Mrs Thatcher's decisive and determined stand during the Falklands crisis in 1982 has been widely credited with restoring the electoral fortunes of the Conservative party in the run-up to the 1983 general election. This article argues that the Falklands war produced a boost to Conservative popularity of at most three percentage points for a period of only three months. Government popularity was already accelerating as a result of macroeconomic factors before the outbreak of the Falklands crisis, in particular 'personal economic expectations' proved to be of critical theoretical and empirical significance, and can be modelled satisfactorily on the basis purely of objective macroeconomic indices. Thus macroeconomic factors were at the root of the revival of Mrs Thatcher's political fortunes, and most of the boost to government popularity which occurred in the spring of 1982 derived from intelligent (or cynical) macroeconomic management. The Falklands crisis merely coincided with a jump in government popularity which would have occurred anyway in the wake of Geoffrey Howe's 1982 Budget.
Three models of interest groups, power and political process in America are contrasted: (1) the Truman-Dahl-Lindblom pluralism of the 1960s; (2) the unfinished plural elitism of the 1970s, a theory emphasizing special-interest capture of policy systems whose most influential exponent is Lowi; (3) the 'triadic' model of process set forth by Wilson in The Politics of Regulation. The triadic model assumes the normality in policy systems of organized economic producers being challenged by the countervailing power of other organized interests, while state agencies act autonomously. It is argued that the triadic model is the most advanced of the three, although it still needs development. Eighteen illustrative propositions are presented in terms of triadic power. These include relationships among interest groups and state autonomy, 'high politics' and routine politics, and types of coalitions in policy systems. Other propositions describe links to possible cycles between triadic power and plural elitism, to corporatist decision-making, and to the 'resource mobilization' theory of social movements.
The behavioural underpinnings of Rawls's notion of distributive justice as outlined in A Theory of Justice are tested in experimental contexts. Under conditions approximating Rawls's 'original position' (including the appropriate agenda, a 'veil of ignorance' and a choice rule designed to capture his main theoretical constraints), we test his 'predictions' that individuals would reach a unanimous consensus on a principle of distributive justice and would select the difference principle: a principle that maximizes the welfare of the worst-off individual in the society. This view is contrasted with our belief, that any general concern for fairness (or distributive justice) will take a different form: one that both attempts to take into account several values and pays attention to cardinal rather than ordinal measures of utility. Our results strongly indicate that individuals are capable of reaching consensus but that they choose what Rawls has called an 'intuitionistic' principle which attempts to take into account not only the position of the worst-off individual but the potential expected gain for the rest of society. The overwhelmingly preferred principle is maximizing the average income with a floor constraint.
Over the last fifteen years political scientists have become much more critical of the role that business plays in American politics. Two decades ago business was primarily regarded as another interest group; now many scholars perceive a tension between the large business corporation and the principles and practices of pluralist democracy. This article challenges this new 'conventional wisdom' by critically examining the recent writings of Robert Dahl and Charles Lindblom. Dahl regards the corporation as undemocratic because its managers are not accountable to its employees. Yet, the corporation is hardly unique in this regard: not one single institution in our society - including the government itself - is governed by those who work for it. Lindblom contends that business occupies a privileged position in capitalist democracies. But he exaggerates the role investment decisions play in the performance of the economy, underestimates the options available to politicians to manipulate business decisions and fails to appreciate that businessmen are not unique in requiring inducements to perform their social role. The article concludes by suggesting that while corporations do exercise considerable political power, both its scope and magnitude can be satisfactorily analysed within the framework of interest-group politics.
Policy-making reflects the combined activity of both politicians and higher civil servants; both have their hands on the tiller of the ship of state. But they approach problems of governing from different perspectives - partisan or bureaucratic - and each has a different contribution to make. This article considers six models of the relationship, varying according to inputs of political will and the probability of programmes achieving success. They are: willpower dominates; perfectly informed trade-offs; everything is uncertain; everything is predetermined; capture by civil servants; and policies dominate. The analysis emphasizes that there is a greater need for changes in the knowledge and behaviour of politicians in office than for further reform of the civil service.
The autonomy of a state is thought to depend on the state's structures. This widely accepted view of the policy-making process has given rise to an uncontested assertion: states that possess centralized administrative structures are better able than decentralized states to formulate and implement policies independently of societal pressures. Is a decentralized state more permeable than a centralized one? We seek to answer this question by treating it as a hypothesis. The empirical material derives from a case study of a reform project proposed by the French state and objected to by the group in question, the notaires.
In explaining the making and unravelling of the synfuels policy in the United States, a new approach-the ambivalent-majoritarian paradigm-is presented in this article. This paradigm fills a significant conceptual gap for the study of domestic policy formulated under crisis conditions. It is argued that the self-imposed necessity to respond to a crisis condition involving a policy decision is likely to force legislators to adopt a policy option that they would not adopt under normal conditions. The crisis response is likely to be passed by a 'majoritarian' crisis coalition which would also include a significant number of 'ambivalents', i.e., those legislators who have serious misgivings about the correctness or feasibility of the policy. In order for such a policy response to survive, it must withstand the scrutiny of 'normal' conditions involving that policy.
Previous studies of Western European foreign policy attitudes rely almost exclusively on single-item measures, such as support for defence spending, support for the new missiles in Europe, opinions on NATO, and so on. This article, using a multi-country data set, aggregates several survey items and explores the manner in which Europeans structure their attitudes towards one aspect of foreign policy: Atlantic co-operation. A factor analysis uncovers two underlying conceptual dimensions: military and non-military co-operation. These dimensions provide the axes to construct a four-fold typology of viewpoints, consisting of Atlanticists, Military Allies, Dovish Partners and Isolationists. Respondents are classified within this typology, and the European-wide and cross-national distributions of opinion are presented. The highest support for Atlantic co-operation is found among the West Germans, and the lowest is found among the French.
This article extends existing political-economic models to deal more rigorously with politics in countries with trade-dependent economies, and in particular with the policy consequences of oilexporting in industrial countries. Models drawn from economics and finance show how much of Britain's recent unemployment results from North Sea oil, at first through speculation in sterling in rapidly-growing international currency markets and more recently through the balance of payments. In Norway, by contrast, speculation was deterred by a variety of policies on fixing exchange rates, and the unemployment problem contained by better-planned and executed employment subsidy programmes. These policy variations are explained by differences in available ideas, institutions and, ultimately, structural characteristics.
In this article, versions of the n-person Chicken supergame are applied to the problem of public goods provision. The literature on two-person Chicken suggests that players should build a reputation for toughness in Chicken supergames by making, and sticking to, commitments not to co-operate. By doing this they are able to make the other player more likely to co-operate in future rounds of the game. However, in the n-person and continuous-strategy models examined here there may be risks associated with a reputation for toughness since, under certain conditions, other players are less likely to co-operate in future rounds of the game the greater your reputation for toughness. The implications of this are that the chances that vital public goods such as security and environmental stability will be provided may be reduced if players falsely generalize from the argument for maintaining a tough reputation in two-person, two-strategy chicken supergames.
This study examines the logic of recovering information about the decay of partisan loyalties in the electorate from observed patterns of declining turnout. If we entertain plausible assumptions about the behaviour of core and peripheral voters, the rates of electoral participation become a surprisingly useful barometer for measuring the intensity and character of partisan dealignment.
Research into the recruitment process within British political parties has tended to focus on either the institutional machinery of selection or the socio-economic characteristics of candidates. The analysis of non-selected aspirants has been ignored and those hypotheses that do exist remain empirically untested. In this article data on the Labour party's recruitment process for the 1979 direct elections to the European Parliament are used to test a research strategy. A major finding is that significant differences exist between selected and non-selected aspirants which may reflect gate-keeping criteria. In particular, pro- or anti-EEC attitudes were found to be a dominant recruitment factor.
There are few systematically comparative cross-national studies of urban policy or service provision, partly because there is little in the way of empirical testable theory that might guide research and partly because the variety of institutional methods of providing and financing urban services in different nation states makes it difficult to carry out such comparisons. Urban systems theory, however, applies to all levels of urban society from local collections of towns and villages right up to the world system of cities. It also enables the development of empirically testable hypotheses linking the hierarchical system of cities with the level of expenditure on public services in metropolitan areas. An examination of data for seventy-six metropolitan regions in France, eighty-three in Italy, seventy-four in West Germany, and sixty-three in England and Wales supports the hypothesis. The article concludes that urban systems theory offers a theoretically well-developed and empirically powerful means of carrying out systematic cross-national comparative urban research.