Factions

James Madison’s “factions” are today’s interest groups.  Madison believed that pitting the groups against each other in a large republic would help to control their effects but understood that getting rid of such groups was impossible in a democratic republic because of liberty itself, the differing opinions of mankind, and the unequal distribution of property.

So, 3 main theories have developed to describe the overall impact of interest groups on our republic:  pluralism, hyper-pluralism and the power-elite theory.

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Pick the theory you think is most explanatory/persuasive and

  1. Define it.
  2. Explain WHY you think it is more explanatory/persuasive regarding the way our political system is impacted by interest groups.

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