Political Systems: Meaning, Functions, and Types of Political System
A society comprises of citizen, nature, economy, rights, responsibilities, and policies. For a better governance of every policy regarding society, a group of members collectively in an institution is elected by the voters and rules the state or country.
Political parties are an essential part of a country. It safeguards citizen rights and responsibilities at the same time. It provides essential rights to the citizen of a country. For example in India, there are many rights namely Right to speech, Right against exploitation, right to freedom etc. In the same way, political parties also ensure some of the basic responsibilities of the citizen.
Some of the responsibilities assigned to the citizen are important for the growth of the country. And if they fail to obey the regulations, they are either charged fine or given some serious punishment.
Even in those countries which do not have a democratic approach, like if they follow monarchy pattern in the country, still they have some set pattern in which some intellectual people sit together and hold an influential place in the decision-making process.
In the 1960 two political scientists namely Gabriel Almond and James Coleman presented their thoughts by stating that Political System is the combination of individuals who run a state or country’s government by legislature procedure for the welfare of the country.
In 1994, ‘Oxford Dictionary of Sociology’ came up with a well-defined definition and function of Political System as the combination of three basic elements i.e. power, rule, and authority. It mainly consists of associations which comprise some people who worked on a set pattern of goal and achievements. Their basic function of these parties is to set a goal and complete it in the due course of time.
Function of Political Parties:-
In 1960, Almond and Coleman provided the basic function of political parties
- To always maintain a situation, in which society can always remain in harmony. The reasons for dispute should be eliminated as soon as possible by them.
- To safeguard every religion and culture in a country. It is necessary for people to respect other communities for making society a better place.
- There will always be some kind of danger from different countries. Its function is to protect its party as well as the country from any kind of threat by external factors.
Further, these functions get divided into two types of functions in which can be put conveniently. The first one is Input function which comprises four elements i.e. Political Socialization, Interest Articulation, Interest Aggregation and Political communication between the parties. The second one is Output function which accounted for rulemaking, rule adjustments and rule application. It focused more on results rather than the procedure, unlike Input Function.
Further, in 1966, Eisenstadt also researched for Political Parties function and made three important classifications of political system function
- Legislative– They are the decision-making organization.
- Decision Making– In a group of a legislative assembly, people who can put their ideas and come up with a decision.
- Administrative – They are the management of an organization.
TYPES OF POLITICAL SYSTEM
- TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM
It is one of the primitive and conservative ways of governing a country. It is just opposite to a democratic political system. In this system, a state is assigned for governing every aspect of judgment and rule formation. It does not ask a commoner opinion. It dominates the voice of commoners and imposes its own decision every time. This system can never benefit a society, said Karl Marx under one of his quotes. This system only knew authority, and it lacked the basic need of a common man, for a common man that is Rights. Hitler’s Nazi of Germany cruelty and authority over everything is still a discussion in Totalitarian system. Some more examples of this system are Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Soviet Union.
- Oligarchic System
It somehow gets similar with the Totalitarian system but because the amount of authority over everything was lower as compared to Totalitarian, it got a new name. In this system, some intellectual people sit together and made a decision of a larger section of society according to their level of judgment. There was less cruelty but the same dominance like Totalitarian system.
- Democratic System
It is by far the best system any country can adapt. It guarantees the rights of every citizen. It doesn’t account for dominating. Instead, it allows the citizen to choose a member of its own choice. People are freely given the rights it deserves, unlike another system. It can be said that it represents the concept of equalitarian society in which everybody gets a fair chance to express and govern them.