Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Groups, Representation and DemocracyBetween Promise and Practice$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Darren R. Halpin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076527

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076527.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Making Olson work: rejuvenating ‘supply-side’ explanations

Making Olson work: rejuvenating ‘supply-side’ explanations

(p.169) 7 Making Olson work: rejuvenating ‘supply-side’ explanations
Groups, Representation and Democracy

Darren Halpin

Manchester University Press

This chapter scrutinizes the argument of Mancur Olson regarding collective action. His thesis has been instrumental in fostering pessimism about the democratic potential of groups. This chapter argues that while his predictions are right, for representation groups, his reliance on a dominant and wide-spread self-interested rationality is a weakness in his framework. Instead, this chapter argues that the reason they work is not to do with the rationality of joiners, but the way the group constructs and legitimizes a passive form of group affiliation. Thus, Olson works as much because of a supply-side, as a demand-side, phenomenon.

Keywords:   Mancur Olson, collective action, democratic potential, pessimism, representation groups, group affiliation, supply-side, demand-side

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.