Whilst many of the supporters of pluralism, such as Dahl (1989) or Lindblom and Woodhouse (1993), were prepared to admit that in practice democracy did not distribute power evenly or even give equal opportunities to forge policy, such concessions did not amount to a rejection of the merits of the pluralist ideal. It could still be claimed on the basis of economic theories of democracy, as developed by Schumpeter (2010) and Downs (1957), or, empirically, through community studies, that however imperfectly liberal democracies distributed power, citizens enjoyed considerably greater political freedom than if they lived in autocracies. The tension between elitist and pluralist views of liberal democratic regimes required not so much a restatement of opposing paradigms but theoretical frameworks that could reconcile the two positions to present a more balanced view of liberal democracy as a system that facilitated mass participation and communication and also ensured substantive opportunities for debate within civil society that allowed politically engaged citizens to attempt to influence the policy process. Reconciliation of these tensions in the liberal democratic state has since the 1980s developed through the policy network theories that have led to a fashionable depiction of policy making as a result of governance, as opposed to top down government, and a parallel, and more ideas-led, depiction of the policy process by Paul Sabatier and Jenkins Smith in a recasting of network theory through their Advocacy Coalitions Framework (ACF), which in many studies appears as the most favoured explanation of policy development and evolution within pluralist liberal democracies (see, for example, Cairney 2012).