Saturday, August 17, 2019

New Social Movements Essay

To what extent do new social movements represent a challenge to established ways of conducting liberal democratic policies? In order to understand the extent of the challenge posed by new social movements to liberal democratic policy and the ways in which they are conducted one must first understand what these policies entail. These policies or principles are listed by Goodwin as: 1. Supremacy of the people. 2. Consent of the governed as the basis of legitimacy. 3. The rule of law: peaceful methods of conflict resolution. 4. The existence of the common good or public interest, 5. The value of the individual as a rational moral active citizen. 6. Equal rights for all individuals.1 The modern day concept of a liberal democracy is based on the liberalist movement of the philosophers of the eighteenth century. However the advent of past social has resulted in challenges to the ways in which liberal democracy has been and is conducted over the intervening years since that time; the suffrage movement and the American civil rights movement against segregation are two such examples. These movements were successful because those in power allowed them to succeed (admittedly with some reluctance). More recently, that is over the past twenty to thirty years new social movements have grown up. These movements are campaigning on various issues including: * Anti globalisation; the backlash against the increase in power of large corporations and the perceived lack of legislation restricting their actions. * Extremist religious groups. * Environmental change; the movement and groups pushing for greater respect for the planet in a global community. There are also many other groups which have grown up as a result of the mass movement of peoples. These groups campaign for greater minority rights, and more freedom to express cultural heritage. Heywood states additionally that these groups are a result of the post-modernist era: â€Å"If the major political ideologies were in their various ways, products of modernisation [i.e. the labour movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries], the transition from a modern to a post modern society cannot but have profound significance for their [the new movements] roles and character [†¦] post modernity [†¦] has both thrown

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