Political Order in Changing Societies cover

Political Order in Changing Societies


Political Order in Changing Societies is a 1968 book by Samuel P. Huntington dealing with changes in political systems and political institutions. Huntington rejected the prevalent more optimistic modernization theories, arguing that order and stability themselves are crucial objectives in developing countries. As stated by Francis Fukuyama, Huntington argued that political decay was "at least as likely as political development", and that neither "economic nor social development" could proceed without political order, the actual experience of newly independent countries being "one of increasing social and political disorder".Huntington argues that changes are caused by tensions within the political and social system, and criticizes modernization theory, contending that its argument for economic change and development being the prime factors responsible for the creation of stable, democratic political systems is flawed. Focusing on other factors like urbanization, increased literacy, social mobilization, and economic growth, he stresses that those factors are not significantly related to political development; in fact a major part of his argument is that those processes are related but distinct.The existence (or lack) of order should not be confused with the issue of the type of that order (both on political level - democratic, authoritarian, and on economic level - socialist, free-market, etc.) While modernity equals stability, modernization is actually a cause for instability, due to urbanization, rising expectations due to literacy, education and the spread of media, etc. In consideration of the 1960's Soviet Union, he considered the United States and the Soviet Union "equally excellent" on grounds of the strong controls imposed by the latter.
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date of publication: 1968
genre: political science

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