chapter  3
13 Pages

Modern theories: pluralism and government overload

Among modern observers, one group that has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the state, bureaucracy, and the politics of democracy is the pluralist school of thought. Contrary to Weber, who viewed the modern state and bureaucracy as coherent in structure and effective in the execution of tasks, pluralism views them as disjointed in structure and blundering in performance. Despite Weber's continued eminence, pluralism has been popular for many years especially in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. As D. Knoke (1979) has pointed out, the more established version of pluralism has recently fallen on hard times. There are, however, some newer versions, concerned primarily with pluralism in the bureaucracy and with governmental 'overload' and 'ungovernability' which have become more widely accepted in recent years.