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Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

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Introduction

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism It is difficult to give specific definition to pluralism because it consists of various ideas that are constantly changing together with the different societies. Pluralists consider the individual as the most important element in the society and protecting of his rights is fundamental characteristic of the theory. Locke points out that all people are created equal and their prerogative is to follow and maintain a moral code based on peace and equality (Laslett 1991). This essay will try to explore the different aspects of the pluralist theory and will attempt to explain to what extent the theory could be applied to practice. It will try to examine the flaws and the strengths of the theory in relation to different types of human nature and historic developments. The essay will conclude with arguments that suggest, that pluralism is the most advanced theory to attempt to examine and to affect the constantly evolving relations between individuals and states. Maybe the most problematic aspect of every theory including pluralism is the question about human nature. Locke portrays the individual as self aware, positive and independent minded. He creates an image of a righteous and strong person whose nature is generally peaceful, but whenever his freedom is threatened by an aggressor he "may destroy a man who makes war upon him" (Laslett 1991:279). ...read more.

Middle

The role and the power of the interest groups could vary in different societies, but there seem to be a constant interdependence between the well being of the society, the power of the interest groups and the power of the state. In Russia for example after the communism collapsed and democracy was implemented, theoretically there was a ground for the development of a modern pluralist society. But with a weak state under Boris Yeltzin the interest groups in Russia developed faster than the rest of the society and the competition of their interests didn't seem to work for the common good but rather against it. The role of the state at that time was to help empowering and enriching the interest groups with no regard for the needs of the society, which led to the financial collapse of the country. When Putin came to power he invited twenty-one of the country's new oligarchs to a Kremlin meeting to tell them to stay out of politics if they wanted to keep their status. Three years later he sent to prison Mikhail Khodorkovsky - Russia's richest oligarch on charges of tax evasion, grand theft, fraud, forgery, embezzlement and extortion. He and his company Yukos have been acting "as if they were sovereign powers"(Goldman 2008: 111) by signing a twenty-year oil-delivery contract with China and campaigning to build a pipeline through Siberia to China. ...read more.

Conclusion

The pluralist system has an advanced design, which works for the cultivation of the positive human side and tries to make the negative one work for a good cause, through constructive competition. The pluralist theory creates a sense in the individual that he is a co-developer in a commonly shared system and the nature and extent of the impact he has on it depends on his skills and determination. The theory recognizes that diversity in viewpoints and approaches is crucial to the functioning of the society and makes it possible for unity and individuality to coexist in the same time. The weaknesses of the pluralist theory come from the very same human nature where all the strengths come from. Negative human nature will be always present and will be always trying to infiltrate the system. Pluralist theory doesn't seem to address that fact. It doesn't seem to acknowledge the need of collective effort not only to compete and work for the common good, but also to identify and prevent negative human nature from working its way up the social and political ladder. The creation and development of pluralist system depend on the existence of certain type of individuals with the skills to become leaders and the qualities to act as a moral corrective of competing interests. Without such individuals no society can develop and sustain properly functioning pluralist system. ...read more.

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