• Research Paper on:
    Power and Rationality in British Policy Making

    Number of Pages: 17


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 17 page paper considers the statement "British policy-making is all about power not rationality". The paper considers how power is gained and used in British society and the way this is used in policymaking, examining the way that policy has been determined and made and concepts such as cultural capital, and power and knowledge, with theorists such as Foucault and Bourdieu. The paper includes a case study, showing how the influences of power and rationality have manifested. The case study is the decision to call a referendum on the EU constitution. The bibliography cites 15 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: TS14_TEpowpolicy.rtf

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    Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
    The difficulty with any argument of this nature is the subjective perception of rationality. This will depend on the view of the observer and that goals that are being  targeted. Power is the key factor in the governing of sociality. Government is granted with power to undertaken the necessary function, such as creating legislation and enforcement methods levying taxes,  providing services such as health and education as well as controlling the welfare state. It is easy to assume that the policy decisions  behind these, and other areas of policy, are made on rational grounds. This means that are made with reference to logic and reason. However, if we look at a single  example of political rationality it is possible to see how it is power and not rationality that is the driving force. This is a well known example, and indicates how  power changes what it and is not rational. The example used is one from the European Union (EU), which the UK is a part of the EU  In 1979, the commissioners of the EU introduced the regulation that all jam produced for international trade must be made of fruit (Weixler, 1994). Though a  seemingly commonsense regulation that might have little opposition in the EU, the regulation did not take into account the fact that in Portugal carrot jam is a common and marketable  product, and of course carrots are a vegetable (Weixler, 1994). The problem would not have impacted on the domestic market, the companies  would have been able to carry on making their jam, but would never be able to export it. The debates suggested that in the end the carrot jam would not 

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