This book aims to persuade. Its primary purpose is to find means of understanding the present state of political societies in the world. 'A sociologist contributes most when he reports what he observes in such a fashion that his account rings true to insiders, but also in such a fashion that they themselves would not have written it.' 1 In order to do this within manageable and readable proportions, I have concentrated on one particularly political process which is not only central to all political activity, but makes political change comprehensible as something other than a series of set pieces or tableaux. 2 For this one needs to focus on process-a process which operates universally in all societies at any time. I hope that the choice of political mobilization as the central process in question will not only concentrate attention on a particularly crucial aspect of social life, but also provide a key to the comparative study of societies which others may find useful for empirical studies in the future.
The great advantage of selecting political mobilization is that it does justice to the need to treat developed and developing countries as sui generis in so far as their priorities and socio-economic requirements are concerned. This is an essential condition in the selection of any comparative process for study. The approach adopted here tries to show the particular values and goals to which social structures are related in different societies, and to discuss the instrumental utility of these structures in relation to such values and goals. The terms 'developed' and 'developing' are relative enough to be adopted as initial categories representing two different types of society. There is____________________