Subjects of the political process

The main subjects of the political process are political systems, political institutions (state, civil society, political parties, etc.), organized and unorganized groups of people, as well as individuals.

A political institution is a set of norms and rules that is reproduced over time, as well as an organizational potential that streamlines political relations in a certain area of political life.

The main power institution, one of the main subjects of the political process, is the state. Another important actor in the political process is civil society, which can also be considered as a political institution. It should be noted that the state and civil society as political entities are formed in Europe and the United States around the period of the New Age under the influence of ongoing modernization changes. Since that time, we can say that the main institution of power in society is emerging, which has a monopoly on coercive violence in a certain territory – the state. At the same time, under the influence of this process, the formation of civil society takes place.

Less large-scale subjects of the political process are parties, interest groups, as well as individuals, various groups of people. Individuals and groups can participate in politics not only in an institutional form, for example, by voting in elections, but also in non-institutional forms, in the form of spontaneous mass demonstrations.

People differ in varying degrees of activity in politics. Many are not very active, but in general participate in most of the institutionalized processes. Some only observe from the outside, not only not taking an active part in political life, but also not participating in elections, not reading newspapers, etc. Others, usually a minority of citizens, on the contrary, take an active part in political life.

In order to achieve group goals, individuals can create special groups that differ in varying degrees of institutionalization – from a random group formed at a rally to a highly organized, permanent and operating according to strict rules of an interest group. Not only the achievement of specific goals depends on the degree of institutionalization of political activity (as a rule, it is the more effective, the higher the degree of institutionalization), but also the reproducibility, repetition, regularity of any political relations, their consolidation in rules and norms.

When analyzing the political process, one should take into account the nature of the interaction between its subjects. It is important to note here that the nature of interaction largely depends on the scale of the political process and actors. In particular, the nature of the interaction between the political system and the environment will be determined by the level of evolutionary development of the system and the environment, for example, the degree of internal differentiation. At the same time, the nature of interaction between subjects, in particular between a citizen and a certain party, will be determined by other parameters: institutional conditions, features of party development, the place of the party in the political system, socio-psychological characteristics of personality development, etc. In general, abstracting from the specifics of political processes and subjects, most often the nature of interaction between subjects is described in terms of confrontation, neutrality, compromise, union, and consensus.

27. Place and role of the individual in the system of political relations.
Regardless of the degree of participation of a particular person in politics, of his role in the political process, all citizens of democratic states have a number of political rights and freedoms that allow them to actively participate in political activities: the right to elect and be elected, freedom of speech, press, assembly and rallies , unions, the right to send personal and collective appeals (petitions) to the authorities. Everyone has the right to take part in the management of public affairs, both directly and through their representatives, and is potentially an active subject of the political process. In societies with totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, a person is actually and sometimes formally deprived of any political rights, being an object of state policy.

Depending on the degree of involvement of a person in politics, his political roles can be:

1) an ordinary member of society who has no influence on politics, is not interested in it and is almost exclusively the object of politics;

2) a person who is a member of a public organization or movement, indirectly involved in political activity, if this follows from his role as an ordinary member of a political organization;

3) a citizen who is a member of an elected body or is an active member of a political organization, purposefully and voluntarily included in the political life of society, but only to the extent that it is reflected in the internal life of this political organization or body;

4) a professional politician, for whom political activity is not only the main occupation and source of existence, but also constitutes the meaning of life;

5) a political leader – a person capable of changing the course of political events and the direction of political processes.

But a person is not born with a pre-assimilated political experience and with a pre-accepted role, they are acquired throughout a person’s life. The process of mastering socio-political knowledge, norms, values and skills of activity by an individual, as a result of which he assumes a certain political role, is called the political socialization of the individual. There are several stages in this process:

Stage 1 – childhood and early adolescence, when the child forms his initial political views and patterns of political behavior;

2nd stage – the period of study in high school and university, when the information side of the worldview is formed, one of the existing systems of political norms and values is transformed into the inner world of the individual;

3rd stage – the beginning of the active social activity of the individual, his inclusion in the work of state bodies and public organizations, when a person turns into a citizen, the formation of a full-fledged subject of politics;

Stage 4 – the whole subsequent life of a person, when he constantly improves and develops his political culture.

The result of political socialization is the acceptance and performance of any political role. There is also another periodization of the process of political socialization of the individual: in accordance with the degree of independence of political participation, primary and secondary socialization are distinguished. The first characterizes the process of political enlightenment of children and youth, while the second falls on adulthood and manifests itself in the active interaction of the individual with the political system on the basis of previously obtained values and orientations.

Political socialization occurs both objectively, due to the involvement of a person in social relations, and purposefully, by the forces of state institutions (including schools), public organizations, the media, etc. And the person himself can actively participate in political socialization (political self-education ).

28. Social groups as subjects of the political process.
Groups, being the main subject of politics, are included in a specific way in competitive relations over state power. In general, the concept of “group” captures the similarity of people, both in congenital and acquired in the process of life characteristics. At the same time, having the same features and qualities with other people, each person simultaneously belongs to different social groups (for example, at the same time he is the father of a family, a member of a certain professional and national group, a resident of a particular city, etc.). d.). At the same time, a person is characterized by some most significant group affiliation, expressing his main interests and values, attitude to life.

People, living and perceiving reality in accordance with these group norms and standards, enter into certain conflict relations with representatives of other communities, groups that have different needs, views on life, opportunities and resources. These intergroup relations, expressing the differences between people in one way or another, fix the level of social differentiation that has developed in each particular society. As experience shows, it is the interweaving of interests of groups, their various connections and relationships that have a significant impact on the content of political processes.

However, not all conflict relations between groups can manifest themselves in the political sphere and influence the institutions of power. Not every group seeks to use political means to solve their problems, preferring to build their relations with opponents on the ideas of cooperation, mutual understanding or the conclusion of various kinds of agreements and deals. In a number of cases, the desire to get involved in politics to protect their interests is combined by some groups with the inability to use the institutions of state power to strengthen their integrity, win new resources or achieve a higher social position. And in some, for example, totalitarian, systems, groups are completely deprived of the opportunity to claim political participation and, as a rule, are objects, not subjects of power.

Thus, from a political point of view, a social group is only a potential subject of relations in the sphere of state power. Its becoming a real, acting subject of political relations, practically using its resources to change the nature of the functioning of state power and administration, is a long and complex process that depends on many internal and external factors for the group.

The processes of political formation and promotion of group interests in the sphere of public power, which determine the formation of special institutions and mechanisms that are capable of exerting a constant impact on the state in order to redistribute social statuses and resources in accordance with the general collective needs, constitute the content of the system of social representation.

The main elements of such a system are: sources and causes of political participation; the process of group self-organization; formation of representative structures and their interaction with the authorities.

29.political socialization of the individual. Political socialization is the process of assimilating certain political knowledge, values and norms, transferring and acquiring political experience accumulated by previous generations of people, allowing the individual to become a full participant in the political life of society, navigate complex social processes, and make a conscious choice in politics. The process of political socialization proceeds continuously throughout the life of the individual. With the accumulation of socio-political experience, there is a constant modification or strengthening of the corresponding positions and activities of the individual. Political socialization is the formation of political consciousness and behavior of the individual, the adoption and execution of political roles, and the manifestation of political activity. Political socialization is present in any country and under any form of government. The main tasks of the process of political socialization are: – transfer to new members of society of the main elements of its political culture and consciousness; – creation of favorable conditions for the accumulation by members of the community of the necessary political experience for political activity and creativity of all comers; – transformation of the relevant elements of political culture as a necessary condition for change. Factors influencing the process of political socialization: – institutions (family, school, institute, enterprise); – communication groups (relatives, acquaintances, interest groups); – mass media (print , radio, television, computer information systems); – the nature and type of government, political institutions, parties and movements; – culture, science, art; – national traditions. Nevertheless, the predominance of certain political values and no orientation to the monotony of political life, leaves a wide choice for a person for his political preferences, ways of establishing relations with political power. The most optimal is this type of relationship between a person and political power, when, through traditions, historical experience, he is connected with the past; with the help of norms, institutions, values of the present and the past, it actively influences the ways of implementing political power, and through goals, political organizations influences future political events and processes. The following types of political socialization are distinguished: – harmonious – generating a rational and respectful attitude to the rule of law, the state , civic obligations; – hegemonic – characterized by a person’s negative attitude towards any social and political systems, except for “one’s own”; – pluralistic – indicating the recognition of equality with other citizens by a person and characterizing his ability to change his political preferences, move to other value orientations.

30. political leader. Leadership is the ability to influence individuals and groups of people, directing their efforts to achieve the goals of an organization or individual. A leader (from the English leader – leading) is an authoritative member of an organization or social group, whose personal influence allows him to play a significant role in socio-political processes and situations, in regulating relationships in a team, group, society. Political leadership combines the most important , the essential features of politics: power, authority, leadership, expression and representation of social interests. The basis of the phenomenon of political leadership is the ability of the leader, both individuals and organizations that reflect and satisfy the interests of their followers can act in this capacity. Political leadership is a process of interaction between people, during which they express and know the needs and interests of followers and, therefore, have authority and influence, while others voluntarily give them part of their political, power and rights to carry out their purposeful representation and implementation. Characteristics of political leadership: 1) the presence of their own political program or innovative strategies and tactics that are developed by the leader or put forward on his behalf; 2) the ability to express and defend the views and interests of a particular group; 3) certain character traits that are manifested in the implementation activities programs and the unification of their supporters (persistence, will, flexibility, etc.); 4) the necessary level of political culture; 5) the image of a leader that meets the moral standards accepted in a given society, group; 6) popularity, the ability to win supporters and influence on people, sociability, oratorical skills or other qualities that somehow replace them; 7) the presence of a “team” of assistants and performers capable of organizing the actions of their supporters; 8) the ability to achieve a certain level of support from the broad masses of the people, from official power structures or from public organizations (the best option is to have support at all levels of power, in various social groups and parties); 9) the ability to be like one’s supporters or voters, to behave in such a way that each member of the group can approach the leader, but at the same time be “inaccessible”, “special” in the eyes of public opinion; 10) speaking on behalf of society or the group whose interests the leader represents, defiantly emphasizing the priority of the public over the personal. In politics, according to the nature and scale of activity, three levels of leaders are distinguished. Leaders of small groups who have power in a given group of people with common interests.2. The leader of a social movement (organization, party) is a person with whom specific social strata (groups) associate the possibility of satisfying their interests.3. The leader of the third level is a politician acting in the system of power relations, in which political leadership is presented as a social institution.1. The typology of leadership according to M. Weber – depending on the ideal types of domination: traditional – based on faith in the sanctity of traditions, established customs, on habit; legal – based on the belief in the legality and rationality of the existing order; charismatic – based on the belief in the supernatural abilities of the leader, in the presence of exceptional qualities in a particular leader.2. Typology of leadership according to G. Lasswell – depending on the inclination of leaders to a certain model of behavior: campaigning – influencing by the power of words, oratory, personal example; organizational – influencing the political process through the use of the possibilities of the structure, organization; theoretical – influencing the power of intellect, logic.4. Typology of leadership according to R. Tucker – depending on the goals of the leaders and on the impact on society: conservative – based on the rationale for the need to preserve society in its current, modern form; reformatory – striving for a radical transformation of the social structure through a large-scale change, primarily in power structures; revolutionary – aiming at the transition to a fundamentally different social system, to a qualitatively new situation. Depending on the type of institutionalization, formal (functional relations) and informal (personal relations of participants) leadership are distinguished. situational (manifested in a certain situation). According to the methods used by leaders to manage society: democratic – expressed in the consideration by the leader of the interests and opinions of all members of the group or organization, in their involvement in management; authoritarian – implies a sole guiding influence based on rigid centralism, power and force methods. In terms of content, political leadership is divided into creative, when the leader develops and proposes a program of behavior, and executive, when the leader acts only as an executor of an already given program. Depending on the subjects, it can be individual and group political leadership, depending on the object – national, party, territorial, etc. In relation to power, ruling and opposition leadership are distinguished. Depending on the duration, political leadership can be temporary and permanent.

31. place and role of a political leader. Leadership functions: socio-organizational (integrative) – organization and management, motivation and integration into a single social community; cultural-organizational (socio-cultural) – the socialization of the value orientation of people; normative-regulatory – coordination and regulation of political interests. Political leadership combines the most important, essential features of politics: power, authority, leadership, expression and representation of social interests. The basis of the phenomenon of political leadership is the ability of the leader, both individuals and organizations that reflect and satisfy the interests of their followers can act in this capacity. Political leadership is a process of interaction between people, during which they express and know the needs and interests of followers and, therefore, have authority and influence, while others voluntarily give them part of their political, power and rights to carry out their purposeful representation and implementation. In politics, according to the nature and scale of activity, there are three levels of leaders.1. Leaders of small groups who have power in a given group of people with common interests.2. The leader of a social movement (organization, party) is a person with whom specific social strata (groups) associate the possibility of satisfying their interests.3. The leader of the third level is a politician acting in a system of power relations in which political leadership is presented as a social institution. A leader (from the English leader – leading) is an authoritative member of an organization or social group, whose personal influence allows him to play a significant role in social – political processes and situations, in the regulation of relationships in a team, group, society. Leadership is the ability to influence individuals and groups of people, directing their efforts to achieve the goals of an organization or individual.

32. political elite. The political elite is a large social group that has a certain level of political influence and is the main source of leadership for the personnel institute of a particular community. The political elite is a large social group that has a certain level of political influence and is the main source of leadership for the personnel institute of that community. or another community. The political elite is a relatively small layer of people (a kind of ruling class) that holds leadership positions in government bodies, political parties, public organizations, etc. and influences the development and implementation of policy in the country. This concept also denotes groups of persons with a high position in society, active in political and other spheres of activity, with authority, influence, wealth: high-ranking professional politicians endowed with power functions and powers, senior civil servants. The main task of the political elite is to create a sustainable balance of political forces, the formation of a stable and effective regime (the political system of society), the development and provision of a strategic course for effective, competitive and democratic development. As society develops, the requirements for the level of its management, including the quality of political elites, increase. Some countries, not possessing significant natural resources (Japan, Hong Kong, etc.), under the leadership of an effective national elite and due to its rational management, achieve significant success in their development. At the same time, some countries with significant resources, due to ineffective leadership by their national elites, are in a difficult socio-economic situation. systems. The functions of the political elite: – strategic – determining the political program of action by generating new ideas that reflect the interests of society, classes, strata, etc.; – organizational – implementing the developed course in practice, putting political decisions into practice; – integrative – strengthening stability and unity of society, the stability of its political and economic systems, the prevention and resolution of conflict situations. Vertical typology of the political elite: – the highest – making decisions that are significant for the entire state; – the middle – governors, deputies of parliament, leader political parties and movements; – the lowest – political figures of a local scale. Horizontal typology of the political elite: – federal – at the level of the entire state; – provincial – at the level of districts, regions. According to its structure, the power elite can be divided: – into state- management; – party-political; – socio-political; – corporate-administrative and oligarchic; – military-political; – scientific and consulting; – counter-elite, etc. The political elite is also divided into: – the ruling one, which directly possesses state power; – the opposition, which seeks to obtain this power, being in a state of confrontation with the ruling one. In most Western countries, there is not a single dominant political elite, but functional elites, which are persons who have the qualifications necessary to perform certain leadership functions that are very important for society. The French political scientist R. Aron identified the following five categories of managers: 1) top political leadership; 2) top civil administration and military leadership; 3) owners or managers of enterprises, banks; 4) leaders of trade unions and political parties; 5) media executives, intellectuals, priests. The political elite is the central element of state administration, on whose activities the direction and course of the political development of society, the functioning of the political system largely depend.

33. concepts of elites. Modern theories of elitism interpret the political elite and its role in society in different ways. Proponents of the value concept argue that the political elite is the most important constructive element of society with the highest abilities and performance in the leading areas of activity for the entire state. Therefore, the dominant position of the elite is beneficial to the whole society and compatible with democracy. In a democratic state, through elections, the masses influence the formation of the elite and control it to a greater or lesser extent. A developed political elite is a necessary element of democratic development, as it possesses the qualities necessary for governing and consistently defends the values of democracy. The concept of plurality, or pluralism, of elites denies the existence of a political elite as a single, relatively cohesive, privileged ruling group. There are many political elites in the autonomous centers of power. The influence of each of them occurs within the framework of a particular field of activity and is controlled by the basic groups that it represents. In Western countries, there is not a single dominant political elite, but functional elites, which are individuals who have the qualifications necessary to perform very important leadership functions for society. The French political scientist R. Aron identified the following five categories of managers: a) top political leadership; b) higher civil administration and military leadership; c) owners or managers of enterprises, banks; d) leaders of trade unions and political parties; e) media leaders, intellectuals, priests. The political elite is analyzed by the American political scientist R. Mills (1916–1962) in his book The Power Elite (1959). The ruling elite of the United States is subdivided by him into the actual political, state-bureaucratic, military and corporate-administrative. Mills identified four status levels of power and types of elites: 1) the ruling elite is the product of a certain method of producing material wealth; 2) the political elite is that part of the ruling class that leads society and is more active; 3) the ruling elite, on the one hand, represents an element, and on the other hand, a product of the political system; 4) the ruling elite of our days personifies a combination of economic, military and political power. According to Mills, in a democracy, the activity of the majority in the political space is much reduced, and power in society is exercised by one and by the same circle of people who are not influenced by the majority. Therefore, the policy of the state is the policy of the ruling elite, which resorts to compromises and consensus in the management of society. The qualities of elitism are wealth, social origin, upbringing, etc. The modern Russian political elite is classified according to areas: in the executive authorities, legislative, in parties, etc. The federal and regional levels of political elites, sources and places of its formation and others

34.civil society. Civil society is a system for ensuring the vital activity of social, cultural and spiritual spheres, reproduction and transmission of values from generation to generation. This is a system of independent and independent of the state public institutions and relations, which are designed to meet individual and collective needs. Among the institutions of civil society, there are: – the family; – the church; – the education system; – scientific, professional associations; – interest associations, sports organizations; – trade unions; – foundations, associations, etc. Civil society is a set of social formations, groups, collectives, united by specific interests – economic, ethnic, cultural, implemented outside the sphere of state activity. The existence of a civil society is possible only when a member of this society feels like a citizen: he has a certain set of rights and freedoms, and at the same time bears moral and other responsibility to society for his actions. The concept of civil society is revealed in a broad and narrow sense. In a broad sense, civil society includes all social structures and relations that are not directly regulated by the state. In this case, elements of civil society are present in any state, even a totalitarian one, since it is impossible to completely eliminate (even by violent measures) the natural forms of human life. Civil society in the narrow sense is a society at a certain stage of its development, when it acts as a socio-economic basis democratic and legal state. In modern political science, the understanding of civil society in the narrow sense is predominantly used. From such positions, civil society is a sphere of life of individuals not directly controlled by the state, relationships of free individuals not mediated by the state in the conditions of the market and a democratic rule of law. If vertical subordination relations are characteristic of state power and state structures, then civil society is built on horizontal relations solidarity and fair competition of free and equal partners. In a civil society, throughout its development, fundamental norms, principles, traditions, and guidelines for how each of its members should behave in society, no matter how high social position they occupy. A person in civil society is both a private person and a citizen of society. The sphere of private interests, wage labor and private rights is freed from political control.

35.conditions for the functioning of civil society. The main purpose of civil society is to achieve agreement, or consensus, between various social forces and interests, counteract various destructive forces and direct them into a creative direction. Civil society exists due to the organic coexistence within its framework of diverse social forces, institutions, organizations, interest groups, which are united by the desire for a common harmonious life. One of the main characteristics of civil society is a secular beginning (in contrast to medieval theocracy – the dominance of religion in public life ). Public and private, society and state, law and morality, political ideology and science, religious and secular have the right to exist. A democratic state does not need religion for its recognition, and faith is a personal matter of a believer who himself chooses a church, confession (or does not choose if he is on the positions of atheism). Freedom of conscience is one of the fundamental rights of the individual and citizen. Since the central element of civil society is a single individual, there are institutions in civil society that contribute to the comprehensive realization of this individual, his interests, goals and aspirations. Institutions of civil society: – family; – family ties; – communities; – professional organizations; – creative and scientific unions, associations, funds; – labor collectives; – social strata, estates, classes; – public organizations, etc. The unit of social interactions in civil society is a group. A group is a collection of people who come together to achieve a specific goal. A characteristic feature of a group is the functional dependence of its members on each other. The group acts by virtue of its interests, attitudes, values. If these goals are formulated clearly and definitely, the viability of the group will be effective. Groups are classified: – according to their role in society; – size; – purpose; – functions. There are so-called interest groups united by a common interest, for example, associations of financiers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers; youth, women’s organizations, etc.

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