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Comparative politics nad Government Essays

Popular protests arise out of conflicting ideologies among sub groups within a country.  These differences in ideologies may lead to exploitation of minority groups, which often leads to tensions, and resentment, in worst scenarios, popular protests may wage war against individuals perceived to be exploiters. (Rudé, 21)  In both developed and developing countries, one can find popular protests.  However, there seem to be few apparent distinguishing features between popular protests are more organized.  People in developed countries are more enlightened and make use of charismatic leaders and intelligences to fight for their rights.  In some instances, populist groups may seek international assistance to illuminator on the issues of protest.  In developed countries, popular protests are initiate inorder to fight for rights while in developing countries popular protests are motivated to fight exploitation by capitalist countries.  In developing countries, popular protests arise when residents of a country feel segregated and oppressed by the rulers and elite.  Often protests in these countries are ethnical however in developed countries, racial groups also propel popular protests.  The G8 countries have often been accused of exploiting these countries inn areas of resources, labour and financing wars to their benefit. (http://homepage.gallaudet.edu/David.Penna/PartyIntAg.html)

It seems though, that there are more similarities of popular protest in developed and developing countries than there are differences. For instance, that in either case, popular protests is perpetuated by discontent in government system whether it is economic exploitation, racial discrimination, gender discrimination or indebtedness. In the United States, the rights of women have been in the forefront of popular protest as also in many African and Asian countries. Interest groups express their views by holding public peaceful demonstrations, signing petitions, pressure groups and so on. These techniques are either common to developed or developing countries. (www.egyankosh )

            There are various means employed by society for the purposes of population interest articulation and aggregation.  Political parties are one way of popular interest articulation and aggregation.  Interest group often come together to express their disagreements and dissatisfaction with a given state of affairs. Political leaders represent the views of a people to higher authority and lead discussions towards finding lasting solutions.  Interest articulation entails assertive expressions of what interest groups believe is right or wrong.  Suppressed conflicts lead to tensions and with time, these tensions erupt to violent confrontations.  Thus, by free expressions of opinions and discontent, people through political parties are empowered to resolve conflicts amicably or reach compromise on issues of contention.  Therefore, this channel is the most preferable mean employed by society.

            Lobby groups are also a mean employed by society.  People who share common interest, opinions, and they come together to create powerful vehicles for change form lobbies.  In democratic countries, these groups are encouraged, as they tend to be peaceful.  Other groups that come together to Lobby for their rights include trade unions, religious groups and professional associations (http://home.mcn.net/~montanabw/polisci101.html). These groups are legally recognized and are highly organized.  Views among members are collectively represented before government officials and discussions held over the issue.  However, there are illegal ways in which interest articulation occurs.  For instance violent protests, riots, strike and so on.  This channel is not preferable to most because it inhibits negotiations and often compounds the problem. In countries where governments take an autocratic approach of governance, popular interests are often ignored or suppressed and this ultimately leads to violent protest and riots as the only channel of interest articulation. Perhaps this mean should be the last resolution employed by any group for the purpose of interest articulation and aggregation. Wars originate from such seemingly ‘trivial issues’ such as riots and violent confrontations as a mean of interest articulation and thus should be avoided. Democracy and freedom of expression goes a long way towards responsible and civil expression of popular interest.

I believe that the fundamental goals behind protests in developed countries revolve around attaining security, environment protection, fair business practices and health improvement. In the developing countries, the protests are fuelled in order to attain basic goals such as food, decent housing and incomes, education security, justice and equality.

Works cited

Popular Protest and Social Structures. Available at

http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/bitstream/123456789/8020/1/Unit-31.pdf. accessed on September

18, 2007

Political Science 101: The Role of Parties. Available at

 http://home.mcn.net/~montanabw/polisci101.html accessed on September 18, 2007

Rudé, George. Ideology & Popular Protest. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 1995. 21

Political Parties and Interest Aggregation. Available at http://homepage.gallaudet.edu/David.Penna/PartyIntAg.html  Accessed on September 18, 2007

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