S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

This Revision Summary applies to all of the Politics topics...

Can You?

Describe and explain the problems involved in describing and measuring power.

Describe and evaluate the main approaches to describing the distribution of power in Britain.

Can You?

Give an account of the 'Traditional' approach to voting behaviour, and the social, cultural and political situation that prevailed at the time this account was the dominant explanation of voting behaviour.

Give an account of studies into, and explanations for, deviant voters.

Explain why new explanations became necessary, with reference to the social, cultural and political changes occurring in Britain.

Explain what these new explanations are and identify the main concepts now used to explain patterns of voting behaviour.

Power The ability to command obedience.
 
Authority Power becomes authority when it is recognised as legitimate.
 
Pluralism A theory that argues power is dispersed throughout a society.
 
Elitsm A theory that argues that power is concentrated in a limited number of groups.
 
Non-decision making The power to prevent decisions being made.
 
Zero sum The belief that amounts of power remain constant.
 
Variable sum The belief that the amount of power held by a system can increase or decrease.
 
Class de-alignment A major weakening of the association between people's occupational class positions and their political alignments.
 
Partisan de-alignment A significant reduction in the fit between people's choice of party and their views on political issues.
 
Electoral volatility People changing party from one election to another.
 
Sectoral cleavage Political divide based on public/private sectors.
 
Dealigning elections When the links between a particular party and its 'normal' supporters becomes weaker.
 
Re-aligning elections A change in the identifications that voters have with a particular party.
Weber Defined authority.
 
C. Mills 'The Power Elite' (1956).
 
Bachrach and Baratz (1962) Non-decision making.
 
S. Lukes 'Power: The Radical View' (1974).
 
R. Dahl 'Who Governs?' (1951) and 'Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy' (1982).
 
Poulantzas 'The Capitalist State' (1976).
 
Milliband 'The State in Capitalist Society' (1969).
 
Budge (1983) The 'fragmented elite'.
 
Lindblom Capital is the dominant group in all advanced liberal democracies.
 
Finer Trade unions are the dominant veto group.
 
Brittan (1983) Pressure group politics has overloaded government.
 
Butler and Stokes (1963) 'Political Change in Britain', challenged the idea of an informed electorate.
 
Pulzer (1967) "Class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail."
 
Dunleavy (1983) New cleavages in British politics.
 
Crewe et al (1977) Issue changes.
 
Himmelweit (1985) The consumer model of voting.
 
Harrap 'Voting and the electorate' (1988) the Party Identification Model.
 
Marshall et al (1988) 'Social Class in Modern Britain' the continuing importance of class.
 
British Election Study (Evans and Norris (eds) 1999)