Politics and Disability – Pluralism Vs Neoliberals
Politics is an organized set of political activities which are concerned with making choices in groups, families, or any other forms of authority relations between people, including the distribution of status or resources to individuals or groups. The field of political science is known as social science because of the focus on public decision-making processes. Politics may be viewed as a set of values and institutions that shape the relationship between persons as members of a community, nation, or even a country. There is also a considerable amount of research done on the origins of politics, the evolution of politics, and its relation to other fields such as psychology and cognitive science.
There are a wide variety of individuals and groups who face political discrimination. A major part of politics is the struggle for freedom and rights. Political struggles usually affect the people’s freedom to decide how they want to lead their lives, how they will get their resources, and who among their peers they will cooperate with. People with disabilities have particular difficulties in getting the opportunity to participate in politics. In fact, there are many instances where people with disabilities have been excluded from the right to participate in politics and other public decision-making processes.
There are two main categories of individuals with disabilities who face political exclusion from the right to participate in politics. The first category consists of those who were born with physical or mental handicaps that prevent them from fully participating in politics. The second category consists of individuals with some degrees of mental and physical disabilities who are denied the right to join the political parties or pursue other public political activities. Because of these two categories, politics and disability are closely intertwined.
Politics may be characterized as a process of creating and advancing values and principles based on the interests of the majority of citizens. Politics is also a process of change, which is not always visible to the disabled because of their particular positioning in society. For disabled citizens, the concept of politics means being treated as an equal participant in the social structure. For people with mental or physical disabilities, a person with a disability needs to see politics as an arena in which he or she can make a difference. Politics and disability therefore do coincide and the inclusion of people with disabilities in the political system makes politics more inclusive and democratic.
There are three major theories of politics that underpin the practice of this endeavor. The first theory of politics concerns the institutionalization of politics, the second concerns the expansion of citizenship, and the third major theoretical framework of politics is social policy. All these three theories have different explanations but all have one thing in common: the practice of politics requires rational political theories that can be tested in the course of implementing particular polices. This process of testing of political theories is done through empirical research. The most important empirical research on the nature of politics was carried out by Emile Zola during the early decades of the twentieth century.
Emile Zola’s interest group decision making model gives credence to the popular conception of democracy as a participatory decision making process. In his model, interest groups are seen as having equal potential to run the government, exert political influence, and exercise freedom of choice. In his view, these interests groups are self-made and based upon a set of value judgments that differ from the traditional liberal understanding of right and wrong. By choosing to adopt his model, Zola thereby democratizes the idea of politics and makes it accessible to those who would otherwise find it inscrutable.