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The present work is a critical discussion of the problem of democracy. Michels believes that democracy, as an intellectual theory and as a practical movement, has entered upon a critical phase from which exit will be extremely difficult. In this book he analyzes the tendencies that oppose the realization of democracy, and claims that these tendencies can be classified in three ways: dependence upon the nature of the individual; dependence upon the nature of the political structure; and dependence upon the nature of organization.
This edition, described by Morris Janowitz as a "classic of modern social science" and by Melvin Tumin as "the beginning of a tradition," offers a landmark study in political science. Following its original publication in 1910, the study and analysis of political parties was established as a new branch of science. Political Parties continues to be a foundation work in the literature and is a necessary addition to the libraries of contemporary political scientists, sociologists, and historians.
Robert Michels is considered a founder of political sociology. He was the author of a variety of books including German Social Democracy as an International Association and Proletariat and Bourgeoisie. He wrote regularly for The Archives of Social Science in Germany. Seymour Martin Lipset is Hazel Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at George Mason University and also senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of various works, including Political Man, The First New Nation, and most recently, American Exceptionalism.
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