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This is a relatively new school of thought which has been developing over the last 30 years, as a result of the problems of modernity. Stable democracies unexpectedly began to run into difficulties in the late 1960's, with new problems such as student revolts, separatist terrorists, worker unrest and economic crises. The existing theories were found to be crude, anachronistic, or ideological, and generally inadequate to deal with these crises, and Neo-Pluralism is an attempt to cope, in particular using multi-causal explanations and inter-disciplinary approaches.
Neo-Pluralism tends to discard market economics in favour of a more sophisticated liberal analysis centring on the operations of large corporations. It tends to follow the large corporations in being interested in professionalisation, in the fragmentation of monolithic organisation, the formation of separate agencies instead of subsidiary departments (out-sourcing). Critics may say that this tends to produce an impenetrable mass of uncontrollable fragmentary agencies, but it may be that the future role of government will be centralised scrutiny and of central goal setting for a large range of agencies. Some of the recent work of Jessop ( is about the inevitability of all systems eventually failing, and neo-Pluralist systems can be seen as a response to this - a network of different styles and sizes of agencies and organisations may prove to be more resilient than a monolithic or unitary system.

It seems the Central Idea of Neo-Pluralism may be a resilient network structure..
The Mythic Idea is of the independent agency, (plus the network and the 'inter-dependency' of ecology)
The Negative Stereotypes are unusual:- the system is so complex that it excludes people with simplistic answers to social and political problems, who are usually not willing to 'put up with the process'. When I lived in Germany, it was sometimes obvious that there is a desire for a strong leader there. However, they have set up a Neo-Pluralist system which virtually excludes the possibility of such a 'simplistic' leader ever again emerging or taking power.

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