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Political culture is the traditional orientation of the citizens of a nation toward politics, affecting

their perceptions of political legitimacy. [1]


1 Conceptions
o 1.1 As political philosophy
2 Ideological perspectives
o 2.1 Anarchism
o 2.2 Tory corporatism
o 2.3 Oligarchy
o 2.4 Classical liberalism
o 2.5 Radical liberalism
o 2.6 Democratic socialism
o 2.7 Fascist corporatism
3 Types
o 3.1 Almond and Verba
o 3.2 Lijphart
4 See also
5 References
6 Further reading

In the early 1960s two Americans Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba outlined three pure types of
political culture in Great Britain can combine to create' civic culture. These three key features
expressed by both men were composed in order to establish the link between the public and the
government. The first of these features is Deference which looks at the respect, acknowledgment
or inferiority of authority and superiors in society. In the 1950s a prominent example of
Deference was a greater amount of approbation or inferiority for the Police service. We know
this due to lower levels of crime sixty years ago. In comparison to Deference towards the Police
Service today we can notice significant change. The amount of respect has decreased for the
service because of higher levels of anti social behaviour in society, notably knife and gun crime.
Today some people see the Police as a burden on certain freedoms they wish to exercise and as a
result resent there cause of crime watch and defenders of the rule of law, this idea that some
people in society adopt can be shown as an area where Deference has broken down in twenty
first century Britain. Another key example of Deference in British Political culture is the
understanding and positives of the United Kingdom having a Monarchy and not a Republic. This
is an understanding that dates far back and has been represented not just as Political Culture, but
general culture. Lastly, another area were Deference needs to be mended in the British political
culture of 2010 is a resounding distrust in Politicians. In the 1950s large amounts of the public
agreed to Partisan alignment with another Political Party and felt a psychological attachment to

its views. This resulted in higher numbers of voters at the ballot box and record culmination in
the 1950 General Election which saw 84% of the nation voting. From this evidence it is clear that
in the past people had heavier trust in Politicians and trust in Politics as a whole. Today many
people have lost that sense of belonging to a party and assurance in those who represent their
The second key feature is Consensus. Consensus represents the key link between government
and public agreement and appeasement. The appeasement may not always be shared with the
whole nation but as a whole people agree to sustain it, meaning it is a common agreement. There
are various Examples of Consensus in British Political culture; How we are governed as a whole,
agreement on the welfare state, an agreement to whom the powers governed by head of state go
to. A main example can be the common agreement of our Political voting system known as 'first
past the post'. Although some groups of people may disagree with its method of selecting an
overall winner, it is a system that has been acknowledged and used to determine which party
governs our country. Another Consensus is the understanding that our country is conducted
centrally from Westminster in London and that they firmly uphold a 'strong government'. The
country also acknowledges the fundamental needs of the poor and deprived, with the
establishment of a welfare state. In the 1970s many of Britain's primary industries were under
nationalization and state ruled. This offered fixed rates for all and an element of Socialist fairness
but was seen as lacking general market competition from the capitalistic right wing of British
Politics and so in the 1980s under the Conservative Prime minister Margaret Thatcher main
industries such as 'British Telecom' and the 'National Railway' were Privatised and sold off to
become part of private companies. This idea of privatizing industry was not something which
was dominantly agreed upon,(particularly on the left wing of British politics) but it was endorsed
and supported for the sake of better contention.
The third features of British Political Culture is Homegenity which emphasizes the point that in
the 1950s we were more alike than different. People in general in the 1950s in Britain came
under a category of white race, Christian and British heritage, the Monarchy was admired
sufficiently more by a larger range of ages, people attended church frequently and the Union
Jack flag depicting Great Britain as one, was actively used in International sports matches.
Today, Britain is considered a Multicultural society and a 'Dominant Political Culture sharing
similar beliefs and policies regarding the welfare state and national health system. Also accepting
all races and different ethnic minorities to be part of the countries community. Christianity today
amongst white, English families does not play such a crucial role in their lives, and church
attendance as a whole is decreasing. Today Britain prefers to depict itself more separately by
supporting the individual flags of the home nations of England St Georges Cross, Northern
Ireland's Ulster banner, Scotland's St Andrews cross and the Welsh red dragon. This individual
and selective support has led to nations within the British Isles such as Scotland and Wales desire
independence to become its own state.

[edit] As political philosophy

Political culture is a distinctive and patterned form of political philosophy that consists of beliefs
on how governmental, political, and economic life should be carried out. Political cultures create
a framework for political change and are unique to nations, state, and other groups. A political
culture differs from political ideology in that people can disagree on an ideology (what
government should do) but still share a common political culture. Some ideologies, however, are
so critical of the status quo that they require a fundamental change in the way government is
operated, and therefore embody a different political culture as well.
The term political culture was brought into political science to promote the American political
system. The concept was used by Gabriel Almond in late 50s, and outlined in The Civic Culture
(1963, Almond & Verba), but was soon opposed by two European political scientists - Gerhard
Lehmbruch and Arend Lijphart. Lehmbruch analysed politics in Switzerland and Austria and
Lijphart analysed politics in Netherlands. Both argued that there are political systems that are
more stable than the one in the USA. [2]

[edit] Ideological perspectives

[edit] Anarchism
Main article: Anarchism
An anarchist political culture only exists in small societies in which there are no strangers. Every
person has face to face accountability, and will have to continue to live together. The paradigms
about society and the role of the individual are shared strongly among all of its members. In such
a society institutions of government are not necessary. Family contacts and their constant
reinforcement through personal contact hold the single-culture society together.
[edit] Tory corporatism
Main article: Tory corporatism
A tory corporatist political culture presumes that responsibility to the group is more important
than individual needs and desires. Tradition is the justification of the tory culture. The immediate
family connections form its basis. The corporatist culture takes cooperation as far more
important than competition.
[edit] Oligarchy
Main article: Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a political culture in which elite, ruling class families maintain a monopoly over the
legislative, judicial and executive branches of government, thereby removing the decision
making process from the population at large.
[edit] Classical liberalism

Main article: Classical liberalism

The classical liberal political culture is not based on tradition as tory corporatism and oligarchy
are. It is based in rationality. It takes the individual as the basic unit of society and is competitive
rather than cooperative.
[edit] Radical liberalism
Main article: Radical liberalism
The radical liberal shares all of the same paradigms as the classical liberal, however it differs in
that its hierarchical nature does not apply to its elections, and its competitive nature is more
[edit] Democratic socialism
Main article: Democratic socialism
The democratic socialist political ideology is based on the belief that the government is
ultimately responsible for progressing social and economic equality. Democratic Socialists tend
to hold Skinnerian perspectives[citation needed] towards human development and behavior and thus
call for government programs to equalize development as much as possible in order to encourage
equality and provide equal opportunity to all citizens. Attempts to be more egalitarian. Plato's
Republic outlined an extreme form of Democratic Socialism.
[edit] Fascist corporatism
Main article: Fascist corporatism
While the tory corporatist culture is established and on-going, the fascist corporatist attempts to
create such a culture by force. The tory takes tradition as the legitimate basis of society, while
the fascist makes some form of appeal to rationality. The fascist attempts to recreate the
conditions of tory corporatism as a response to Leninist socialism.

[edit] Types
[edit] Almond and Verba
According to their level and type of political participation and the nature of people's attitudes
toward politics, Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba outlined three pure types of political culture:

Parochial - Where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central
government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the
state. Distant and unaware of political phenomena. He has neither knowledge or interest
in politics. In general congruent with a traditional political structure.

Subject - Where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its
decisions with little scope for dissent. The individual is aware of politics, its actors and
institutions. It is affectively oriented towards politics, yet he is on the "downward flow"
side of the politics. In general congruent with a centralized authoritarian structure.
Participant - Citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are
affected by it. The individual is oriented toward the system as a whole, to both the
political and administrative structures and processes (to both the input and output
aspects). In general congruent with a democratic political structure.

These three 'pure' types of political culture can combine to create the 'civic culture', which mixes
the best elements of each.[3]

[edit] Lijphart
By Arend Lijphart, there are different classifications of political culture:
1. classification:

Political culture of masses

Political culture of the elite(s)

2. classification (of political culture of the elites):


Lijphart also classified structure of the society:

Structure of society (right)
Political culture of
elites (down)


depoliticalised democracy consociative democracy

centripetal democracy centrifugal democracy

[edit] See also


Political culture of the United States of America

Political culture of Canada
Political culture of Germany
Political culture of the United Kingdom

[edit] References
1. ^ Page with definitions
2. ^ Luki, Igor (2006). Politina kultura, p.40-42. FDV, Ljubljana. Retrieved on June 29,
3. ^ Almond, Gabriel; Verba, Sidney (1963), The Civic Culture, Boston: Little, Brown and

[edit] Further reading

Almond, Gabriel A., Verba, Sidney The Civic Culture. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and
Company, 1965.
Aronoff, Myron J. Political Culture, in International Encyclopedia of the Social and
Behavioral Sciences, Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds., (Oxford: Elsevier, 2002),
Axelrod, Robert. 1997. The Dissemination of Culture: A Model with Local
Convergence and Global

Polarization. Journal of Conflict Resolution 41:203-26.


Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.
Bednar, Jenna and Scott Page. 2007. Can Game(s) Theory Explain Culture? The
Emergence of Cultural

Behavior within Multiple Games Rationality and Society 19(1):65-97.

Clark, William, Matt Golder, and Sona Golder. 2009. Principles of Comparative
Government. CQ Press. Ch. 7
Diamond, Larry (ed.) Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries.
Greif, Avner. 1994. Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and
Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies. The Journal of
Political Economy 102(5): 912-950.
Kertzer, David I. Politics and Symbols. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.
Kertzer, David I. Ritual, Politics, and Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press,
Kubik, Jan. The Power of Symbols Against The Symbols of Power. University Park, PA:
The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.
Inglehart, Ronald and Christian Welzel, Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy.
New York:

Cambridge University Press, 2005. Ch. 2

Laitin, David D. Hegemony and Culture. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press,
Igor Luki, Politina kultura. Ljubljana: The University of Ljubljana, 2006.
Wilson, Richard W. "The Many Voices of Political Culture: Assessing Different
Approaches," in World Politics 52 (January 2000), 246-73
[hide]v d ePolitical culture
Anarchism Corporatism Oligarchy
Liberalism Socialism Fascism

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Categories: Subfields of political science | Political culture