1st Edition

Political Manipulation and Administrative Power A Comparative Study

By Eva Etzioni-Halevy Copyright 1979
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1979, Political Manipulation and Administrative Power examines in detail some of the means by which elites in western-style democracies have established and maintained themselves in power. It describes how elites have manipulated the public by methods which run counter to the spirit and the letter of democracy, yet without overtly disrupting the democratic system.

    In exploring the relationship between political corruption and class interests, the author takes issue with the Marxist perspective to argue that the type of political manipulation under discussion, and its decline in some countries, cannot be explained by the economically dominant classes’ interests. She further contends that such manipulation cannot be explained by the characteristics of the rank-and-file public, such as lack of political awareness, poverty, and disorganization. She maintains that such manipulation can be best explained by certain characteristics of the ruling elites themselves and the power structures (especially administrative) they shape and head. Using an elitist perspective in conjunction with a structural functional one, she goes on to show that the decline of such practices in some countries more than in others can be explained by the normative codes and role definitions which, once adopted and institutionalized by the elites, act as a restraint on the manner in which they entrench themselves in power.

    A comparative study of Britain, the USA, Australia and Israel, this book is based on general principles which make its argument applicable to other western-style democracies. It will be a beneficial read for students and researchers of politics, comparative studies, and international politics.

    Introduction: political manipulation and the roles of elites  1. Background: the development of elections  2. Political manipulation of material inducements in Britain  3. Political manipulation of material inducements in the United States  4. Political manipulation of material inducements in Australia  5. Political manipulation of material inducements in Israel  6. Political manipulation of material inducements: an explanation  7. Administrative power in Britain: the separation of administration from politics  8. Administrative power in the United States: the partial decline of political involvement  9. Administrative power in Australia: the evolvement of political neutrality  10. Administrative power in Israel: the persistence of political pervasiveness  Conclusion


    Eva Etzioni-Halevy is a Holocaust Survivor. She is Professor Emerita of Political Sociology at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She has published many academic books and writes Biblical novels. Etzioni-Halevy has previously taught at Tel Aviv University and Australian National University.

    Review of the first publication:

    “Etzioni-Halevy has assembled sufficient evidence to support her central thesis, and this is no mean feat. Her sensitive use of qualitative historical and occasionally quantitative material is truly impressive—indeed, exemplary for this type of sociological research.”

    — Peter Abell, University of Surrey