Theories of the State
Theories are employed to gain understanding of the state, while recognizing its complexity. The state is the most dynamic institution in Political Science. Several issues underlie this dynamism. First, the boundaries of the state are not closely defined, but constantly changing. Second, the state is not only the site of conflict between different organizations, but also internal conflict and conflict within organizations. Some scholars speak of the ‘state’s interest, but there are often various interests within different parts of the state that are neither solely state-centered nor solely society-centered, but develop between different groups in civil society and different state actors. Pluralism
Pluralism is the belief that there are, or out to be, many things. It recognizes the existence of diversity in social, institutional and ideological practices. Its origins could be traced in the liberal political philosophy of John Locke, which challenged the concept of the state in the Leviathan, that vesting absolute power in the government was necessary to avoid an anarchic ‘war of all against all’. Locke argues that the state should rest upon consent, and that governing authorities should never have absolute power. There are five key features of the origins of pluralism in political science.
It began as an attack on state monism, whether expressed philosophically in the doctrine of sovereignty, or practically in centralized, absolutist states.
Second, pluralists valued group and organizational autonomy, activity and diversity.
Third, they agreed that vigorous group conflicts must be expected in any complex society.
Fourth, they debated the relative usefulness of institutional or social checks and balances as mechanisms to prevent state monism. They were also divided over whether the rationale for institutional or social pluralism is primarily protective or developmental.
Fifth, although they defended the merits...
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