Pressure Groups & Political Parties Outline Social Cleavages

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Pressure Groups & Political Parties


  • Social Cleavages

  • Interest aggregation

  • Interest/pressure groups

  • Political parties

  • Party systems

  • Decline of political parties

Sociological Origins of Group Politics

  • Group politics are shaped by social cleavages

  • In political science, the term ‘cleavages’ refers to social divisions which are sufficiently serious to form the basis of opposing collective identities and to give rise to organizations to promote or protect these collective interests.

  • Cleavage is not the same as conflict.

  • So, where there are significant cleavages there may be conflict, though this is not necessarily the case.

Major Cleavages in the West

  • Rokkan Identified four major processes of historical transformation in western civilisation which, he argued, formed the bases of party systems across western Europe.

  • The Reformation

  • National revolutions which created unified states and broke up regional and local affiliations [Prussia, growth of modern Italy, France etc.]

  • The industrial revolution which replaced the local loyalties of agrarian society with economically specific groups of interests amongst classes (and was also partially responsible for declining religiousity)

  • The Communist seizure of power in 1917

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wang files -> Review of China's Political History? All societies are in some measure the products of their past
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wang files -> Executive-Legislative Relations Presidential and Parliamentary Systems Outline
wang files -> The State and Economy Why was Economic Reform Necessary? Economic development is impossible unless the following three problems can be solved
wang files -> To get rich is glorious: Rising expectations, declining control, and escalating crime in contemporary China

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