Chapter 11: Congress


Pluralism, Majoritarianism, and Democracy



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Pluralism, Majoritarianism, and Democracy


The American Congress contrasts sharply with the legislatures in parliamentary democracies. Strong party systems and a lack of checks and balances to block government action make parliamentary democracies more majoritarian. Congress’s decentralization and the lack of a strong party system make Congress an institution better suited to pluralist democracy. Moreover, the population of the United States, with an increasing diversity of economic, social, religious, and racial groups, will influence Congress to be more pluralistic.



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