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Impediments to the Growth of Political Capacity: the Case of Japan, Yugoslavia, Mexico and Nigeria

  • A. H. Somjee

Abstract

Historically speaking, all societies, developed or developing, have experienced peculiar problems which have acted as impediments to the growth of their citizens’ political capacity. Such impediments have stemmed from, among other things, the nature of social organisation, economic structure, the exploitative role of the political elite, the ineffective role of party organisations, and persistence of the submissive attitude to political authority. More specifically, such impediments have also come, as we shall see in detail, from the persistence of traditional notions of community and harmony (Japan), political ideology and the peculiar role assigned to political party and bureaucracy (Yugoslavia), political institutions capable of being manipulated by a section of the elite (Mexico), and the inability of party organisations to build secular collectivities across the ethnic divide (Nigeria). Nevertheless, the awareness of such impediments, coupled with the cumulative political experience of the harm done by them, may in the long run persuade the people to explore the possibility of overcoming them. Such impediments, and the necessary political effort to overcome them, may eventually enhance the political capacity of the people who are engaged in such an exercise. In this chapter we shall examine in detail the peculiarities of such impediments to the growth of political capacity in Japan, Yugoslavia, Mexico and Nigeria.

Keywords

Political Institution Political Elite Democratic Process Liberal Democratic Party Political Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    With the exception of the case of over 2 per cent ‘outcasts’ or ‘untouchables’, called eta, or burakumin, who in the 1920s aspired to social mobility by allowing the socialists to champion their cause, Japanese ethnic differences have not been expressed by political cleavages. See in this connection George de Vos and Hiroshi Wagatsuma, Japan’s Invisible Race: Caste in Culture and Personality, (Berkeley, Calif.: California University Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Taketsugu Tsurutani, Political Change in Japan, (New York: David McKay 1977) p. 179.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robert Scalapino and Junnosuke Masumi, Parties and Politics in Contemporary Japan, (Berkeley, Calif.: California University Press, 1964) p. 5Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Masao Maruyama, Thought and Behaviour in Modem Japanese Politics, (London: Oxford University Press, 1969) p. 142.Google Scholar
  5. Also see in this connection F. Q,. Quo, ‘Political Development of Japan: A Negative Lesson?’, in Contributions to Asian Studies, XIV, special number, ‘Rethinking in Political Development’, ed. A. H. Somjee (1979).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    John Whitney Hall, ‘The Nature of Traditional Society’, in Robert E. Ward and Dankworth A. Rustow (eds), Political Modernization of Japan and Turkey, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964) p. 16.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See in this connection Tadashi Fukutake, Japanese Rural Society, trs. R. P. Dore (Tokyo: Oxford University Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Gerald L. Curtis, Election Campaigning Japanese Style, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971) p. x.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Some of these figures are recorded in Bradley M. Richardson, The Political Culture of Japan, (Berkeley, Calif.: California University Press, 1974). See pp. 16, 72 and 86.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    See in this connection Sidney Verba, Norman H. Nie and Jae-on Kim, Participation and Political Equality, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978) p. 60.Google Scholar
  11. 24.
    Dennison Rusinov, The Yugoslav Experiment: 1948–1978, (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1977) p. vii.Google Scholar
  12. 25.
    See in this connection Joel M. Halpern, ‘Yugoslavia: Modernization of an Ethnically Diverse State’, in Wayne S. Vucinich (ed.), Contemporary Yugoslavia: Twenty Years of Democratic Experiment, (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  13. 29.
    Frederick Singleton and Anthony Topham, Worker’s Control in Yugoslavia, (London: Fabian Society, 1963) p. 3.Google Scholar
  14. 34.
    See Josip Obradovic and William N. Dunn (eds), Workers’ Self-Management and Organization Power in Yugoslavia, (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1978) p. 4.Google Scholar
  15. 35.
    Ibid., p. 15. Also see for an analysis of voter turnout, political competitiveness and political dissent in the 1969 Yugoslav elections, Leonard J. Cohen, ‘Political Participation, Competition and Dissent in Yugoslavia: A Report of Research on Electoral Behaviour’, in Jan F. Triska and Paul M. Cocks (eds), Political Development in Eastern Europe, (New York: Praeger, 1977).Google Scholar
  16. 39.
    See in this connection Sidney Verba and Goldie Shabad, ‘Workers’ Council and Political Stratification’, American Political Science Review, LXXII, no. 1 (Mar 1978) pp. 80–95.Google Scholar
  17. 40.
    Milovan Djilas, quoted in Sharon Zukin, Beyond Marx and Tito: Theory, York: Praeger, 1957) p. 39.Google Scholar
  18. 41.
    Milovan Djilas, quoted in Sharon Zukin, Beyond Marx and Tito: Theory and Practice in Yugoslav Socialism, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975) p. 6.Google Scholar
  19. 45.
    See in this connection a fascinating work by Pablo Gonzéles Casanova, Democracy in Mexico, trs. Daniel Salti (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970) p. viii.Google Scholar
  20. 46.
    Martin C. Needier, Politics and Society in Mexico, (Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Press, 1971) p. 5.Google Scholar
  21. 48.
    Ibid., p. 45. Also see for the political attitudes of the migrants from countryside to urban centres, Wayne A. Cornelius, Politics and the Migrant Poor in Mexico City, (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1975).Google Scholar
  22. 49.
    Susan Kaufman-Purcell, The Mexican Profit-Sharing Decision: Politics in an Authoritarian Regime, (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1975) p. 8.Google Scholar
  23. 55.
    Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963) p. 414.Google Scholar
  24. 56.
    See Robert E. Scott, ‘Mexico: The Established Revolution’ in Lucian W. Pye and Sidney Verba (eds), Political Culture and Political Development, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965).Google Scholar
  25. 59.
    See in this connection Obarogie Ohonbanu, The Psychology of Nigerian Revolution, (Ilfracombe: Stockwell, 1969) p. 15.Google Scholar
  26. 60.
    Sir Frederick Lugard, quoted in G. O. Olusanya, The Second World War and Politics in Nigeria, 1939–1953, (Lagos: University of Lagos, Evans Brothers, 1973) p. 11.Google Scholar
  27. 62.
    K. W. J. Post, The Nigerian Federal Election of 1959, (London: Oxford University Press, 1963) p. 13.Google Scholar
  28. 63.
    Ibid., p. 14. See also Frederick A. O. Schwartz Jr, Nigeria: The Tribes, the Nation, or the Race, — The Politics of Independence (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1967), for the influence of ethnicity on democratic politics in NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  29. James S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1960), for a very learned account of Nigerian nationalism.Google Scholar
  30. 64.
    See John Paden, ‘Urban Pluralism, Integration and Adaption of Communal Identity of Kano, Nigeria’, in Ronald Cohen and John Middleton (eds), From Tribe to Nation in Africa: Studies in Incorporation Process, (Scranton, Pa: Chandler, 1970) p. 242.Google Scholar
  31. 65.
    See in this connection Hugh Smythe and Mabel Smythe, The New Nigerian Elite, (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  32. 66.
    Richard Sklar, ‘Nigerian Politics in Perspective’, in Robert Melson and Howard Pole (eds), Nigeria: Modernization and Politics of Communalism, (Ann Arbor: Michigan State University Press, 1971) pp. 47–8.Google Scholar
  33. 67.
    See in this connection Robin Luckman, The Nigerian Military: A Sociological Analysis of Authority and Revolt: 1960–67, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971) p. 1.Google Scholar
  34. 70.
    Margret Peil, Nigerian Politics: The People’s View, (London: Cassell, 1976) pp. 156–85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. H. Somjee 1982

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  • A. H. Somjee

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