Political Mobilization: A Sociological Analysis of Methods and Concepts

By J. P. Nettl | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT

The Structure and Process of
Mobilization in
Developing Countries

SUMMARY

In this chapter the processes of mobilization in developing countries are examined in greater detail and a classification is worked out according to which such processes of mobilization may be structurally distinguished. First we have party-based mobilization, in which the structure of commitment and authority legitimation is based primarily on a single or predominant party. Secondly and alternatively, there is the somewhat more diffuse process of mobilizing on the basis of national-constitutional integration. This is a broader framework based frequently on the charismatic arbitrage between institutions by a leader, whose charisma is routinized and dispersed in favour of the newly created offices of state, the military, the bureaucracy, etc., all within the context of national integration and identity. The bases of commitment to the nation—necessarily nations trouvées in the absence of a long historical period of national integration-are examined in some detail in terms of commitment resulting from mobilized support against designated opponents. Imperialism is taken as an example of such a mobilizing referent.

A special variant of this type of mobilization, and the process par excellence by which commitment and support are mobilized, is the development plan. The process and structures of planning are analysed in some detail in accordance with their political and social rather than their economic functions, the plan being viewed under various headings such as means of ideological control, means of socio-political communication, symbol of legitimacy and means of role recruitment. Though the analysis is primarily concerned here with developing countries, glimpses of differences from the situation in developed countries are pointed up.

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