A Cause in Search of Its Effect, or What Does Political Culture Explain?

Originally published in Comparative Politics 11 (2), 1979
  • David J. Elkins
  • Richard E. B. Simeon


Elkins and Simeon are less specific than Almond (in chapter 1) and Ross (in chapter 3) about defining political culture. But by way of clarification, they provide us with a series of topics that political cultures routinely address. They are also careful to distinguish between a narrow conception of culture (e.g., certain mental predispositions) and the behaviors or political institutions (what other analysts sometimes call cultural artifacts) that may stem from them. More important, they alert us for the need to be careful in applying political culture theory to the explanation of social phenomena and warn us against unrealistic expectations. In the process, they produce several caveats.


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Copyright information

© Lane Crothers and Charles Lockhart 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Elkins
  • Richard E. B. Simeon

There are no affiliations available

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