Political Mobilization: A Sociological Analysis of Methods and Concepts

By J. P. Nettl | Go to book overview

Conclusion

I. The Conceptual Framework

a. The Variables

Four variables have emerged from the foregoing discussion for classifying political subsystems, structures and processes. Though the differences between developed and developing societies are categorical and go beyond problems of scale, amount or sophistication, the variables evolved here are intended to apply to both types of society, though not necessarily with equal sharpness of definition in each case.

1. The first is the political culture pattern-variable constitutional/ elitist. This emphasizes the relevance of the institutional structure in the polity as against the primacy of socio-political elites. The main criteria are the location, saliency and role of constitutional or elite leadership, the differentiation or diffuseness of roles-indeed the differentiation or diffuseness of the political subsystem as a whole. Finally, the relationship between political and social life as a whole, seen in terms of density and range of the political subsystem as well as congruence and incongruence, is relevant to the characterization of a political subsystem in accordance with this variable.

2. The second variable relates more narrowly to the function of political or goal-attainment structures and processes and has been termed interest articulation/authority legitimation. These two functions are viewed as imperatives for the political subsystem. The main object of this variable is to break down the problem of representation into its two basic components: representation of interests and means of according legitimacy. The criteria here are the premises as well as the functions of political action, particularly with regard to electoral behaviour and the role of the elected. The discussion has concentrated mainly on mobilization structures in the context of this functional variable, and the classification of structures and processes

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