• Created by: yazminab
  • Created on: 25-04-19 16:06
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    • What do pluralist theorists believe?
      • Explains the distribution of power in western liberal democracies.
      • Power is society is widely dispersed among a wide range of interest groups and is open to negotiation.
      • Politics involves competition between a variety of groups, with neither being permanently dominant.
    • Pluralism and the state
      • Locke's social contact: The people will give their consent to be ruled but can remove this consent.
        • Eg, the removal of the Labour government in 2010
        • The state should be a neutral referee.
      • The state should listen to all opinions and decide who gets their wishes granted.
        • 'Honest broker'
        • HS2 rail line: groups could express their opinions at various stages of the planning process.
          • Eg, Campaign for High Speed Rail or Stop HS2.
      • The state should represent all views and make compromises.
      • Minority views should be balanced against the majorities.
        • Eg, divisions on Brexit.
        • Views expressed, such as through e-petitions.
      • No one group should be allowed to dominate.
        • Eg, interest groups in gov, such as Countryside Alliance.
    • Theories of pluralism.
      • Classical Pluralism:
        • Power with the people.
        • Division not domination.
        • Power is equally distributed.
        • Western Liberal Democracies are best.
        • Does not rely on coercion.
        • Competition between groups.
      • Elite Pluralism:
        • The masses are not educated enough to influence government.
        • Not everyone has the same amount of power or equal access to it.
        • Eg, insider pressure groups such as CBI or National Farmers Union.
    • Criticisms of pluralism
      • Underestimate the amount of secrecy in state decision making.
        • 30 year secrecy rule e.g. JFK assassination or Hillsborough disaster.
      • Too optimistic and idealist.
      • Underestimates the power of wealthy elites.
        • Influence of NRA on gun control policies in USA.
      • Ignores the importance of business interests (Marxist and radical Elitist view)
      • Dominance of men in government and life (feminist view)
      • Governments will not always respond to pressures.
        • Pressure from public on MLAs is ignored.
      • Classical pluralism only  looks at the first fake of Luke's: decision making.


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