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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909

Resumo

RIBEIRO, Pedro Floriano. Michels' law of oligarchy: ways of using. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2014, vol.29, n.85, pp.179-193. ISSN 0102-6909.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092014000200012.

Few authors have evaluated the validity of Robert Michels' law of oligarchy in a systematic and empirically referenced way. The absence of precise definitions concerning the concepts of oligarchy and oligarchization has always brought difficulties in testing specific cases. In this sense, the purpose of the article is to systematize concepts and indicators, proposing an analytical model able to support complete and comparable empirical tests on the law of oligarchy. The text proposes empirically useful definitions of the most relevant concepts, and suggests specific indicators to measure the oligarchization, in two axes: the stability of leaders in their positions and the divorce of opinions between leaders and followers. Based on such propositions, the authors propose a typology for the classification of organizations, pointing out what they consider as remaining valid in Michels' law of oligarchy as a contribution to the current theory of democracy.

Palavras-chave : Robert Michels; Iron Law of Oligarchy; Democracy; Organizations; Political Parties.

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