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To influence the government or participate in policy

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to influence the government, or participate in policy formation by thegovernment or become the government, is the ‘political process’. Sincecomparative politics includes all that comes within the scope of political activityand political process, it is said to ‘drown’ the national governments “among thewhole universe of ‘partial governments’ which exist in any community.” It isneeded that the study of the government (as an element of the state) shouldbe made vis-a-vis the ‘governments’ of non-state associations that operate in away so as to influence the government of the country and also be influenced byit in some way or another. As Blondel says: “Government is the machinery bywhich values are allocated, if necessary by using compulsion: what is,therefore, important is to examine the three stages of the operation by whichthese values are allocated. Firstly, we must see the way in which the valuescome to be formulated and government is made aware of them. Secondly, wemust see how the machinery of government ‘digests’ and transforms thesevalues into decisions applicable to the whole community. Thirdly, we must seehow these decisions come to be implemented down the level of governmentalcommand. The whole operation of government thus takes the form of a two-way operation, or, perhaps more appropriately, of a machine which receivessignals and transforms these signals into others.” Finally, the scope ofcomparative politics includes the subject of ‘political power’. The term ‘power’has been defined by different writers in different ways. For instance, while. CarlJ. Friedrich describes it as ‘a certain kind of human relationship’, Tawneyregards it as ‘the capacity of an individual, or a group of individuals, to modifythe conduct of other individuals or groups in the manner in which he desires.Referring to the role of power in the matter of decision-making, Lasswell says:“The making of decision is an interpersonal process: the policies which otherpersons are to pursue are what is decided upon. Power as participation in themaking of decisions is an interpersonal relation.” Politics thus connotes aspecial case in the exercise of power—an exercise in the attempt to change theconduct of others in one’s own direction. To define the term precisely, one cansay that power “is taken to denote the whole spectrum of those externalinfluences that, by being brought to bear upon an individual, can make himmove in a required direction.”It is the study of the subject of politics from thestandpoint of ‘power’ that has widened the scope of comparative politics so asto include a study of the infra-structure of the political systems. It is on accountof this that politics “cannot be studied properly without identifying the rulingclass, or the governing and non-governing elites, and measuring theirrespective roles. Politics also functions, by and large, within groups, though aswe have seen earlier, however important in themselves the group may be,neither the individual nor the society can be left out.” The subject of ‘authority’

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