Political Culture and Political Instability
In 1963 two American political scientists published the first systematic comparison of popular attitudes to political authority in Britain and in other Western democracies (Almond and Verba, 1963). The British, they concluded, had a uniquely balanced attitude to authority — neither too rebellious nor too acquiescent — which promoted stable democracy. They nevertheless sounded a mild note of warning, remarking, on Britain, ‘it is possible that deference to political elites can go too far’. If the British had a fault, in other words, it was that they were a little too ready to respect authority in general and government authority in particular.
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