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Political / Civic Culture

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  • 1. TOPIC 5: POLITICAL/CIVIC CULTURE JCM 224
  • 2. INTRODUCTION  We cannot escape from politics (except we decide to live alone in an isolated island!), so how we learn about, think of, as well as what we perceive, and feel about, politics, are of significance  We learn, accumulate and transmit culture through different ways in society that shapes our understanding, perception, attitude, evaluation and even action. This process is called socialization [ 社會化 ]. 2 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 3. POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION [ 政治社會化 ]  Is a lifelong process through which we learn about politics.  concerns the acquisition of emotions (feelings), identities, and skills as well as information. It involves what people learn (content), when they learn it (timing and sequence) and from whom (agents).  Is an uncontrolled, uncontrollable, diffuse [ 擴散 ], indirect and unplanned process  Takes place in various institutions that is influenced by the context of communication: the family (parents, television, internet), peer group (classmates, friends), and workplace (colleagues, managers)  e.g., In the Asian societies, a child finds unconditional love and attention from the family; as a result, the child respects and does not question parental authority that leads to the similar deference to political rulers later in life 3 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 4. POLITICAL CULTURE  The sum of the fundamental values, sentiments and knowledge that give form and substance to political process: How values, sentiments and knowledge influence politics within states (Lucien Pye) Political culture of Chinese peasants 4 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 5. THE CIVIC CULTURE [1]  In Almond and Verba’s book The Civic Culture (1963), there are 3 types of political/civic culture: 5 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 6. THE CIVIC CULTURE [2] 1. Parochial [ 偏狹 ]  citizens are only unclearly aware of the existence of central government due to the removal of the government from people’s lives  can be found in isolated rural communities or in the growing number of inner city areas  e.g., In traditional China, people who lived in Guangzhou might know about the emperor living and working in Beijing, but did not know about what the emperor and the government were doing; Hong Kong people in the 19th century 6 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 7. THE CIVIC CULTURE [3] 2. Subject [ 臣民 ]  Citizens see themselves not as participants in the political process but as subjects of the government  Many people remain distant/indifferent/apathetic [ 冷漠 ] from politics even though they recognize government’s impact on their lives  e.g., people living under a dictatorship/military government; some of Hong Kong people before the 1970s 3. Participant  Citizens believe that they can contribute to the system and that they are affected by it  e.g., people use voting and referendum to shape the government in democratic countries; some of Hong Kong people after the 1980s took actions to shape politics (June 4th rally in 1989, July 1st Rally in 2003) 7 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 8. THE CIVIC CULTURE [4]  In Almond and Verba’s view, democracy will prove to be stable in societies blending different cultures in a particular mix. Parochial and subject attitudes provide a counterbalance to an essentially participant culture  The civic culture resolves the tension within democracy between popular control and effective governance, and allows for citizens influence while retaining flexibility for the governing elite. 8 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 9. POLITICAL TRUST AND SOCIAL CAPITAL  Political trust: Depends on the performance of democratic institutions rather than on the principle of democracy itself, including stability, effectiveness, capable of making and implementing innovative politics  Positive political culture: a tradition of trust and cooperation which results in high levels of social capital  Negative political culture: less effective governments which lack any tradition of collaboration and equality  Social capital: a culture of trust and cooperation which makes collective action possible and effective. This can be worked by which a community builds political institutions with a capacity to solve collective problems. 9 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 10. POLITICAL CULTURE IN NEW DEMOCRACIES  Most likely parochial, because 1. New rulers lack authority 2. Excess expectations initiated by the overthrow of the old rulers; public opinion may expect too much, too quickly and too easily 3. People are less supportive to the system of government 4. The challenge of the old regime that is likely to be cynical [ 嘲諷 ] and suspicious attitude to politics  E.g., In the early Republican China, many people living in the non- urban areas did not know/knew very little about the downfall of Qing regime, the setting up of the Republic of China, and the betrayal of Yuen Shiki, etc.  Therefore, current performance of a democratic government is important for earning the popular support 10 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 11. POLITICAL CULTURE IN AUTHORITARIAN STATES [1] 1.. Ignoring political culture  Military rulers ride to power on tank, and aim to protect their own back against challengers seeking to replace them  They seek to isolate the mass population from engagement with government, thus shrinking the political arena  Tyrants (civil or military) demand the submission of the populace 11 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 12. POLITICAL CULTURE IN AUTHORITARIAN STATES [2] 2. Manipulating political culture  Selectively emphasizing its authoritarian elements, including traditions of deference, of personal allegiance to powerful individuals  Loyalty to the national leader is presented as a natural outgrowth [ 結果 ]. The ruler is father and/or chief patron to the nation, providing security and stability but not democratic accountability  Children learn in the family to accept the authority of their fathers, and later transfer this to political leaders  e.g., regarding Mao Zedong as the father under his rule 12 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 13. POLITICAL CULTURE IN AUTHORITARIAN STATES [3] 3. Changing political culture of their subjects  In communist states, the party tries to restructure the way people think and behave through education and persuasion (so-called cultural revolution).  The aim is to create a communist personality which would flourish in a classless, atheist [ 無神論 ] society, free of the poisons inhaled [ 吸入 ] under capitalism.  E.g., Mass campaigns in the Soviet Union and China. However, mass participation took on a purely ritual form based on passive obedience to power rather than commitment to communism. Fear created citizens who pretended to be conformist so as to ensure their survival. Such a social environment in turn led to the absence of trust. 13 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 14. ELITE POLITICAL CULTURE [1]  Consists of the beliefs, attitudes and ideas about politics held by those who are closest to the central of political power.  The values of elites are more explicit, systematic and consequential than those of the population at large.  To assess the impact of elite political culture on political stability, 3 aspects are crucial: 1. Does the elite have faith in its own right to rule?  the present government is a source of, or a barrier to, progress?  Some non- or semi-democratic governments are formed by technocracy [ 技術官僚 ]: they are experts or specialists (technocrats) with expertise in non-political subjects, often economics and engineering. It is a temporary form of rule is set up after a period of governance. 14 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 15. ELITE POLITICAL CULTURE [2] 2. Does the elite accept the notion of a national interest, separate from individual and group ambitions? 3. Do all members of the elite accept the rule of the game, especially those governing the power transfer?  Competitive elections exist?  Do they accept the right of each group to a fair share of state resources?  Is compromise used to settle disputes/conflicts? 15 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 16. POLITICAL CULTURE OF HONG KONG [1] 1. Hong Kongers are politically apathetic/indifferent?  have been/are interested in making money?  indifferent to the surroundings?  is a nonpolitical?: no demand for political participation, relying on the British rule?  Lam Wai-man: depoliticization (conservative stance on politics) 1. Want stability and prosperity 2. Troublemakers 3. This has nothing to do with politics 4. Politics was dangerous, dirty and sensible 16 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 17. POLITICAL CULTURE OF HONG KONG [2] 2. Gradual transformation of local politics  direct elections in the District Board (Council)  limited franchise in the Legislative Council elections  the formation of political parties  Mutual Aids Committees are regarded as the beginning of local political participation  Campaigns and rallies are organized for political purposes 17 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 18. SUPPORTING CAMPAIGN / CASTING VOTE IN ELECTIONS 18 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 19. JUNE FOURTH CANDLE VIGILS 19 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 20. JULY 1ST RALLY 20 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 21. DOWN WITH FANNY LAW 21 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 22. RALLIES AGAINST THE CONTROVERSIAL/DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES 22 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 23. THE DISMANTLING OF QUEEN’S PIER Do you think Hong Kong people are politically indifferent? Purely money hunters? Are afraid of politics? 23 (c)Dr.Wong
  • 24. REFERENCES  Hong Kong's decade under China's flag: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia- pacific/6767861.stm  Understanding Hong Kong’s political and social culture: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/puo/bulletin/issue/200002/eculture8.htm  A Political Culture Unique to Hong Kong: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/puo/bulletin/issue/199701/english/culture.ht m  Michael E. DeGolyer and Janet L. Scott, “The Myth of Political Apathy in Hong Kong”, in Ming Sing ed., Hong Kong Government and Politics (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 373-386  Lam Wai-man [ 林蔚文 ], Understanding the Political Culture of Hong Kong: The Paradox of Activism and Depoliticization (Armonk, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 2004) (You can study Chap. 9) 24 (c)Dr.Wong