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Lecture 4

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 3670
Jordi Diez

Pols 3670 Public Choice: assumes people make rational choices and people want more for less. We favor policy in our best interests. Structuralism • An approach that belongs to a main view in the social science: debate of agency vs. structure • Some variants, especially when political sociology is included • Neo-marxism o Grounded in political economy Pluralism • Main approach to public policy in the US • Views policy as a result of competition, society’s divided into groups who compete to try to influence policy. The main drivers of policy are groups in society. It looks at all groups. • Policies the reflection of various groups in society. • It is difficult for individuals to influence policy other than voting. • Interests are going to make individuals get together form a group and influence policy. They make a case in front of parliament. Lobby groups/interest groups. • The states seen as a repository of these demands. Society places demands on the state. • Not only material interests but other issues beyond material issues such as identities. • Resources are key. The ability of individuals to come together over resources determines the affect they have over policy. The more you have the more you influence policy. • In capitalist systems pluralists argue businesses have more influence over policy especially on economic activity. • It forces us to look outside of the state. • Weak players who may be able to influence policy- minority groups get a sympathetic view, environmental groups • The separation between state and non-state actors especially in the global south are blurred where there are weak states. • Groups outside the state push policy sometimes it is very rigid. • One of the main criticisms is that it neglects international factors. You have to look at international dimensions. • You cannot analyze policy without tracing it back and it may be from the international level. • Sometimes ideas and values have an influence such as relgion not always about how much money you have or your res
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