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ERIC Number: ED157854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Uses of Political Science: The Allocation of Policy Influence among Levels of Government.
Stonecash, Jeff
This paper discusses the allocation of policy influences at the national, state, and local levels of government. A theory of what causes a change from a decentralized to a more centralized system is developed and whether and how such a theory of change is related to a theory of the origins of a federal system is explored. The author presents several weaknesses and ambiguities in the theory presented by Beer and others that modernization and the forces of economic and political development are the driving forces which cause changes in society, which in turn prompts centralization of government activity. One of the weaknesses is that the almost exclusive emphasis on economic change gives the modernization theory an almost deterministic tone. Another weakness is that this strong emphasis on economic change assumes a constancy of a political culture which presumes that changes in society will be reacted to and changed. The author argues that centralization is not caused by modernization ad economic forces, but by man's conceptions of causality and justice. Societies change their structure of power and decision making because of changing perceptions and norms. Ideas matter. He argues that man is not a passive creature merely passing wealth into policy in some invariant, mechanical way, but that there are real political struggles derived from ideas which influence policy. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Beer (Amuel H)
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (New York, New York, August 31-September 3, 1978)