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The Structure of Class Conflict in Democratic Capitalist Societies

Adam Przeworski and Michael Wallerstein
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 215-238
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1961105
Page Count: 24
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The Structure of Class Conflict in Democratic Capitalist Societies
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Abstract

The article presents a theory of class conflict between workers and capitalists who pursue their material interests under a form of societal organization that combines private ownership of instruments of production with representative political institutions. There exist economic and political conditions under which both classes would simultaneously choose courses of action that constitute a class compromise: workers consent to the institution of profit and capitalists to democratic institutions through which workers can effectively press claims for material gains. When these conditions hold and a compromise is in force, the role of the state consists in institutionalizing, coordinating, and enforcing the terms of a compromise that represents the preferences of workers as well as capitalists.

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