• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13

'Liberal pluralist views of policy making are hopelessly naïve.' Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Public Policy Processes Module Code: L3D545 'Liberal pluralist views of policy making are hopelessly na�ve.' Discuss Module Convenor: Dr Stephen Cope Student: Dong Dong Master of Public Administration School of Sociology and Social Policy University of Nottingham There has been a debate about the feasibility of pluralist theory in interpreting the policy making process in the western countries since 1950s.This essay will examine whether the pluralist theory accurately describes the policy making process in society, in other words, to what extent can pluralist theory explain how decisions are make in government. Since pluralism is a set of vague ideas and changing all the time, it is difficult to give a specific definition of pluralism. Pluralists deem society to be complex and interdependent, focus on the importance of interest groups who are in interaction with government, although the power and the resources that contribute to power are unequally distributed among groups, there is no elitist group or ruling class in the political arena and they believe the widely distributed power can ensure any grievance gain access to the decision making process. They think policies are made through bargaining, negotiating and compromising between different interests. Hewitt (1974:61) pointed out that the policy making could not be elitist since no elite or interest group is dominant, and because of the existence of conflicting interests in different issues, there is no group could benefit consistently from decisions. The first part of this essay will analyze the pluralism in the context of policy making process. first, we will examine the incrementalism and then present two major flaws of pluralism:1overestimating the role of pressure groups,2wrong methodology. Furthermore, giving two examples where pluralism absolutely cannot be applied. Finally this essay will conclude that pluralism may be possible in policy-making but only in certain policy areas. In most cases it is hopelessly na�ve. Pluralism also has a geographic limitation. As it is a western philosophy, it may not be applicable to eastern countries such as China and Korea whose cultures, ideology and history are completely different from western countries. ...read more.

Middle

defined as non-decision making that uses means such as force to prevent issues that challenge the existing values from entering the political process. They suggest the importance of analyzing what does not happen and why does not happen, since they are an integral part of examining the power structure. In pluralist view, in the advent of an issue, different interests sit together discussing, negotiating and comprising to form a consensus. However this consensus to what extent reflects the general acceptance of values in society is disputable, as powerful interests often use non-decision making usually to keep counterviews out of political agenda. There are some grievances that are killed before they enter the decision-making. An example is the white terrorization of civil rights workers in the southern America (Hill 1997:39). This example proved the existence of non-decision making and how it functions. In practice, only analyzing the actual decision cannot reflect what really happen and how the second face of power exercises in political arena to maintain the status quo. The opposite of pluralism The best way to refute pluralism is to prove the existence of ruling class. Although pluralists accept that some interests are privileged, they never accept the existence of ruling class. However, in some cases we must admit the existence of ruling class, Such as Chile, in 1973, the army leaders took over the government, forming the military government. Since 1973 military government has dominated policy-making process and eliminated rival interests. And the same situation can be found in Libya. As governments in Chile and Libya both control the army, a crucial resource that contributes to power, they control the whole political process and rule the society. These two cases prove the existence of ruling class and that in some circumstances, a resource that contributes to power can privilege over all others, which directly fly in the face of pluralism. So in countries such as Chile and Libya, pluralism does not apply at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, other departments cannot and do not intend to exercise influence on this policy, as police is a very powerful department in Chinese society, other departments need its support to enforce their own policies. Even if other departments suggest some alternatives to them, they will not adopt the alternatives if theses suggestions are not in line with their interests and goals. So the existence of Whitehall pluralism advocated by pluralists is quite questionable. Finally, if we interpret this case using the pluralist method of analyzing actual decisions, we would make a big mistake, as there is a latent interest conflict from non-local residents that cannot become a matter that calls for decision. They see the lack of conflict as a general acceptance among the whole population. The temporary residents certificate has been implemented for 20 years, there is no expression of grievances that has been on the decision-making agenda. As if non-local residents and other interests have compromised with the government and they have reached an agreement. However, we should explore what really happened behind this hypothetic agreement. First, people who dare to challenge this regulation such as not applying for the certificate were arrested and had to pay penalty to be free. This is a good example of non-decision making, which pluralists turn a blind eye to. The government uses non-decision making to suppress this unfavorable issue to enter the decision-making process. Second, we should mention another way in which power exercises, namely, anticipated reaction. In this case, non-local residents anticipate that the police would arrest and fine them, if they do not have the temporary resident certificate. So this case demonstrates that pluralist method for analyzing policy is inadequate and the existence of unobservable power. In conclusion, we can see that the main principles of pluralism cannot apply to this case. In this case, the decision makers do amend the policy incrementally, but the only actors are themselves, 'partisan mutual adjustment' never happens. Although we cannot refute the whole pluralist theory by this case, at least it demonstrates that pluralism has a big limitation on interpreting how policy is made. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Comparative Analysis: The churches and their affect on society and politics in the cases ...

    of Religion in Namibian Society: The Churches and Human Rights', in Eds. Thomas G. Walsh and Frank Kaufmann, Religion and Social Transformation in Southern Africa, (St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House 1999), p107f 9 L.D. Jafta, 'Religion and Democracy in South Africa', in Eds.

  2. Asian Values in Singaporean Perspective.

    From Lee's latest book one can assume that this attempt was not successful and thus today "Asian values" are no longer on the top of the agenda of Singapore's government. In a completely different perspective Lee Kuan Yew must have also seen the negative side of "Asian values", or Chinese culture.

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

    The controversy behind this notion underlines another strength of pluralist theory, which is the ability of different groups and individuals to affect the conduct of the state and respectively its moral. Carr points out "there is a strong tendency to make the imperativeness of moral obligations dependant on the reasonable

  2. Devolution is not a "constitutional settlement" but a dynamic (and potentially destabilising) process. ...

    SMPs at Holyrood also have an effective bunch of committees. Unlike Westminster House of Commons, Edinburgh committees make an effort to ignore the executives lead. They also study the bills beforehand, keeping the SMPs held accountable. They have both also encouraged a more diverse membership.

  1. Nationalism as applied to business

    They gave a new fixity to the language and thus helped give an idea of permanence to the nation 3. They created languages of power different to the pre-existing language of Latin. Nationalism was thus, Anderson argues, the result of the fusion between the decline of religion, human diversity, the development of capitalism and the technology of print.

  2. The executive is the dominant policy actor in the HKSAR, other policy actors exert ...

    The CE leads the Government of the HKSAR. He is advised on major policy decisions by the Executive Council, decides on government policies and issues executive orders. Besides, he is also responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law and other laws which, in accordance with the Basic Law, apply in the HKSAR.

  1. What advice would you give to Labor Leadership in light of the recent research ...

    race issue is essential to New Labor's effort to marginalise the conservative party.12 As the most visible of all of the UK's cleavages race can provide an important point of departure from traditional Tory Politics. Labor should be able to win support of non-whites on the only issues that they differ from the rest of the electorate.

  2. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    which due to historical reasons has an unusually high percentage of migration to the UK. They have traditionally engaged themselves in running "Indian restaurants" in the West. Global politics More generally however global Islam has been influencing politics in Bangladesh ever since the Iranian Revolution.

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