Political Culture

  • Alan R. Ball


A political culture is composed of the attitudes, beliefs, emotions and values of society that relate to the political system and to political issues.1 These attitudes may not be consciously held, but may be implicit in an individual or group relationship with the political system. Nor are they necessarily amenable to rigid definition, but, nevertheless, an awareness of the basis of the political culture will allow a more detailed picture of the political system to emerge. This would be difficult if reference were made only to the political institutions and the policy issues of the political process. In Britain there is increasing dissatisfaction with the way the country is governed and weaker attachment to the institutions and processes of government. Consequently, there is now much more discussion of reforming political institutions and more support for political innovations such as membership of the EEC, changes in the electoral system, and for a strengthening of civil liberties.2 However, there is still a fundamental consensus on the major aspects of the political system and lack of support for revolutionary changes, so that we can say that a degree of consensus exists. Where this consensus is weak, there is greater likelihood of the political system being challenged by public disorder or even revolution. The consensus may exist on the goals of the political system as well as the means of reaching those goals.3


Political System Political Institution Political Culture Political Attitude National Unity 
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Copyright information

© Alan R. Ball 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan R. Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.Portsmouth PolytechnicUK

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