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TitleLapalombara e Weiner.pdf
Tags Public Sphere Political Parties Communism Sociological Theories
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Chapter 1

POLITICAL PARTIES AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

Political parties are an intriguing phenomenon. They intrigue the interests of the people in

organizing political parties (Duverger, 1964: 155; Lenin, 1904: 74), in enhancing political

participation (Disraeli, quoted by Cline, 1939: 509-512; Blake, 1966: 247-248;

Conancher, J. B. 1971), in decision making (Crotty, 1970: 294), in striving to acquire

power (Neumann, 1955: 403), in promoting national interest (Burke, quoted in Langford,

Paul 1981), in protecting their rights (Madison, see Morgan, 1981:613-625) and in

contributing their due share in the process of political development (LaPalombara and

Weiner, 1972: 399-438). The research on parties includes abundant writings whose

rationale lies primarily in a researcher’s desire to approach the study of parties from a

distinctive or simply better perspective than that of the other researchers. Like Disraeli

(Op.Cit.), viewed ‘party as an organized opinion’. Similarly, Benjamin Constant (see

Howard, 1980:10-20) wrote that ‘a party is a group of men professing same political

doctrine’. Maclver (1947: 298) defines a political party as: “an association organized in

support of some principle of policy which by constitutional means it endeavors to make

the determinant of government”. Lord Bryce (1921: 99) defines political parties as:

“organized bodies with voluntary membership, their concerted energy being employed in

the pursuit of political power”. Weber (1904-1905; trans. 1947: 31) defines political party

as: “a voluntary organization of propaganda and agitation, seeking to acquire power in

order to procure chances for its active militant adherents to realize objectives, aims or

personal advantages or both”. Edmund Burke (1790:16) thought of a party as a group of

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men who had agreed upon a principle by which the national interest might be served.

Leon D. Epstein (1967: 127) says: “any group, however loosely organized, seeking to

elect governmental officeholders under a given label”. According to Leacock (1913: 31-

40), “By party we mean more or less an organised group of citizens who act together as a

political unit. They share or profess to share the same opinion on public questions and by

exercising their voting power towards a common end, seek to obtain the control of the

government”. Gettel (2004:274) states: “ A political party consists of a group of citizens

more or less organized who act as a political unit and who by the use of their voting

power aim to control the government and carry out their general policies” Gettel and

Dnuuing, 2004: 274-290). To Gilchrist (2000: 640), “A political party may thus be

defined as an organized group of citizens who prefer to share the same political views

and who by acting as a political unit try to control the government”.



Variety of definitions has driven the task to a contradiction: that it seems difficult

to present a universally acceptable definition or theory of parties; yet it is essential too.

This dichotomy begins with the view of party organization as a “Stratarchy”. An Italian

sociologist Robert Michels (1959: iii-ix) offered his “iron law of oligarchy”— that within

any larger organization, there is a tendency to devolve in to the hands of a small,

cohesive, tight-knit elite for the decision making. Michels argues that any large

organization is diarchical and is necessarily led by a small number of individuals who can

not be responsible to the rank-and-file membership, in any meaningful and effective way.

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3). Political Development as Political Modernisation

4). Political Development as the Operation of a Nation State

5). Political Development as Administrative and Legal Development

6). Political Development as Mass Mobilization and Participation

7). Political Development as the Building of Democracy

8). Political Development as Stability and Orderly Change

9). Political Development as Mobilization and Power

10). Political Development as One Aspect of a Multi-Dimensional Process of
Social Change.



Pye has dealt with the matter at length and has tried to cover the maximum

aspects of the issue, but have declared them all insufficient to develop or evolve a theory

of political development. The first theory that is “Political Development as the Political

Prerequisite of Economic Development” was primarily based on the problem of

economic development and their transformation towards self-sustainability. Buchanan

and Ellis (1955), Baran (1957), Hirschman (1958), Higgins (1959), and Ward (1962), has

applied this perspective on the study of political development. Pye (Op.Cit.: 33-34),

however has declared this view of political development essentially negative. Basically,

the pattern of development was naturally varying with the variation of nature, problems

or situation of different societies. Secondly, economies manifestly change more slowly

than political arrangements. Certain societies have even experienced substantial political

change without any experience of industrial development or generous economic growth

(Ibid: 34).

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The next view of “Political Development as the Politics Typical of Industrial

Societies” is also closely tied to economic considerations. It involves the politics of

already industrialized and highly advanced economies. In this perspective the industrial

societies, whether politically developed or not, set certain standards of political behaviour

and performance. These standards constitute the stage for political development as a

model for all the other societies to follow. Rostow (1952; 1960), has emphasized the

relationship between the process and stages of economic growth and the patterns of

political activity. The cyclical pattern of development of this approach, quite like the

previous one, becomes the dearth of this approach too. So, to tie political development

firmly to economic activity would be to overlook much that is of vivid importance in the

developing countries.



The view of “Political Development as Political Modernisation”, is basically the

extension of the previous two approaches. Industrial nations lay the fashions and set the

patterns in the phases of economic and social life. Consequently, many people expect the

same to be applicable in the political sphere as well. Cultural relativists like Lipset

(1959), Coleman (1960), and Deutsch (1961), however challenge the validity of

identifying the industrial experiences as the contemporary and universal standards for all

the societies.

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1.6 METHODOLOGY

The authenticity of the present research rests on the scientific method, it follows. The

researcher has observed competing approaches to social science research based on

different philosophical assumptions about the purpose of science and the nature of social

reality. The three established alternative ideal-type competing approaches to social

science are Positivism, Interpretive Social Science, and Critical Social Science (Benton,

1977; Blaikie, 1993). Each approach is associated with different traditions in the social

theory and diverse research techniques. This linkage among the broad approaches to

social science, social theory, and research techniques is basically not stringent (Bredo and

Feinberg, 1982). These approaches are indeed similar to a research programme or the

scientific paradigm (Lloyd, 1986). A paradigm is an idea introduced by the philosopher

of science Thomas Kuhn (1970). It stands for the basic orientation to theory and research.

A scientific paradigm is a whole system of thinking. It includes basic assumptions, the

principle questions to be addressed, and the research techniques to be used (Eckberg and

Hill, 1979: 937-947; Masterman, 1970: 59-90). The positivist approach is used in the

present study to answer the basic questions of the present research. Richard Miller

(1987:4) observed that “Positivism is the most common philosophical outlook on

science”. Though positivism is broadly defined as an approach of the natural science,

positivist social science however is also widely prevalent.

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Positivism is associated with many social theories. Its best linkage is nevertheless

to the framework of structural-functional theory. As the same framework of structural

functionalism is used by Huntington (1977), so the present research done in the

Huntington’s framework has applied the very same framework of structural

functionalism. Positivist researchers prefer precise quantitative data and often use

experiments and statistics. They seek rigorous exact measures and objective analyses by

testing hypotheses and carefully analysing numbers from the measures (Keat and Urry,

1975: 25). Following the same footprints the present research is relying mainly on the

quantitative type of data and is using election statistics for an objective analysis of the

participation of voters and the political parties in the political system of Punjab.

Furthermore positivism sees social science as an organised method for combining

deductive logic with precise empirical observations of individual behaviour in order to

discover and confirm a set of probabilistic causal laws that can be used to predict general

patterns of human activity (Longino, 1990: 62-82). As per the nature of the present

research, the deductive logic of enquiry is used for an empirical observation of the

political behaviour of the society determining the universe of the study. The same

criterion is applied on the behaviour of the political parties under observation.

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