Which Is Not A Characteristic Of A Multiparty System? ? Parties And What They Do Flashcards

S. Macdonald, G. Rabinowitz, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

4.3.2 Multiparty systems

In multiparty systems proximity theory makes no clear predictions about party strategy. Directional theory suggests that the most successful parties will take relatively strong clear stands on some issues, while avoiding an extremist label. Extremist parties can be successful in multiparty systems in that they can attract enough voters to win seats in proportional elections; however, their appeal will be limited because of their extremism.

You are watching: Which is not a characteristic of a multiparty system?

Centrist parties are expected to be weak in directional theory, because they fail to develop strongly favorable evaluations from any voters. Some parties that are centrist on left-right are well defined on other issues, such as agricultural policy, and these parties can be successful. Parties with no strong issue stands, however, will find that while few voters dislike them, they are not the first choice of many voters.

View chapterPurchase book
Read full chapter


D.C. Hallin, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

5.3 Democratization

In developing and newly industrialized countries, there has been a general move toward liberal democracy in recent years, with many authoritarian regimes giving way to multiparty systems and greater political openness. An increased emergence of independent news media has been associated with these changes, probably as both cause and effect. Opposition parties have increasingly gained access to the media in many countries, political scandals have proliferated (Waisbord 1994), and elites have lost much of the tight control over public discourse they once held. Often commercialization of the media has accompanied democratization, and this has led to a dramatic reorientation of journalism away from serving government officials and toward the mass audience, sometimes resulting in rapid shifts from ‘protocol news’ to sensational crime reporting. Many questions remain about whether and how democratic media systems will be consolidated in these societies. To what extent will advertising-based media in societies where the middle class remains relatively small serve the majority of the population? To what extent will media owners—often small in numbers as the economic base of the media is limited—attempt to use the media to support their own political interests? Under what conditions can standards of professionalism evolve that will limit demagoguery or manipulation of political information?

View chapterPurchase book

Tyson Macaulay, in RIoT Control, 2017

Multiparty Authentication and Data Protection

Multiparty authentication and data protection can be expressed simply as 2+N, meaning that more than two entities are involved in a shared cryptosystem. Additionally, this multiparty system can be horizontal and cascading. Mathematics to support such authentication and cryptosystems have long been known; see Euler’s work from 1779 on polynomial theorems, also known as key splitting.28

The crux of these multiparty systems is that each participant recreates the keys common to the cryptosystem versus sharing keys under either symmetric or public key systems.

Multiparty authentication is not necessarily a novel requirement, even if its implementation has not been forced by circumstances; there are many use cases where several entities need access to a common secure resource in a timely and lightweight manner. For instance, dozens of public safety personnel need access to the secure, encrypted radio channel. This use case would typically involve a shared symmetric key. But what if the same channel was used for IoT devices controlling firefighting robots or even remote sentries? Would you trust those devices to shared-key systems—forever? In the case of symmetric (shared-key) systems, the more copies of the keys that are distributed, the greater the potential a copy leaks or is disclosed in an unauthorized manner and compromises the entire system. In the case of public key systems, encrypting the infobase means managing many unique keys, one for every participant!

In the IoT, with all its wealth of safety-critical, commercially valuable, and personally identifiable data flowing around, there will be a vulnerability associated around what information is available to whom. For instance, you may grant access to your health information to your doctor working from a hospital system, but not your doctor working from her home systems. In practice, the combination of your permission plus the doctor’s consent, plus the hospital system’s approval may be required to unlock your information in the data store. In this case, three parties are required to collaborate in a cryptosystem agreement to unlock your health record: the patient, the doctor, and a device located within the hospital.

Another example of a multiparty operational requirement might be IoT nodes operating as an interdependent, safety-critical sensor network. In this example, it may be that fail-safe configurations in these devices demand that they shut down the entire service as soon as one of the devices fails, stops sending data, or stops responding to a heartbeat or beacon. Masquerade attacks against these systems would be a major vulnerability, so authenticating each node related to their response to a heartbeat or beacon may be required. A multiparty authentication system based on a single key that can be recreated based on unique properties from each participants would be far better than a system based on a common key shared among all participants, or worse, a massively expensive public key system.

A consumer-oriented operational use case could relate to something like photo sharing among friends. Rather than trying to encrypt the same photos for multiple public keys, encrypt it once using a key that can be created strictly by the 2+N coowners model of authentication. In this model of multiparty authentication and data protection, the best elements of shared key and public key are retained, while the weak or expensive characteristics are left out. No storage of keys is required on the endpoints—just enough memory initially to derive a common key, split it, and distribute the pieces among multiple parties. To do so requires only a small amount of memory and processor: enough to generate and split a common key. The only requirement is an awareness of how many parties are actually included in the multi part of multiparty: how many peers or participants are needed to recreate the key?

Tyson Macaulay, in RIoT Control, 2017

Multiparty authentication

In Chapter 9, Identity and Access Control Requirements in the IOT, we discussed multiparty authentication as an important requirement for the IoT. The threat associated with this requirement is that we implement it badly.

Multiparty systems allow many devices to, in essence, share secure access or authentications, but not necessarily share keys: there are a variety of known cryptographic techniques in this area that are emerging or being tweaked, having been developed decades ago. Many of these cryptographic techniques were for a long time solutions looking for problems. The IoT has arrived as the problem the cryptographic techniques were designed to solve.

There is no question that the IoT will require large groups of devices to trust each other and share keys widely, in order to secure communications and make sure that the processing overhead associated with the key management does not confound the system. (Processing might be too heavy for the endpoint device to manage efficiently or might require a degree of network traffic that consumes too much power or takes too long to accomplish.)

Poor implementation threats related to multiparty I&A will come from haphazard as well was ill-conceived notions about what is acceptable security—and will threaten the entire IoT service when the multiparty systems are breached.

How not to implement multiparty security. The following I&A implementation practices will pose major threats to the security of IoT devices, systems, and services as vendors and service providers look to quick and dirty ways to allow large numbers of devices to authentication quickly, and in some cases with the pretext of anonymity:


Shared keys (or passwords—which amount to the same thing) embedded or encoded into software and/or unprotected hardware platforms. This is a very common flaw found in all sorts of IoT devices today. Once one device is compromised in such multiparty systems all devices are compromised. These keys might be either symmetric or asymmetric, and one of a wide number of algorithms.


Home grown and proprietary multiparty I&A systems. It is well understood that if someone cannot or will not disclose how they are securing something, it is probably not secure at all. Similarly, it is easy to implement good cryptography badly, so new I&A (or security) systems for the IoT built of well-understood algorithms and cryptographic processes need due diligence.


Unsophisticated use of commodity I&A systems such as asymmetric (public key) systems that don’t scale and eventually overwhelm the devices or the management platforms as they device population grows.


Heavily centralized and ephemeral (constantly changing) trust-broker models that rely on remote verification services, available through the network. For instance, two devices or elements in the IoT only need to speak occasionally or maybe just once, so they trust a third party to broker trust through the multiparty system. There are likely many critical points of failure: the gateways, the networks, and the trust-broker and services in the cloud or DC.

P. Mair, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

1 Classifying Party Systems

Although scholars have paid relatively scant attention to what defines a party system as such, tending instead to assume the existence of a party system in all polities where there exists a plurality of parties, they have devoted considerable effort to distinguishing between different types of party system. The most conventional and frequently adopted approach to distinguishing party systems is based simply on the number of parties in competition, and the most common distinction involved here, which goes back to Duverger (1954), is very straightforward—that between two-party systems, on the one hand, and multiparty (i.e., more than two) systems, on the other. This particular classification was also believed originally to reflect a more fundamental distinction between more or less stable and consensual democracies, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, which were seen as typical of the two-party variety, and more or less unstable or conflictual democracies, such as Fourth Republic France, Italy, or Weimar Germany, which were seen as typical of the multiparty type. Although this simple association of numerical categories of party system with levels of political stability and efficacy was later undermined by reference to a host of smaller democracies that were characterized by both a multiplicity of parties and a strong commitment to consensual government, the core distinction between two- and multi-party systems has continued to be widely employed within the literature on comparative politics, although it is sometimes modified by taking into account not only the sheer numbers of parties in competition, but also their relative size. Thus, Blondel (1968), for example, uses the relative size of the parties to distinguish four types of party system: two-party systems, two-and-a-half-party systems, multiparty systems with a dominant party, and multiparty systems without a dominant party.

The most substantial attempt to move away from a primary reliance on the simple numbers of parties in competition was that of Sartori (1976, pp. 117–323), who combined counting the parties with a measure of the ideological distance that separated them. Sartori's typology was the first that focused directly on the interactions between the parties—the ‘mechanics’ of the system—and hence on the differential patterns of competition and cooperation. Following this approach, party systems could be classified according to the number of parties in the system, in which there was a distinction between systems with two parties, those with up to some five parties (limited pluralism) and those with some six parties or more (extreme pluralism); and according to the distance that separated the parties lying at either extreme of the ideological spectrum, which would either be small (‘moderate’) or large (‘polarized’). These two criteria were not wholly independent of one another, however, in that Sartori also showed that the format of the system, that is, the number of parties, contained ‘mechanical predispositions,’ that is, it could help determine the ideological distance, such that extreme pluralism could lead to polarization. When combined, the two criteria resulted in three principal types of party system: two-party systems, characterized by a limited format and a small ideological distance (e.g., the UK); moderate pluralism, characterized by limited or extreme pluralism and a relatively small ideological distance (e.g., Denmark or the Netherlands); and polarized pluralism, characterized by extreme pluralism and a large ideological distance (e.g., Weimar Germany, early postwar Italy, or pre- Pinochet Chile). Sartori also noted the existence of a ‘predominant-party system,’ in which one particular party, such as, for example, the Congress party in India, or the old Unionist party in Northern Ireland, consistently won a winning majority of parliamentary seats.

A. Ware, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

3 Consequences of Electoral Systems

Public and academic interest in electoral systems tends to be much greater when the franchise is being extended (as in Britain in the 1860s), or new legislative assemblies are introduced (Britain in the 1990s) when democratic regimes have collapsed or are unstable (Europe from the 1920 to the 1950s), and when regimes are democratizing (Eastern Europe in the 1990s), or redemocratizing (Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s). One of the main focal points of attention is the likely consequences that one form of electoral system will have compared with others.

In the 1950s, and in light of the experience of collapsed democracies in the interwar years and with the potentially unstable regimes in postwar France and Italy, Duverger (1959) propounded an argument that has come to be known as Duverger's Law: ‘the simple-majority single ballot system favours the two-party system’. He also argued that PR tended to be associated with multipartism. His argument was often linked to the widely held view in Britain and the USA at that time that PR was responsible for unstable governments with multiparty systems, of the kind found in the fourth Republic, whereas plurality systems were a recipe for stable two-party democratic government.

Since Duverger's Law was first propounded it has had its critics, and at the time of writing many political scientists would point to its limitations. It does not apply when there are strong regional cleavages, for example; they also reject the popular view that PR was causally responsible for unstable government. That view does not fit well with the evidence: most European countries since 1945 have used some form of PR, and most have had multiparty systems and coalition governments, yet most have not had unstable regimes. Although there are some exceptions, notably Sartori (1994), many political scientists now argue that the electoral system has only a limited effect on a regime's party system, and hence on its potential for instability. Increases in the number of parties in a system, for instance, tend not to follow the introduction of PR, but rather tend to precede it; moreover, the timing of the introduction of PR is significant in relation to whether party fragmentation will occur. An early switch to PR following democratization does tend to produce fragmentation—because the larger parties have had limited opportunities to develop loyal electorates. A switch much later does not lead to fragmentation, because the established parties now have loyal electorates who are not likely to defect to new or small parties.

Nevertheless, the precise form of electoral system used can have an impact on election results: changing the rules does change the political game. For example, the switch from plurality voting to AV in British Columbia in the early 1950s probably did prevent the socialist CCF party from gaining power in that decade. Similarly, the switch to PR from DB for the 1986 Assembly elections in France helped to minimize the Socialists' losses and to establish the National Front as a credible party that could win seats in the Assembly. Electoral systems cannot transform the social bases of electoral politics, but they can make it more likely that some parties will win office, or share power in government, and make it less likely that others will do so. For that reason, politicians are tempted sometimes to change them. For the most part, though, they are not changed frequently—partly because those in office are the people who usually benefit from the working of the existing system, and partly because the full consequences will be unknown, and hence might actually run counter to the interests of those seeking change.

W.N. Dunn, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

1 The Concept of Pattern Matching

Pattern matching is a ubiquitous feature of knowledge processes in everyday life and in science. The use of pattern matching in everyday knowing, however, is different from pattern matching in mathematics, philosophy, and the social and behavioral sciences.

1.1 Rules of Correspondence

Rules of correspondence are prescriptions that enable the mapping of one set of objects on another. Objects in a domain, D, are related to objects in a range, R, according to a rule of correspondence such as: Given a set of n countries in domain D, if the object in D is a one-party system, assign the number ‘0’ from range R. If it is a multiparty system, assign a ‘1.’ Rules of correspondence perform the same matching function as truth tables in symbolic logic, pattern recognition algorithms in computer science, and the use of modus operandi (M.O.) methods in criminology. When a single rule of correspondence is taken to define fully and unequivocally the properties of an event or object—for example, when responses to scale items on an intelligence test are taken to define ‘intelligence’—pattern matching becomes a form of definitional operationism (Campbell 1969, 1988, pp. 31–2).

1.2 The Correspondence Theory of Truth

Until the late 1950s, philosophy of science was dominated by the correspondence theory of truth. The correspondence theory, the core epistemological doctrine logical positivism (see Ayer 1936), asserts that propositions are true if and only if they correspond with facts. The correspondence theory also requires that factually true propositions are logically validated against formal rules of logic such as modus ponens (p⊃q, p, ∴q) and modus tollens (p⊃q, ∼q, ∴∼p). To be verified, however, propositions must match facts (reality, nature). The correspondence version of pattern matching assumes a strict separation between two kinds of propositions—analytic and synthetic, logical and empirical, theoretical and observational—a separation that was abandoned after Quine (1951) and others showed that the two kinds of propositions are interdependent. Because observations are theory dependent, there is no theory-neutral observational language. Theories do not and cannot simply correspond to the ‘facts.’

1.3 Coherence Theories of Truth

The correspondence theory has been replaced by a more complex form of pattern matching, the coherence theory of truth, which has a number of versions (see Alcoff 1996). In one version, often called the consensus theory of truth, beliefs are matched against other beliefs, with no requirement that they are tested empirically. Another version, realist coherentism (Putnam 1981), requires that two or more empirically tested beliefs are matched. William Whewell's consilience theory of induction is closely related to this (qualified) realist version of the coherence theory. A third version of coherence theory is methodological pragmatism (Rescher 1980). Here, beliefs must satisfy cognitive requirements including completeness, consonance, consistency, and functional efficacy, all designed to achieve optimally plausible knowledge claims. Other versions of coherence theory require the additional condition that the social circumstances under which empirically tested beliefs arise be taken into account. These other versions include ‘social epistemology’ (Fuller 1991) and the ‘sociology of scientific validity’ (Campbell 1994).

1.4 Statistical Estimation and Curve Fitting

Statistical principles, rules, or criteria are applied to achieve an optimal match between a curve and a set of data points or observations. An example is the least-squares criterion (the squared distance between observed and predicted values is a minimum or least value), where the match between the pattern supplied by a (linear or nonlinear) curve and a pattern of observations is approximate and probable, not certain as in pattern matching by rules of correspondence. The degree to which a curve and a set of observations match is summarized by coefficients of different kinds. Some of these represent the goodness-of-fit between curve and observations, while others represent the magnitude of error in pattern matching. Although coefficients are assessed according to a probability distribution, and given a p-value, the same observations can fit different curves; and the same curve can fit different observations. In such cases, pattern matching is as much a matter of plausible belief as statistical probability.

1.5 Context Mapping

Closely related to curve fitting is context mapping. Knowledge of contexts is essential for understanding elements within them. Context mapping, which is epitomized by the figure-ground relation in Gestalt psychology, also applies to the analysis and interpretation of statistical data. For example, observations in a scatterplot cannot be distinguished—in fact, they all look the same—when they are compared one-by-one, rather than compared as elements of the pattern of which they are elements. Context mapping is important in statistical analysis. Coefficients that summarize relations among variables are usually misleading or uninterpretable outside the context provided by scatter plots and other visual methods in statistics (see Tufte 1983, 1997). Figure 1 illustrates how identical sets of correlation (r), goodness-of-fit (r2) and probability (p) statistics match different patterns. Statistics are likely to be misinterpreted outside the context provided by scatterplots, each of which has its own visual signature.

See more: 3 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes Equals, How Many Sweet Potatoes Equals 3 Cups Mashed

R.M. Thomas, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

1 Educational Goals

By outright statement or by implication, all cultures direct education toward the same five general goals: (a) knowledge and support of cultural traditions; (b) citizenship; (c) moral conduct; (d) vocational preparation; and (e) physical and mental health. However, because of the sociohistorical differences among cultures, the specific learning objectives and curriculum content under each of these goals can vary from one culture to another.

1.1 Knowledge and Support of Cultural Traditions

The first goal is to teach each new generation the culture's dominant worldview and history, including the traditional language, social organization, explanations of phenomena (physical and social sciences), and arts. For example, to communicate within their group, Pakistanis learn Urdu, Tunisians learn Arabic, and Peruvians learn Spanish, Qechua, or Aymara. To understand social organization, Tongans learn the traditional chieftain structure of their society, North Koreans learn the country's version of communism, and South Africans study their republic's multiparty system and national assembly. In the realm of literature, India's youths study the epic poems Ramayana and Mahabarata, students in Taiwan read the Analects of Confucius, and those in Spain read Cervantes' Don Quixote.

1.2 Citizenship

A society's system of governance determines what people need to know about their own role as a citizen and about how their own role relates to the role of other people. Because societies' social systems often differ, citizenship education varies across cultures. The proper behavior of serfs in a feudal society differs from that of citizens in a socialist state or in a capitalistic democracy. The roles of leaders in the Roman Catholic hierarchy differ from the roles of leaders in Quaker, Presbyterian, and Buddhist cultures.

1.3 Moral Conduct

Moral education concerns proper ways to act toward other people and, in some cultures, proper ways to act toward supernatural forces (gods, ancestral spirits), nonhuman beings (animals of specified types), and physical surroundings (sacred forests, mountains, and waterways). All cultures teach such virtues as honesty, loyalty, respect, and courage. All disapprove of theft, deceit, and murder. Most usually prescribe additional moral rules not found in every other culture, e.g., obeying God's commandments is an essential moral rule in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic cultures but not in Chinese Taoism or international Communism (Thomas 1997).

Cultures often differ in how they identify the people to whom their moral rules should apply. For example, most cultural traditions teach, at least by implication, that moral rules should guide relationships with friends (‘our kind of people’ or ‘members of our group’) but not with enemies (‘those who threaten our welfare’). Therefore, one moral education objective can be that of identifying the social conditions (war, economic competition, and religious confrontations) under which the moral rules should and should not apply to selected groups. Furthermore, as social conditions change, the way moral principles affect personal-social relations often change as well. During World War II, the British and the Germans were enemies, so they were taught to hate, deceive, and slay each other. In contrast, a half century later the British and Germans, both members of the European Union, were taught to apply their common set of moral principles to each other.

1.4 Vocational Preparation

Societies vary markedly in the types and complexity of vocations for which each new generation is trained. Cultures that depend chiefly on hunting and gathering or on agriculture for obtaining food and clothing have far fewer types of vocations than do highly industrialized, occupationally specialized cultures. As a consequence, the detailed learning objectives and instructional content for occupational training can differ significantly across cultures. Furthermore, where vocational preparation is obtained can vary greatly. In dominantly nonmechanized agricultural societies, children learn their vocation through family apprenticeships—working beside their parents in the fields. In highly industrialized societies, most youths prepare for occupations in schools (learning communication, computation, social interaction, and technical skills) and in on-the-job programs away from their homes.

1.5 Physical and Mental Health

Variations from one group to another in the exact aims and content of health education can result from cultural differences in beliefs about: (a) what constitutes health, sickness, and deviant behavior; (b) what causes sickness and deviant behavior; and (c) how to treat sickness and deviance.

In their conceptions of sickness, cultures can disagree about the sorts of distressing conditions that call for healing measures.

Diviners, curers, oracles, shamans, and doctors the world over are not only consulted about bodily ills, but also about mental ills, social problems, and calamities of supernatural provenance which express jealousy, hatred, and suspicions emanating from conflicts over land, money, and inheritance, over marital and sexual disputes, and from political ambitions and rivalries. Further, the bodily ills are commonly taken to be mere epiphenomena: themselves material outcomes of immaterial forces and agencies that inflict punishment for social misdeeds (Worsley 1982 p. 327).

Contrasting cultural views of deviant behavior can be illustrated by a cluster of symptoms (impaired sociability, language, and communication which are accompanied by a constricted range of interests and activities) that are interpreted in typical Western industrialized cultures as indicative of autism, a regrettable malady that should be remedied. However, cultures that attribute autistic-like behavior to possession by spirits can elevate individuals who exhibit such behavior to a respected position reserved for enchanted members of society. Such is the case of individuals classed as Nit-ku-bon in West Africa, where an infant who would be diagnosed as autistic in Western cultures is said to be a ‘marvelous child’ (Ellenberger 1968).

N. Mayer, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

2 Alignment, Dealignment, or Realignment?

These three models have been guiding electoral research agendas. In the wake of the sociological model attention was first given to the effects of social class and religion, even more so in Europe where party systems were historically built on the basis of social and religious conflicts and cleavages (see Lipset and Rokkan 1967). Rose's (1974) classic study of voting patterns in 15 democracies shows that class in Scandinavian countries and religion in the others are by far the most predictive factors explaining postwar electoral behavior, a working class position predisposing to a left-wing vote and regular church attendance to a right-wing vote. Then, in the 1960s, the Michigan paradigm became the leading model, inspiring nationwide research surveys in Europe, especially in Britain where Butler and Stokes (1969) explained long-term alignments of British voters by their party identification, itself rooted in their social background. What became known as the ‘two class, two party’ model does not fit as well in countries such as France with multiparty systems. There, Left/Right orientations are the substitute for party identification, equally rooted in religion and social class (Michelat and Simon 1977).

Neither model though can account for the increasing electoral change that appeared in the United States by the end of the 1960s, and in Europe at the end of the 1970's. On the basis of the SRC presidential surveys between 1956 and 1974, the authors of The Changing American Voter (Nie et al. 1976) revealed a decline of party ties. The proportion of ‘independent’ voters, who define themselves as neither Republican nor Democrat, has risen from 23% in 1964 to 40% in 1974. Among those who still identify themselves with one side or the other the proportion who declare a ‘strong’ attachment or have a positive image of a party is declining, and the very link between party preference and voting is weakening. Voters seem more interested in politics, more aware of the issues at stake and more inclined to choose their candidates according to their political stands, whatever party they belong to.

Parallel studies in Europe detect similar trends of electoral volatility or instability of voting choice and partisan dealignment or gradual moving away from all parties (Crewe and Denver 1985), seen as a structural feature of the emerging postindustrial society. Social and geographical mobility is blurring the traditional class cleavages and loosening community ties. Progress in education and exposure to the media have increased the average levels of political sophistication. The rise of the permissive and individualistic set of values coined as postmaterialist by sociologist Inglehart (The Silent Revolution, 1977) encourage a new style of politics, more demanding and protest-prone, and promotes new post materialist issues—environmental, feminist—that cut through traditional party lines. All these trends converge to make citizens less dependent upon existing parties to make their choice. Voters are seen as ‘autonomous,’ ‘strategic,’ ‘rational,’ or ‘reasoning’ and the developing cognitive sciences are increasing studies on political reasoning mechanisms, the way voters process and organize information, the cues they rely on to make a decision, etc. (Sniderman et al. 1991). Short-term issue or candidate centered voting could well be taking the place of the former stable ‘cleavage voting’ with a partisan, religious, or social base (Franklin et al. 1992).

But a second research trend is taking an opposite stand, questioning the extent of this dealignment process by casting doubts on the way it is measured. The most heated controversies have developed around the supposed decline of class voting. Until now the simplest and most widely used indicator has been Alford's index, which measures the difference between the proportion of manual and nonmanual voters voting for the Left. For instance, if all the British working-class voters supported the Labour party and none among the middle classes in a given election, the value of the Alford index would be 100%, indicating perfect class voting. Measured by this index, the downward trend is undeniable. Class voting across post-World War II elections has decreased, for instance, by almost half in Britain, and more than two-thirds in Germany. But critics underline several weaknesses of such an index. Its dichotomous nature does not take into account the complexity of post-industrial occupational structure nor the complexity of party systems. It is statistically biased because it does not consider the changes in the marginal distributions of the two classes and of the two votes from one election to another. And it only measures dealignment, while various processes of electoral realignment along new cleavages such as private sector vs. public sector, self-employed vs. wage-earners, or educated vs. non- educated voters, seem to be taking place in postindustrial democracies, as shown by multiclass approaches using detailed occupational classifications and sophisticated measures such as odds-ratios or log-linear models. In Britain for instance, in the long run, Heath et al. (1991), contrary to previous findings, find no decline of class voting, just ‘fluctuations without trend.’ In France since the 1980s, the salaried middle classes have tended to support the Left, compensating for the drop of working-class support, attracted by the extreme right embodied by the National Front (Boy and Mayer 1997). In the United States, Hout, Brooks, and Manza dispute Clark, Lipset, and Rempel's claims about the declining political significance of social class, by showing the historical realignment in presidential post-War elections since 1968, as professionals and nonmanagerial white- collar workers moved from supporting the Republicans to voting for the Democrats (special issue of International Sociology, 8(3), 1993, on class voting). Lastly, the new institutionalism approach attempts to reintegrate voters' choices in their political context, analyzing their response to changes in the electoral rules of the game, in the party structure, and in the strategies of political actors, especially concerning their uses of the media.

S. Rothman, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001

4 Elites in (Mostly) Modern Democratic Systems

In relatively polyarchic systems with successfully functioning parliamentary or presidential regimes, legislatures elected by the populace play key roles in making binding decisions about the distribution of resources. In such societies election to office is mediated by political parties and the character of the electoral system is important. In both parliamentary and presidential regimes the key elite players tend to be lawyers and other professionals such as teachers and retired bureaucrats and politics becomes a full-time profession, replacing the old English notion of the amateur politician (King 1981). In presidential regimes the chief executive (whatever the formal title) exercises considerable power independent of the party to which he/she is attached and has, in the past, based more of his authority on charisma. Indeed, in the United States, the president, while not independent of his party, draws much of his authority from his unique relation with the mass media. Arguably the political roles of American political parties have substantially diminished in the face of the media revolution.

In parliamentary regimes, however, chief executives (prime ministers, premiers) are selected from within the party and generally are leaders of a group of almost equals and exercise less personal power than presidents. Of course this depends partly on the particular nature of the party system. Within the framework of a relatively disciplined two-party system, party members are more likely to adhere to the party line than in regimes characterized by multiple, usually weaker, parties and coalition governments. Exceptionally, during their heyday, the Communist parties of France and Italy were, despite multiparty systems with relatively weak political parties in each country, quite able to retain control over party members. Even in parliamentary systems with relatively disciplined parties, the role of the media has heightened the charisma and power of the party leader (especially when in office) above that of his closest associates. This results in greater identification of the Party with the leader (Dogan 1989, Kamarck 1995, Linz and Valenzia 1994, Mainwaring and Valenzuel 1998, Patterson and Mughan 1999, Trend 1997, Yesilada 1999, Riggs 1988).

Political parties are present even in authoritarian regimes such as the People's Republic of China. They were the preferred mode of political organization in most other Communist countries and in many African states. Generally, such parties have been instruments of mobilization and control allowing relatively little freedom. They have also been the central loci of power in the society. There have been some partial exceptions. In Mexico the PRI (The Party of the Institutionalized Revolution) effectively dominated politics but opposition was permitted and the party did not attempt to control the whole society. The Mexican system has further opened up in recent years and the one-party system is probably in a state of terminal decay. Also, the Soviet Union and its former satellites have, at least temporarily, transformed themselves into more open societies often with a substantial circulation of elites. Under the Soviet regime, and still in China, advancement in political power required working one's way up through the party with the aid of powerful patrons whose fall from favor could seriously affect one's career (MacFarquhar 1993, Li and Bachman 1989, Lane 1995).

In well-established parliamentary regimes the success of those seeking elite status depends on party position, seniority, and effectiveness in parliamentary work including the give and take of debate. Party loyalty generally remains the requisite condition of advancement in parliamentary regimes with disciplined party systems. Loyalty is less important in the American presidential regime. There power in the legislature is partly a function of seniority, good committee assignments, service to constituents, and a good relationship with the media.

In most of Europe, party organizations are relatively weak and the number of active party militants small. In less developed countries parties are even weaker and mostly quite short-lived. Parties often are the personal vehicles of individual charismatic leaders. After the leader passes from the scene, such parties usually fall apart to be replaced by still another ‘personal’ party. Political power in such countries is actually heavily dependent upon ‘clientelist’ relationships among various political families.

In modern democracies politics has increasingly become a career in which those aspiring to office start early and remain long, often beginning in local government (Eldersveld et al. 1995). With the passing of distinctly working-class socialist parties in Europe, political leaders are even more likely than they were in the first half of the twentieth century to come from middle-class backgrounds and to boast college or university degrees (Dogan 1989, Putnam 1976).

Money plays a relatively important role in elections in capitalist societies even when stringent limitations are placed upon the amounts parties are permitted to raise. However, individual wealth has not provided a passport to office, even in the United States where considerable freedom in the use of personal and contributed funds is permitted. Middle- or lower-middle-class aspirants to office can usually obtain financial support from backers who, for one reason or another are willing to bankroll them.

Among the unique elements of modern, relatively large complex societies is their heavy dependence upon highly differentiated bureaucracies. Despite important elements of bureaucratic structure in traditional empires, bureaucracies of the modern type never developed in these countries. High level bureaucratic officials, as Weber pointed out early in the twentieth century, are among key political elites (Weber 1978). They have played especially important roles in societies such as the Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes whose theoretical goal was to eliminate them. Indeed as late as the 1960s Mao Zedong's cultural revolution was designed to abolish or at least sharply reduce bureaucratic power. Mao had a point. Bureaucrats were blunting the cutting radical edge of the Chinese revolution for, as Weber argued, bureaucrats tend to routinize decision making. Mao did not succeed, for Weber was also correct in asserting, when many social theorists thought otherwise, that socialism could only increase the size and power of bureaucracy.

Weber, however, was wrong in implying the modern political order would eventually be dominated by bureaucratic elites. It is true that carrying out legislative mandates always involves administrative discretion. However, bureaucracies have never completely dominated a political system, with the possible exception of Japan in the decades after World War II (Van Wolferen 1989).

The influence of bureaucracy is heightened when the technical training of an elite corps of bureaucrats emphasizes their authority and power in the state. The second empire in Germany (1870–1918) was characterized by the very significant role of the bureaucratic elite as was France under the Fourth Republic (1946–58). In the latter case the substantial power of the bureaucracy was partly a result of the inability of the party system to create a stable executive (Koh 1989, Peters 1978, Suleiman 1984, Farmer 1992, Thakur 1981).

For different reasons England and the United States have never created a bureaucratic elite of the continental European type. In the US, especially, the courts have added a layer of control above that created by Congressional oversight and presidential authority, and have insisted, in many cases, upon public consultation in bureaucratic decision making. Indeed, the role of courts has become so significant in many countries (though not as significant as in the United States) that some scholars now speak of the ‘judicialization of politics.’ Such judicialization has strongly affected bureaucratic decision making (Vallinder 1994).

See more: Distance From Washington Dc To Miami, Florida Usa And Washington Dc, Usa

In many modern political regimes, e.g., France, Japan, England, etc. higher level bureaucrats are recruited directly from the university for bureaucratic careers and often retire early to enter business or run for political office. High office in the United States federal bureaucracy is more permeable through in-house promotion and lateral recruitment. This gives American bureaucratic recruitment a more democratic cast than that of most other advanced industrial nations.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button