Socialism grew up in opposition to capitalism, just as liberalism developed in reaction to feudalism. Both liberalism and socialism combined potent critiques of the existing socio‐economic order with blueprints for a desirable future society. However, liberalism provides a rather more coherent body of thought than does socialism, and its theories are linked with the emergence of a dominant system combining capitalism and liberal democracy. By contrast, no widespread socio‐economic order has as yet emerged which can be confidently or closely associated (...) with the ideas of socialism. In both cases the relationship between theories and actual systems is a contestable one, but it has been particularly problematic in the history of socialism. (shrink)
This reissued work, originally published in 1985, is a uniquely broad and original survey of theories and beliefs about the growth, behaviour, performance and reform of the governments of modern Western democracies. After analysing the external pressures which have shaped modern governments, the author examines four different schools of political thought which seek to explain the behaviour and performance of governments, and which offer different remedies for the pluralism, corporatism and bureaucracy. To examine and test these general theories, the author (...) looks closely at how governments actually work. The book is illustrated with examples drawn from various Western societies. The final chapters present the author’s own conclusion about the future role of government, the limits of market philosophy, the future of politics, and the principles and problems of institutional reform. (shrink)
Increasing use is made of techniques which are supposed to make policy decisions more ‘rational’. Rather little attention, however, has been paid to the relation between these techniques and the logic of choice, the political process, value judgements and assumptions. This short paper will investigate these questions in relation to a particularly fashionable technique, that of cost-benefit analysis.