Max Weber and Robert Michels

  title={Max Weber and Robert Michels},
  author={Lawrence A. Scaff},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={1269 - 1286}
  • L. Scaff
  • Published 1 May 1981
  • Sociology
  • American Journal of Sociology
This paper investigates the unique intellectual parthership of Max Weber and Robert Michels. Drawing on published work and unpublished correspondence, it shows the extent and nature of the influence exerted by Weber on Michels's inquiry into the sociology of parties and organization. Beginning as a syndicalist and renegade Marxist, Michels sharpened his critical perspective under Weber's guidance. The "structural" and sociological analysis in his major work, Political Parties, developed within… 
Charisma and Democracy: Max Weber on the Riddle of Political Change in Modern Societies
The elite theory of Max Weber has recently been rediscovered by political scientists and political theorists who have sought to explore both the heuristic and the normative potential of plebiscitary
Max Weber's Politics of Civil Society
Civil society has made a surprising comeback in our time. Its detractors, however, have charged that, as both an analytical concept and a blueprint for political practice, civil society has already
Did Max Weber's Agony and Ecstasy Influence His Scholarship?
When exploring the intellectual history of a discipline, one cannot help but wonder about the “real” person behind the scholarship. To what extent do personal life experiences infl uence a scholar’s
Democratizing Organizations: A Case Study of a Union Reform Movement
This article, using the United Steelworkers of America as a case study, examines the structures and strategies of reform groups most likely to lead to lasting democratic changes in organizations.
Reception of Political Parties by Robert Michels in Poland in an international context
In 2011, it has been a centenary since the best-known book by Robert Michels titled Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der Demokratie modernen. Untersuchungen über die oligarchischen Tendenzen des
The Structure of Max Weber's Ethic of Responsibility
Max Weber's distinction in "Politics as a Vocation" between the ethic of conviction and the ethic of responsibility is best understood as a distinction between mutually exclusive ethical worldviews.
The social facts of democracy: Science meets politics with Mosca, Pareto, Michels, and Schumpeter
The rapid expansion of the social sciences in post-war America produced a new approach to research on the theory and practice of democracy. Some of the main themes of this approach were borrowed from
Castoriadis versus Michels
Throughout his life, Cornelius Castoriadis displayed an unwavering commitment to democracy. He militated for it and developed concepts to elucidate its significance for human freedom. Yet are the
Shils and the intellectuals
  • J. Pooley
  • History
    The calling of social thought
  • 2019
This chapter traces Shils' distinctive conception of the intellectual—as indispensable to, but all too often an opponent of, social order. Shils’ aversion to intellectual disloyalty was a constant


Democracy, Organization, Michels
This article marks an attempt to clarify the teachings of Robert Michels. It suggests that in Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (1915),
The American Commonwealth
In "Democracy in America" (1835), the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville viewed the fledgling United States through the lens of political theory. A half-century later, the Englishman James Bryce
Political Leadership and the Problem of the Charismatic Power
THE TERM charisma and its derivatives, introduced into sociology many years ago by a German sociologist, has lately been spreading into political science here and abroad. The intellectuals' desire to
The Machiavellians
MR. BURNHAM is well known as the author of "The Managerial Revolution". He remarks, with a certain bitterness, of the present book that its circulation is not likely to be large. I am not sure
Consciousness and Society
Hughes' ideas, and the way they are expressed in Consciousness and Society, have become paradigms of twentieth-century scholarship. In dealing with the changing social thought after 1890 in Europe,