Do you think that Political Development provides the right inputs to Political Modernisation?


Gabriel Almond defined political development as “the increased differentiation and specialization of political structures and the increased secularization of political culture”. Effectiveness, efficiency and capability were seen as benchmark of political development, referred by Coloman as “Development Syndrome”.

Lucian W. Pye, one of the outstanding experts on political development identified three levels, viz., population, government performance and organization of the polity; where political development could be observed. According to him, there are three essential attributes of political development. These are: Firstly, Equality: which signifies, -mass participation -universal laws

-recruitment on the basis of merit rather than a scriptive criterions. Secondly, Capacity: which signifies -governmental performance -efficiency and effectiveness -secular orientation Thirdly, Differentiation: which meant


-diffusion and specialization of structures -division of labour -specialization based on integration

S.P. Huntington sought to evacuate parasitic world of political development. According to S.P. Verma, “his criteria for political development were institutionalization of political organizations and procedures”. He highlighted that political development is not a unidimensional phenomenon. Rather, the institution decay and dissolve and grow mature.

F. W. RIGGS gave the concept of development trap. His contention is that there should be balance between equality and capacity. An emphasis on the one will lead to neglect of another and get into ‘development trap’.



1. There is no unanimity among scholars on the meaning, content and nature of political development.

2. There is a tendency to see political development in parasitic terms, as something dependent on other variables.

3. There is ethnocentric bias in much of the literature on political development. Political development is identified with political modernization and modernization is taken to mean westernization, by most scholars.

4. They fail to after a sound model for analyzing political process in developing countries.


5. It was a historical role in the sense that it promoted anti-communist, pro-American political stability as Robert Packehham has pointed out.

6. S.P. Verma accuses the western theorists of emphasizing order and stability at the cost of more general shared view on liberty or other value.

7. Most of the theories fail to articulate a integrated view of political development. As S.P. Verma has pointed out, “economic growth and political stability are not aims in themselves but means to something else”.

Evaluation of Debate on Political Development:


Much of the debate on political development fails to arrive at conclusion due to (a) unidirectional approach, (b) different variables, and (c) value preferences of the theorists. There is complete neglect of a country’s history and its various political traditions.

It has following implications. They fail to see that development and underdevelopment are the two sides of the same coin. As S.P. Verma observes “It is this over-development on the part of one-third of the world (within which also large masses continue to live under conditions of under-development) which is responsible, by and large.

Like the concept of political development, political modernization is also a recent entrant into the realm of political science; he term is still in the process of evolution and lacks a clear cut definition.

Nevertheless, the aspect of modernization is visualized as a complex process by which a definite change could be brought about in human perception and activity, its political manifestation, modernization stands for, as Morton, Davis and Vaughan observe ‘the transformation of the political culture in response to the changes in social and physical environments in view of the fact that it is intricately related to a wide spectrum of social and economic factors.


Different Views on Political:

Clande E. Welch, Jr: “the process based not the rational utilization of resources and at the establishment of a modern society.”

Benjamin Schwartz: “the systematic, sustained and powerful application of human energies to the rational control of man’s physical and social environment for various human purposes”.

Samuel P. Huntington: “a multi-faceted process invents change in all areas of human thought and activity relief from traditions”.

David Apter: “Transfer of roles from metropolis to periphery”.

Political modernization is a particular aspect of multidimensional modernization process. Wherein a change in socio-economic variables is seen to be producing a deterministic change in the politics of a country. In other words, political change accruing out of changes in the social structure and economic development is referred to as political modernization.

Mainly its concern is to bring about a desired change in people’s perception commensurate with the changes in socio-economic structures. It thus, turns out that only specific political systems are referred to as politically modernized, while others are not. It refers to the political transformation as occurred in Europe in the modern period. Main Characteristics of Political Modernization

Lucian W. Pye identifies following tenets of Political Modernization:

1. General attitude towards equality that allows equality of opportunity to participate in politics and complete for government office,

2. Capacity of a political system to formulate policies and to have them carried out,

3. Differentiation and specialization of political functions, though not at the expense of their overall integration, and

4. Secularization of the political process or the separation of politics from religious and other influences.

Dimensions of Political Modernization:

Samuel P. Huntington identifies following dimensions of political modernization:

Firstly, at the psychological level, it involves a change in the norms, values, attitudes and orientations of the people.

Secondly, at the intellectual level, it involves a tremendous expansion of man’s knowledge about his environment and the diffusion of this knowledge throughout society through increased literacy and mass communication.

Thirdly, at the demographic level, it implies improvements in the standards of living and progress towards the mobility of people and urbanization.

Fourthly, at the social level, it has a tendency to replace the focus of individual’s loyalty to family and other primary groups to voluntarily organized secondary associations, and

Fifthly, at the economic level it involves the growth of market agriculture, improvement in commerce at the expense of agriculture development of industrialization and widening of the economic activity.

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