Biblioteca Virtuala de Cultura Politica "Regele Ferdinand" (v 1.0)

pagina in constructie !


Continut / Contents                              

Ce este "cultura politica"?
What is "political culture"?

“THUS FAR WE have concentrated upon one aspect of political systems: that which we call political culture. The bulk of this book has dealt with the similarities and differences in the patterns of political attitudes found in the five nations. We have attempted to describe these similarities and differences as well as to explain them; to relate political attitudes to the structure of politics and to general attitudes toward people and society. In all this the political culture has been the focus of our attention. When other aspects of the political system have been brought into the discussion, it has usually been because of their impact on the political culture. But an important question remains to be dealt with: what is the impact of a political culture on the political system of which it is a part?”

Almond & Verba (1963) Ch.XIII: The Civic Culture and Democratic Stability, p. 337, in: 

Almond & Verba (1963) The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations

Sage Publications Inc.

“The term ‘political culture’ will be more assertive when it will be explained in the realm of politics. So it means that within a group and society there are diverse strands of opinion and conflicting values which may check the political preferences and in this regard the term political culture will not only be used as shared values legitimizing social practices but as points of concern also. Gabriel Almond has described political culture as underlying propensities and psychological dimension of a political system. It consists of attitudes, beliefs, values and skills which are current in an entire population, as well as those special propensities and patterns which may be found within separate parts of that population. Any political system requires knowing its underlying propensities as well as actual performance over a given period of time, so that nature of the system and patterns of behavior could be identified. All political systems tend to perpetuate their cultures and structures through the time, and they do this by means of socializing influences of the primary and secondary structures through which society may pass in the process of maturity. According to Almond and Verba, ‘it is thus a process [political socialization] by which political cultures are maintained and changed’[…].”

                Pye, L.W.(1965)Chapter 1-Introduction: Political Culture and Political Development (pp. 3-26), in: Lucian W. Pye and Sidney Verba (Eds.), Political Culture and Political Development, 

Volume 5 in the Studies in Political Development Series. Originally published in 1965. 

Princeton University Press.

“[…]the transition of the post-communist states in East and Central Europe is of special interest. After the collapse of communism, the evident question was how these states would adapt to the newly found liberal democracy and the free-market economy. Would the “new contract” Gorbachev had pronounced be accepted or would the old socialistic justice beliefs stay in place? In spite of the material hardships caused by the transition, would political support for the new system remain strong enough or would it be affected by economic distress? This had been a central question of political culture research long before it could be studied under the conditions of post-communist transition societies (Diamond, 1992). Although quite a few sociologists follow Lipset (1959) in his proposal that system support, the endorsement of democracy, is a function of economic development, others have taken strong sides in claiming the necessity of an independent political culture safeguarding democracy also in times of unfavorable economic development. In fact, according to this culturalist point of view, democracy will only survive if collective political support rests on democratic values.

           Although the basic rule of the culturalist credo is that “culture matters,” most culturalists would also agree to three propositions that follow: First, culturalists regard a society as functioning well only if its institutional structure is congruent with the shared values of its members (Almond and Verba, 1963; Parsons, 1971) and second, associated with this assumption, they believe that individual actors are motivated mainly by cultural orientations, not by instrumental and adaptive impulses; that is, their behavior is guided more by norms than by rational choice. Third, cultural orientations are the product of a shared socialization history constituting an integral part of a person’s social identity that is fairly resistant to change. Thus, it may take generations before a system of cultural values is modified noticeably.” 

Bernd Wegener (2000) Political Culture and Post-Communist Transition – 

A Social Justice Approach: Introduction, Arbeitsbericht Nr. 69, 

Institut für Sozialwissenschaften Humboldt-Universität Berlin.