Political Institution || Social Institution || Bcis Notes

Political Institution || Social Institution || Bcis Notes

Political Institution(Polity)

Political Institution is standardized ways of maintaining order in the production and distribution of goods and services. It is the mother institution consisting of executive, judiciary, and legislative systems. The state is the most powerful political organization.

Political Institution consists of system mediated through democracy, communism, totalitarian, and welfare state. It is a system of interaction in any society through which binding or administrative authoritative allocations are made and implemented accordingly. It includes political parties and their manifesto, provision of voting, pressure groups, rule of law, good governance, etc.

Some salient features of political systems:

  • Rule of law, good governance,
  • election, government machinery,
  • voting behavior, civil society, constitution,
  • government formation, meritocracy

Major types (according to Aristotle)

  • Kingship – Monarchy where King is the head of state
  • Tyranny – Ruled by one
  • Autocracy and Oligarchy – Ruled by few
  • Polity or Democracy – Ruled by Many

Major types (according to Max Weber)

  • Traditional Political System – Traditional Power rules over its subjects
  • Charismatic Political System – Exceptional personality qualities win the trust of the citizens
  • Legality – Political Legitimacy through law

Major types (according to Bottomore)

  • Political System of Tribal Society – ‘Mukhiya’ or ‘Naikye’ in Raute of Nepal
  • Political System of Non-Industrial Countries – developing countries mostly from the Middle East, Latin America, Asia
  • Political System of Industrialized Countries – European Countries, America

Political System in Sociological Literature

  • Political System in Sociological literature
  • Democracy as a Political System
  • Communism as a Political System
  • Totalitarian as Political System
  • Welfare State as a Political System

1. Democracy as a Political system

  • People are ends and State means.
  • Based on two basic cultural values of equality and liberty where ultimate power resides on the people.
  • Fundamental Rights – Guaranteeing the essential freedom, personal liberty, freedom of expression of organization, and the governing activities.
  • Here is a government by the representatives of the people who are elected by the people themselves.
  • Wheel of Democracy – Civil Society, Efficient Bureaucracy, Neutral Citizens, and High Moral Characters of Rulers & Citizens.

Types of Democracy (in practice)

  • Direct Democracy – People themselves take a direct part in the affairs of the state (Ancient Greece, Switzerland)
  • Indirect Democracy – The government is run by representatives who are elected periodically by people (Nepal, India, Germany, etc)

Types of Democracy (In Economic Practices)

  • Capitalistic Democracy – private ownership of the means of production and distribution (the US, Canada, etc.)
  • Democratic Socialism – Sociology and democracy going hand in hand to meet public needs, not to make a profit for few (Greenland, Brazil, etc.)

2. Communism as a Political Science

  • People are means and states are ends.
  • It is the least practiced political system in which there is no provision of private property, liberty, individual rights, and freedom.
  • No guarantee accountability, and rule of law.
  • The Communist Party and its rules are institutionalized for maintaining social order.
  • Example: North Korea, Cuba voting behavior, transparency, etc.

3. Totalitarian as Political System

  • Dictatorship – Power is vested in one individual.
  • A person or group of people arrogate themselves and monopolize power in the state exercising it without restraint.
  • Fundamental rights are uprooted and political organizations are banned.
  • Hostile to internationalism, absence of free and independent press, one man or one-party rule, no provision of civil or political rights, fear and force are some acted activities of this system.
  • Example: Mussolini of Italy, Hitler of Germany

4. Welfare System as a Political System

  • The state is an agent of social service rather than an instrument of power.
  • Wedded with the principle of promoting the general happiness and welfare of the citizens.
  • People assure a minimum standard of living and opportunities.
  • The state takes responsibility to provide social services in the field of education, medical aid, social security, housing, and employment.
  • Examples: Canada, France, Germany, Nepal, etc.

Major Functions of Welfare state:

  • Maintenance of Peace, Harmony, Solidarity, Integrity, and Order.
  • Providing social justice, recognition, and redistribution to the citizens.
  • Providing safety nets in education, health, housing, social security.
  • Plans to conserve the common pool resources for the future.
  • Protection of old, orphans, widows, and needy people.
  • Plans to conserve common pool reserve for the future.
  • Encouragement of trade, business, industries, tourism, and income-generating activities.

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