In this article, I will discuss three theories of state and power sources and state functions in a modern nation state. These theories are Pluralism,Elite theories and Marxist theories of state. I will highlight the essence of these theories and their relevance in explaining how state operate in the modern liberal nation state.
Definition of Politics
Politics is concerned with cooperation and conflict within societies and between societies where the human beings atempt to organize the use, production and distribution of human and natural and other resources in the production and reproduction of its biological and social life. Politics cannot be categorized to a single activity. It happens in all aspects of life through out a persons life and it affects individuals and groups within and between socities and determine social relations. However, the politics is concentrated in the modern nation state even in the globalized environment as nation states still play a significant role in the lives of human social and other aspects of existence.
Definition of Political Science
Political Science involves the systematic study of the functions and structures of power in society and determine who has the power and who does not and attempts to explain political activity within society and between countries and most importantly how a modern state uses power and obtain power as it determines the laws and regulations and determines boundaries where all citizens are expected to comply with the laws and regualtions.
Importance of Theory in Political Science
As Political science is a systematic study of Politics as defined above, the importance of theory comes from the fact that it enables to study politics in a systemetic manner and gives a model of analysis and there fore interpretation of how power arises and how a modern state manages conflcit and cooperation and the structures of power of nation state. That is, Theory of state is an important component of Political Science as it enables to study power and power structures in society and how it affects individuals and groups and how power is utilized to resolve conflicts and cooperation in society especially by modern nation state and by international bodies in the context of the current political environment of globalized world.
The Pluralist Theory of State
Pluralism is a dominant theory of Political Science. However, it has many interpretations. But Pluralism has some key features. That is pluralism emphasises difference and diversity of groups and interests within liberal democratic state and civil society, which prevents any group to dominate others within and between societies. It makes distinction between state political and economic power as well it makes distinction between state and civil society. In this perspective, according to Pluralists, the power is non-cumulative and spread, not necessarily equally, between different groups within societies. In Pluralist theory, the state plays a neutral regulatory body, which resolves conflicts and negotiates with different groups, eventhouh some groups can have closer alliance and influence with the state or government. That is, according to pluralist theory of state the liberal nation state do not inherently favour any group over others even though some may have considerable influence and coercive power than others. In reality this is not plausible as power can shape decion making and even so policies seems not to be impartial may not be implemented as intended. There fore, politics in pluralist terms is seen as different groups influence pressing their interests. In this manner, only the policies and deciion making which are observable or empirically studied are considered important to determine who has the power within society and misses the deeper structural elements of a liberal democratic society. In addition, Pluralist theory is descriptive in the sense that it explains politics as well it is also prescriptive as it gives a model how a liberal democratic state should function.