• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent do new social movements represent a challenge to established ways of conducting liberal democratic policies?

Extracts from this document...


Mark McDonald, Tutor: Mr. D. Harrigan College: Van Mildert To what extent do new social movements represent a challenge to established ways of conducting liberal democratic policies? In order to understand the extent of the challenge posed by new social movements to liberal democratic policy and the ways in which they are conducted one must first understand what these policies entail. These policies or principles are listed by Goodwin as: 1. Supremacy of the people. 2. Consent of the governed as the basis of legitimacy. 3. The rule of law: peaceful methods of conflict resolution. 4. The existence of the common good or public interest, 5. The value of the individual as a rational moral active citizen. 6. Equal rights for all individuals.1 The modern day concept of a liberal democracy is based on the liberalist movement of the philosophers of the eighteenth century. However the advent of past social has resulted in challenges to the ways in which liberal democracy has been and is conducted over the intervening years since that time; the suffrage movement and the American civil rights movement against segregation are two such examples. These movements were successful because those in power allowed them to succeed (admittedly with some reluctance). ...read more.


The method has been perceived by those who supported the groups to be ineffectual and so the groups have become more extreme in there methods which has in turn led the liberal governments to remove even more of the liberty of peoples. The reason given for this is that it will protect the majority and prevent the "terrorists" from causing havoc. One must note that it was only through the liberal democratic process that other movements have succeeded in their aims. This suggests that more recent movements will only truly succeed if they to engage in the current systems. However, this could be perceived as a possible paradox: the people are alienated and so they turn to fringe groups in order to vent their frustration, the only groups which succeed are those which engage in the current systems, but people don't vote (due to an alienation with the current system) so the fringe groups find it hard to gain influence in the political system. I feel the only way to solve this threat is to increase the political awareness of the voting public so that they may express their views and engage. ...read more.


Additionally I feel if people were able to realize their true power then they would be able to make a bigger impact upon the governments with which they seem so alienate. The targets of the groups appear to have been capitalist imperialism and injustice (i.e. the pentagon, and the world trade centre, and more recently the HSBC) these targets are not based in countries which actively educate their citizens in the political and philosophical fields such as France and Germany. I feel this shows that with a greater awareness of differing political views people will be more tolerant. The governments of some western nations are planning to introduce such lessons. One might hope that these are successful in order to counter the current situation wherein alienation has led to the support of new movements and it is ignorance of the individuals power which has led to the alienation. 1 Using political ideas, Goodwin, 1997 pp272 2 Political ideologies An introduction, 3rd edition 2003, Andrew Heywood, pp 21-22 3 Michael Moore, Dude where's my country, 1st ed 2003, pp165-167 4 Michael Moore, Dude where's my country? 1st edition 2003, pp95-100 5 Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism, 1st edition 2003 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has the UK political system become more democratic in recent years

    We have had four in all since 1997, but are the use of referendums really an asset to our liberal democracy?

  2. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    wrest it from others (Berthoin Antal 1998; Dierkes 1988; Hardy and Clegg 1996: 631). One author (Kotter 1979: 2) noted that the open seeking of power is widely considered a sign of bad management. Indeed, the authors of management literature not only skirt the behavior associated with power struggles but

  1. Communism VS Democracy

    On the same note, Berger argues that all democracies are capitalist, no democracies are socialist, but many capitalist societies are not democratic6(Daniels) These examples represent only a very small percentage of the arguments that support the claim that the concepts of capitalism and democracy are not related, but their counterarguments

  2. "At the heart of New Right thought, lies the paradox of libertarian and authoritarian ...

    This last point is not necessarily true of the New Right system as Margaret Thatcher was voted into power; however, she was in control mainly by herself, as she made little use of cabinet, as she loaded her front-benches with similar-thinking Thatcherites.

  1. Are democracies more likely to be peaceful than authoritarian states?

    An example of this is Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 France. In a system of authoritarian rule decisions are made efficiently because very few people are involved in the decision making process. The leader or elite group at the head of the government decides on new policies and economic measures,

  2. Is the Liberal perspective on world politics too idealistic?

    Liberalism as a theory has many characteristics. It argues that human nature is essentially good. Liberals argue that it's not man that causes war but the structure of the international system they also argue that the inequality of power between states causes conflict and war. Liberals hold an optimistic view of the world, they argue that through

  1. To what extent do recent elections in the UK and the USA support the ...

    When exploring issues such as 'class' there are few overlapping similarities, indeed Britain exists as a very class-conscious society, while America does not attach such prevalence to class position. The diversity of the countries also differs exceptionally; there is much to be gleaned from the study of African American voting in America while that cannot be applied here.

  2. To what extent is the global system now multipolar?

    Even President Obama was quoted saying ?We must borrow billions from China to bail out Greece.? This is illustrates the clear power of China that they possess above the rest, including USA, because that quote essentially has Obama conceding and admitting that the one real force in our global system is China .

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work