Robert Michels's Political Parties in Perspective

  title={Robert Michels's Political Parties in Perspective},
  author={Philip J. Cook},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={773 - 796}
  • P. Cook
  • Published 1 August 1971
  • Political Science
  • The Journal of Politics
Robert Michels's Political Parties' and the "iron law of oligarchy" have enjoyed a minor, but strangely respected, and somewhat uncritically accepted position in American social science over the past 20 years. The work still fills an obvious gap in the literature of parties, and has interested a number of people because of its possible negative implications for democratic theory in general. It has become a minor classic. Many years have passed (especially in the history of the social sciences… 
Bending Michel's 'iron law of oligarchy': can democracy ever be for 'home consumption' in political parties?
Ever since Kirchheimer wrote about the evolution of Duverger's mass parties into catch-all parties, studies of political parties have commented on the loss of membership influence on policy. The idea
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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
The VFW — A case study in the “iron law of oligarchy” and goal displacement
The “iron law of oligarchy” is applied to the VFW. Using participant observation and qualitative interviews, membership of the VFW is dichotomized into a leadership oligarchy and a “drinking
Michels and his Critics
Ipropose in this paper to develop a theme from an earlier article I wrote on Michels: namely, that Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens is to be understood as the work of someone who had passed over from
A lei de ferro de Michels e o pluralismo: a democracia na Guerra Fria
O texto revisita a teoria da organizacao partidaria, a partir de um questionamento da impossibilidade da democracia partidaria, tal como anuncia Robert Michels com sua nocao de “lei de ferro” da
Democracia e organização nos partidos políticos: revisitando os microfundamentos de Michels
O objetivo deste artigo e resgatar os pressupostos da tese de Robert Michels a respeito da dinâmica organizacional dos partidos politicos marcada por duas tendencias supostamente antagonicas: a
Realismo e utopia em Robert Michels
O artigo aponta e discute as principais influencias teoricas e politicas de Robert Michels na construcao de Sociologia dos partidos politicos, tentando ir alem das fontes mais conhecidas, como
Por uma sociologia histórica da circulação e da recepção de textos: Robert Michels e Sociologia dos partidos políticos nos Estados Unidos
O objetivo deste artigo e, partindo das ponderacoes de Pierre Bourdieu acerca da importância do estudo das condicoes sociais da circulacao internacional de ideias, fazer uma sociologia historica da
Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi’nin Antalya Üyelerinin Parti İçi Demokrasi ve Oligarşiye Bakış Açısı
Robert Michels 1911 yilinda yazdigi “Siyasal Partiler” eserinde Alman Sosyal Demokrat Parti’nin secim kampanyalarinda halka demokrasi vaat ettigini, ancak parti icinde demokrasinin gecerli


Some Special Requisites of Democracy
  • American Political Science Review , 53 ( March 1959 ) , 69 - 105 . 52 See Hedwig Wachenheim , Die deutsche Arbeiterbewegung 1844 - 1914 ( Koeln : Koeln und Opladen , 1966 ) , 566 - 571 ; Guenther Roth , The Social Democrats , esp . chs . 8 and 10 ; and Peter Gay , The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism
  • 1961
The Social Democrats, esp. chs. 8 and 10; and Peter Gay, The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism
  • esp. ch. 8. 53Cook and Wachenheim
  • 1952
45The pre-publication articles that I have located include
  • Der konservative Grundzug der Parteiorganization
  • 1906
The Lagardelle articles appear in Vols. 31 and 32 and Michels's attack is
  • Oligarchie et Syndicat: reponse 'a Hubert Lagardelle