The Structure of Class Conflict in Democratic Capitalist Societies

Adam Przeworski, Michael Wallerstein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)215-238
    Number of pages24
    JournalAmerican Political Science Review
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1982

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


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