Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchial Tendencies of Modern Democracy

by Robert Michels

Other authorsCedar Paul (Translator), Eden Paul (Translator), Seymour Martin Lipset (Foreword)
Paperback, 1966

Publication

Free Press (1966), Edition: 2nd Free Press Paperback Edition 1968, 380 pages

Description

2016 Reprint of 1962 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. This work, first published in German in 1911 introduced the concept of iron law of oligarchy. It is considered one of the classics of social sciences, in particular sociology and political science. This work analyzes the power structures of organizations such as political parties and trade unions. Michels' main argument is that all organizations, even those in theory most egalitarian and most committed to democracy - like socialist political parties - are in fact oligarchical, and dominated by a small group of leadership. The book also provides a first systematic analysis of how a radical political party loses its radical goals under the dynamics of electoral participation. The origins of moderation theory can be found in this analysis.… (more)

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1911

Physical description

380 p.; 5.5 inches

ISBN

0029212502 / 9780029212509
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