Who Governs?: Democracy and Power in an American City

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Yale University Press, 2005 - Political Science - 355 pages
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In this now-classic work, one of the most celebrated political scientists of the twentieth century offers a powerful interpretation of the location of political power in American urban communities. For this new edition, Robert A. Dahl has written a new Preface in which he reflects on Who Governs? more than four decades after its publication. And in a new Foreword, Douglas W. Rae offers an assessment of Dahl's achievement in this, Dahl's greatest and most influential book. -Dahl is never dogmatic, and never imagines that the world stands still to accommodate either the democratic ideal or his own pluralistic theory of city politics. . . .Who Governs? is Dahl's liveliest and most remarkable book.---Douglas W. Rae, from the Foreword From reviews of the first edition: -A book that no one interested in politics can afford to ignore.---Lewis A. Coser, Commentary -Anyone seriously concerned with current systematic political theory or with urban politics should read Who Governs?---Hugh Douglas Price, Political Science Quarterly -A sophisticated and undogmatic treatise on democratic politics.---Heinz Eulau, American Political Science Review -Dahl has illuminated a central question in political science, the problem of how men can govern themselves in complex societies. . . . Who Governs? will become a classic.---from the citation of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award
 

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Who governs?: democracy and power in an American city

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Dahl's 1961 analysis studies the location of political power in America's urban areas. This edition includes the author's new preface. Read full review

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Contents

The Nature of the Problem
1
EQUALITY AND INEQUALITY IN NEW HAVEN
9
The Patricians
11
The Entrepreneurs
25
The Explebes
32
The New Men
52
Shadow and Substance The Social and Economic Notables
63
Overview From Cumulative to Dispersed Inequalities
85
AN EXPLANATION
221
On the Species Homo Politicus
223
Social Standing
229
Cash Credit and Wealth
239
Legality Popularity and Control over Jobs
246
Control over Sources of Information
256
The Use of Political Resources
269
Overview Actual and Potential Influence
271

The Distribution of Influence
87
Overview The Ambiguity of Leadership
89
Leaders in Political Nominations
104
Leaders in Urban Redevelopment
115
Leaders in Public Education
141
Overview Direct Versus Indirect Influence
163
Patterns of Influence
167
Specialization of Influence Subleaders
169
Specialization of Influence Leaders
181
Five Patterns of Leadership
184
Pattern A Spheres of Influence
190
Pattern B The ExecutiveCentered Coalition
200
Pattern C Rival Sovereignties
215
Citizenship without Politics
276
Variations on a Theme
282
Stability and Change
303
Stability Change and the Professionals
305
Stability Change and the Democratic Creed
311
APPENDIXES
327
Comparison of New Haven with Other Urban Areas 1950
329
Methods and Data
330
Indices and Social Position
341
Indices of Political Participation
342
List of tables and figures
345
Index
351
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About the author (2005)

Robert A. Dahl is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University and past president of the American Political Science Association. He is the author of numerous books, including Polyarchy and Democracy and Its Critics, available in paperback from Yale University Press.

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