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THE SCIENCE OF THE GROUP PROCESS OF POLITICS: A. F. BENTLEY
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They made it easy for the student of politics to think of himself as just the dispassionate observer of ‘the democratic plurality of pressure groups’. There was only the need for a methodological discussion of how best to study these groups and for the primum mobile of the system to be seen as ‘power’ or ‘interest’. There was felt to be no need for the kind of constant critical recourse to philosophy and history that the European student of politics had to make. Where evaluation did arise, it was in the form of deciding whether the competing pressure groups and interests were keeping to the letter of the Constitution and to the spirit of the ingrained laws. Where arguments for institutional reform did arise, they took the form of seeing how a pre-existent harmony of popular sentiment could be more clearly represented. Indeed, politics became viewed not as the crisis and adjustment of rival ideas and disparate institutions, but as process, a continuous functional relationship of indivisible parts.