Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Spring 2021
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Course: Political Parties & Pressure Groups in Pakistan (545)
Semester: Spring, 2021
Assignment No. 1
Q.No.1 Discuss the role of political parties in development. In your views which type of party is more like to boost the pace of development?
Political parties are organized groups of people with similar ideas or ideology about the function and scope of government, with shared policy goals that work together to elect individuals to political office, to create and implement policies, to further an agenda, and to gain control of the government and the policy-making process. Parties gain control over the government by winning elections with candidates they officially sponsor or nominate for positions in government. Political parties nominate candidates to run many levels of government including the national level, Congress, and the presidency; but, they nominate for state and local levels as well. They also coordinate political campaigns and mobilize voters.
In Federalist No. 10, written in the late eighteenth century, James Madison noted that the formation of self-interested groups, which he called factions, was both natural and inevitable in any society. Interest groups and political parties are two of the most easily identified forms of faction in the United States.
Political parties are points of access/linkage institutions available to the public, though they are not themselves government institutions. Neither interest groups nor political parties are directly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Where interest groups often work indirectly to influence our leaders, political parties are organizations that try to directly influence public policy through nominating and officially sponsoring members who seek to win and hold public office. This is a key difference. Interest groups do not officially nominate or nominate candidates for public office, although they may support them politically and even contribute dollars to their campaign.
Parties accomplish this by identifying and aligning sets of issues that are important to voters in the hopes of gaining support during elections. In this respect, parties provide choices to the electorate, something they are doing that is in sharp contrast to their opposition. These positions on these critical issues are often presented in campaign documents or political advertising. During a national presidential campaign, they also frequently reflect the party platform, which is adopted at each party’s presidential nominating convention every four years.
If successful, a party can create a large enough electoral coalition to gain control of the government. Once in power, the party is much more likely to be able to deliver, to its voters, the policy preferences they choose by electing its partisans to the government.Political parties organize political campaigns to win public office for those they nominate.
As with the review of approaches to measuring election quality this will not be an exhaustive assessment but will highlight several key elements to consider for all approaches.
Figure 3 classifies the approaches according to their strength as measures of electoral quality and their scope of inquiry. “Strength” is understood as the degree to which an approach follows a robust methodology, is focused on one or more aspects of an election, and includes a specific rationale for its findings. “Scope” relates to the degree of focus and detail related to electoral quality.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Spring 2021
Table 1 provides a summary comparison of the approaches to measuring electoral quality described above against the following key points:
- The nature of the implementers
- Scope and focus
- Methodology for data collection
- Highlights of strengths/weaknesses of approach
Public Opinion Polls
Opinion polls of all types have value in that they report on a range of perceptions on important issues related to democracy and electoral quality. At the global level they may offer useful comparative insights and at the national level signal key areas of achievement or concern. Their specific value with regard to measuring electoral quality is relatively limited but they can serve as one of several tools that can capture important data about public perceptions. They may capture general public attitudes about democracy and the electoral process but also more specific feedback, for example, to a political party about how well their messages are being received by the public or indicate to an EMB that voter information is being disseminated and understood.
Global democracy indices provide a macro and comparative perspective on the broad questions of democracy and governance. They also offer the confidence associated with numerical scores and ranking even if those scoring systems rely on a great deal of qualitative (and subjective) analysis.
While a score based on a numeric figure may provide the impression of a solid value, it should also be interrogated. An obvious challenge for any such framework is deciding on which factors to consider and how to weight them against the other factors included or excluded from the framework. The number of indicators included in a democracy survey (e.g. 10 vs 80) may also affect the level of detail and timeliness of the survey results.
A second challenge is the level of detail captured by the index. A generalized democracy survey may include measures of fundamental human rights and political freedoms, but relatively few specific measures of electoral quality.
National level democracy assessments hold more potential to provide in-depth measures of the strength of government institutions, the rule of law and operation of the judiciary, respect for individual political rights, the operation of civil society organizations and political parties and the like. However, it is possible but unlikely for a national democracy assessments (whether conducted by intergovernmental organizations, national governments, or non-governmental organizations and scholars) to offer detailed assessment of electoral quality or electoral actors. This may be a thematic area in which further work could occur.
It is notable that democracy and elections are key elements of so many intergovernmental and regional organizations. In terms of electoral quality, the value of either their EOMs or other forms of periodic review and assessment they may conduct rests with the degree to which they follow a clear methodology and commit themselves to holding one another accountable through follow up on reform and implementation.
Election Management Assessment
Post-election reviews by EMBs, election assistance providers, and national stakeholders hold a great deal more potential than is currently the case and if fully implemented by for example, not only the EMB but also the judiciary and other government structures they could serve as effective platforms for electoral reform. In the case of donors and election assistance providers, they can provide incentives for policy changes and improvements.
Certification is a tool used infrequently and only in special circumstances such as transitional elections in which an outside actor (e.g. the UN) is involved in a range of peacekeeping and/or state-building activities. The methodology for certification is thus highly contextualized and perhaps unsuited to broader generalization. It draws however on other existing methodologies used by other actors.
AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 545 Spring 2021
Q.No.2 Make a comparative analysis of party organization and pressure group organization and explain with arguments which one is better.
Pressure groups are collections of individuals who hold a similar set of values and beliefs based on ethnicity, religion, political philosophy, or a common goal. Based on these beliefs, they take action to promote change and further their goals. For example, members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) share a common belief that, in turn, influences the actions (e.g., advocacy, public awareness programs, policy research) they use to achieve their goals.
Pressure groups often represent viewpoints of people who are dissatisfied with the current conditions in society, and they often represent alternative viewpoints that are not well represented in the mainstream population. By forming a pressure group, people seek to express their shared beliefs and values and influence change within communities and sociopolitical structures, such as governments and corporations. Some pressure groups, such as the tobacco-control movement, have been successful at influencing change across a number of sociopolitical structures.
Pressure groups are different from political parties. Political parties seek to create change by being elected to public office, while pressure groups attempt to influence political parties. Pressure groups may be better able to focus on specialized issues, whereas political parties tend to address a wide range of issues.
Pressure groups are widely recognized as an important part of the democratic process. Some groups offer opportunities and a political voice to people who would traditionally be thought of as disadvantaged or marginalized from the mainstream population. In this way, pressure groups strengthen the democratic process by giving a voice to a variety of people. Pressure groups also offer alternatives to the political process by providing opportunities for expressing opinions and a desire for change.
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While pressure groups are acknowledged as potentially beneficial to a democratic society, problems can arise when the democratic process becomes dominated by a few specific groups. In this situation, the voice of a small group of people with a particular interest can become overly influential and negatively affect the rights of other individuals. In the democratic process, there is a need for compromise in order to reach consensus regarding the common good. If pressure groups remain rigid and refuse to compromise on specific issues, they can potentially monopolize the democratic process by focusing public debate on a few specific issues.
Pressure groups may adopt a variety of strategies to achieve their goals, including lobbying elected officials, media advocacy, and direct political action (e.g., organized protests). Clearly, some pressure groups exert more influence than others. The degree to which such groups are able to achieve their goals may depend on their ability to be recognized as legitimate by the population, media, and by those in power. For example, civil rights groups, trade unions, and professional associations are more widely recognized and accepted than a newly formed, single-issue pressure group.
Significant gains in public health have been achieved because of efforts by pressure groups, including important changes and advances in public health issues such as tobacco control, occupational health and safety, air pollution, and HIV/AIDS.
Pressure groups can fulfill a valuable function within public health. They have the potential to raise the profile of previously marginalized issues and force action to improve the health of their members, as well as the health of the general population. For example, mental health service consumers have joined together to form pressure groups that have identified the issue of homelessness as an unintended consequence of deinstitutionalization. Initiatives spawned by these groups aim to improve living conditions for the homeless. These actions have provided benefits not only to the homeless, they have also positively affected the well-being of entire communities.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Spring 2021
Individual pressure groups can form larger coalitions to advance their cause more effectively. The tobacco-control movement provides an excellent example of how a variety of pressure groups can work together across sectors and at many different levels to affect change. This movement has successfully pulled together many organizations under the umbrella of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids. Members include organizations from a number of sectors including health (American Public Health Association), education (American Federation of Teachers), medical (American Medical Association), civic (Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights), corporate (Adventist Health Care), youth (Girl Scouts of the USA), and religious (National Council of Churches).
Too often during the last decades, research (including our own) on military organizations have been focusing on adaptation of military organizations to various transformation processes (Moskos et al. 2000, Forster 2006, Szvircsev and Leuprecht 2010, King 2011, Bergström et al. 2014, Farrell et al. 2014, Holmberg and Hallenberg 2017). This literature does not, however, question how the military organization is viewed and conceptualized in terms of its basic characteristics. We problematize military organizational characteristics theoretically, and relate these to different pressures for change with the help of empirical examples from the Swedish armed forces. In this way, we are able to enhance our understanding of the challenges the military are facing today and in the future. The research design could be termed a plausibility probe that expose the inconsistency of traditional military organizational characteristics with 21st century demands. We do not claim that our results are applicable in every military organization in the Western world – and recognize that there are large national differences. However, we do argue that military organizations are perceived in research (which will be developed below) to hold similar traits. If this understanding is accepted, then the results may be very valuable for research on, in particular, the civil-military relations of the coming decades.
In our research, we have started to direct interest towards the implications of military organizational characteristics that are out of tune with societal developments. We have analyzed in more detail the strategies of leaders within the military organization in managing pressures for change and the fragmentation of the military organization in the context of 21st century transformations (Alvinius, Holmberg and Johansson, 2019). We have also been studying the #Metoo movement as a public expression of internal resistance towards the military (Alvinius and Holmberg, 2019). In order to elaborate on how military organizational characteristics relate to different pressures for change, we need to identify these pressures. The concept of transformation in the security and defence field have been understood in a broad manner, incorporating different trends and major reforms that can be said to incorporate some kind of pressures for change. We draw on the literature relating to security and defence transformation since the end of the Cold War, and choose to sort this literature in three broad categories of pressures for change: structural, normative and functional (see further below). The sorting of pressures for change into categories is something of a superficial exercise, but no one familiar with this literature will be surprised, and we consider the categorization justified as the aim is not to point to casual relations, but to problematize the relationship between the processes and military organizational characteristics.
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 545 Spring 2021
Q.No.3 Critically analyze the role of charismatic leadership in making apolitical party effective.
In a governmental system, a party leader acts as the official representative of their political party. The party leader is typically responsible for managing the party’s relationship with the general public. As such, they will take a leading role in developing and communicating party policy, especially election platforms, to the electorate. They are also typically the public face of the respective party and the principal media contact.
In many representative democracies, party leaders compete directly for high political office. It is thus typical in such states (e.g., in the Westminster system) for the party leader to seek election to the legislature, and, if elected, to simultaneously serve as the party’s parliamentary leader.
The United States government has party leaders in the legislative branch of government. The President, currently Donald Trump, becomes the de facto leader of the party they represent once elected, and the Vice President, currently Mike Pence, likewise holds a leadership role as both the second-highest executive officer as well as being the President of the Senate.
The legislative branch, otherwise known as the United States Congress, is made up of the upper chamber, the Senate, and the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, with party-elected leaders in each. The leader of the party with most the representation (sometimes called the party-in-power) in each case is known as the majority leader, whereas the leader of the opposing party with the most members is known as the minority leader.
Party leaders in the United States Senate have been elected by popular vote since 1913. They currently include President of the Senate Mike Pence, President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate Chuck Grassley, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Thune on the Republican side, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin on the Democratic side.
The Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in the House by secret ballot. The Republican Party is currently represented in the House by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, whereas the Democratic Party is represented by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. In the House of Representatives, the most powerful official is the House-elected Speaker, currently Nancy Pelosi of the Democratic Party.
- In some political parties, the parliamentary members of the party vote to elect the leader. Parliamentary members are senators and members of the House of Representatives.
- In other political parties, both parliamentary members and non-parliamentary members of the party get a say in the leader of their party.
- Social Astuteness– the ability to observe others and to accurately understand them. Socially astute leaders are good at reading people’s non-verbal behaviors and can intuitively sense the motivations of others.
- Interpersonal Influence – the ability to influence others using a compelling interpersonal style. In particular, leaders with strong interpersonal influence are good at establishing rapport with others, they communicate well with others, and thus, they are also good at getting others to like them. Getting others to like them, in turn, helps them influence others more easily.
- Networking Ability– the ability to establish relationships with others. People with high networking ability have strong ties with many people, including influential people at work. They are particularly skilled at leveraging their networks to obtain the needed resources to accomplish both personal and organizational tasks.
- Apparent Sincerity– involves being transparent, honest, and sincere with others. Leaders with apparent sincerity believe their word is their bond – they do what they say they will do.
- Image Management– the ability to intuitively know what to say to influence others and knowing how to make a good impression on others.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Spring 2021
A good leader is a self actualized leader. Self actualization is the highest form of human growth, someone who is self actualized is a fully functioning human being. In the past, I have written extensively about the characteristics of self actualized people which can be applied to this article, as well. But the characteristics below are unwaveringly related to a good leader. It is worth to pay attention to these and take them into consideration when we’re making a choice as to whom we chose as a leader. A good leader:
- Is fair and objective.A good political leader does not take what is similar to his views as facts and base his decisions on that. He uses reliable and unfiltered information to make judgments and to come up with resolutions. In other words, he stands above his own believes to observe events objectively while the general public fails to do so. In addition, he does not suffer from a self serving bias.
- Is moving above himself and serving the society.A good leader stands above any specific religious or political views of his own and is independent of any attachment to a specific agenda. His personal beliefs become his private matters and he learns to leave them out the door once he steps into a leadership role. In other words, his belief expands so that it includes everyone’s beliefs.
- Is not seeking fame and attention: A good leader has been able to move above and beyond any egoistic and primitive need for power, attention, or establishing his personal agendas and works with the intention of good-for-all.
- Is not into hiding the truth for the sake of looking good.A good leader says it as it is even if it feels uncomfortable for many to hear it. He is not a people pleaser in a sense that he would say anything to please others even if that means manipulating or misguiding the public. It takes a lot of courage to do this and a good leader has that courage.
- Is focused on specific, achievable, and measurable goals and demands outcomes. A good leader is focused and does not get distracted. His goals, whether small or large, are reasonable and achievable and are directed towards the long term results not quick and temporary fixes that may backfire.
- Encourages people to be accountable for their actions.A good leader helps people understand that they are accountable for their society and its outcome and teaches them to make compromises and responsible choices. He does not support a sense of self-serving entitlement that has gone too far and is counter-productive for the society as a whole.
- Does not pay attention to being politically correct but ethically so. A good leader understands that in order for the whole society to be a functional and healthy one, some adjustments need to be made and people need to learn to give some in order to gain some.
- Does not make idealistic promises but realistic ones.A good leader makes a sustainable promise and is a man of his words.
- Is honest even if it does not get approval.People know where they are standing with an authentic leader. He does not hide bad news just because it is uncomfortable to the public’s ear.
- Thinks globally and acts locally.He realizes that in order for us to live in prosperity as a powerful and blessed country, reasonable steps need to be taken to make sure others achieve the same goals. He is aware that with power comes responsibility and that now more than ever, through technology, we are becoming more and more inner related, globally.
- Takes personal responsibility.A good leader is secure enough with himself to take personal responsibility when one is needed. In other words, a good political leader has an internal locus of control while he is aware of the effects of the external forces.
- Remains level headed and has a sense of humor.A good political leader has a healthy emotional IQ and has learned to move above his emotions, conditionings, and his fixations to specific outcomes to think logically and globally. In other words, he is rational and in control of his emotions and when the public is going through the emotional roller coaster, he is there to guide them through it.
- Has a curious mind.A good leader is thirsty for factual, expert oriented and unbiased knowledge all the time and on all levels.
- Does not make himself look good by assaulting others.A leader that can be trusted does not take others down for himself to go up. He is more of a collaborator than a competitor. He tries to build bridges rather than destroy them. He is a natural mediator rather than one that creates conflict, tension, and separation.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Autumn 2021
Q.No.4 What are the pros and cons of two party systems? Discuss in detail.
In a January 2016 article on The Hill, Michael Coblenz wrote “The two-part system is destroying America. Democrats and Republicans are in a death match and the American people are caught in the middle.” America is facing a slew of problems such as inequality and international terrorism but arguments between the two parties regarding these issues have brought government to a standstill. An issue cannot be tackled without the two parties being able to discuss them rationally.
Now, the public is fed up with 80% expressing disapproval of Congress. In a 2015 Gallup poll, 60% of those who responded wanted new political parties. This is one of the reasons a lot of citizens are supporting candidates such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, both of whom are considered outsiders.
Coblenz adds, “But what if the problem isn’t the politicians, or the parties? What if the problem is the system? What if the problem is a system that makes every election a battle between a single Democrat and a single Republican? Maybe the solution isn’t new people, or new parties. Maybe the solution is changing the way we elect people.”
In an article for The Wall Street Journal, Matthew J. Dowd writes “The evolution of the 2016 election has shown that the two major parties are going to have to deal with the disruption independents are forcing on the system. This cycle is likely to be an accelerator for the success of independents locally and at the state level – developments that can only be good for our democracy.”
Although the US is theoretically a multi-party system, the country has been operating as a two-party system since the Civil War. Is that kind of system truly tearing America apart?
List of Advantages of a Two Party System
- Political information is much easier to understand.
Although a two-party system limits the options of voters, it allows parties to present information in a convenient manner. Each party is able to represent their own broad political philosophy. As such, voters can better understand the views of a party regarding certain issues.
- Balance is achieved because multiple interests and opinions are accommodated.
Each party is comprised of organized groups and individual voters who all have a broad range of interests. As such, a party needs to be able to accommodate these interests when making political decisions. Including voter’s interests also allows a party to receive continued support.
- Political stability is achieved.
Having only two parties doesn’t encourage sudden shifts in political trends which can lead to government instability. Only with political stability can economic growth be achieved.
With a two-party system, one political party gains a real majority in elections. This allows for stability as they have a common platform to adhere to. As a result, there is decisiveness in government.
Then again, trends in the US show that having a two-party system is actually disruptive. Democrats and Republicans are constantly bickering and they don’t trust each other.
- Governing them is much simpler.
Two-party systems have been preferred over multi-party systems because they are not difficult to govern. This kind of system also discourages radical minor parties and as such, the results are less unruliness and more harmony.
Multi-party systems have resulted in hung parliaments in the past. One particular example is Italy which, since 2000, has had divisive politics.
- There are fewer voting choices.\
Although some would consider this a disadvantage as having only two options is limiting, there are some who agree that being given two choices helps voters make a much better decision.
Disadvantages of a Two Party System
- It brings government to a standstill.
One only needs to look at America right now to see how the two-party system is failing. Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on certain issues and as such, can’t discuss anything rationally. There are no clear solutions to problems and rather than help each other, parties decide to fight one another.
America is facing a lot of issues right now, both complex and controversial. Yet, there seems that there aren’t much solutions being thrown out there to get these issues fixed. The divide between Democrats and Republicans is so great that they can’t even stay in one room to solve issues to help their country.
- It offers limited options.
Limited options when it comes to voting is seen as an advantage because the less options there are to choose from, the less confusing making a choice would be. However, having only two parties to pick from is also a challenge because it is impossible for one party to tackle all the interests of a particular segment of voters. Voters are individuals who have varied interests and will most likely disagree with one or more points a political party is campaigning for.
- It promotes corruption.
Politics is always linked with corruption no matter where you are in the world. Practices like patronage may be frowned upon but it’s a common sight in the political sphere. Even the awarding of government contracts to party insiders is a practice rampant in two-party systems.
Parties have also faced criticism particularly when it comes to funding. For instance, big contributors would want something in return for having gave a large portion of their fortune to a campaign. Let’s say that candidate won the election; that particular candidate might find it difficult to say no to a contributor requesting for something seeing as they partly owe their election to them.
- It ignores alternative voices.
Two-party systems that want to stay united usually ignore alternative options, especially radical ones. In a multi-party system, debate and diverse views are encouraged because coalitions are formed by stronger and weaker parties in order to achieve dominance. Third parties, on the other hand, are often ignored in two-party systems because of the winner-take-all voting mechanism where a losing candidate loses relevance even if they had a significant following.
Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 545 Spring 2021
Q.No.5 What are the important features of political change? How can a traditional political system be encouraged towards change? Elaborate with convincing arguments.
Students of political systems grapple with a subject matter that is today in constant flux. They must deal not only with the major processes of growth, decay, and breakdown but also with a ceaseless ferment of adaptation and adjustment. The magnitude and variety of the changes that occurred in the world’s political systems beginning in the early 20th century suggest the dimensions of the problem. Great empires disintegrated; nation-states emerged, flourished briefly, and then vanished; world wars twice transformed the international system; new ideologies swept the world and shook established groups from power; all but a few countries experienced at least one revolution and many countries two or more; domestic politics in every system were contorted by social strife and economic crisis; and everywhere the nature of political life was changed by novel forms of political activity, new means of mass communication, the enlargement of popular participation in politics, the rise of new political issues, the extension of the scope of governmental activity, the threat of nuclear war, and innumerable other social, economic, and technical developments.
Although it is possible to identify a number of factors that obviously have a great deal to do with contemporary development and change in the world’s political systems—industrialization, population growth, the “revolution of rising expectations” in the less developed countries, and international tensions—there is no agreed theory to explain the causes of political change. Some social scientists have followed Aristotle’s view that political instability is generally the result of a situation in which the distribution of wealth fails to correspond with the distribution of political power and have echoed his conclusion that the most stable type of political system is one based on a large middle class. Others have adopted Marxist theories of economic determinism that view all political change as the result of changes in the mode of production. Still others have focused on governing elites and their composition and have seen in the alienation of the elite from the mass the prime cause of revolutions and other forms of violent political change.
In the discussion that follows, a distinction is drawn between unstable and stable political systems, and an attempt is made to suggest ways of understanding the processes of political development and change. In modern times the great majority of the world’s political systems have experienced one form or another of internal warfare leading to violent collapse of the governments in power. Certain crisis situations seem to increase the likelihood of this kind of breakdown. Wars and, more particularly, national military defeats have been decisive in prompting many revolutions. The Paris Commune of 1871, the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, Hitler’s overthrow of the Weimar Constitution in Germany, and the revolutions in China all occurred in the aftermath of national military disasters. Many factors in such a situation, including the cheapening of human life, the dislocation of population, the ready availability of arms, the disintegration of authority, the discrediting of the national leadership, material scarcities, and a sense of wounded national pride, contribute to the creation of an atmosphere in which radical political change and violent mass action are acceptable to large numbers of people. Economic crises are another common stimulus to revolutionary outbreaks, for they produce not only the obvious pressures of material scarcity and deprivation but also a threat to the individual’s social position, a sense of insecurity and uncertainty as to the future, and an aggravation of the relationships among social classes. A severe national economic crisis works, in much the same way as a military disaster, to discredit the existent leadership and the present regime. Another triggering factor is the outbreak of revolutions in other political systems. Revolutions have a tendency to spread: the Spanish Revolution of 1820 had repercussions in Naples, Portugal, and Piedmont; the French Revolution of July 1830 provoked similar outbreaks in Poland and Belgium; the Russian Revolution of 1917 was followed by a dozen other revolutions; and the colonial liberation movements in Africa, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere after World War II appear to have involved a similar chain reaction.
Crisis situations test the stability of political systems in extremely revealing ways, for they place extraordinary demands on the political leadership and the structure and processes of the system. Since the quality of the political leadership is often decisive, those systems that provide methods of selecting able leaders and replacing them possess important advantages. Although leadership ability is not guaranteed by any method of selection, it is more likely to be found where there is free competition for leadership positions. The availability of established methods of replacing leaders is equally, if not more, important, for the result of crises is often to disgrace the leaders in power, and, if they cannot be replaced easily, their continued incumbency may discredit the whole regime. The stamina and resolve of the ruling elite are also important. It is often said that a united elite, firmly believing in the justice of its own cause and determined to employ every measure to maintain its power, will not be overthrown. Most revolutions have gotten under way not when the oppression was greatest but only after the government had lost confidence in its own cause.
Other conditions of the survival of political systems relate to the effectiveness of the structures and processes of government in meeting the demands placed on them. Political systems suffer violent breakdown when channels of communication fail to function effectively, when institutional structures and processes fail to resolve conflicts among demands and to implement acceptable policies, and when the system ceases to be viewed as responsive by the individual and groups making demands on it. Usually, a system has failed over a period of some time to satisfy persistent and widespread demands; then, exposed to the additional strains of a crisis situation, it is unable to maintain itself. Revolutions and other forms of violent collapse are thus rarely sudden catastrophes but rather the result of a process of considerable duration that comes to its climax when the system is most vulnerable.
Unstable political systems are those that prove vulnerable to crisis pressures and that break down into various forms of internal warfare. The fundamental causes of such failures appear to be the lack of a widespread sense of the legitimacy of state authority and the absence of some general agreement on appropriate forms of political action. Governments suffer their gravest handicap when they must govern without consent or when the legitimacy of the regime is widely questioned. This is often the case in systems that have experienced prolonged civil war, that are torn by tensions among different national or ethnic groups, or in which there are divisions along sharply drawn ideological or class lines. The problem is often most acute where there is a pretender to the throne, a government in exile, a neighbouring state sympathetic to a rebel cause, or some other focus for the loyalty of dissidents. To some degree, also, the problem of legitimacy confronts all newly established regimes. Many of the postcolonial countries of Africa and Asia, for example, found it a source of great difficulty. Often they emulated the form of Western institutions but failed to achieve their spirit: borrowing eclectically from Western political philosophies and systems of law, they created constitutional frameworks and institutional structures that lacked meaning to their citizens and that failed to generate loyalty or a sense that government exercises rightful powers.
Closely related to the problem of legitimacy as a cause of the breakdown of political systems is the absence of a fundamental consensus on what is appropriate political behaviour. A regime is fortunate if there are well-established, open channels of political action and settled procedures for resolving grievances. Although the importance of such “rules of the game” is that they allow change to occur in mainly peaceful ways, stable political systems often show surprising tolerance for potentially violent forms of political behaviour, such as strikes, boycotts, and mass demonstrations. Such forms of political behaviour are not permitted in systems where there are no agreed limits to the role of violence and where there is a high risk that violence may escalate to the point of actual warfare. If the government cannot count upon widespread support for peaceful political procedures, it must restrict many kinds of political action. Such restriction, of course, inhibits still more the development of open methods of citizen participation in politics and adds to tension between the government and the people.
The simplest definition of a stable political system is one that survives through crises without internal warfare. Several types of political systems have done so, including despotic monarchies, militarist regimes, and other authoritarian and totalitarian systems. After 1868, in the period of the restoration regime under the Meiji emperor, Japan succeeded, without major political breakdowns, in building an industrial state and developing commercial structures that transformed traditional Japanese society. This achievement was based on the development of centralized patterns of political control and the growth of a type of authoritarianism involving the rule of a military elite. Similarly, some of the totalitarian regimes of the contemporary world have demonstrated an impressive capability for survival. The key to their success is their ability to control social development, to manage and prevent change, and to bring under governmental direction all the forces that may result in innovations that are threatening to the system.
In some systems, survival does not depend on the detailed management of the society or close governmental control over social processes but is the result of sensitive political response to the forces of change, of flexible adjustment of the structures of the system to meet the pressures of innovation, and of open political processes that allow gradual and orderly development. Much of the Western democratic world has achieved peaceful progress in this way, despite new political philosophies, population increases, industrial and technological innovations, and many other social and economic stresses.
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