What is ‘political culture’? Discuss any three influences on the political culture of a country of your choice Free essay! Download now
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What is ‘political culture’? Discuss any three influences on the political culture of a country of your choice
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What is ‘political culture’? Discuss any three influences on the political culture of a country of your choice?
Culture is often defined as “the way of life of a people”, (Heywood, 2007, pg206). Heywood (1997) defines political culture as “Peoples beliefs, symbols and values structure both their attitude to the political process and crucially their view of the regime in which they live. There are three main types of political culture, these are identified by Heywood (2007) as “participant culture, subject culture and parochial culture”. He goes on to explain “A participant political culture is one in which citizens pay close attention to politics and regard popular participation as both desirable and effective. A subject political culture is characterised by more passivity amongst citizens and the recognition that they only have a very limited capacity to influence government. A parochial political culture is marked by the absence of a sense of citizenship, with people identifying with their locality rather than the nation, and having neither the desire nor the ability to participate in politics” (Heywood, 1997, pg 206).
In his book Contemporary Ireland (2011) O’Malley defines political culture as “the way in which the politics operates and rules are enforced and the attitudes and beliefs of the people regarding the political system and its actors”.
Nationalism is a big factor which has influenced Irish political culture, for years different groups fought for Irish independence “The Irish are typically patriotic. Survey evidence shows that the Irish are indeed more proud than most other peoples in the world” (O’Malley, 2011). O’Malley (2011) points out that nearly all of the political parties in Ireland are descended from Sinn Fein “This might point out that nationalist politics is of central importance”. Nationalism is defined by Coakley and Gallagher (1992) in their book Politics in the Republic of Ireland as “a sense of loyalty to one’s nation”. Nationalism in Irish politics first manifested itself after the Irish people began to perceive the act of the union as a failure “The Act of the Union was something which was supposed to be for all time, yet within a short space of time many complained that it failed to deliver what it had promised” (O’Malley, 2011, pg26-27). Irish political culture was influenced by nationalism in the nineteenth century; the idea of an Irish nation based in those who were of Catholic Gaelic background became a political ideal. Coakley and Gallagher (1992) also agree that the Irish are more patriotic than other nations describing Irish nationalism as “stronger than those elsewhere in Western Europe”.
Arguably the first notable leader of Irish nationalism was Daniel O’Connell, who is described by O’Malley (2011) as “a brilliant barrister from the Catholic middle class”. ...
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