1st Edition

Studying the Power Elite Fifty Years of Who Rules America?

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book critiques and extends the analysis of power in the classic, Who Rules America?, on the fiftieth anniversary of its original publication in 1967—and through its subsequent editions. The chapters, written especially for this book by twelve sociologists and political scientists, provide fresh insights and new findings on many contemporary topics, among them the concerted attempt to privatize public schools; foreign policy and the growing role of the military-industrial component of the power elite; the successes and failures of union challenges to the power elite; the ongoing and increasingly global battles of a major sector of agribusiness; and the surprising details of how those who hold to the egalitarian values of social democracy were able to tip the scales in a bitter conflict within the power elite itself on a crucial banking reform in the aftermath of the Great Recession. These social scientists thereby point the way forward in the study of power, not just in the United States, but globally.

    A brief introductory chapter situates Who Rules America? within the context of the most visible theories of power over the past fifty years—pluralism, Marxism, Millsian elite theory, and historical institutionalism. Then, a chapter by G. William Domhoff, the author of Who Rules America?, takes us behind the scenes on how the original version was researched and written, tracing the evolution of the book in terms of new concepts and research discoveries by Domhoff himself, as well as many other power structure researchers, through the 2014 seventh edition.

    Readers will find differences of opinion and analysis from chapter to chapter. The authors were encouraged to express their views independently and frankly. They do so in an admirable and useful fashion that will stimulate everyone’s thinking on these difficult and complex issues, setting the agenda for future studies of power.

    Section One Setting The Stage, Providing Context

    Introduction Situating Who Rules America? Within Debates On Power G. William Domhoff

    Chapter 1 Who Rules America? Through Seven Editions and Fifty Years: Still More Accurate Than Alternative Power Theories G. William Domhoff

    Section Two Larger Perspectives and Research Agendas

    Chapter 2 Domhoff, Mills, and Slow Power Robert J.S. Ross

    Chapter 3 The Life and Times of Who Rules America? And The Future of Power Structure Research Richard W. Lachmann and Michael Schwartz

    Chapter 4 Institutions, Policy-Planning Networks, and Who Rules America? John L. Campbell

    Section Three The Policy-Planning Network In Action

    Chapter 5 The Policy-Planning Network, Class Dominance, And The Challenge To Political Science Joseph G. Peschek

    Chapter 6 Who Rules America? And The Policy-Formation Network: The Case of Venture Philanthropy Beth Mintz 

    Chapter 7 Corporate Interests And U.S. Foreign Policy Ronald W. Cox

    Section Four The Power Elite and Their Opponents

    Chapter 8 Who Challenges The Power Elite? Labor Factions In 20th-Century America Daniel Schneider and Judith Stepan-Norris

    Chapter 9 Who Rules The Roost? Kathleen C. Schwartzman

    Chapter 10 "Fairness" In Presidential Economic Policy: Disagreements Among Upper Class Elites Clarence Y. H. Lo


    G. William Domhoff, Eleven Other Authors

    "{Studying the Power Elite is} a useful overview of the debate...a guide to the key schools of thought."
    --The Financial Times

    "I am hard pressed to think of another book which has the author so vigorously defending himself from his critics. And when all is said and done, even the strongest critics in the new book recognize that on the big picture question of class power, Bill Domhoff’s 1967 analysis remains largely correct."
    - Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron

    “In the new volume, each coauthor builds on Domhoff's signature contributions, revealing how the corporate rich triumphs repeatedly over organized labor, liberals, and environmentalists... The other contributors, invited by the publisher to extend or critique Domhoff's work, bring a range of perspectives to Studying the Power Elite.”
    – excerpt from the USCS Newscenter, full release: https://news.ucsc.edu/2017/11/domhoff-power.html