Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII

Patterns of Response: The Major Types
of Modern Regime and Their
Sociological Frameworks

INTRODUCTION
TO THE READINGS

In this chapter we present several articles dealing with the actual institutional responses to the general problems of modernization that were analyzed in the preceding sections. These patterns of response differed greatly among various modern and modernizing regimes, and there exists no fully adequate typology of such regimes.

In the following excerpts we shall follow the usual distinctions, classifying these regimes as pluralistic, authoritarian, totalitarian, and those regimes of the New States that developed in the later stages of modernization, emerging after World War II. All these regimes, in spite of their differences, have much in common with one another.

The first section presents articles dealing with various aspects of the pluralistic regimes. These regimes—characterized by a combination of strong centers and a large scope of political freedom and considered capable of the absorption of sustained growth—emerged mainly in the states that were modernized during the first phase of modernization; that is, in western Europe and in the United States. This type continues to emerge, to some degree, in some posttotalitarian states, such as Germany and Japan; but this development is due to external influence.

The first three articles in the first section deal with various aspects of the most crucial concern of these types of regimes—the development of dissent within them and their ability to absorb dissent. The excerpts from Lipset's Political Man analyze the reasons for the development of leftist and rightist orientations among intellectuals. Allardt's article analyzes both the roots of radicalism in Finland and the far‐ reaching capacity of the Finnish political system to absorb and change the pluralistic regime. It also shows how the Communist party with its totalitarian orientation was well integrated into the pluralistic political framework. Michels' classic essay on "The Origins of Anti-Capitalist Mass Spirit" deals with some major issues of protest that develop in the various stages of modernization and industrialization. Alford's conclusions from his research data on voting behavior in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States show that social polarization endangers the pluralistic regime.

The other articles in this section provide us with a series of analyses of the changing constellations of the characteristics of pluralistic regimes. The passages from Lindsay's The Modern Democratic State analyze the problems of securing an efficient control by the community over the government in an industrialized country with a high degree of professional and technical differentiation. Medina Echavarria analyzes the varying structural patterns in different types of democratic regimes, with special emphasis on the differences in the conditions between the early stages and later stages of modernization in European countries on the one hand and

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