elites      government      ideological      interest      legtimacy      Marxist      neutrality      participate   
The classical pluralist position argues that power is not concentrated in the hands of a ruling class or elite. Classical pluralism suggests:
1. Power is rather than concentrated - this contrasts with both the position and with elite theory.
2. In society a large number of groups represent all the significant and different interests of the population. Interest group activity is an important means for people to in democratic politics
3. Interest groups compete with each other for influence over .
4. The competition for influence follows the 'rules of the game' - violent and illegal political action is outlawed and the of the State is accepted by all participants
5. All groups accept the legitimacy of the making process and of its outcome.
6. Competition between groups ensures that no one group .
7. The government is a neutral between interest groups.
8. The State is the neutral in which interest group activity takes place
Criticisms of the Classical Pluralist Model
1. It refers only to decision making power ignoring the second and third faces of power - setting and power.
2. It assumes interest groups (pressure groups) are democratic organisations whereas many in reality are ruled by
3. The "" of the State is very difficult to prove