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Structural Differentiation and the Developing Way of a Political System

Author: ZhongDongSheng
Tutor: ChenShengYong
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Political Theory
Keywords: Almond Political Development Structural Differentiation Cultural Secularization Structure-Functionalist
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 694
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Almond’s Theory of Political Development which is based on his theory of Structure-Functionalist insists that political development should be the development of political function, emphasizing that political structures must adapt political functions to realize the later, so it looks structural differentiation as the way of political development and through structural differentiation reaches bettering the political functions of three layers including system, process and policy among a political system so as to realize the political development of this political system after all. Almond’s theory of political development is the end of the efforts of thinking and tracing the fundamental rules and processes of the human political development by such a era-eminent politics author in the late part of the 20th century .As one of the three influential schools in developing politics, Almond’s theory of political development had ever made an comprehensive impact on comparative politics today, especially on the research of the political development of developing countries.Under the background that the political development of the developing countries is paid attention to again, selecting Almond’s theory of political development as the topic of doctoral essay to read and study his theory of political development will be helpful for us to well and truly master the actual status and developing trend of the field of political development research , to locate the entrance of the political development of the developing countries, to make reference and inspiration for the present political system reform and the construction of political civilization in our country,It must been told that there has two dimensions including structural differentiation and culture modernization in Almond’s theory of political development but in this essay I mainly research the angle of structural differentiation. This essay total has 12 chapters and its’ main contents listed as follows:The first chapter is "Introduction" .In this chapter, the author illuminates the reason of selecting study topic, the summarizing of literatures concerned, the values and innovations of this topic, points out the reasons that author takes the angle of structural differentiation as the researching entrance to Almond’s theory of political development, sets forth the researching thinking route, the researching approach and the scope of the researching literatures, and concisely illuminates the structure and its’ main contents of this essay in the end.The second chapter is "The Developing Process and Theoretic Origins of Almond’s Theory of Political Development" . In this chapter the author elucidates the process of Almond’s theory of political development of structural differentiation according to the publishing order of Almond’s works and talking about the academic origin mainly reviews Talcott Parsons’ pattern variables theory and David Easton’ political system theory.The third chapter is "The theoretic Basic of the Structural Differentiation: Structure-Functionalist". In this chapter the author indicates that the Structure-Functionalist is the theoretic basic of Almond’ theory of political development of structural differentiation to establish the keynote for the whole essay.The fourth chapter is "The Total Bill of the Structural Differentiation". In this chapter the author lists the all structures wanted to be differentiated to make a total bill of the Structural Differentiation in a chart.The fifth chapter is "The Goals of Political Development of Structural Differentiation: Democratization and Promoting the State Ability". In this chapter the author illuminates that democratization and promoting the state ability is the aims of political development of structural differentiation.The sixth chapter is "The Momentum and Environment of Structural Differentiation". In this chapter, the author illuminates that the goals of elite and five social challenges are the drives of structural differentiation and the environment including inner and outside and their interrelation.The seventh chapter is "The Condition of Political Development of Structural Differentiation : Structural Self-Determination". In this chapter ,the author illuminates that structural self-determination is the precondition of political development of structural differentiation.The eighth chapter is "The Cultural Support of StructuralDifferrentiation : CulturalSecularization " In this chapter, the author illuminates that cultural seculariization is the support of structural differentiation.The ninth chapter is "The Meaning and Limitation of political development of structural differentiation ".In this chapter, the author illuminates the meaning of structural differentiation in political development and the limitation when it works for political development.The tenth chapter is "The Two Roads of Structural Differentiation: :The Gradual and the Radical". In this chapter, the author illuminates that all political systems must finish the task of structural differentiation of system, process and policy but road is not only one and the westen developed countries have took a long time to reach this aim though the developing counties have to condense their time with different differentiation styles and respective difficulties.The eleventh chapter is " Almonds’ Response to the Outside Criticism toward His Political Development Theory and Almond’ self-Reflection" .In this chapter ,the author illuminates that the academia had criticised the limitation in his political theory and Almond also had responded to those criticises and at the some time Almond had taken self-reflection toward his political development.The twelfth chapter is "The Reconsideration and reevaluation toward Almond’ Theory of Political Development ".In this chapter the author illuminates that Almond’ theory of political development means that there emerges a particular political development way which indicates the objective contents, basic way ,road, and variables for estimation about the political development of the developing countries.According to Almond’ theory of political development ,the three layers of differentiated functional structures including system, process, and policy are still the basic contents of political development of the developing countries; the differentiated conversion process of freedom democracy still is the nuclear part of the political development of developing countries; the responsive government ability still is the fundamental aspect of the ability construction of developing countries; The choice among government ability, participation, economic growing and welfare is still the strategy as principle.According to Almond’s theory of political development ,political development means that by differentiation the political structures of citizen’s participation must be formed in the end and it indicates that those developing countries having had considerable government ability and economic capacity in the 21st century must turn to solve the citizens’ participation and welfare ,realizes the structural differentiation of political process ,ends the circumstances of lower human rights otherwise there exists danger of crashingIt must been pointed out that Almond’s theory of political development expands the universe of structural differentiation too much and its’ cultural secularization is not open enough in its’ meaning and shows the centralism of Anglo-American.

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