The Theory, Separation Of Powers With Checks And Balances, And Divided Government

1456 Words Aug 7th, 2015 6 Pages
Why is it so difficult to accomplish anything in American government? The answer lies within three features of American government: the Hyperpluralist theory, separation of powers with checks and balances, and divided government. All these aspects of government result in gridlock, “a condition that occurs when interests conflict and no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy, so nothing gets done” (19). The first element of government that halts progress in America is the hyperpluralist theory, an extension of the pluralist theory. Edwards, Lineberry and Wattenberg state that “According to pluralist theory, because of open access to various institutions of government and public officials, organized groups can compete with one another for control over policy and no one group or set of groups dominates” (16). Basically, the pluralist theory states that for every group, there exists another group with opposing views or goals and they help serve each other through compromise. The hyperpluralist theory, on the other hand, argues that these different groups can counteract each other, diminishing any progress that the other group achieved. Without power over the others, a group cannot push its agenda without the opposing group pushing its own agenda to set that group back. A positive aspect of this theory is that it prevents one group from dominating; however, it discourages any changes from happening in government. Edwards, Lineberry, and Wattenberg…
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