The Growth of Political Society in the West

  • A. H. Somjee


In the history of liberal political institutions a few thinkers have devoted their attention to how a group of newly created institutions can be sustained and operated in accordance with the purpose for which they were originally designed. Those who did devote their attention to it unambiguously put the responsibility for securing such an operation on the people themselves. For them the mere creation of such institutions was not enough. Such a position, as we shall see in detail in this chapter, was of tremendous significance to the developing countries which had taken for granted in their euphoric moments of national independence, and the subsequent creation of new political institutions, that once established such institutions would automatically sustain themselves by a momentum of their own. In marked contrast to the experiences of the developing countries, which set up their political institutions during the short period of decolonisation following the Second World War, the mature democracies of the West took two to three centuries to develop the operational efficiency and durability of their political institutions. And what is more, along with such a development, they also evolved the requisite political capacity and political skill to sustain and operate their political institutions and repel the periodic infractions against them.


Political Process Political Institution Political Elite Political Development Political Ideal 
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Copyright information

© A. H. Somjee 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. H. Somjee
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of International DevelopmentSimon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Queen Elizabeth HouseOxfordUK

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