Who Really Rules?: New Haven and Community Power Reexamined

Overview

Robert A. Dahl’s Who Governs? is a classic pluralist study which has had an important influence on American social science since the early sixties. Who Really Rules? provides a categorical challenge—empirical, methodological, and theoretical—to Dahl’s work. Empirically, Domhoff’s restudy of New Haven shows through newly discovered documents that Dahl was wrong about the pluralism of New Haven’s power structure. He also presents the most systematic statement of power structure methodology yet made, a statement ...

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Overview

Robert A. Dahl’s Who Governs? is a classic pluralist study which has had an important influence on American social science since the early sixties. Who Really Rules? provides a categorical challenge—empirical, methodological, and theoretical—to Dahl’s work. Empirically, Domhoff’s restudy of New Haven shows through newly discovered documents that Dahl was wrong about the pluralism of New Haven’s power structure. He also presents the most systematic statement of power structure methodology yet made, a statement that contradicts Dahl’s methodological claims which have been the prevailing wisdom in American social science for over fifteen years. Finally, Domhoff outlines the national policy planning network through which the big business ruling class dominates urban government.

Who Really Rules? is unique in that it makes possible for the first time a dialogue between pluralist and ruling-class views on the basis of studies of the same city by leading exponents of the rival theoretical positions. It is original in that it includes much data not revealed by Dahl. It presents the methodology of power structure research in the most comprehensive fashion yet attempted, and reveals a ruling-class network for urban policy planning that has never before been fully articulated.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Who Really Rules? represents the first really empirical historical confrontation with Robert Dahl’s Who Governs? on his own ground.—Roger Friedland, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara An excellent addition to the literature on community power. . . . A penetrating search through and beyond Professor Dahl’s materials. —Floyd Hunter, University of Kentucky The beauty of the book resides not only in its methodological ingenuity, but also in its substantive conclusion.... It provides new directions in the community power research tradition. It is absolutely essential reading for those interested in power and its operation in American society. —Jonathan H. Turner, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Riverside An extremely valuable contribution to the longstanding debate between the pluralists and the power elitists.... Clearly written, persuasive, and should be an eye opener for those who have accepted Dahl’s Who Governs? as gospel. —Richard L. Zweigenhaft, Department of Psychology, Guilford College
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876209653
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1987
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

G. William Domhoff is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his education at Duke University, Kent State University, and the University of Miami. Among Domhoff's many books are: The Power Elite and the State: How Policy is Made in America (Aldine); Mystique of Dreams; Who Rules America Now?; and Jews in the Protestant Establishment.

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