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Big societies, little platoons and the problems with pluralism

Barker, Rodney (2011) Big societies, little platoons and the problems with pluralism. Political Quarterly, 82 (1). pp. 50-55. ISSN 0032-3179

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2011.02160.x


Conservative talk of a 'big society' is one more mutation of the unstable family of pluralism. It is a large family, with both benign and progressive left wing members and rogue right wing black sheep. The progressive contribution has been substantial, but pluralism is not a homogeneous ideology or set of policies, and the single word conceals stresses and irreconcilable oppositions in theory and practice. An examination of this variety gives clues to the latest contributions, and to some of the more regressive uses to which pluralism can be put. The left needs both to insist on its own major contribution to progressive pluralism, and to beware of wolves in pluralist clothing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © The Author 2011. The Political Quarterly
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2011 09:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:14

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