Political Culture And The Challenge For Democracy In The United Kingdom

1851 words - 7 pages

INTRODUCTION
Is it the change in political culture that generates the greatest challenge for democracy in the United Kingdom? That was the question I was asked to answer for this paper and through my research, I have concluded that the political culture provides the greatest challenge for the democracy because it is always changing on the basis of imperialist ideals, the problems with the class system and the changes that Tony Blair made.

DEFINITIONS
Social cleavages are divisions that can come from religion, ethnic diversity, race, and economic class that in turn interact with the political system. It is measured by how many people are getting along with each other, how people react towards policy; the number of revolts or riots in the country can also measure it. This affects the democracy in the United Kingdom, however, not enough to be considered the main reason for problems.
Inherited institutions are described as what is inherited from the previous regimes. For the United Kingdom, this is described as imperialism, colonization and even the monarchy. It can be measured in Britain and Northern Ireland by how much influence these institutions still have on the country. These institutions play a large part in the challenge of democracy, but not by themselves. They show through the microscope of political culture.
Political culture can be described as the set of beliefs and opinions people share about their government and social responsibilities. In the United Kingdom, it can be measured by what people think of the government and what they are doing to improve it. These problems play the largest role in the challenges because they are affected by all three compartivist ideas.
As you can see through the definitions, not one completely and solely affects the challenge for a changing democracy in the United Kingdom. However, political culture and its problems provide the greatest challenge for democracy in the United Kingdom. It will affect the challenges presented through the inherited institutions because of the imperialism that still affects the political culture today. It also affects the serious social cleavages because the political culture is heavily reliant on the class system. The most interesting thing about the political culture is that it is constantly changing, unlike the inherited institutions, which stay the same. It molds itself to the most talked about problems and helps the people form opinions and beliefs about what the government should be doing. Because of this, the political culture of Britain is the greatest challenge for continual democracy.

EVIDINCE
The affect of Imperialism
When we look at the political culture of the United Kingdom, we can first look at the imperialism of their past and their present. Many political scientists suggest that this relates more to the institutions inherited, however, evidence from the Economist suggests that this is not the case. An article...

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