By Colin Hay, Michael Lister, David Marsh
Broad-ranging in its assurance, this significant new textual content introduces the entire major competing theoretical ways to the examine of the nation in addition to key contested matters relating to globalization, new kinds of governance, the altering public/private boundary, alterations within the powers and capacities of states, and the diversities among complex liberal democratic and different states.
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Extra info for The State: Theories and Issues (Political Analysis)
The reformulation took different forms in the United States and in Britain. In the United States there was the development of a distinct notion of neo-pluralism which grew out of some critiques of American democracy in the work of Lowi (1969) and McConnell (1953, 1966) and the rethinking of the nature of pluralism in the work of Dahl and Lindblom. Neo-pluralism continues the pluralist concern with the role of groups in the policy process but accepts that particular groups, especially business, will often come to dominate within policy areas and are at a clear advantage compared to groups like consumers (Dunleavy and O’Leary 1987; Kelso 1978).
First, there is no agreement on what constitutes pluralism. Pluralism is conceptualized in numerous ways across the fields of political science, international relations and political theory. As Nichols (1975:1) points out: The principal causes of confusion has been the fact that the term has been used by separate groups of thinkers who have rarely attempted to relate their particular use of the term to its other usages. In addition, pluralism can be linked to a range of ideological thought including that of anarchists, socialists, Whigs and Conservatives (see Laborde 2000; Hirst 1994).
Thus insofar as the state exists, it exists in the ideas we hold about it. This has led many theorists to reject the notion of the state altogether (see, for instance, Abrams 1988). Yet the idea that discourses of the state are partly constitutive of its power, authority and essence is hardly as devastating for the theory of the state as some might contend. It does however demonstrate that if theorists of the state are not to reproduce its mythology, they must give rather more attention to the processes through which the state is conceived of on the one hand, and the relationship between such conceptions and the institutions, processes and practices of the state on the other.