Full Text

Pluralism, British

Trevor Hogan


The civil societies of most modern nation-states in the world today are “pluralist” if by this we mean the linguistic, ethnic, and subjective dimensions of culture. Cultural definitions of pluralism, however, address neither social factors of hierarchy, status, and power nor the politics of managing cultural difference and diversity in representative democracies. Communal democracies (like Malaysia) are different to the pluralist liberal democracies of the new world such as Canada and Australia. Arguments about political pluralism as normative goal and practice have largely emanated from liberal democratic societies. British and American pluralism are the two leading examples across the last century. British pluralism is a critique of the authority and structure of the modern state. American pluralism, in contrast, is a theory of political competition in which organized interest groups seek, but cannot attain, a monopoly of state power. American pluralism as theory and practice is more widely known and debated across the globe, especially during the post-World War II and Cold War period (see especially Robert A. Dahl). British political pluralism, however, in its proposals for the dispersal of the modern state, arguably offers more succor to those committed to the extension of liberal democracy. British pluralism first emerged as a radical current of thought amongst socialists, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top