Political culture

Political culture is defined by the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences as the "set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system". It encompasses both the political ideals and operating norms of a polity. Political culture is thus the manifestation of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. A political culture is the product of both the history of a political system and the histories of the members. Thus, it is rooted equally in public events and private experience.[1]

Conceptions

In 1963, two Americans, Gabriel Almond[2] and Sidney Verba, outlined three types of political culture that can be combined to create civic culture.[3] These three key features expressed by both men were composed to establish a link between the public and the government. The first of these features is "deference", which considers the concepts of respect, acknowledgment of "inferiority" or "superiority", and authority in society.

The second key feature is "consensus" which represents the key link between government and public agreement and appeasement. Support for appeasement may not always be shared by the whole nation, but as a whole, people agree to sustain it, meaning it is a common agreement. There are various "Examples of Consensus" in British political culture: how people are governed as a whole, consensus regarding the welfare state, agreement as to who acts as head of state, and with what powers.

The third feature of British political culture is "homogeneity". Church attendance as a whole is decreasing. Sections of the Scottish and Welsh populations have called for independence.

Political philosophy

The term political culture was brought into political science to promote the American political system. The concept was used by Gabriel Almond in the late 50s, and outlined in The Civic Culture (1963, Almond & Verba), but was soon opposed by two European political scientists, Gerhard Lehmbruch and Arend Lijphart. Lehmbruch analysed politics in Switzerland and Austria and Lijphart analysed politics in Netherlands. Both argued that there are political systems that are more stable than the one in the USA.[4]

Categories

Different typologies of political culture have been proposed. According to political scientist William S. Stewart, all political behavior can be explained as participating in one or more of eight political cultures: anarchism, oligarchy, Tory corporatism, fascism, classical liberalism, radical liberalism, democratic socialism, and Leninist socialism. Societies that exemplify each of these cultures have existed historically.

Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba in The Civic Culture outlined three pure types of political culture based on level and type of political participation and the nature of people's attitudes toward politics:

  • Parochial – Where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the state, distant and unaware of political phenomena. They have neither knowledge nor interest in politics. This type of political culture is in general congruent with a traditional political structure.
  • Subject – Where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its decisions with little scope for dissent. The individual is aware of politics, its actors and institutions. It is affectively oriented towards politics, yet it is on the "downward flow" side of the politics. In general congruent with a centralized authoritarian structure.
  • Participant – Citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are affected by it. The individual is oriented toward the system as a whole, to both the political and administrative structures and processes (to both the input and output aspects). In general congruent with a democratic political structure.

Almond and Verba wrote that these types of political culture can combine to create the civic culture, which mixes the best elements of each.

Arend Lijphart wrote that there are different classifications of political culture:

  • First classification:
    • Mass political culture
    • Elite political culture
  • Second classification (of elite political culture):
    • coalitional
    • contradictive

Lijphart also classified the structure of society:

  • homogeneous
  • heterogeneous
Structure of society (right)

Political culture of elites (down)

homogeneous heterogeneous
coalitional depoliticalised democracy consociative democracy
contradictive centripetal democracy centrifugal democracy

Other definitions

María Eugenia Vázquez Semadeni defines political culture as "the set of discourses and symbolic practices by means of which both individuals and groups articulate their relationship to power, elaborate their political demands and put them at stake."[5]

See also

Political culture of India is mixed of traditional Hinduism culture and western liberal democracy. Due to British colonial some elite family dominated in govt. Ruling institutionm]]

References

  1. ^ International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, New York: Macmillen, 1968, Vol. 12, p. 218 (quoted in Jo Freedman, The Political Culture of the Democratic and Republican Parties (1986).
  2. ^ Stanford Report, Obit: Gabriel Almond, January 8, 2003
  3. ^ Verba, Sidney; Almond, Gabriel (1963). The Civic Culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  4. ^ Lukšič, Igor (2006). Politična kultura, pp. 40–42. FDV, Ljubljana. Retrieved on June 29, 2007.
  5. ^ [Vázquez Semadeni, M. E. (2010). La formación de una cultura política republicana: El debate público sobre la masonería. México, 1821-1830. Serie Historia Moderna y Contemporánea/Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas; núm. 54. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/El Colegio de Michoacán. ISBN 978-607-02-1694-7]

Further reading

  • Almond, Gabriel A., Verba, Sidney The Civic Culture. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1965.
  • Aronoff, Myron J. “Political Culture,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds., (Oxford: Elsevier, 2002), 11640.
  • Axelrod, Robert. 1997. “The Dissemination of Culture: A Model with Local Convergence and Global Polarization.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 41:203-26.
  • Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.
  • Bednar, Jenna and Scott Page. 2007. “Can Game(s) Theory Explain Culture? The Emergence of Cultural Behavior within Multiple Games” Rationality and Society 19(1):65-97.
  • Clark, William, Matt Golder, and Sona Golder. 2009. Principles of Comparative Government. CQ Press. Ch. 7
  • Diamond, Larry (ed.) Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries.
  • Greif, Avner. 1994. “Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies.” The Journal of Political Economy 102(5): 912-950.
  • Kertzer, David I. Politics and Symbols. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.
  • Kertzer, David I. Ritual, Politics, and Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.
  • Kubik, Jan. The Power of Symbols Against The Symbols of Power. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.
  • Inglehart, Ronald and Christian Welzel, Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Ch. 2
  • Laitin, David D. Hegemony and Culture. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
  • Igor Lukšič, Politična kultura. Ljubljana: The University of Ljubljana, 2006.
  • Wilson, Richard "The Many Voices of Political Culture: Assessing Different Approaches," in World Politics 52 (January 2000), 246-73
  • Gielen, Pascal (ed.), 'No Culture, No Europe. On the Foundation of Politics'. Valiz: Amsterdam, 2015.
Centralisation

Centralisation or centralization (see spelling differences) is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision-making, framing strategy and policies become concentrated within a particular geographical location group. This moves the important decision-making and planning powers within the center of the organisation.

The term has a variety of meanings in several fields. In political science, centralisation refers to the concentration of a government's power—both geographically and politically—into a centralised government.

Civic political culture

A civic culture or civic political culture is a political culture characterized by "acceptance of the authority of the state" and "a belief in participation in civic duties". The term was first used in Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba's book, The Civic Culture. Civic political culture is a mixture of other political cultures namely parochial, subject and participant political cultures. Almond and Verba characterised Britain as having a civic political culture. In "Is Britain Still a Civic Culture?" Patrick Seyd and Paul Whiteley discuss the extent to which Britain can still be regarded as having a civic political culture. The term civic culture is used to identify the political culture characteristics that explain the stability of a democratic society's political structure.Almond and Verba state that the following are characteristics of a civic culture:

Orientation toward political system in both the political and governmental senses

Pride in aspects of one's nation

Expectation of fair treatment from government authorities

Ability to talk freely and frequently about politics

An emotional involvement in elections

Tolerance towards opposition parties

A Valuing of active participation in local government activities, parties, and in civic associations

Self-confidence in one's competence to participate in politics

Civic cooperation and trust

Membership in the political associations.It is worth noting that the proper combination of the various types of political culture will provide a culture that has a positive implication for the growth of democracy.

Collectivism

Collectivism is a cultural value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over self. Individuals or groups that subscribe to a collectivist worldview tend to find common values and goals as particularly salient and demonstrate greater orientation toward in-group than toward out-group. The term “in-group” is thought to be more diffusely defined for collectivistic individuals to include societal units ranging from the nuclear family to a religious or racial/ethnic group. Meta-analytic findings support that collectivism shows a consistent association with discrete values, interpersonal patterns of interaction, cognition, perception and self-construal. While collectivism is often defined in contrast to individualism, the notion that collectivism-individualism is unidimensional has been challenged by contemporary theorists.

Democracy Index

The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a UK-based company. Its intention is to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 164 are UN member states.

The index was first published in 2006, with updates for 2008, 2010 and later years. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories, measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorises each country in one of four regime types: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.

Egalitarianism

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning 'equal'), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term has two distinct definitions in modern English, namely either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights, or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people, economic egalitarianism, or the decentralization of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.

Elections in Panama

Panama elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president and the vice-president are elected on one ballot for a five-year term by the people. The National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) has 71 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat and multi-seat constituencies.

Ethical socialism

Ethical socialism is a political philosophy that appeals to socialism on ethical and moral grounds as opposed to economic, egoistic, and consumeristic grounds. It emphasizes the need for a morally conscious economy based upon the principles of service, cooperation, and social justice while opposing possessive individualism. In contrast to socialism inspired by rationalism, historical materialism, neoclassical economics, and Marxist theory which base their appeals for socialism on grounds of economic efficiency, rationality, or historical inevitability, ethical socialism focuses on the moral and ethical reasons for advocating socialism.

Ethical socialism had a profound impact on the social democratic movement and reformism during the later half of the 20th century, particularly in Great Britain. Ethical socialism is distinct in its focus on criticism of the ethics of capitalism and not merely criticism of the economic, systemic and material issues of capitalism.The term ethical socialism initially originated as a pejorative by the Marxist economist Rosa Luxemburg against reformist revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein and his supporters, who evoked Kantian liberal ideals and ethical arguments in favour of socialism. Self-recognized ethical socialists soon arose in Britain such as the Christian socialist R. H. Tawney and its ideals were connected to Christian socialist, Fabian and guild socialist ideals. Ethical socialism was an important ideology within the British Labour Party. Ethical socialism has been publicly supported by British Prime Ministers Ramsay MacDonald, Clement Attlee, and Tony Blair.When the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) renounced Marxism during the Godesberg Program in the 1950s, ethical socialism became the official philosophy within the SPD.

Gleichschaltung

Gleichschaltung (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlaɪçʃaltʊŋ]), or in English co-ordination, was in Nazi terminology the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society, "from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education".The apex of the Nazification of Germany was in the resolutions approved during the Nuremberg Rally of 1935, when the symbols of the Nazi Party and the State were fused (see Flag of Germany) and German Jews were deprived of their citizenship (see Nuremberg Laws).

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada (French: Gouvernement du Canada), officially Her Majesty's Government (French: Gouvernement de Sa Majesté), is the federal administration of Canada. In Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council. In both senses, the current construct was established at Confederation through the Constitution Act, 1867—as a federal constitutional monarchy, wherein the Canadian Crown acts as the core, or "the most basic building block", of its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government. Further elements of governance are outlined in the rest of the Canadian Constitution, which includes written statutes, court rulings, and unwritten conventions developed over centuries.The monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is personally represented by the Governor General of Canada (currently Julie Payette). The Queen's Privy Council for Canada is the body that advises the sovereign or viceroy on the exercise of executive power. However, in practice, that task is performed only by the Cabinet, a committee within the Privy Council composed of ministers of the Crown, who are drawn from and responsible to the elected House of Commons in parliament. The Cabinet is headed by the prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau), who is appointed by the governor general after securing the confidence of the House of Commons.

Oligarchy

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning 'few', and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning 'to rule or to command') is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as meaning rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.

In the early 20th century Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, as all large organizations, have a tendency to turn into oligarchies. In his "Iron law of oligarchy" he suggests that the necessary division of labor in large organizations leads to the establishment of a ruling class mostly concerned with protecting their own power.

This was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: After the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government. They drew lots from large groups of adult volunteers to pick civil servants performing judicial, executive, and administrative functions (archai, boulē, and hēliastai). They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly.

Political culture of Canada

The political culture of Canada is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, freedom of religion, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees from the British common law and French civil law traditions, North American aboriginal government, and English civic traditions, among others.

Canada has a tradition of liberalism in the centrist context, as far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Peace, order, and good government are stated goals of the Canadian government. Individual rights, equality and inclusiveness (a just society) have risen to the forefront of political and legal importance for most Canadians, as demonstrated through support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a relatively free economy, and social liberal attitudes toward homosexuality, women's rights, and other egalitarian movements. However, there is also a sense of collective responsibility in Canadian political culture, as is demonstrated in general support for universal health care, multiculturalism, gun control, foreign aid, and other social programs.Canada has been dominated by two parties, the centre-left Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right Conservative Party of Canada. The historically predominant Liberals position themselves at the center of the political scale with the Conservatives sitting on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the left-wing. Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their influence over the political process by representation at the federal level.

Politics of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is governed by a unicameral legislature, the House of Assembly, which operates under the Westminster model of government. The executive function of government is formed by the Lieutenant Governor, the premier (head of government, and normally the leader of the largest party in the legislature) and his or her cabinet. The politics of Newfoundland and Labrador is defined by a long history, liberal democratic political institutions and a unique political culture.

Politics of Uganda

Uganda is a presidential republic, in which the President of Uganda is both head of state and head of government. There is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with universal suffrage for all citizens over 18 years of age.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Uganda as "hybrid regime" in 2016.

Post-truth politics

Post-truth politics (also called post-factual politics and post-reality politics) is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored. Post-truth differs from traditional contesting and falsifying of facts by relegating facts and expert opinions to be of secondary importance relative to appeal to emotion. While this has been described as a contemporary problem, some observers have described it as a long-standing part of political life that was less notable before the advent of the Internet and related social changes.

As of 2018, political commentators have identified post-truth politics as ascendant in many nations, notably Brazil, Russia, India, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others. As with other areas of debate, this is being driven by a combination of the 24-hour news cycle, false balance in news reporting, and the increasing ubiquity of social media and fake news websites. In 2016, post-truth was chosen as the Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year due to its prevalence in the context of that year's Brexit referendum and media coverage of the US presidential election.

Secular liberalism

Secular liberalism is the separation of culture and politics from religion. A subcategory of liberalism and secularism, it supports the separation of religion and state particularly from the ideas of the Christian Church. Christian ideals are usually to be found on the opposite end of the spectrum from secular liberalism. Secular liberalism is often connected with standing for social equality and freedom.

Snowflake (slang)

Snowflake is a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are over-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions. Common usages include the terms special snowflake, Generation Snowflake, and snowflake as a politicized insult.

Tradition

A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyers' wigs or military officers' spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word tradition itself derives from the Latin tradere literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be political or cultural, over short periods of time. Various academic disciplines also use the word in a variety of ways.

The phrase "according to tradition", or "by tradition", usually means that whatever information follows is known only by oral tradition, but is not supported (and perhaps may be refuted) by physical documentation, by a physical artifact, or other quality evidence. Tradition is used to indicate the quality of a piece of information being discussed. For example, "According to tradition, Homer was born on Chios, but many other locales have historically claimed him as theirs." This tradition may never be proven or disproven. In another example, "King Arthur, by tradition a true British king, has inspired many well loved stories." Whether they are documented fact or not does not decrease their value as cultural history and literature.

Traditions are a subject of study in several academic fields, especially in social sciences such as anthropology, archaeology, and biology.

The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, it is the basis of the political concept of traditionalism, and also strands of many world religions including traditional Catholicism. In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of traditional genres (such as traditional dance), adherence to guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given greater importance than the performer's own preferences. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.

Tsarist autocracy

Tsarist autocracy (Russian: царское самодержавие, transcr. tsarskoye samoderzhaviye) is a form of autocracy (later absolute monarchy) specific to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which later became Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire. In it, all power and wealth is controlled (and distributed) by the Tsar. They had more power than constitutional monarchs, who are usually vested by law and counterbalanced by a legislative authority; they even had more authority on religious issues compared to Western monarchs. In Russia, it originated during the time of Ivan III (1440−1505), and was abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Whiggism

Whiggism (in North America sometimes spelled Whigism) is a political philosophy that grew out of the Parliamentarian faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651). The Whigs' key policy positions were the supremacy of Parliament, as opposed to that of the king, tolerance of Protestant dissenters and opposition to a "Papist" (Roman Catholic) on the throne, especially James II or one of his descendants.After the huge success (from the Whig point of view) of the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689, Whiggism dominated English and British politics until about 1760, although in practice the Whig political group splintered into different factions. After 1760, the Whigs lost power – apart from sharing it in some short-lived coalition governments – but Whiggism fashioned itself into a generalised belief system that emphasised innovation and liberty and was strongly held by about half of the leading families in England and Scotland, as well as most merchants, dissenters, and the middle classes. The opposing Tory position was held by the other great families, the Church of England, most of the landed gentry and officers of the army and the navy. Whigs also opposed Jacobitism, a movement of traditionalists tolerant of Roman Catholicism, with substantial Tory overlaps. While in power, Whigs frequently referred to all opponents as "Jacobites" or dupes of Jacobites.

Whiggism originally referred to the Whigs of the British Isles, but the name of "Old Whigs" was largely adopted by the American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies. Following independence, American Whiggism became known as republicanism. The term "Old Whigs" was also used in Great Britain for those Whigs who opposed Robert Walpole as part of the Country Party.

Another meaning of whiggism given by the Oxford English Dictionary is "moderate or antiquated Liberalism".

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