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Political Behaviour Note

Political Behaviour Note

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POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR (POLSC 301) COURSE OUTLINE  Meaning and Emergence of Political Behaviour  Scope of Political Behaviour  Political

Culture  Political Socialization  Political Participation  Micro-Political Analysis The Elite Theory The Group Theory Relative Deprivation Theory The Power Theory Class and Class Struggle (Class Analysis)

 Public Opinions and Political Communication  Political Parties and Voting Behaviour  Political Corruptions and Political Violence  Identity politics (Religion, Ethnicity and Race)  Social Movement and Revolution MEANING AND EMERGENCE OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR Every political system is constituted by static and mobile structure. The static structures perform the role of maintenance of law and order and translation of policy decisions into actions. Examples of static structures are the courts, civil service, and the police as an institution. The roles performed by these static structures are essentially routinized roles for the maintenance of law and order. However, under conditions of threats to the political system, these structures can by themselves originate incidental changes. On the other hand, the mobile element or structures refer more specifically to the lessstructured and less-framed human processes in the political system, which work by self-automated dynamism that propels change in the political system. That is to say, these activities singly or collectively go by the designation of political or better still, political behaviour. 1

In the past, the static categories were accorded primacy by political scientists but the mobile (human element) were sufficiently studied, however the more modern tendency is to highlight the identity and importance of the dynamic processes. It is in fact, the dynamic combination and interaction of these features (human activities in the political system) that we here designate by the generic name – political behaviour that is the behaviour that wheels the machinery of governance. MEANING OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR Political behaviour refers to the behaviour of man in a social system that gives him shelter, protection configured in terms of power. It is not all human behaviour that could be termed political. Political behaviour is that pattern of behaviour, which relates to power in order to increase power, to protect power, to modify power or to use power in advancing the individual or the collectivity from any already given power situation. This pattern of behaviour constitutes the universal aims and It is however important to note that political objectives of the political man.

behaviour extends far beyond governmental behaviour, which connotes the machinery of lawmaking (policies). The behaviour of individuals such as tribal organization or anomic, all constitute political behaviours. However, one thing that has persisted in all political system is the vital role, which human behaviour plays in the development and operations of political system. In fact, whatever the type of political system that is adopted by the people or imposed on them, the impact of human behaviour on the system has made far-reaching and sometimes fundamental changes on the system generally. A living political system is a change in system, structures, institutions, principles and manifestoes, etc. on their own cannot lead to change. It is the behaviour of the citizens that account for so much of the inevitable change. These citizens are leaders, followers, anarchists, terrorists, the masses, etc. they also include groups like human right organizations, anomic and institutional organizations, etc. In fact, when we weigh human and non-human on a scale, man behaviour is heavier than non-human element in the shaping of political system and it is ultimately the chief decisive factor in the political system. These human elements include both individual and group behaviour. Individuals bring in their character and their aggregate demonstrate their own characteristic. The two together or in institution, influence the nature of political system in any given universe. Therefore, in the study of politics we ask: what impact 2

can the human individual make on the political system? How can individual and groups interact in a political system. SCOPE OF POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR There are two senses in which scholars understand political behaviour 1. Some regard it as a distinct and specific area of study within the noble discipline of political science and such scholars are Lipset, Blumer, Harold Lasswell, Wallas, Robert Lein, etc. political environment. study in political science. 2. Some regard it as simply as an approach to the study of political science, in other words, it is a type of mental orientation or methodology, which conditions the instinctual advocates to the study of political science. This method of studying political science started at about 20th century. At the inception of the 20th century, most political scientist particularly from America became dissatisfied with the traditional, legalistic, constitutional, philosophical and historical approaches to the study of politics. Consequently, a new style of enquiry emerged in the form of behavioural approach. The behavioural approach to the study of political science may be described as the application of scientific method to the understanding and analysis of political phenomenon. The main focus of behavioural movement is the individuals and not the institutions so far as the analysis of political events are concerned. Essentially, behaviourism focuses on the behaviour of the individual as a political actor within an interest group, a political party or a legislative body. It advocates the observation of political behaviour underlying particular institutional – legal arrangement and the analysis. In fact, the technique of opinions of psychological analysis and small group especially has reached significant attention from behavioralist in political science empirical research. They argued that the political behaviour of man like every other behaviour of man emanated from his The origin and mode and dynamics of such interacting and initiative are vast enough to constitute a distinct area of


ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL BEHVIOURAL APPROACH The behavioural approach in the field of political science owes its origin to the intellectual development in philosophy, sociology and psychology, particularly of note is the writing of Pavlor in Russia and John B. Watson in USA, who contributed extensively on behavioural psychology and the works in the field of philosophy by logical positivists have also exerted considerable influence in the use of behavioural approach became very prominent and was used to enhance understanding in the investigation of voting behaviour, political behaviour, party identification and attitudes, etc. Some of the prominent writers in the field include Graham Wallas of England and Arthur Bentley of the United States. Notwithstanding the fact that several European scholars, psychologists, philosophers and social scientists have significant contributions in the field of behaviouralism, its revolution received patronage mainly from the American political scientists. Remarkably, Charles E. Merriam of the Chicago University takes the credit as the intellectual father of this movement. In collaboration with other political scientist, he developed methods of research, derived from the methodology of psychology, sociology and mathematics as a result of this development, a good number of other European scholars shifted to the United States in the 1920s. More so, in the years preceding the Second World War, the movement joined memorandum and began to use the quantitative data and statistical tables as expatiated by Stuart Rice and Harold Gosnell. In fact, behavioural movement affected virtually every scholarly work of the time particularly the writings of Harold Lasswell, Gabriel Almond, Robert Dahl, David Easton and Karl Deustch. All these scholars and many more contributed immensely to the behavioural revolution. CONCEPTUALIZATION ISSUE According to Robert A. Dahl, behaviorism is a protest movement within the discipline of political science of some scholars who are dissatisfied with the meager achievement of conventional political science particularly through historical, philosophical and the descriptive-institutional approach. He also added that either additional methods and approaches existed or could be developed that would help political science with empirical propositions and theories of a systematic sort tested by closer, more direct and more rigorously controlled observations of political events. 4

For him therefore. the movement aims at bringing political studies into closer affiliation with theories. Truman. That is. CHARACTERISTICS OF BEHAVIOURISM According to David Easton. which are the hypothesis and consequently a rigorous ordering of evidence. Truman argues that political behaviour refers to those actions and interactions of men and group. David Easton stated that behavioral research seeks to elevate the actual human beings to the centre-ofattention. Collaborating Easton.Again. By systematic research we mean a precise problem statement. findings and outlook with other social sciences like psychology. Meanwhile Robert Dahl observes that the aim of behaviourism is to study all the phenomenon of government in terms of observed and observable behaviour of men. These assumptions are:         Regularities Verification Techniques Quantification Values Systematization Pure Science. the basic assumption of behaviourism would be located in what he calls the intellectual foundations of political behaviour. the ultimate aim of the student of political process. observable or verifiable evidence or indices. methods. sociology. For him. which are involved in the process of governing others. scientific research. which fail to give a scientific character to the study of political science. It is an attempt to make the empirical equipment of political science more scientific. anthropology and economics. and Integration These modern methods have to do with the methodology of 5 . it is an attempt to improve the understanding of politics through modern methods. This must be guided and explained with the help of an adequate theory essentially. More so. the behavioural approach to the study of politics must be systematic and also it must place primary emphasis upon empirical methods. David B. Again. for David B. traditionalists have placed so much emphasis on institutions.

Quantification and measurement is the essential ingredient that determines the scientific nature of data. Regularities Behaviouralists argue that there are certain discernable uniformities in political behaviour. etc. facts are usually separated from values. will make political science a truly scientific discipline with explanatory and predictive values B. This is not so with traditionalist that lay emphasis on mere description of political events. the validity of all propositions depends on their capacity to be tested. this assertion is anchored on the premise that human behaviour is more or less similar in certain respects under given conditions. Values In behavioural approach. it must consist of propositions that have been subjected to empirical investigation. Techniques A distinguishing feature of behaviourism is its emphasis on the correct techniques for acquiring and interpreting data. Essentially therefore.A. Verification It is the contention of the behaviouralist that for knowledge to be valid. E. D. This helps to verify the conclusion or impression of the researcher. which can be expressed in generalization of theories. Quantification This expresses the importance of not only generating data but also of measuring and quantifying same. They must be studied separately or even in combination but should not be mixed up with one another. In order to explain and predict political phenomenon. reliable and comparative data. This process will facilitate to explain and predict the political phenomena and in the ultimate analysis. C. This includes multi-varied samples of a mathematical model and simulation. One of the major points of disagreement between the 6 . To be sure. the task of the researcher is to engage himself to finding out the existence of regularities. The specific research tools adopted by behaviouralists ensure valid. There should be a clear-cut line of distinction between ethical evaluation and empirical explanation.

F. Hence. Kirk-Patrick asserts that there are four (4) characteristics of behaviouralism that are of utmost importance: • • • • Behavioural movement is a rejection of political institutions as the basic conceptual units and a substitution of the individual and group behaviour. Research should be perfectly verifiable by evidence. measurements and quantitative technique It seeks to develop systematic empirical theory. Pure Science The pure scientific nature of behavioural approach is that theory and its application are part of the scientific endeavor. G. Systematization In bahavioualist approach. research should be of pure type. E. explanation and prediction instead of being speculative. Integration The behaviouralist argues for the use of interdisciplinary approach. Meanwhile. As one of the social sciences. Scientific enquiry in order to be objective must be value-free. It is an emphasis on the unity of social sciences. 7 . That is to say that research must be theory-oriented and theory-directed. political science should be integrated with other social sciences in order to enhance understanding. hence an increased willingness to cross-disciplinary lines It lays more emphasis on precisions. Political science is a scientific study of politics in its functional aspect carried through empirical methods and therefore has nothing to do with morals or ethical question. coherent and orderly body of knowledge. The understanding and explanation of political behaviour.behaviouralist and the traditionalist is on the question of value-neutrality. provides the basis for efforts to utilize such knowledge in the solution of urgent political problems of society. Theory should consist of analysis. research will be systematic. H. logically precedes and in the ultimate analysis. The theory and research should form part of a closely interrelated.

vi. integrity and autonomy of political science. They also argue that political phenomena are the consequences of interplay of a number of variables and historical contingencies as a result. They argue that only trivial question can be put into measurement. This emanates from the fact that human beings behave differently under similar circumstances and are also motivated by quite different reasons. 8 . the traditionalists point that it is very difficult to study human behaviour either as individual or group with objectivity which is a necessary condition in the acquisition of scientific knowledge. More so. The value-mentality position has been considered by traditionalists as untenable. efforts for a rigid generalization for the discovery of the laws of human behaviour are seriously impaired. Also. so much emphasis on inter-dependence of political phenomena and other aspects of the individual’s behaviour may prove dangerous in the sense that it would result in an undesirable loss of identity. The researcher undoubtedly has value-preferences that inevitably creep into research. self-consciousness about methodology carried too far may act as an impediment in the pursuit of knowledge iv. The observability of political phenomenon is quite limited hence. Essentially. ii. Again. Most of the phenomena in the field of politics are by nature unquantifiable and immeasurable v. the craze for a pure science of politics by the behaviorialists has led to the following: i. the traditionalists argue that data in social sciences can never be objective. one has to go beyond observable behaviour iii. The technique should not be exalted at the cost of content. For the traditionalists. the traditionalist contain that quantification of political phenomenon is an unattainable goal. Political phenomena cannot be subjected to any rigorous study because of its very nature. For them.WEAKNESS OF BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH The main objections of behavioural movements are raised by the traditionalists. for a comprehensive understanding of political phenomenon.

in the light of the general systems approach. As a result of the patronage received by the approach from leading American political scientist. The behaviouralist also made use of new approaches like decision-making approach. This development manifest broadly in the field of: • • • • Content Analysis Case Study Analysis Interviewing/Observation Statistics More so. Essentially. the behaviouralist differs from the traditional approach in its nature. EVALUATION Generally speaking. He alleged that the behaviouralist in their attempt to make their analysis value-free. Le Strauss appears to have unleashed an unmitigated criticism and attack on the behavioural movement. major framework of political enquiry like structural-functionalism and input-output analysis has been developed.” In addition. a number of new approaches in the field of political science have been developed. We do question however. As a result. reject all grounds for evaluation and treat all values as equal. it has its own contribution. the achievement of the movement can be seen in the theory building and techniques of research.As a corollary of the above criticism. There were in fact remarkable achievement in the development and refinement of the tools and techniques of research as a result of the behavioural movement. Its focus was on the use of 9 . methods and conceptual phrase of reference. despite all the criticism leveled against the behavioral movement. He indeed appears to be the most vehement critic of the behavioural movement. whether the behavioural approach is adequate in itself for an understanding of politics. Sibley stated that “we are not questioning the propositions that behaviourism in its several forms has an important contribution to make in the study of political phenomenon. which is very significant in the field of research in political science. Thus. games theory and field models. He observed that behavourism or scientific positivism has introduced parochialism into political science. it has led to the willingness among political scientists to seek new methods and theories of enquiry from other social sciences. goals. etc.

It attempts to focus on the diffusion of western technology and democratic norms and values. the non-western world though has not successfully developed an industrial technology and an efficient bureaucracy. etc. it influences the society and is also influenced by the society. revised and improved through political education and political socialization. However. But very significant is that political culture of every society is determined by the economic foundation of that society. it is the political way of life of a people. the nation’s 10 . empirical methods of enquiry. As a result. Meanwhile. In all the imaginations of the world. the ultimate purpose of the movement was to formulate an empirical theory of politics that constitute reliable knowledge. the believe that the ordinary man is politically relevant and ought to be an active participant in the political system is widespread particularly during the independence struggle era. beliefs. values. yet it desires these institutions and has some understanding of them. orientations. As political culture develops. The main objective of the behavioural movement was to describe political phenomena realistically and to predict things (events). Essentially. Accordingly. POLITICAL CULTURE The study of political culture essentially is the study of political culture of democracy and of the social structures and processes that sustain it. of the members of a political community towards politics. the diffusion of western democratic norms and values. a democratic form of political participation system requires a political culture that is consistent with it. political culture could be conceptualized as the basic attitudes. In fact. Almond and Weber argue that physical goods and their modes of production seem to present the least difficulty in diffusion. This is because. which is a product of many years of political interactions. etc. It laid emphasis on the mutual interdependence of theory and research. The behaviouralist favours the use of scientific method in making accurate statement about political phenomenon. It is apparent that this aspect of Western Culture is diffusing rapidly along with the technology upon which they depend. transferred from one generation to another and is maintained. appears to encounter serious problems that are aspects of diffusion of political culture that is discernable is the political culture of participation. in fact.scientific methods or better still.

According to Lucian Pye. It is the pattern of distribution of orientations. By orientation therefore we refer to the internalized aspects of objects and their relationships. its roles and the incumbent of these roles. Almond argues that every political system is embedded in a particular pattern of orientations to the political actions. Evaluative Orientation This concerns the judgement and opinions about political objects that typically involves the combination of value-standards and criteria with information and feelings. expressive symbols and values. That is to say. its roles. it is the manifestation of an aggregate form of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics. affective orientation and evaluative orientation. Affective Orientation This refers to the feeling about the political system. members of a political community have towards politics. For him therefore. which define the situation in which political action take place. This collective pattern of orientation determines and influences the structures of the political system and the political lives of the people. beliefs and sentiments which give order and meaning to the political process and which provides the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behaviour in the political system.political culture refers to the basic attitudes and orientations of its people towards the political system. Meanwhile in the classification of political culture the important thing is what objects individuals are oriented to. More so. Cognitive Orientation This is knowledge of and belief about the political system. orientation. It embraces both the political ideas and operating norms of a polity. political culture consist of the system of empirical beliefs. how they are oriented to them and whether these 11 These include: cognitive . Political culture also encompasses shared goals and commonly accepted rules. as enunciated by Sydney Weber. Accordingly. personnel and performance. its inputs and its outputs. political culture is a set of attitudes. it is the pattern of individual patterns and orientations towards politics among the members of a political system. Political culture is also rooted in public events and private experiences.

subject or participant. but orientation towards specifically input objects and toward the self as an active participant approaches zero. According to Coleman the political cultures of African tribal societies and autonomous local communities are parochial. and he may take pride in it and accord legitimacy or otherwise to the system as general object. More so. 2. System as general object 0 1 1 Input object 0 0 1 Output 0 1 1 Self as active participant 0 0 1 Parochial political culture Subject political culture Participant political culture Parochial Political Culture A political culture is parochial when the frequency of orientations to specialize political objects of the four kinds approaches zero. a parochial orientation also implies the comparative absence of expectations of change initiated by the political system. In fact. determines whether a nation’s political culture could be described as parochial. It is essentially a passive relationship. In fact.objects are predominantly involved in the upward flow of policy making or in the downward flow of policy enforcement. he is affectively oriented to it. 3 x 4 Matrix Types Objects Parochial Subject Participant 1. we arrive at the three major types of political culture. the parochial expects nothing from the political system Subject Political Culture This refers to high frequency of orientations towards a differentiated political system and towards the output aspect of the system. Participant Political Culture 12 . 3. Hence. the distinction that we draw from such classification. The citizen is aware of specialized governmental authority.

parochial orientations must adapt when new and more specialized orientations entered into the system. In the same vein. does not imply homogeneity or uniformity of political cultures. parochial-subject culture subject-participant culture parochial-participant culture 13 . to both the input and output aspects of the political system. 2. Individual members of the participant polity may be favourably or unfavourably oriented to the various classes of political object. Hence. 3. that is. both parochial and subject orientations change when participant orientations are acquired. They are oriented towards active participation notwithstanding that their feeling and evaluation of political role may vary from acceptance to rejection. Thus. In fact. Meanwhile. subject and participant orientations are combined or fused together within the individuals of the polity. a significant measure of difference between political cultures of different political systems could be related to the extent to which parochial.This is one in which the members of the society tends to be explicitly oriented to the system as a whole and to both the political and administrative structures and processes. it is necessary to state that adding participant orientations to subject and parochial orientations changes the earlier orientation. this fusion or mix could manifest as: 1. It is the degree of the fusion of political cultures that determines the level of development of a political culture of any political system. This however.

Accordingly. that is legally permitted.POLITICAL PARTICIPATION Political participation is a concept within the discipline of political science that has various meanings. N. Okolie noted that political participation expresses right to rule. association. meetings. As a matter of fact. popular political participation has been extolled as a source of vitality and creative energy as a defense against tyranny and as a means of enacting collective wisdom. However. (2007) defines political participation as all manner of involvement. Political participation has been defined as the overt and covert involvement of citizens in the politics of any given society. ranging from the daily services in government to attendance of political party rallies. Participation gives an opportunity to express one’s own point of view and possibly secure the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Accordingly. freedom of expression. voluntary participation is the activity which is designed by the actor himself to influence governmental decisionmaking. while manipulated participation refers to activity which is designed by someone other than the actor to influence governmental decision-making. Accordingly. within a political community that have some consequences on the political system. The term refers to the extent to which citizens get involved in and are affected by politics. It cuts across the various aspects of a nation’s political life. etc. overt or covert. Meanwhile. To be sure. It has also been characterized as a civic duty. stability and order could be promoted. This could be in form of political protest. political participation involves any act that has manifest or latent political undertone. voting and being voted for during elections. Huntington and Nelson categorized political participation as either voluntary (autonomous) or manipulated (mobilized). to the present age. and any other actions against the state that might not be legally permitted. right to free flow of communication. Agbo H. as a sign of political health and the best method of ensuring that one’s private interest are not neglected. 14 . in its restricted sense. legal and extra legal by individuals or groups. political participation refers to the activities of the incumbent of different roles and that of the citizenry during elections. direct or indirect. influence decision process and right to social justice. through participation in the affairs of the state. from the time of Aristotle. but more importantly and disordered and unrealistic government could equally be changed.

but also a behavioural trait of the individual. 3. Political socialization is the process by which political cultures are maintained and changed. inequality and poverty. 4. That is to say. The extent to which the individual receives political stimuli The individual’s personal characteristics The individual’s social characteristics The political setting or environment in which the individual finds himself More so. economic and cultural environment of the society in which the individual lives and by the interaction of the experiences and personality of the individual. create political apathy. electoral and ballot rigging traditions and long years of military rule or some of the factors that affect political participation and could in fact. It is usually determined by the social. it refers to the way society transmits its political 15 .Factors Influencing Political Participation The form and nature of political participation differs from one political system to another. Factors that Cause Political Apathy These factors are in the recommended text book! POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION The concept of political socialization is quite new in the field of empirical and behavioural research. we mean lack of interest or concern for persons or institutions of the political system. By political apathy. 2. Okolie argues that political apathy is not only a psychological predisposition. the more educated citizens tend to participate more actively than the less-educated ones. it is argued. Accordingly Milbrath argues that political participation differs in relation to four (4) major factors: 1. is the contribution made by Igwe (2002) that various forms of injustice. But very significant. that the level of education determines one’s level of participation in politics. It denotes a situation of indifference to or lack of concern or feeling of interest in situations that should normally provoke active reaction. illiteracy and ignorance and anti-people political system awkward and archaic cultural practices. which determines his perception of politics and his reactions to political phenomenon. In a general sense. It is the process by which an individual is acquainted with the political system. It refers mainly to the learning process by which norms and behaviour acceptable to the political system are transmitted.

Accordingly. scholars have identified three (3) major stages of political socialization viz: 16 . it is concerned with the process of transmission of cultural characteristics from generation to generation. Herbert Hyman defines political socialization as the individual’s learning of social patterns corresponding to his social positions as mediated through various agencies of the society. including not only explicitly political learning but also nominally non-political learning of political relevant personality characteristics. First. Second. Almond and Powell.culture from generation to generation. affecting the children. Hence. there are many other conceptions of political socialization as there are scholars but generally. The thrust of the study of political socialization has two (2) aspects. in order to understand the transmission process. it is a process whereby political attitudes and values are inculcated as children become adults and as adults are recruited into roles. Accordingly. deliberate and unplanned. In fact. Also David Easton and Jack Dennis define political socialization as those developmental processes through which persons acquire political orientations and patterns of behaviour. the stability of a social or political system depends on the political socialization of its members. It is also defined as all political learning. political socialization aims to achieve the goal of political stabilization. defines political socialization as the process whereby political attitudes and values are inculcated as children become adult and as adult are recruited into roles. formal and informal. intact from one generation to another. As already stated. they regard political socialization as a necessary process of reengineering restructuring and learning of the specific and generally acceptable political culture of a given polity in order to create an acceptable political behaviour among its citizens towards the political system. adolescents and adults. Stages of Political Socialization Political socialization is conceived as a process which continues throughout life. More so. Therefore. at every stage of the life cycle. Through this. the persistence in cultural patterns and political style exist because societies are able to pass their major values and attitudes. the study of political socialization attempts to identify the process whereby children gain an awareness of politics and also the ways in which the attitudes of adults are maintained or changed through later life.

This in essence refers to the roles played by groups and organizations as they influence the development of political orientations. The term elite refer to those people who have some distinct qualities by which they are differentiated from the general mass of the people. a much larger class of passive followers. 2. At the hearth of the elitist theory is the assumption of the inadequacy of the average citizen. MICRO-POLITICAL ANALYSIS The Elite Theory Originally it was developed in the field of sociology to explain the bahaviour of men in the social setting. and The inferior majority or the masses. 2. Childhood socialization Socialization of adolescence Socialization of adults Agents of Political Socialization As has been stated earlier. it holds that every society consists two categories of people: 1. Primary groups Secondary groups Reference groups More so. Every political system is divided into two (2) groups: the elite (political entrepreneurs) possessing ideological commitment and manipulative skills and the masses (citizens at large). 3. which exercises a preponderant influence within the society. peer groups. These can also be located within our three broad categories and the details are contained in our recommended textbook. loyalty and skill of their political leader. who have little knowledge of public affairs 17 . school. political parties and pressure groups. employment sectors. as enunciated by Okolie are: the family. This therefore implies that every political system particularly democratic systems must rely on the wisdom. The main categories of socializing agents are: 1. 3. Therefore. 2.1. the masses are the apolitical clay of the system. not on the general mass of the people. In fact. political socialization is a process through which one develops political awareness from early childhood to adulthood. other agents of political socialization. it is necessary to study the relevant agents of political socialization. mass media. The superior minority known as the elite. In its broad sense.

and are less interested in politics. it was Vilfredo Pareto in “The Mind of the Society (1915 – 1919)” that first used the term elite and masses to indicate superior and inferior groups in the society. who are able to realize their will even if others resist it. which are set apart from the rest of the society by their preeminence in one or more spheres of distributions of various privileges and benefits. According to C. Wright Mills. Vilfredo Pareto defines elite as people in a society who possess a marked degree qualities of intelligence. The elite are also divided into governing elite and non-governing elite. power. That means we have elite of doctors. the people who have the highest indices in their branch of activities are normally referred to as elite. in his: “The Ruling Class (1896)”. Also. is eventually reduced to an oligarchy that is the rule of the chosen few. The ruling class controls most of the wealth. power and prestige in society and exercises all power in whatever form of government that might be adopted. The governing elite comprise of individuals. prostitutes and what have you. wealth. lawyers. whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environment of ordinary people and who are in positions to make decisions having major consequences. Parry Geraint defines elite as small minorities who appear to play an exceptionally influential part in political and social affairs.” Meanwhile. elite is composed of men who have the most of what there is to have. beauty and prestige. money. 18 . However. the people are divided into two (2) groups – the rulers and the ruled. skill and capacity of whatever kind. Generally. As propounded by Roberto Michels in his famous “Iron law of Oligarchy”. who directly or indirectly play some considerable part in government and the non-governing elite comprise of people not connected with governmental affairs. thieves. which implied that every organization whatever its original aims are. kidnappers. lecturers. Roberto Michels made a significant contribution in his “Political Parties: A Sociological study of the Oligarchical Tendency of Modern Democracy (1911). It has also been defined as those minorities. According to Mosca’s postulations. Definitions of Elite The first scholar to articulate the idea of division of society from the elitist prism was Gaetalo Mosca. character. in every sphere of life. The ruled are not competent to replace it.

4. Accordingly. Karl Mannheim in his attempt to reconcile the elite theory and democratic theory argued that society does not cease to be democratic by entrusting the actual shaping of policy to the elite. 6. Accordingly. There is the reliance of the political system on the wisdom. Characteristics or Basic Assumption of the Elitist Theory Deriving from our discussion so far. with little knowledge of governmental affairs and politics. the elitist democratic theory was developed by several writers (scholars).Majority of human beings. 3. Consequently. they can make their aspirations known. The masses are the apolitical passive followers. accepting intervals and this is sufficient for democracy. These basic assumptions of the elitist theory demonstrate that democracy as government of the people is incapable of realization. 5. constitutes a coercive group. the masses feel better in following the dictates of the elite. which lead to its revision. What indeed we call government of the people “democracy” is in fact. are apathetic. The proponent of democracy has demonstrated an inability to repudiate the argument advanced by the elitist theorist. Pareto concluded that the elite show highest ability in their field of activity whatever its nature may be. while the masses are characterized by the lack of qualities of leadership and fear from responsibility. the champions of democracy sort to accommodate the elitist theory in the framework of democratic theory. The elite control the social. it is argued. the masses (ruled). indolent and slavish and they are permanently incapable of self-government. material and political resources in every society. He insists on selection by merit and bridging of the gap between the elite and the masses in order to ensure 19 . As a result. government of the minority “oligarchy”. In fact. He maintained that as the masses cannot directly participate in government. That every political system is divided into 2 groups the elites (rulers). the characteristic or basic assumptions of the elitist theory could be summarized as follows: 1. 2. loyalty and scale of the view than on the population at large The elitist theorist assume that politics is the determining force in history and not economics It also assumes that the men in power.

there is no significant difference between Schumpeter and Giovanni Sirtori in his “Democratic Theory 1958”. except govern by selecting their leaders. but form the absence of it which would result in the people being exploited by anti-democratic counter-elite. it implies that leaders compete for peoples’ vote in election. Schumpeter argued that the forms of government should be distinguished by their institutions and especially by their method of appointing and dismissing the supreme-makers of law and policy. Meanwhile Raymond Aaron in his attempt to combine democratic and elite theories argued that liberal democracy is characterized by a system of check and balances. just like Mannheim and later for Schumpeter. Accordingly. however what gave democracy credence is that unlike other forms of government. He therefore concluded that the real danger to democracy emanates not from the existence of leadership. However. 20 . As a result. In fact. In words of Schumpeter. Giovanni Sirtori regards democracy as a procedure in which leaders (elites) compete at elections for authority to govern. political leadership must draw up policies with an eye on gaining more support from the masses than its opponents. in which a competitive struggle for the people’s vote”. or a means to give effect to the will of the people. the government must be sensitive to public opinion and conscious to the opposition element with which they have to change seats in due course. because the political leadership that wield absolute power. while masses play the relatively passive role of choosing the rulers from among the elite. Aaron also posit that the imitative still remains in the hands of the elite. Hence. It could be deduced from their both conception that in a democratic political organization. other than the masses. Consequently. and plurality of elites as a result of government becomes a business of compromise between the government elite and the masses. In his own contribution to the Elitist theory. “the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions. could be voted out in subsequent election. For him the role of the elites does not suggest any imperfection of democracy. More so. it does not permit tyrannical rule. More so.compatibility between elite rule and democratic government. He also advised that any notion of self-governing people is a delusion. decisions are taken by the leadership. because rulers comprise a distinct set of people. one can argue that democracy is not a government of the people. the role of people in every so called democracy is reduced to merely choosing the leaders in a competitive election between or among the elite. not by the inferior majority. but the call of democratic system.

In this connection. They argue that interest is the primary propelling force and that every action is based upon sharing of interest. The social system which consists of a large number of groups marks the arena for the interaction of group activity. the state. who interact in varying degrees in pursuance of a common interest. Interest is seen as what gives direction to this mass of activity. Power configuration is seen as basically. What seems to proceed from the above definitions is that a group is an aggregate of individuals. A group is seen as a mass of activity that tends to move to some definite cause of conduct. hence. the configuration of competing interest organized into groups. Group theory therefore focuses upon collectivities of individuals who interact in pursuance of common political good. The study known as the master piece is titled “Governmental Process. ideology. 1908”. from participating likewise in many other group activities. Truman made an important study using group analysis. Scholars did not follow up their theoretical application of group theory to political analysis. the formal organization of political decision making and the content of decisions are 21 .GROUP THEORY Group theory of politics emerges as a reaction to the principle of atomistic liberalism. which on the basis of one or more shared attitudes makes certain claims upon other groups in the society for the establishment. a group can be perceived as “as a mass of activity directed by interest”. Truman defines a group as a collection of individuals. Group theorists focus on the collectivity and not on the individuals in the attempt to uncover the real or basic forces of political life. David B. maintenance or enhancement of behaviour that are implied in the shared attitudes. values. Group theory was developed for political analysis by Arthur Bentley in his book “The Process of Government. 1951’. A group for him is certain of the men of the society taken however not as a physical mass of activities which does not preclude men who participate in it. It is interest which links to the formation of groups. They see power. Bentley conceptualized group in terms of actions of men directed towards one end. enunciated by John Locke and Jeremy Bentham. interest and conflict as the main variables in the systematic study of politics. until David B. The attempt to establish the group rather than the individual or the society as the basic unit in political analysis is the point of departure of the group theorist.

Their roles as interest groups are primarily to lobby in support of their own existence. ethnic and religious organizations and civic groups. politics and administration are the product of groups’ conflict. Almond and Powel. the treaties that the legislators have negotiated and ratified and the bureaucrats can be compared to armies of occupation. Group theorists believe that society comprises of dynamic processes (activities) and not merely specific institutions (structures) or substantive content (values). Group theorists like Gabriel Almond. 4. the legislatures referees the group’s struggle. The study of politics and political behaviour for them. bureaucracies. They identified four (4) types of interest group namely: 1. concerns the analysis of these groups and their competing interests. Thus. Legislation. define interest group as a group of individuals who are linked by particular bonds of concern of advantage and who have some awareness of these bonds. Institutional Interest Groups These are created and assigned certain political functions by the state. ratifies the victory of the successful coalition and records the forms of the surrenders. 22 . Associational Interest Group These are highly organized and specialized aggregates that explicitly represent the interest of particular collectivity. Associational interest groups Institutional interest groups Non-associational interest groups Anomic interest groups On a general note. “when the groups are adequately stated. Examples are trade unions. compromises and conquests in the form of statutes. James S Coldman and G. As Bentley puts it. Lathan puts it succinctly. V. They are well-staffed and relatively tightly knit. everything is stated”. the defense ministry may draw attention to the dire necessity of increasing military budge in the face of serious threats from the enemy even if this would lead to slashing welfare budget. Varma supports this view and maintains that administration is the process of carrying into effect. Powel have developed typology of groups for comparative political analysis across national boundaries. left in the field to police the rule won by the victorious coalition. Examples mentioned by Almond include: legislatures. S. business. 3.determined by the dynamic interplay of interest and group forces. 2.

The central thesis of this framework is that aggression is always a consequence of discontent of a kind. ethnic. ethnic. lineage. Others are subgroups like legislative blocks. These groups are attributed objective interest upon which policy makers act as if these groups consciously pursue their interest in their own behalf. the anti-government riot of the death of M. Non-Associational Interest Group These pursue their interest informally and possess highly fluid. class and religious groups. O. K. Abiola of 1998. There are essentially two (2) forms of non-associational interest group: 1. armies and churches. The pattern of group formation is the most dramatically intermittent in the anomic interest group. absence of organized procedure.political parties. the SAP riot of 1989. 2. Anomic groups are usually disturbing and disorderly to the ongoing social and political system. The formal group of clique Categoric Aggregation such as racial. regional and status collectivities. Examples include. Value capabilities are the goods and conditions. for establishing the nature and means of articulation and lack of continuity in the internal structure. officer cliques and skill groups and ideological groups. kingship. THE THEORY OF RELATIVE DEPRIVATION. Anomic Interest Group This includes spontaneous and eruptive aggregations such as riots. Examples of anomic interest groups in Nigerian politics include “The-Ali-must-go riot of 1977. value expectation and value capabilities. Non-associational interest groups are characterized by intermittent pattern of articulation. RISING EXPECTATION AND FRUSTRATION AGGRESSION MODEL The theory of relative deprivation is one of the most popular behavioural explanatory frameworks in the study of violence. relatively concealed and highly interactive pattern. By value expectation we refer to the goods and conditions of life to which people believe they are rightfully entitled. they think they are capable of attaining and 23 . the annulment of June 12 presidential election of 1993. These groups may no be in self-conscious pursuit of an interest though a particular interest may be attributed to the group activity. demonstrations and other manifestations of mob activities. Relative deprivation is defined as a perceived discrepancy between man’s (groups). The anomic groups are usually disturbing and disorder the social and political system.

This is related to frustration-aggression model of analysis. BASIC PREPOSITIONS OR ASSUMPTIONS OF RELATIVE DEPRIVATION The following constitutes the basic assumptions of relative deprivation theory: 1. This also could mean revolution of rising expectations which refers to the formation of expectations. Gorr provided four (4) intervening variables which may condition the perception of deprivation. 2. relative deprivation is the discrepancy between “oughts” and “is” of collective value satisfaction. Thus. 2. The intensity of men’s (groups) expectations. 4. Consequently. The legitimacy of the political regime in which violence occur Coercive potentials Institutionalization Social Structures Similarly. the degree to which the individuals (groups) feel deprived as it relates to anger and frustration. 3. the greater their anger and consequent disposition to aggression. which outruns the capacity of the political system to satisfy them. They are: 1. Gorr argued that relative deprivation is a necessary condition for violence. Men (group) who feel they have many opportunities (ways) to attain their goals are less likely to become angry when one is blocked than those who have few or just one alternative. It is in fact. the greater their anger when they meet unexpected or increased resistance. James Davis attributed outbreak of violence to the frustration that results from a short-term decline in achievement following a long-term increase that generates expectation about continuing increase. 24 . More so. he argues that whenever the discrepancy between achievement and expectations become intolerable.maintaining given the social means available to them (Ted Gorr 1970). Therefore. The greater the extent of discrepancy that men (group) see between what they seek and what seems to be attainable. 3. it could lead to violence.

However. 25 . According to Obserschall. desires. It would be absolutely essential to identify the other factors with which it must relate and it what ways to yield a consequence. a variable that must combine with others to produce an outcome. measurement of expectations and relative deprivation are subject to problems. it is equally essential to note that when a condition is sufficient. the difficulty of conceptualization of “expectations”. that even when deprivation is intense on individual or a large group. etc.WEAKNESS OF THE THEORY OF RELATIVE DEPRIVATION Following the conceptualization of the theory of relative deprivation and its various propositions and assumptions. we can observe some theoretical and empirical difficulties or impurities. there is enormous difficulty in adequately defining the meaning of expectation and empirically separating it from hopes. He further stated that even with the use of sophisticated tools of measurement. implicit in the theory of relative deprivation is that violence occurs when the want-get gap becomes intolerable. expectation and capabilities become so wide. a variable that can act alone to produce an outcome (Igwe 2002). the above criticisms not withstanding. like self-anchoring scale. needs. Finally. to argue that frustration will and often produce violence. First. That is. while on the other hand. it is observed that the estimation of intolerability is frequently indexed by the occurrence of violence itself. It evident from empirical observation. it is only a necessary conditions not a sufficient one for violence. By necessary condition we mean. wants. there is the need for an independent evaluation of intolerability instead of its behavioural consequences. it appears rather narrow. Hence. daydreams. it may or may not mean that it is the only one with that potential. By sufficient condition we mean. when the gap between However. it is a valid conclusion to say frustration arising from deprivation. wishes. Second. in most cases motivate people to violent act.

truth and non-violence like Ghandi substituted the force of gun and bomb with the power of love and truth emanating from the will of the people. which influence the making of those decisions and the context in which those decisions take place. This includes skill. Politics is therefore. to bring others into submission and the ability to dominate. It is in this sense. persons. Power is thus seen as the ability of an actor to direct other actors to bend towards one’s will.THE POWER THEORY The real meaning of power has been a matter of controversy to many scholars on account of its social. power comes from the barrel of a gun. Karl Deutsch defined power in this sense as the ability to prevail in conflicts. interests and demands. the idea of power has assumed an importance of its own in the realm of political theory. that is. when an objective has been achieved. ideas. the struggle for domination and control. psychological. Recently. economic. The reason for this should be traced to the fact that. Another definition of power tends to contradict the behavioural perception of power in terms of human relationship. to extract habitual obedience. Accordingly. the meaning of politics has changed from one of being a study of state and government to that of being a study of power. Accordingly Toney defines power as the capacity of an individual or a group of individuals to modify the conduct of others in the manner which one desires. Power has been defined in so many ways. sociological and spiritual ramifications. the manner in which decisions are made. while an apostle of peace. by scholars and practitioners. Power is exercised only when an obstacle has been scaled or overcome. Hans Morgenthau defines power as man’s control over the minds and actions of others. the factors. Power is measured at the end of the action. the purpose for which it is used. According to Mao Tse-Tung. Political power on the other hand refers to mutual relations of control among the holders of public authority and between the latter and the people at large. Also power may be defined as the ability of an actor to achieve its objectives in spite of opposition and despite obstacles. The study of politics is concerned with the description and analysis of the manner in which power is obtained. Curtis stated politics is organized dispute about power and its use involving choice among competing values. political. Power is also seen as the possession and control of resources of influence and compulsion. exercised and controlled. that power is defined as the capacity to produce an effect. depending on their vibrancy and circumstances. 26 .

etc. For instance. middle class and lower class. Those who own and control property have a high birth rate 27 Again. controlled by foreign technology. Power is the faculty or capacity to conquer in a contest. the social class analytical framework regards social stratification as a fundamental reality on social and political life. one may take a generalized view and say that power is taken to denote the whole spectrum of those external influences that by being brought to bear upon an individual (group) can make him move in a required direction. Force is an adjunct and not an essence of power. contradicted.technology. This stratification system has been and hard-grave noted not only includes all member of the society but also forms the basic determinants of conflict and change. However. the possession of vast strategic economic resources like petroleum by Nigeria does not imply the control over such resources. It can also be derived from established constitutional and legal procedures. lower-upper. Generally however. divide social classes into various strata such as upper class. power as a possession. be powerful. There are equally further sub-divisions of upper-upper class. power as a possession. It is the most brutal manifestation of power. upper-middle. However. However. ingenuity or combination and group tactics. instead of involving one’s self in the cobwebs of different ramifications of power. The production of Nigerian petroleum resources is more or less. middle-middle. tends to contradict its behavioural implications in human relations. economic resources. The Liberal Perspective of the Social Class Analysis Scholars of the liberal orientation. CLASSES AND CLASS STRUGGLE Class Analysis The social class analysis of the political system has both the liberal and Marxist political economy variants. financial resources and instruments of coercion. Power may be based on other elements like fraud. middle-upper. is certainly in conflict It is in this sense that individuals or nations that possess such elements of power as stated above as seen to . The definition of such social stratification is based solely on wealth and social status. the potency or capacity to manipulate the will and activities of others to make them conform to the power-seeker’s will is the central point in power. This definition of power does not involve relationship. lower-middle.

lifestyle. dominate the ultimate decision making process. Social class position of an individual defined in terms of wealth and social status is assumed to relate to a nation’s political process. The political implication. manner. classes are seen as socio-economic groups with differentiated access to wealth. is wittingly and unwittingly removed. Criticisms of the Liberal Social Class Analysis Nnoli (1986) has taken a sweep at the liberal perspective of social class analysis. we depend on the degree to which new political opportunities are opened up as new leaders are drawn from an ever-widening pole. Those with high birth always belong to the upper class. and according to David Abter. Those who are poor have no property and prestige belong to the lower class. income. liberty. responsibility and commitment. The rich and the prestigious exercise exceptional influence on the Liberal theorists hold the view that the widening of the decision making processes even as social mobility occupies from the lower to the higher status position. These individuals are mostly low income factory workers and peasants who eke out their living on daily or monthly basis. belong to the upper class or middle class. education.good education. the upper class. The recognition of the relationship between social class and the political process represents the critical point of investigation for the social class analytical framework. The liberal theorists see the politics of most nations as being dominated by the upper and middle classes. property. Thus. while those individuals with low birth but with wealth belong to the middle class. franchise and the more democratic application of the institutions of representative government. nature and character of class. His argument is proceeds as follows: • The liberal perspective tends to equate classes with social groups that share occupation. Political power is perceived to flow from the dominant sector of the society downwards. Politically. In this way. would expand the middle class towards citizenship. etc. The liberal perspective of the social class analysis. Once this relationship is established or supported by evidence. the faster rigid class distinctions disappear. It sees classes as an economic and not a political relationship. The more participation there is in a common political culture. the implication of class for state power is obfuscated. This reduces the concept of class to a static quantitative category. is concerned with determining whether a particular socio-economic class (upper class for example). middle and 28 . the liberal class analyst is interested in the capacity of the society to process and act upon the demands of the masses. etc.

one of which can appropriate the labour of another. carrying on an uninterrupted now-hidden. Classes are therefore frozen in static statistical frame and implication for political action is that emphasis is placed on distribution and not on production.lower classes are identified and political attitudinal patterns are arbitrarily assigned to them. now-open fight. In this way. in a world. by their role in the social organization of labour. freeman and slave. In the Communist Manifesto jointly produced by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engel. lord and serf. class struggle is seen as political struggle. it is quoted thus “that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. the historical role of social classes and their political efficacy in the development process is rendered redundant. The focus of analysis is therefore on the mode of production and the dialectical arguments immanent in the production process and the 29 . differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production by their relation to the means of production. According to V. At the level of distribution. I. owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social production. classes are large group of people. class consciousness is seen as political consciousness and class conflict is seen as political conflict. The appropriation of labour The participation in the labour process Class relations are seen as political power relations. However. and consequently. Classes as Lenin maintains are groups of people. The Marxist Political Economy Social Class Analysis Marxist political economist view of the concept of class is predicated on Karl Marx analysis of classes and his theory of class theory. 2. Lenin. The existence of classes is therefore associated only with historically determined modes of production. a fight that each time ended either in a revolutionary reconstruction of society at large or in the common rein of the contending classes. the society does appear as a collection of individual consumers or income groups. oppressor and oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another. Marxists generally perceive class differentiation in terms of: 1. there is no logical link between the assumed existence and their political behaviour.” Marxist political economists perceive class struggle as a struggle between classes. by the dimension of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. guide master and journey-men. patrician and plebian.

A political analyst using the Marxist political economy social class analysis is therefore concerned with how a society produces its material existence. The state becomes the mechanism that gives stability to class struggle by moderating it either peacefully or violently as occasion demands. Intraclass struggle involves the different factions or fractions of the dominant class as typified by the nature and character of social division of labour. when it is to be produced. social class simply refers to the social relations of production in the society. It sees the differences among them in terms of an unending struggle among the various classes for a position of dominance over the production process. an understanding of the class position of a group in structural terms may be used to predict pattern of behaviour. The have nots are the economically subjugated class whose subjugation is reproduced at the level as the political dominated or oppressed class. but is also aware of their common interest and engages in some form of conscious collective struggle. class struggle takes the form of social division of labour. The social relations of production of a society is seen to throw up two groups or classes of people – a group of class that controls the means of production – the haves and the group of class that do not control the means of production – the have nots. Therefore.subsistence of antagonistic classes in society. Class in itself means that members of the group play a similar role in production. but are not conscious of their common interest. The analysts focuses on the mode of production and on the contending groups of classes. and proceeds by asking the questions. By focusing of the nature of the relations of production. Class for itself means that a group not only shares a similar role in production. 30 . The haves are the economically dominant class who reproduce their dominance at the political level as the political dominant class. Structurally however. the state becomes equally the focus of analysis because. Thus. For Marxists. which may not be perceived by actors as class oriented. the Marxist political economy social class analyst captures the complexities of human societies. Associated with the concept of class and class struggle are the notion of class in itself and class for itself. a group’s class position is determined by its place in the production process and its role in the domination of the state irrespective of whether its members define their identity in those terms. how it is to be produced and how the product of production process is to be distributed. the state is not only a product of this struggle. and it is also an expression of it. who decides what is to be produced. Thus.

and their fractions to retain or gain political power and the manner in which society is organized in order to ensure that material and psychological privileges accrued to the dominant class without threatening their domination. the society represents a specific manifestation of the endless struggles of contending classes over the means of sustenance. the nature of the struggle between them. the struggles between the various classes. the level of sophistication of the state agencies employed in this struggle and the manner in which the dominant class appropriates the product of production and ensures its survival. To conclude. explanatory and emancipatory value for the analysis of political system. the subjugated class. It is on this basis that states can be differentiated from each in comparative political analysis. The society can therefore be understood in its past and present and its future can be predicted on this basis because at any time. yet it represents the opinion of a public capable of functioning politically and this is vital to an understanding to politics or the dynamics of the political system. It is to be stated that opinion of the public is not necessarily the opinion of the people. the assumption of power by a particular fraction of the dominant class. the Marxist economy social class analysis shunned of its ideological biases has a very illuminatory. In fact. hard-won human and civil rights guarantee that public opinion can exist and can be expressed. And this includes 31 .The implication of this mode of analysis is that it shows why each state is different from the others – because of the peculiarities of its dominant class. which has to do with the coming into being of a particular state notably. Every political system is made up of several “publics”. comparative political analysis is enhanced. when we talk of politics. the political process or the political system. It can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views. a political system is properly perceived as a social formation which is distinguished by its modality of social class domination and to this end. PUBLIC OPINION AND PROPAGANDA Public opinion are widely held stable views not naturally unanimous or majority views but a view held simultaneously by a collection of people linked together by common desires within a political system. In this context. Thus. the Marxist political economy social class analysis helps us to focus on those activities. It is the aggregate of individual attitude or belief held by the adult population.

it is important to note that whether public opinions are formed by the elites or non-elites. freedom to associate and to demonstrate and finally freedom of the press. As a result. there are many “publics” each of them comes into being when an issue arises and ceases to exist when the issue is resolved. public opinion is discussed as a form of collective behaviour which is made up of those who are discussing a given public issue at any given time. opinion and speech. Moreover. and have explored the impact of special interest groups on election outcomes and have contributed to our knowledge about the effects of government propaganda and policy. Accordingly. Public opinion plays an important role in the political sphere. it became urbanization and other political and social forces. Accordingly. For him. there are certain agents (like agents of socialization) that account for the formation of public opinion by any class of people. the American sociologist Herbert Blumer proposed an altogether different conception of the “public”. and common people. The concept came about through the process of For the first time. Leeds identified these agents to include the following: • • • • Social groups and institutions Mass media Pressure groups and political parties The role of government 32 . Three (3) communities of people who form public opinion are: public leaders and thinkers. The situation in which people independently make decision about for example. These have registered the distribution of opinions on a wide variety of issues. Cutting across all aspects of relationship between government and public opinion are the studies of voting behaviour. public opinion polling cannot measure the public or the people adequately. Following from this definition therefore. Jeremy Bentham opined that public opinion has the power to ensure that rulers rule for the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Public opinion as a concept gained credence with the rise of “public” in the eighteenth (18th) century. important what people thought as forms of political contentions changed. people participate in public in different capacities and to different degrees. In another development.freedom of thought. which brand of phone to buy is a form of collective behaviour different from the public and therefore is not public opinion. According to him. common educated class.

It may achieve a propaganda objective but its at best coincidental pseudo-propaganda or unintentional propaganda. propaganda involves the use of communication strategies. The people’s knowledge came about as a result of appropriate information and conviction. It implies the use of suggestion by means of which opinions expressed by the propagandist became those of his audience through the transformation.e. It is to be stated that as democratic government depend on the favour of public opinion so does the success of any major governmental programme depend to an extent on the attitude of the people whose support emanate from their knowledge as express through propaganda. adoption and integration of their attitudes. the expression of opinion and the behaviour of the persons to hlakjd. propaganda is ideological communication.alkdja they address their efforts. With propaganda. which meets the end of its goal by simply coming into being but which nevertheless happens by uncalculated design is not propaganda. TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS Propaganda strategy is the overall campaign plan and therefore covers the aims or policies of the government or group carrying out the propaganda. the audience of the communication process is not allowed much freedom to reject the content of the communication. etc. In fact. Technique refers to the content of the communication i. Therefore. It main objective is the justification of policy or line of action. organization or government that addresses itself (himself) to the problem of communicating ideas with the intention of influencing his hearers towards a line of action is a propagandist. Tactics 33 . In this light. propaganda is the attempt to convince. sentiments and conviction of the audience. utterance. how to behave. In fact.PROPAGANDA Propaganda is the conveying of facts and opinions in such a way as to teach the people how to make up their minds not how to think and consequently. governments or pressure groups to influence the formation of attitudes. what is said and what is done. It is a conscious and definite intent on the part of persons. any person. It is also use to undermine the position of the opponent. On the other hand. Thus. for any communicative interaction to have a controlling influence on public opinion in a determined direction is propaganda. techniques and tactics that compulsively campaigns and appeals to the emotions. The intention must be direct and conscious. any action.

The implication of Washington’s fear is that the domination of one faction over another sharpened by the 34 . Long before the coming of electoral democracy. Here. In fact. technique and tactics go hand in hand and includes the following: • • • Spreading false rumour Misrepresentation through skillful selection or distortion of facts Bandwagon. or catch-words are used. The party as a newly developing social institution was often considered to be a faction by government leaders and thus. In his farewell address. the state had had a varied structure of public officials – mayors. etc. Emotional appeals: this is the use of emotional rather than appeals such as appealing to passion or prejudice in order to cloud the main issue or divert attention. ministers. This implies stressing the endorsement of the group’s policy by the majority and therefore suggesting to the audience to adopt the fashion since everyone is supporting it. hostility towards parties was evident in the newly emerging American nation.refer to the method. symbols. As a result. George Washington warned about the division of the electorate into parties or factions. the emergence of parties was not designed by a theory or blueprint nor were they always considered necessary to a democracy. how it is said and how it is done. The early development of party theory was hampered by a general fear of factions by both political philosophers and political leaders. • POLITICAL PARTIES AND VOTING BEHAVIOUR Origin of Political Parties Originally. most political systems with rare exceptions have the monarchies. members of parliament. Until the development of parties. was attacked. that is. etc. slogans. has led him to suspect any opposing force. These offices were attained by people in a variety of ways: by being born into them (hereditary). by buying the offices through bribery and by appointment. They were viewed as infamous bodies of rabble-rousers and were dismissed by political thinkers as enemies of the democratic process and the orderly pursuit of society. He emphasized the common ties that bounds citizens together. the benefit to be found in unity and the inability of the party membership to prevent the rise of cunning ambitions and of unprincipled men who will subvert the power of the people and usurp for themselves the reins of government. The monarch’s interest in preserving his own power base. which were viewed as divisive and therefore harmful.

with the growth of these groups and official acknowledgement of their leaders. Michelles argue that party leadership will inevitably become an oligarchy – the few ruling the many. and particular in the late 1800 and early 1900. he concluded that the best organization to represent the masses and distribute power was the party. And even as Washington warned against parties. However. maintaining and increasing their power. However. Indeed.spirit of revenge natural to party dissention. two (2) European theorists Moisi Ostrogorskr and Roberto Michelles actively opposed parties as inevitably anti-democratic. is itself a frightful despotism. Edmund Burke in 1700 defined party as a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all aggrieved. as parties have become an integral part of political system. Ostrogoskr’s fear that the party will become an obstacle to voters’ representation was shared by Roberto Michelles in his famous “Iron Law of Oligarchy”. some American political scholars have argued that modern democracy would be impossible except in terms of parties as postulated by Schatt Schneider organization was necessary to the foundation and maintenance of democracy. which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities. members of his own cabinet were leading separate and hostile groups of government officials. Accordingly. not all elite political theorists and leaders perceive the party as a divisive and hence a destructive force in politics. in order for the masses to receive power some type of organization was necessary. He saw party as a respectable and at times a necessary component of a democratic system. The organization representing the masses would exercise power in their name. the trend to view them as inherently anti-democratic has largely disappeared. He maintained that the party leaders would automatically have a vested interest in Thus. the American party for all intent and purposes was born. political participation would be subordinated to party survival. The most important question in politics was power and the mark of a democratic regime was its ability to give the masses power. For example. Importance and Functions of Political Parties Among other things political parties perform the following functions: 35 . Consequently. In fact. long after the parties have been formed and acknowledged.

Political parties created democracy but modern democracy is unthinkable except in terms of political parties. through voting. VOTING BEHAVIOUR One of the major characteristic of a participatory political culture is the exercise of franchise during election. it embraces the totality of a people surrendering their rights and power of governing themselves to a body of men (government) purposely to provide for them those things that they cannot individually provide for themselves. 36 . These alternatives could be in form of policies or candidates. etc. Generally. In fact. but also on who should be given the mandate to provide the services.• • • • • • • • • • It provides alternative government It serves as the basis for electoral democracy It stands for the promotion of the national interest. It connotes the choice to live a better life or to be doomed. discuss within the context of political parties. In a democratic state particularly where free and fair elections are conducted. As simple as the idea of voting may appear. Voting demonstrates the degree of people’s involvement and participation in politics. It serves as an agent of mobilization of the masses It serves as an institution for the recruitment and socialization of leaders It provides a sources of democratic identity It provides political leaders with a channel of control over other leaders Political parties play the role of makers of a democratic government It articulates and formulates the interest of the masses. what people actually vote for are not limited to the goods and services promised in the manifesto of the party. particularly through secret-ballot voting. voting has to do with the picking of choice between one or more alternatives. the fear of people’s vote is the beginning of wisdom of the political class (elites). It serves as an institution that distributes power in a state to the people (masses). people put their future in the hands of a chosen few. the direction and genuine individual feeling about a particular candidate or party. Whenever free and fair elections take place. To be sure. This manifests as voting power. which the masses/people have and this also expresses the power of the people. manifests in its true form.

the disabled. the critical issue is what constitutes voting behaviour. Essentially. the concept of voting is a very serious matter. misuse of government vehicles for private purposes. However. extortion. power and status. Accordingly. that is to say. and a deviation from these rules is likely to lead to corrupt practices. and the unemployed. etc. etc. corruption is an act which deviates from the formal rules of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of authority because of private regarding motives such as words. It is the protection which society provides for its members through series of public measures against economic and social distress that otherwise would be caused by the loss or substantial reduction of 37 . Do you agree? Discuss in context of Nigerian politics. how can voting behaviour be identified in order to make a generalization. mismanagement of funds. These vices have been attributed to insecurity and uncertainty of the social security system. embezzlement. why and how do people vote. By social security we mean. bribery. the act designed to guarantee the possible risk of the old. Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour Among the factors that affect voting behaviour are” • • • • • • • • Prevailing historical circumstance Religion Ethnicity Gender issue Ideological alignment Personality in politics Policies and programs.Therefore. and Monetary inducement POLITICAL CORRUPTION AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE Political violence is a necessary product of political corruption. misappropriation of funds. This includes fraud. political corruption refers to such acts as misuse of public office of the state for private aggrandizement. These rules performs the functions of controlling the workers in the system or maintaining social order in the state. In any organization or state. there are usually a set of rules and norms that regulate or guide the operations of the system.

It is any forceful or violent act that is intended to compel or redirect the stable cause of development of the political system. unemployment. Certain extreme measures by international actors including the out-rightly unlawful act of aggression may equally constitute political violence upon the global system. old age and death.earnings resulting from sickness. Corruption is essentially a social problem to the extent that it affects many people even if it is committed by one person. Deriving from the above. invalidity. the underlined principle is the pulling of risk and finances together and the packaging of benefits to cushion the effect of contingencies. IDENTITY POLITICS By identity politics. groups are usually characterized by multiple identities. Often times. each of these may have some leaning on the group’s political conduct and socio-economic role in the society. we mean any political action that is initiated and or executed by members of a political community with the aim of protecting their group interest. as elsewhere in the globe. when wars and other belligerent activities induce abnormal procedures in the conduct of domestic affairs. maternity. It is the particular identity that has he most significant impact on the political behaviour of the individual group that is the determinant element of the group’s being. etc. political violence is usually a consequence of political corruption. Arab or Black Africa. the political action is targeted towards the state or its incumbent by a group supposedly oppressed on the basis of their identity. Following from the above therefore. The relevant communal 38 . In Africa. we shall focus on ethnic and religious identity. Muslim or Christian and other various ethnic cleavages. Ethnicity: Ethnicity is a social phenomenon that is associated with the identity of members of the larges possible competing communal groups (ethnic groups) seeking to protect and advance their interest in a political system. identity informs and guides political behaviour as they add dynamism to political conduct in the context of plural society. Political violence is any act that is targeted to the political system or the incumbent of political offices in the state. It is usually a consequence of the deprivation of any group within the political system. In fact. More so. Political violence may also arise from external sources. it is either southerner or northerner. employment injury.

the whole essence of mobilization of people on the basis of ethnicity is to eliminate the tendency of marginalization especially as it concerns the allocation of resources. In fact.factors may be culture. predisposed members of ethnic groups to look more favourably on their own group members than on neighbouring out-group members. It represents the subjective dimension of ethnicity. in-group Cultural Prejudice: sentiment and sense of solidarity. Meanwhile. promotion. To be sure. and admission into schools. religion or common history. Thus. race. Ethnocentrism: This is attitudinal in form and perceptional in content. we witness in Nigeria. this is easily identified because ethnicity is one way in which a people can be distinguished from one another especially as criteria for measuring the level of socio-economic and political distribution. It is associated with interactions among communal groups. the salience of identity politics defined in the context of ethnicity has continued to intensify its political relevance in the understanding and interpretation of African politics in spite of the pervasiveness of global political culture. the marginalization of certain ethnic groups as it concerns certain resource distribution particularly political and economic resources. The members of a group (communal. Since most societies are heterogeneous. the following constitute the basic attribute of ethnicity: • • • • • Cultural prejudice Socio-economic and political discrimination Ethnocentrism Common consciousness Exclusiveness of members of a group Prejudice and discrimination characterize ethnicity. Among other things. This bias often finds expression in interethnic discrimination in jobs. national or international) are ethnocentric when they are proud of it and consequently are This characterize ethnicity. business deals and welfare services. Socio-Economic and Political Discrimination: opportunities and welfare services. housing. it embodies a tendency to exclude out-group members from socio-economic 39 . it should not be surprising that ethnicity has remained such a powerful factor in the domestic politics of many nations particularly Nigeria. the distribution of the benefits of modernization across different ethnic groups is usually inevitably allocated.

etc. ethnicity holds individuals together. religion. Exclusiveness of Members of a Group: This nature of exclusiveness is associated with in-group/out-group boundaries which the groups guard jealously. place and role in the life of society. barriers. acceptance and rejection on communal grounds characterize the social relations among competing groups. It is not immutable among other things ethnicity performs the following functions: • It promotes the appreciation of individual social roots in the community and the creation of a social network which provides material and emotional support for members of society. gives them internal cohesion. ethnocentrism Their attachment to and pride in the group reflects their Common Consciousness: Ethnicity is characterized by a common consciousness of members of the communal groups I relation to other such groups. members of a communal group look towards their group for support. Within the context of the socio-economic and political insecurity generated by state violence and destructive competition in the market commodity. As a result. this factor defines the boundary of the group that is relevant for understanding ethnicity at any historical point in time. there was a great mixing of African peoples especially at the boundaries of their societies. More than any other factor. because of ethnicity such mixing of peoples is no longer very possible today. encourages them to provide mutual security for each other and promote their sense of identity and In-group/out-group boundaries have emerged and become frozen cultural It is this factor that distinguishes the Hutu and Tutsi of both Rwanda and Burundi.inward looking. However. religious and other social views which constitute its important ingredient as well. • • It fosters in the relevant population a sense of belonging and also mediates between the individual and the larger society. who share the same 40 . Consequently. the consequent inter-group cohesion act to solidify boundaries of communal groups. Ti also alters its form. culture. THE ROLE OF ETHNICITY Ethnicity does not exist in a pure form it is always closely associated with political. It is worthy of note that during the pre-colonial times. language.

and through ethnic struggles. This usually result sin the intrusion of irrationality into inter-ethnic antagonism and the emergence of an increasingly inter-spiral of a selfconfirming hostility. By implication. Because it embodies passionate and symbolic aspects. suspicions. Modern democracy at least in principle is opposed to any form of domination. exploitation and privileges. ethnicity offers a personal solution to the generic problems of exploitation. NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF ETHNICITY • It hinders the emergence and sustenance of social harmony in a multi-ethnic society. • Ethnicity also is associated with persistent and fundamental demand for democratization of the society’s policy formulation and implementation. This mobilization often began in the urban centres with the leader wooing and easily obtaining the support of active participation of the voluntary mutual help organization of his or her own ethnic groups. • Again. This explains why a great deal of effort is committed in combating ethnicity in spite of its positive effects. the mobilization aspect of ethnicity has served a positive function throughout the globe particularly in Africa. alienation. etc.direction. oppression. conflict and violence. it makes it susceptible to hostility. actions. oppression. deprivation. • Finally. One of its striking features is its capacity and tendency to turn every individual into a soldier by the sole virtue of his her group identity. intimidation. • Ethnic hostility arising from reactions to state violence and divisive competition for resources has a high propensity to culminate in aggressive behaviour. the effects of ethnic conflicts are usually more dramatic in their dynamics than the positive elements. counter-actions and expectations. 41 . these can be corrected. which are virtually unrelated to he initial cause of antagonism and which open up the possibility of inter-ethnic violence. It provided a basis for the mobilization of indigenous people against colonial rule.

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