What are the characteristics of America in terms of majoritarian, pluralist, and elite models?

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In the majoritarian model, a majority of citizens hold primacy in governmental decision making. In this model, citizens vote in elections and are expected to participate in a well-informed manner. This model best supports a centralized government with elected representatives but sometimes does not take into account the rights or...

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In the majoritarian model, a majority of citizens hold primacy in governmental decision making. In this model, citizens vote in elections and are expected to participate in a well-informed manner. This model best supports a centralized government with elected representatives but sometimes does not take into account the rights or opinions of the minority.

The pluralist model is rather different, for in it, people are grouped by culture, ethnicity, economics, religion, or some other factor. These groups appeal to public officials according to their views and desires, and the decentralized government consists of interplay between them. Pluralism can support multiple viewpoints and claims as well as a broader freedom of speech and choice.

Finally, the elite model of government calls for a small, powerful group to rule, usually people who are wealthy. This group makes the decisions for everybody else and imposes its will despite the needs or desires of the majority of people.

Let's think, then, about how the US exhibits some traits of all of these. The majoritarian model is certainly active in the election system and the expectation of citizen participation; yet there is pluralistic element, too, when we think about all the different interest groups that strive for voice and power within the country. Further, people have sometimes argued that the country is, in reality, run by a group of elites who hold primary power, and we can see this in the structures of political parties, for instance, or in the influence of the wealthy upon government decisions.

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