What type of political system is the US? Forthcoming in the Journal of Political Power

Citation data:

Journal of Political Power, ISSN: 2158-379X, Vol: 9, Issue: 1, Page: 5-44

Publication Year:
2016
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Repository URL:
https://touroscholar.touro.edu/lcm_pubs/5; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2158379X.2016.1149336?journalCode=rpow21
DOI:
10.1080/2158379x.2016.1149336
Author(s):
Zucker, Ross
Publisher(s):
Informa UK Limited; Touro Scholar
Tags:
Social Sciences; united states government; political science; political systems; unequal democracy; polyarchy; plutocracy; representational inequality; political inequality; American Politics; Political Science
article description
The conventional understanding of the contemporary US as a polyarchy, considered as rule by multiple minorities, is not now supportable. It relies upon the salience of pluralism over political inequality, but these conditions are now inverted. The current salience of political inequality is the chief characteristic of unequalocracy, a political system type intermediate between polyarchy and plutocracy. Contrary to Gilens and Bartels, the US has not been demonstrated to have enough representational inequality to be a plutocracy. Using an alternative conception of what constitutes preference differences between high- and low-income groups, and applying it to Gilens’ own data, I find too few preference differences to show plutocracy exits in the US.