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Encyclopedia > Robert A. Dahl

Robert Alan Dahl (b. 17 December 1915), is the Sterling Professor emeritus of political science at Yale University. He is past president of the American Political Science Association and one of the most distinguished political scientists writing today. Dahl has often been described as "the Dean" of American political scientists. He’s earned this title by his prolific writing output and the fact that scores of prominent political scientists studied under him. One could argue that since Dahl has been associated with Yale, its political science department had been the most influential in the nation. December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A Sterling Professorship is the highest academic rank at Yale University, awarded to a tenured faculty member considered one of the best in his field. ... Political science is the field of the social sciences concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Yale redirects here. ... The American Political Science Association, founded in 1903, serves more than 15,000 members in more than 80 countries, bringing a variety of services to political scientists both inside and outside academic institutions. ...

In the 1960s, he was involved in a landmark dispute with C. Wright Mills over the nature of politics in the United States. Mills held that America's governments are in the grasp of a unitary and demographically narrow power elite. Dahl responded that there are many different elites involved, who have to work both in contention and in compromise with one another. If this is not democracy in a populist sense, Dahl contended, it is at least polyarchy (or pluralism). In perhaps his best known work, Who Governs? (1961), he examines the power structures (both formal and informal) in the town of New Haven, Connecticut, as a case study, and finds that it support this view.... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Charles Wright Mills (August 28, 1916, Waco, Texas – March 20, 1962, Nyack, New York) was an American sociologist. ... The Federal Government of the United States was established by the United States Constitution. ... Look up Populism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Polyarchy (Greek: poly many, arkhe rule) has long been used to mean the opposite of monarchy, i. ... The political theory of pluralism holds that political power in society does not lie with the electorate but is distributed between a wide number of groups. ... Who Governs? is an influential book in American political science by Robert Dahl. ... Nickname: The Elm City Location in Connecticut Coordinates: NECTA New Haven Region South Central Region Settled 1638 Incorporated (city) 1784 Consolidated 1895 Government Type Mayor-board of aldermen  - Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. ...

In more recent years, Dahl's writings have taken on a more pessimistic tone. In How Democratic Is the American Constitution? (2001) he argued that the constitution is much less democratic than it ought to be given that its authors were operating from a position of "profound ignorance" about the future. However, he adds that there is little or nothing that can be done about this "short of some constitutional breakdown, which I neither foresee nor, certainly, wish for." How Democratic is the American Constitution? (2001, ISBN 0-300-09218-0, among others) is a book by political scientist Robert A. Dahl that discusses undemocratic elements of the U.S. Constitution. ...

In another landmark book, Democracy and Its Critics (1989), Dahl makes his view about democracy clear. No modern country meets the ideal of democracy. Instead, he calls politically advanced countries "polyarchies." Polyarchies have elected officials, free and fair elections, inclusive suffrage, rights to run for office, freedom of expression, press, and association. Those institutions are a major advance in that they create multiple centers of political power. However, they fall short of the standard of democracy. Democracy, in Dahl's view, requires more citizen participation and tighter control of policies by citizens than any existing nation has achieved.

He was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science in 1995. The Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science (in Swedish Skytteanska priset) was established in 1995 by the Johan Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University. ...


  • Sociologist G. William Domhoff strongly disagrees with Dahl's view of power in New Haven, CT in the 1960s: "Who Really Ruled in Dahl's New Haven?"
  • Political philosopher Charles Blattberg has criticized Dahl's attempt to define democracy with a set of necessary and sufficient conditions. See Blattberg, From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, ch. 5. ISBN 0-19-829688-6.

G. William (Bill) Domhoff is a Research Professor in psychology and sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. ... This article is about the city in Connecticut. ... Charles Blattberg Charles Blattberg (born 1967 in Toronto, Canada) is a professor of political philosophy at the Université de Montréal. ...


The following is not the complete list: Dahl has written extensively -- most libraries, in most places in the world, will contain at least one of Dahl's books.

  • How democratic is the American Constitution? 2nd ed. (New Haven, Conn. ; London : Yale University Press, 2003).
  • Es Democrática La Constitución de Los Estados Unidos? (México, D.F.; San Diego, CA : Fondo de Cultura Económica USA, 2003).
  • The democracy sourcebook. ed. by Robert Dahl, Ian Shapiro, and José Antonio Cheibub. (Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2003).
  • Modern political analysis. with Bruce Stinebrickner. 6th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, c2003).
  • Entrevista Sobre El Pluralismo. (México, D.F.; San Diego, CA : Fondo de Cultura Económica USA, 2003).
  • De la démocratie. traduit de l'américain par Monique Berry. Traduction de : On democracy. ([Paris] : Nouveaux horizons, 2001).
  • How democratic is the American Constitution? (New Haven : Yale University Press, c2001).
  • On democracy. (New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, c1998, Yale Nota Bene, 2000). ISBN 0-300-08455-2
  • Dahl reflects on a preface to democratic theory. Public affairs report. Vol. 38, no. 4 (July 1997).
  • Toward democracy, a journey : reflections, 1940-1997. (Berkeley : Institute of Governmental Studies Press, University of California, Berkeley, 1997).
  • Justifying democracy. Society. Vol. 32, no. 3 (Mar.-Apr. 1995).
  • The New American political (dis)order : an essay. responses by Richard M. Abrams ... [et al.]. (Berkeley : Institute of Governmental Studies Press, 1994).
  • After the revolution? : authority in a good society. Rev. ed. (New Haven : Yale University Press, c1990).
  • Myth of the presidential mandate. Political science quarterly. Vol. 105, no. 3 (fall 1990).
  • Democracy and its critics. (New Haven : Yale University Press, c1989).
  • Democracy, liberty, and equality. (Oslo : Oxford ; New York : Norwegian University Press ; Distributed world-wide excluding Scandinavia by Oxford University Press, c1986).
  • A preface to economic democracy. (Berkeley : University of California Press, c1985).
  • Dilemmas of pluralist democracy : autonomy vs. control. (New Haven : Yale University Press, c1982).
  • Democracy in the United States : promise and performance. 4th ed. (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., c1981).
  • Democracy in the United States : promise and performance. 3d ed. (Chicago : Rand McNally College Pub. Co., c1976).
  • L'Analyse politique contemporaine. traduit de [la 2e éd. anglaise] par Iain Whyte ; introduction de Pierre Birnbaum. Traduction de : Modern political analysis. (Paris : R. Laffont, 1973).
  • Size and democracy. with Edward R. Tufte. (Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press, 1973).
  • Regimes and oppositions. ed. Robert A. Dahl (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1973).
  • Democracy in the United States: promise and performance. 2d ed. (Chicago, Rand McNally [1972]).
  • Polyarchy; participation and opposition. (New Haven : Yale University Press, 1971).
  • After the revolution; authority in a good society. (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1970, translated into French as Aprés la révolution : l'autorité dans une société modèle. traduit par Annie de Mèredieu (Paris; Calmann-Lévy, 1972))
  • L'Avenir de l'opposition dans les démocraties. Traduction de: Political oppositions in Western democracies. Traduit de l'américain par Maurice Luciani. (Paris : S.I.D.I.I.S. (impr. Firmin-Didot et Cie), 1966).
  • Political oppositions in western democracies. ed. Robert A. Dahl. (New Haven : Yale University Press, 1968, c1966).
  • Pluralist democracy in the United States: conflict and consent. (Chicago : Rand McNally [1967]).
  • Congress and foreign policy. (New York : W.W. Norton [1964]).
  • Political oppositions in Western democracies. ed. Robert A. Dahl. (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1966).
  • L'Avenir de l'opposition dans les démocraties. (Paris, S. E. D. E. I. S., 1966).
  • Politics, economics, and welfare: planning and politico-economic systems resolved into basic social processes. with Charles E. Lindblom. (New York, Harper 1963, with a new pref. by the authors. (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1976).
  • Who Governs? : Democracy and Power in the American City, (Yale University Press, 1961)
  • A preface to democratic theory: How does popular sovereignty function in America? (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1956).
  • Congress and foreign policy. (New Haven : Yale Institute of International Studies, 1949).

Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908. ... Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE, Fondo) is the most important publishing house in Mexico[1][2] and one of the most important ones in Latin America. ... MIT Press Books The MIT Press is a university publisher affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Pearson can mean Pearson PLC the media conglomerate. ... University of California Press, also known as UC Press, is a publishing house associated with the University of California that engages in academic publishing. ... Edward Rolf Tufte (born 1940) is a professor of statistics, graphic design, and political economy at Yale University and an expert in the presentation of informational graphics, such as infographics, charts and graphs. ... The Stanford University Press is a publishing house, a division of Stanford University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... Charles Edward Lindblom (b. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ...

External links

  • http://elsinore.cis.yale.edu/polisci/people/rdahl.html
  • Personal homepage
  • List of articles written from 1940 to 1998 (PDF)
  • List of articles written from 1998 on (PDF)



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