Pressure, Power, and Policy: State Autonomy and Policy Networks in Britain and the United States


"Pressure, Power and Policy provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to new developments in pressure group theory. Traditionally, analysis of pressure groups has been dominated by pluralism, corporatism and Marxism. Martin Smith suggests that, while these approaches provide useful insights into state-group relations, they also have major limitations. He then goes on to outline the concepts of policy networks and state autonomy, and evaluate their contribution to understanding state-group interaction. The book focuses on the interrelationships between groups and the state rather than the activities of interest groups alone. It is also concerned with how policy networks develop and change, and how they affect policy outcomes and the level of state autonomy. The argument these theories provide for a more sophisticated analysis of the policy process is illustrated by case studies taken from a range of policy areas - business, health, agriculture and consumer policy - in both Britain and the United States. The case studies suggest that the types of relationships that exist between groups and government vary not according to the resources of the groups, but according to the way policy is made and the types of policy networks that develop. Pressure, Power and Policy is for students and researchers of political sociology, public policy, comparative politics and British and American Politics." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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