La culture politique en anglais

Cours de politique en anglais pour Sciences Po ! Les sciences politiques en anglais : comment est perçue la culture politique en anglais, quelle est la légitimité des gouvernements, comment les citoyens participent ou ne participent pas à la politique, en quoi cela change la société. Une merveille pour vos copies de Sciences Po, que ce soit en anglais ou en culture générale.

Understanding political culture

The « classic » approach to political culture :
– Almond and Verba’s The Civic Culture (1963) is the first classic in the field.
Political Culture : attitudes, beliefs, values of citizens with respect to their political regimes
3 parts of the political system :

1. Attitude toward the political system (legitimacy)

A.Sources of legitimacy
Sources of legitimacy are : traditionnal, elections, personnality (on their vision, on their trust, on their wisdom), ideology (totalitarian regimes)

B. Reasons for a regime’s lack of legitimacy may be :
Citizens dispute the physical bounderies of the political system.
Citizens dispute about process
Citizens dispute about outcomes

2. Attitudes toward the political process

A. Participant culture, Subject culture or Parochial culture
Participant culture are those who are informed about politic and participate. High voting rate. People provide supports and make demands on the system.
Subject political culture. People who obey government’s rule but don’t necessary vote or participate.
Parochial : someone who knows very little, and don’t care about politic.
In USA and UK, a study showed there were 60% Participants 30% Subject 10% Parochial
German political culture in the 1960s was more subject than participant.

B. The ideal « Civic Culture »
Not too much participation and not too much parochial. A democracy would be more stable if there was a mix of participants and subjects.

3. Attitudes toward political outcomes

A. What kind of society should regimes try to achieve ?
Consensual or conflictual ? Consensual : most people share the same values. Conflictual : fondamental conflicts about what the government should do. Nowadays, countries are less and less consensual.

B. Is the country’s political culture consensual or conflictual ? Political subcultures
In France, after WWII : two poles did not speak to each other. Different newspapers
Political subculture because of geographic reasons. Melting pot of the USA : mixture geographically in terms of schools.

Political Socialization

1. What is political socialization : the process by which people

The first place of political socialization is the family.

A. Political socialization can be direct or indirect :
School is direct political socialization.

B. Political socialization continues throughout the life span

C. Political socialization can be unifying or diversifying :
Conflictual political culture : socialized into a subculture

2. Agents of political socialization

A. Family, school, religious, affiliations, peer groups (people who group together because of political culture) , parties, interest groupes

B. Medias
« Conventional » media and the Internet
Politically-oriented blogs

3. Contemporary approaches to political culture and change

A. Modernization, secularization, globalization leads to increased political efficacy (countercurrent of localism and ethnic politics)
Political efficacy : you feel you understand the politic of the government and you can impact on it

B. Inglehart, Welzel, Dalton
Three basis of the World Values Survey (

C. Emphasis on processes of cultural and resulting political change

D. Post-materialism : begins with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy : 1943 « Theory of Human Motivation »
Physiological > Safety > Love/belonging > Esteem > Self-actualization
Physiological : breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion
Safety : security of body, employment, ressources, morality, the family, health, property
Love/belonging : friendship, family, sexual intimacy
Esteem : self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others
Self actualization : morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts

How do these developments in culture and socialization impact political regimes ?

A. People become increasingly critical of institutionalized authority.
Elite mandating : give permission to elite to run the country. That’s what elections are.
Elite challenging : challenging what elite makes, questionning their politic

B. Regimes subject to demands for more popular empowerment.

C. Emergence of « dissatisfied democrats » (Dalton) or « critical citizens » (Norris)

Clearly, there is a criticism going on among citizens who feel an increasement of political efficacy.

Une réflexion sur « La culture politique en anglais »

  1. Bonjour,
    Tout d’abord j’aurais aimé savoir si il ne manque pas un bout de phrase dans le 1 de Political Socialization,What is political socialization : the process by which people; ne manque-t-il pas la fin de la définition de socialization?
    Merci d’avance pour vos réponses!
    Et au fait le site est vraiment super merci beaucoup!

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