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Chapter 2

Pols241 week 2 readings chapter 2 in textbook on Liberal, Marxist and Organic statism perspectives.docx

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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 241
Dru Lauzon

Pols241 sept. 14/2013 Week 2 Readings Chapter 2  A worldwide trend since the 1930s has been the steady growth of the role of the state in political life.  Expansion of the state casued be o 1) the emergence of the managerial state to combat the crisis of capitalism during the depression. o 2) widened scope of executive power in WWII o 3) Growth in state regulative and welfare functions since the war.  Models are normative statements about what societies should be like o They are empirical descriptions of how societies are and they are methodological approaches suggesting what aspects of political life to study. The liberal-Pluralist Approach to the state  The main normative empirical and methodological concern is with individuals who pursuing their individual economic and political interest, together make up society.  While individuals form groups they tend to gravitate towards different groups whose interest’s cross-cut with theirs because they all have a variety of interests.  Do not like using the idea of the general good o Believe that people are the most useful to society when they are allowed to pursue their own political and economic interests freely.  Pursuit of individual interests= best good for society  When we turn to late-developing countries the fact that they are follower economies makes many of the indispensible infrastructure expenditures “unprofitable” and the role of the state more important.  20 century pluralism o Especially the variant of group theory views the state in a more positive light.  The function equivalent of the markets hidden hand in group theory is competition among groups combined with cross-cutting membership among groups.  Group theorists reject the idea that the state is necessary to control conflict because in group theory conflict regulation is an autonomous outcome of the interactions of different groups.  This approach is less appropriate in societies where cleavages are compounded or in crisis situations  The dominant idea of group theorists is that interest-groups operate in an unchartered context. o Instead they quite often have been very strictly chartered by the state in accordance with the state’s and not the groups own interest lines. o Such a perspective can barely deal with cases of part-states like China and the Soviet Union where the party based controlling of the state apparatus have been successful in imposing their ideological designs on the people.  Problems with this theory are also seen in many Greek, Italian Renaissance and Swiss city-states where the private sphere of interests was relatively small compared to the political sphere in which the government structured activities. Classical Marxist Theory  Treats the state as a dependant variable  Rejects the atomistic starting point of liberal pluralism on the methodological grounds that you cannot discuss anyone without talking about the sum total of the relationships the individuals are in. o The most fundamental relationship involves the mode of production  Rejects the
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