By Trevor Munroe
Crucial fabric for first-year scholars in social sciences and for the overall reader drawn to the fundamentals of up to date politics.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Politics: Lectures for First Year Students
There is no formal parliament, nor ministers, but there is politics, for example, in the family, in a relationship, in an office, in church – all of which we would be unable to study as politics were we to accept the dictionary definition. The heart and soul of politics is not the prime minister or the electorate; these are part of the structure of national politics. The heart and soul of politics is decision making – choosing one thing against the other. Decision making is also affected by the use of authority.
One way of measuring whether elections are free and fair is the extent to which a state in its political history actually demonstrates that opposition parties do come to power by virtue of elections. Consider an example of a state that claimed to be democratic but in which for 50 years, there were “free and fair” elections in which the same party was elected over and over. Then you would want to look at that state again to see whether those elections were really free and fair. On the contrary, if you consider a country in which there are claims of free and fair elections, in which oppositions kept getting elected and governments were removed by elections, then some democracy exists in that country, whatever weaknesses there may be.
Some leaders are set in their ways in requiring near absolute obedience and deference at the very same time that, for many reasons, the citizens and followers are much more in the mode of resistance to being directed and openness to being involved in an active leader–follower relationship. NOTE 1. See Trevor Munroe, “Caribbean Thought and the Political Process”, in Contending With Destiny, ed. Ken Hall and Denis Benn (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2000), 237–47. 3 CHANGES IN POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR AND POLITICAL CULTURE In order to explain changes in political behaviour and political culture we need to understand the roles of social forces and of political socialization, which we discuss in chapter 4.
An Introduction to Politics: Lectures for First Year Students by Trevor Munroe