Explaining the Right Turn
Just about the time power structure researchers provided satisfactory explanations for the big legislative decisions that mainstream political scientists usually refer to as evidence for pluralism, the power elite took a right turn. Explaining that right turn became a new acid test for rival theorists. One thing was for sure. It finished off the state autonomy theorists, who by and large deduced from their flawed studies of the Progressive Era and New Deal that the economic problems of the 1970s would be solved through the expansion of the state. They already had egg on their faces due to the clear involvement of moderate conservatives in decisions they thought were made without any capitalist participation, such as the Social Security Act, but those decisions were made decades earlier, so the new research could be ignored. What they could not explain away was capitalists so blatantly and straightforwardly taking charge of the state and trying to shrink parts of it right in front of their noses. According to them, something like this could never happen.

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And yet, this hardly means that all politicians are bought and paid for by the power elite. There are numerous liberal and ultraconservative elected officials who disagree with the perspectives preferred by members of the power elite. However, there aren't enough of them, they aren't well organized, and they don't have the staying power of those who are sympathetic to the corporate point of view on most issues. Historically, the general result of the candidate-selection process was a set of ambitious and relatively issueless elected officials who knew how to go along to get along. More recently, the corporate-oriented politicians often have conservative views on various "social issues" as well. This emphasis on social issues helps them get elected because some of their constituents care passionately about them, but those issues are not of substantive concern to the corporate rich. Either way, the candidate-selection process leaves an opening for the pro-corporate policies provided to elected officials through the special-interest and policy-planning networks.

In considering the candidate-selection process from the point of view of the power elite, it is important to stress that there are structural and historical reasons why money has mattered so much in American politics. The electoral rules leading to a strong tendency toward a two-party system, that is, the single member district plurality system, when combined with the historic division of the country into Northern and Southern regions with very different political economies, adds up to a situation where the parties have been such complex coalitions that until recently it was not always clear to voters what one or the other stood for. Given that state of affairs, personalities, and name recognition can matter a great deal, which provides an opening for campaign finance to help boost one candidate over another.

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Local Power Structures

Although most political scientists thought there was no way Hunter's conclusions about the concentration of power in Atlanta could be plausible in a country with competing political parties, a free press, and the right to assemble and organize into interest groups, the critiques of his findings were methodological in nature. His interview method for constructing elite social networks and learning about their activities, based on asking knowledgeable people to nominate the people they thought to be powerful, and then in turn interviewing those who were nominated, was later shown to be a sophisticated way to uncover networks of power (Kadushin, 1968). However, it was pejoratively called the "reputational" method by Dahl and fellow pluralists to make it seem like mere fluff. They said it used questions that were too general to be of any use--even though it did ask people to discuss their involvement in policy issues they deemed important--and was probably contaminated by what informants read in the newspapers besides (Polsby, 1980; Wolfinger, 1960).

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C. Wright Mills, Power Structure Research, and the Failures of Mainstream Political Science
by G. William Domhoff
in New Political Science 29 (2007), pp. 97-114

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2

Perhaps the most fruitful distinction with which the sociological imagination works is between 'the personal troubles of milieu' and 'the public issues of social structure.' This distinction is an essential tool of the sociological imagination and a feature of all classic work in social science.

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The Sociological Imagination
Chapter One: The Promise
C. Wright Mills (1959)

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To a degree that has come to seem controversial today, Mills was not cynical about the importance of reason—or its attainability, even as a glimmering goal that could never be reached but could be approximated ever more closely, asymptotically. To the contrary. He wrote about the Enlightenment without a sneer. (22) He thought the problem with the condition of the Enlightenment at mid-century was not that we had too much Enlightenment but that we had too little, and the tragedy was that the universal genuflection to technical rationality—in the form of scientific research, business calculation, and state planning—was the perfect disguise for this great default. The democratic self-governance of rational men and women was damaged partly by the bureaucratization of the economy and the state. (This was a restatement of Weber's great discovery: that increased rationality of institutions made for less freedom, or least no more freedom, of individuals.) And democratic prospects were damaged, too—in ways that Mills was trying to work out when he died—because the West was coping poorly with the entry of the "underdeveloped" countries onto the world stage, and because neither liberalism (which had, in the main, degenerated into techniques of "liberal practicality") nor Marxism (which had, in the main, degenerated into a blind doctrine that rationalized tyranny) could address their urgent needs. "Our major orientations—liberalism and socialism—have virtually collapsed as adequate explanations of the world and of ourselves," (23) he wrote. This was dead on.

It goes without saying that Mills felt urgently about the state of the world—a sentiment that needed no excuse during the Cold War, though one needs reminders today of just how realistic and anti-crackpot it was to sound the alarm about the sheer world-incinerating power that had been gathered into the hands of the American national security establishment and its Soviet counterpart. It cannot be overemphasized that much of Mills' work on power was specific to a historical situation that can be described succinctly: the existence of national strategies for nuclear war. Mills made the point intermittently in The Power Elite, and more bluntly in The Causes of World War Three, that the major reason America's most powerful should be considered dangerous was that they controlled weapons of mass destruction and were in a position not only to contemplate their use but to launch them. Mills' judgment on this score was as acute as it was simple: "Ours is not so much a time of big decisions as a time for big decisions that are not being made. A lot of bad little decisions are crippling the chances for the appropriate big ones." (24) Most of the demurrers missed this essential point. (25) To head off pluralist critics, Mills acknowledged that there were policy clashes of local and sectoral groups, medium-sized business, labor, professions, and others, producing "a semiorganized stalemate," but thought the noisy, visible conflicts took place mainly at "the middle level of power." (26) As for domestic questions, Mills probably exaggerated the unanimity of powerful groupings. He was extrapolating from the prosperous, post-New Deal, liberal-statist consensus that united Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy more than it divided them. Like most observers of the Fifties, he underestimated the potential for a conservative movement. (27) But about the centralization of power where it counted most, he was far more right than wrong.

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C. Wright Mills, Free Radical
http://www.uni-muenster.de/PeaCon/dgs-mills/mills-texte/GitlinMills.htm
by Todd Gitlin

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全球暖化的政治倫理——為氣候政治建立目的王國
應用倫理研究通訊
http://www.ncu.edu.tw/~phi/NRAE/newsletter/no32/03.htm

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政策網絡理論的途徑
http://72.14.235.104/custom?q=cache:iWplrWFLWXYJ:web.ntpu.edu.tw/~yuhwa/study%2520of%2520policy%2520networks/chap2.doc+Jessop&hl=zh-TW&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=tw&inlang=zh-TW&client=pub-3278190510955599
政策網絡宛如一面鏡子,反應西方先進工業社會行政與政治的多元性與複雜性,政策網絡的理論途徑解釋政策過程中參與者高度複雜的關係,有其啟發性的價值,相當程度的影響公共行政與公共政策理論的建立。另一方面,政策網絡理論發展過程中,也有其脆弱的一環,最致命的缺點是概念定義的混淆,Rhodes與Marsh(1992)即憂慮概念混淆的危機將使政策網絡的研究步上統合主義(corporatism)1的後塵。其次,理論應具有描述與解釋的功能,但是政策網絡分析似乎難以跨越描述性層次而進入政策解釋功能。基於此,本章首先釐清政策網絡的概念定義,繼而解釋政策網絡理論的發展途徑,以及建構政策網絡的理論架構,並對於政策網絡途徑是否能解釋政策過程加以論證。

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市場、國家與制度安排:福利國家社會管制方式變遷
http://tsp.ec.tku.edu.tw/QuickPlace/113922qp/Main.nsf/$defaultview/4198746D262A6988482572200060DB67/$File/Lee2000a.htm?OpenElement
李碧涵 國立台灣大學國家發展研究所副教授

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歐盟還沒找到最大公約數

擴大與深化面臨挑戰

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思與文—中國現代思想文化研究網站轉載

【內容提要】科舉考試是中國帝制時代,朝廷在政治、社會、經濟等方面與士人生活之間互動最為頻繁的交彙點之一。作為一種才學能力的測試,科舉考試有利於王朝統治與士人文化的緊密結合,為官僚制度服務。科舉考試反映了更為廣泛的士人文化,因為這種文化已經通過基於經學的官僚選拔滲透到國家體制之中。然而,在中華帝國後期(明清兩代),科舉制度經歷了曲折的興衰演變,其功能也發生了很大的變化,這從政治、社會、教育以及文風等方面表現了出來。

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基督和反基督——讀尼采『反基督』
http://www.tangben.com/Qianzai/jidu.htm
劉自立

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女性主義正反論
柯志明
http://life.fhl.net/Desert/980522/002.htm

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