By Harry Eckstein

To comprehend what stipulations make democracies good or volatile, potent or useless, Professor Eckstein examines the steadiness and effectiveness of Norwegian democracy. He reveals them either to be excessive. He then examines a number of theories derived from the research of alternative democracies or from comparative reports of different democratic and nondemocratic societies. almost all current an insufficient clarification of the Norwegian case, as the political divisions in Norway are the sort frequently linked to instability and ineffectiveness of democratic rule. the writer explains, besides the fact that, profound experience of neighborhood exists regardless of the political cleavages.

Originally released in 1966.

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38Halvdan Koht and Sigmund Skard, The Voice of Norway (New York, 1944), pp. 1, 11-12. 28 Norway as a Stable Democracy never restored. , gentle­ manly) status, and the term "bureaucratic aristocracy" actually occurs in Norwegian writings;39 indeed, even today families as­ sociated with a history of officialdom often claim special respect. A functional elite, however, can hardly be a full equivalent of Britain's awesome aristocracy, and the respect officials often claim in Norway is in fact, to their chagrin, not often granted.

37 The absence of political litigiousness in Norway does not mean, however, that legal processes do not play a large role in resolving social conflicts. The principal student of Norway's legal profession, Vilhelm Aubert, has pointed out that lawyers, even if not the courts, have long played the central role in Norwegian conflict resolution, chiefly by in­ formal mediatory processes. Aubert, "Norske jurister: En yrkesgruppe gjennom 150ar," Tidsskrift for rettsvitenskap, LXXVII (1964), 310. 38Halvdan Koht and Sigmund Skard, The Voice of Norway (New York, 1944), pp.

ESeip, Fra embedsmannsstat til ettpartistat og andre essays (Oslo, 1964). 14 Norway as a Stable Democracy organization of a modern party system, very much in the British manner and at virtually the same time. The special position of the executive was broken in 1884, when parliamen­ tary government in the strict sense (selection of the executive from, and its full dependence on, the Storting) was established —again a remarkable similarity to Britain. 7 Norwegian democracy thus at least satisfies the criterion of durability that Dahl uses in his famous study of New Haven.

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