The Effects of Politics on Public Policy Case Study: The United Kingdom and Denmark - Essay Example

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It is generally considered that a fully democratically accountable government should be able to respond to the needs of its citizens (Fukuda-Parr & Kumar, 2009). Whether this is actually the case in practice, however, it is often suggested that in the UK, politicians must often balance both the needs of citizens as well as the preferences of their political parties. …
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The Effects of Politics on Public Policy Case Study: The United Kingdom and Denmark
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Download file to see previous pages This study will compare and analyse the relationship between politics and public policy in the democratic systems of Denmark and the UK, between the years 1975-2005. Such a broad time frame is necessary in order to carry out an effective comparison which cannot be adequately done over a shorter period. This broad timeframe will, however, be restricted to an analysis of education and healthcare policy in each country. Comparative politics have greatly distinguished between the majoritarian and proportional democracies of the UK and Denmark, and this will be an important aspect to focus on when analysing the influence of politics on public policy (Jacobs & Shapiro, 2000). Beyond the type of democracy embodied by a particular government, its underlying main function (among others) is to promote human and economic development (Cypher & Diaz, 2009).

However, despite this underlying function, the type of democracy a government embodies has an effect on the way in which politicians function (Hall & Taylor, 1996), because different democratic systems have different legislative and decision making processes (Mulligan et al, 2003). The nature of the rules within different democratic systems can greatly affect how much influence the opposition has, hence ensuring that political leaders from the ruling party do not abuse their majority advantage through the exercise of unfettered control, as is the case in many African democracies (Cartwright, 1983). In application to Denmark, it appears that public opinion has greater influence over public policy because of the constant threat of elections and the higher degree of party competition. Government (particularly the executive) is thus more open to public influence. In majoritarian democracies such as the UK, public influence on the government is evident though to a lesser degree. This is most likely due to domination of the ruling party with little oppositional threat. This evident difference between the Danish and British systems makes the examination of the influence of politics on public policy more effective and insightful. This paper will examine the extent to which politics affect public policy in the areas of health and education, depending on the political system of a country. The study will either confirm or refute the suggestion that politics have an influence on public policy in those policy areas. Significance of the Study This study is very important because it would help to throw more light on the complex question that is on many British lips today. Over the years, the British public has begun asking questions if the politicians elected into posts of responsibility are in office to work for the people or their political parties. The reason is that over the years, the level of inequality has continued to grow not just in Britain, but also in many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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