The Family Members of Political Science
In the wide field of political science, there are so many areas of concern that always catch the interest of a keen political scientist. These areas form the significant parts that are responsible for the credibility and relevance of political science as an area of study. These areas include legitimacy, democracy, liberalism, and mobilization. There is also parliamentary government and socialization. The above areas of political science do not exist independently.
Each of these areas is related to the other in one way or the other and the ultimate result is a well functioning process or system that has more than one of these fields of political science playing a role. The relationships that exist among these fields of political science are far reaching and they enable us to understand them as deeply as possible. As a starting point, there is no doubt that having a clear view of what each of these concept is will assist in coming up with the relationships that connect them.
Legitimacy is a term applied to a scenario wherein the people subject to a certain authority are able to come out and accept or recognize the said authority. It is the approval of the government by the governed. The situation that arises when members of a community come out and claim to be part and parcel of a system of government and openly declare their willingness to abide by the doctrines that come forth from that government is a situation of legitimacy. The most common forms of legitimacy include civil legitimacy as well as numinous legitimacy.
The major sources of legitimacy include the law, tradition and character that is often termed as charisma ( Dahl, 1991). Democracy has been defined as the government of the people by the people for the people. It has such elements as free and fair elections whereby all those who want to occupy positions of government are allowed to contest these positions in open elections so long as they are able to meet minimum requirements that are always laid out in clear terms for every country.
These elections are held from time to time within a uniform duration of office time, except under special circumstances for example when a leader dies in office before his term expires. In the United States of America, elections are held after every four years whereas in Kenya general elections are held after every five years. Liberalism focuses on the preservation and strict protection of personal liberties, free markets, equal access to opportunities and the guard over excessive governmental force or power on the individual.
Mobilization as a political science term refers to the putting together of the required resources so as to push forward a particular political agenda. The assemblage of the materials that are needed in ensuring that key concerns in a political system are achieved is mobilization. The collection of data by lobbyists for democratic change, the contribution of financial resources that are needed in pushing this agenda and the attraction of the right manpower for the job is mobilization.
Parliamentary government is a system of government whereby the distinction between the various arms of administration is clear. The executive arm, the legislative arm and the judicial arm are clearly differentiated and each arm knows where its powers and authority end. Parliamentary systems of government are normally headed by prime ministers with presidents or monarchs existing as figure heads. The figure head president who is usually the head of state can be a gotten through a popular election or be chosen by parliament.
And lastly, there is socialization which refers to the general way in which one is brought up to understand the way of life as it exists in the society. Leaving the above aside, the relationships between these fields come in various forms based on the setting. Democracy is always considered a legitimate form of government given that the consent of the governed is sought. After people have participated in fair and free elections, leaders are elected and the will of the people always prevails so long as there is no interference in the electoral process.
This popular participation by the people makes the elected leadership legitimate and this is the connection between democracy and legitimacy. Mobilization is connected with both democracy and legitimacy in that for society to open up its systems to transparent forms, the civil society must assemble resources in all their facets so as to ensure that the opponents of democracy are defeated. Liberalism on the other hand is about the defense of the rights of the individual and the distribution of resources in a fair manner.
Democracy is closely linked to liberalism in that both defend fundamental rights of the individual such as speech and privacy. Liberal societies in the world tend to be very democratic with the citizens enjoying unrestricted freedom so long as they do not arm others ( Dahl, 1991). Apart from the above, the clear separation of powers under a parliamentary system of government leads to the ability of each arm of the government functioning without any unnecessary restriction and friction.
This is another angle of democracy; meaning that there is a clear link between parliamentary systems of government and democracy. It is possible that strict parliamentary systems of government can be very democratic with the will of the people being executed without failure. Britain is an outstanding example of this system of government. Sociolization has a connection to all these fields in that the kind of social exposure that people of a certain area have been subjected to determines their way of life.
People who grow up and are socialized in democratic societies tend to admire democratic processes while those brought up in countries where systems of government such as the parliamentary type of government are preferred tend to like such systems. In other words socialization determines one’s likes and dislikes ( Dahl, 1991). In conclusion, it is clear that legitimacy, democracy, liberalism, mobilization, parliamentary government and socialization are all fields of political science that are closely connected.
Liberalism and democracy push for individual rights, democracies tend to be legitimate since the will of the people is given serious consideration, mobilization of resources is necessary for any political process such as the push for democracy while parliamentary systems tend to be closely linked to democracy due to their clear separation of powers. Socialization is also linked to all the other areas in that it determines what the people in society will prefer based on how they have been brought up or socialized. Reference: Dahl, A. R. (1991). Democracy and Its Critics. ISBN 10-0300049383. Yale UnSample Essay of Paperial.com