Conflictand Consensus Perspectives
Conflictand Consensus Perspectives
Historically,issues surrounding conflict and consensus perspectives have greatlyinfluenced the American court system. From the American courtsystem`s point of view, the consensus perspective is the view thatformulation and implementations of laws, rules and legislativedecisions are a process aimed at reinforcing social norms in thesociety. Just as the name suggests, in the consensus perspective,laws and decisions in American court system allow publicparticipation to ensure an equal and society (Goldman& Lamb, 2015 Irvin & Stansbury, 2004). On the other hand,conflict perspective from the American court systempoint of view is the notion that the society is full of conflicts,resulting in high rates of crimes. Therefore, rules are necessary tosolve these conflicts and keep the society in order (Innes &Booher, 2004). Under this perspective, laws and legislative decisionsare not developed by a consensus of the society. Instead, the lawsare made and implemented without public participation
Groupsthat fight for equality such as the working class, low class, and theminority support consensus perspective. These groups argue that lawsand court systems based on consensus perspective can help inachieving democracy in America (Goldman& Lamb, 2015). Historically, the American court system has received a lot ofcriticism for not practicing justice and equality. According toGoldman& Lamb (2015,the capitalist class, who implemented laws that could protect them,without considering the injustice and inequalities it could create inthe society, founded American court system.
Somefew years back, the American court system has been claimed topractice racial prejudice especially with the minority races(Farhang & Wawro, 2004).The groups supporting consensus perspective aims to see a courtsystem that holds the society together through ensuring equality andsocial justice. Supportersof consensus perspective argue that laws should be made throughconsensus to put into considerations the public point of view andenhance compliance. According to Innes & Booher (2004) andBanakar& Travers (2013),America needs to redefine her public administrative in the current21stcentury. The two authors point out that America court system shouldencourage public participation to enhance compliance and promote anequal society, free of issues such as racism.
Contraryto consensus perspective, supporters of conflict theory are mainlythe rich and powerful people in the society(Banakar & Travers, 2013). Thesupporters of this perspective argue that it is difficult to separatepoverty and social crime. Therefore, laws are necessary to maintaindiscipline and avoid social evils such as burglary, rape, murder, toname but a few. Under this perspective, the laws favor thecapitalist, who ensure the laws are imposed on the minority in thesociety. The capitalist class embraces this perspective since ithelps them retain their powerful positions in the society and keepthe rest of the society in subordinate positions.
Theconflict perspective`s supporters oppose public participation in lawand decision-making. According to Irvin & Stansbury (2004), thesegroups argue that public participation is a waste of time andresources. It is important to point out that the powerful and richcannot allow the minority to speak out their opinions about theinadequacies of rules based on conflict perspective. If the Americancourt system embraces the idea of public participation and consensusin law making, then the capitalist class will not remain in power.Laws and court system based on consensus perspective create equalityand social justice in the society.
Banakar,R., & Travers, M. (2013). Introduction: Law and Social Theory.Law and Social Theory. Second edition. Oxford, Hart.
Farhang,S., & Wawro, G. (2004). Institutional dynamics on the US court ofappeals: Minority representation under panel decision making. Journalof Law, Economics, and Organization, 20(2),299-330.
Goldman,S., & Lamb, C. M. (Eds.). (2015). Judicialconflict and consensus: Behavioral studies of American appellatecourts.University Press of Kentucky.
Innes,J. E., & Booher, D. E. (2004). Reframing public participation:strategies for the 21st century. Planningtheory & practice, 5(4),419-436.
Irvin,R. A., & Stansbury, J. (2004). Citizen participation in decisionmaking: is it worth the effort?. Publicadministration review, 64(1),55-65.