Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics

Political culture refers to broad distribution of practices, norms, feelings and attitudes towards politics - Comparative Politics introduction. It is the multiplicity of a society’s beliefs and expectation towards those in authority ( There is a big correlation between the dominant political culture in a country and the political system. Understanding a state political culture hence is a prerequisite to understanding the political. (Marcel D, p.546)  Political socialization is the process through which the citizenry of a particular state are introduced and integrated into the dominant political culture of that country. It refers to the way that individuals learn different political features that over time shape their opinions, norms, practices and attitudes towards the systems of governance as well as those in authority.

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Socialization is all about how cultures are instilled and carried on from one generation to the other, through the various agents of socialization ranging from schools, families, media among many others. Three types of political cultures have been outlined over time. These range from participatory, subject and parochial. They are categorized depending on the level of political participation and awareness in specific individuals. There are three levels of political cultures; system level, process level and policy level (

Political culture and political socialization go hand in hand and are by products of each other. Hence, it is not possible to have a high level of political culture without consequently having a high level of political socialization. This emanates from the reason that a high political culture is a product of a high level of socialization. For culture to change and be passed form one generation to another one, the socialization agents must be equally strong.

The interaction of the various levels of political socialization and culture is what determines continuity in political systems. Political cultures determine the obligations and responsibilities laid upon those in governance while allocating rights to the population. Political culture is what determines what rights the citizenry has in the country in relation to the political system (Gabriel A et al, p. 35).  The participatory culture for example requires a high level of political socialization in return.

2. Interest aggregation and political part formation

Democracy simply refers to a form of government or association in which the major decisions and policies are initiated, formulated and implemented by the bigger proportion of the electorates. The citizens through a popular vote are the key decision makers. One vital ingredient of democracy is the political party. This is an association of people and structures that tend to ascribe to a particular political ideology with their key objective being to acquire power and governance. The political parties in this broad aspect exist to be a forum through which their various interests can be articulated and aggregated.

The process of interest aggregation and political party formation require a democratic foundation for it to be effective and to represent a majority’s wish. Interest aggregation is the way through which an association of individuals is able to bring out a common stand on their attitudes, values and views towards a particular prevailing national issue. Democracy in political parties and interest aggregation is important in one major way; it legitimizes the party’s stand and policies, as the supporters see them as representing a popular view.

Although parties may be misused to further personal and individual stands, basically and fundamentally, they exist to be a forum through which the members can push and bargain collectively for their interests ( Interest aggregation is the key purpose behind political parties formation. It is what determines a party’s membership and impact at the national scene. While politics is a game of numbers, it is important that such numbers or individuals be coalesced around a certain objective and viewpoint. The individuals are brought together by a commonality of interests. By interest aggression, these different interests and viewpoints are brought to the surface and voiced through a single forum: The party.

Task 2
Many of the problems of under-development witnessed today in the third world countries, according to many of the scholars, can be traced back to the colonial legacy in the various ethnic groups were lumped together irregardless of their cultural, political, economic and social differences is the root cause of the many ethnic tensions and atrocities experienced today. Scholars are sharply divided over what the best solution would be. Whether to re-examine the boundaries or to leave them intact. Some highly advocate for re-examination while some would want to see the status quo remain (Emmanuel N. et al p. 534).

It is important to note that some of the countries in the third world have been able to overcome ethnization of their politics and strengthened the existing strong points out of the diversities to come up with one nation. While some countries would badly need with boundaries reexamination, not all would do with one. Re-examining the boundaries might lead to new tensions not counting the social and economic implications it would have. If a state hence has been unable to integrate the existing ethnic groups into a nation

the solution hence would be to form federal governments based on the individual ethnic groups levels. This is where the different existing tribal groupings are allowed by the constitution to form their own regional sub-governments. The government hence will be able to respond to the individual groups needs. The decision will be made within the group and resources shared. In additional to this there will be the central government. This will be the overall government charged with the responsibility of building cohesion among the different grouping. This central government should comprise of representatives across all the groupings, drawn in terms of the population in each grouping.

            Leadership in the central government should be on a rotation basis, where each group is mandated to produce a leader after a specific tenure is over. This would ensure that all the ethnic groupings are catered for. The representatives in the national parliament should be the key decision makers in matters appertaining to national interests, their main duty is to advocate for their groups interests.

            Most of the ethnic tensions in for example Africa are politically fuelled and emanate from the perception that the resources are not adequately and equally shared. The perception that allocation of resources in Rwanda and Burundi for example led to genocide. Effort hence should be stepped up to correct this. The only way this can be done is through equal representation in the legislature and other arms of the government. The national parliament should address this. Allocation of resources should be voted for and done in accordance to a proportion of a region needs and contribution to the national kitty. Whereas, it is important to share all resources and develop where these resources emanates from, contributions should be made to the national central kitty to cater for the less developed kitty.

Most of the developing countries, as a result of the colonial legacy have centrally controlled government. This government possesses executive powers over all the organs. Instead of sub regional governments, there are districts and provincial governments, which are not a representation of decentralization but rather are mere agents of the central government. Decentralization would be an important key to unlocking the resource allocation deadlock. This can be done either through the federal or the regional governments.

Works cited
Jack Rabin, W Bartley Hidreth, Gerald J. Miller. Handbook of Public Administration. Marcel Deker Ltd. 1989 546

Emil Suiunalier, Political Socialization and political culture in Kyrgyzstan. Country-Weblog Kyrgyzstan. Last Update on September 18th, 2007. Retrieved on October 2nd 2007 from

Europe: Democratic political culture and political action. Retrieved on October, 2nd 2007 from

Gabriel Abraham Almond, Sidney Verba. The civic culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in five nations. Sage Publications Inc. 1990:35

Brenda Wahler. Poli Sa: 101: The role of parties. January 1996. Retrieved on October 2nd, 2007 from

Emmanuel N. Amadife and James W. Warhola. Africa’s political boundaries. Colonial Cartography, the OAU, and the advisability of ethno. National adjustment. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. Springer Netherlands, Vol 6 No. 4 June 1993; 534

Newbury D, N.C Rwanda: The politics of turmoil. Retrieved from on 04/10/07.


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