• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

The Political Culture of Ireland Has Remained Stable Since the Foundation of the State

Extracts from this document...


The Political Culture of Ireland Has Remained Stable Since the Foundation of the State COURSE: Public Administration MODULE: Government & Politics of Ireland "The concept of 'political culture' posits an important role for the attitudes and orientations that people hold towards authority. It describes a configuration of beliefs, values and symbols common to a nation, or to large groups within a nation that are directed towards political institutions."1 According to Campbell, Feigbaum, Linden and Norpoth, this concept is the sum and substance of political culture. This essay is concerned with how and why the political culture of Ireland has remained the stable since the foundation of the state. The context within which Irish political cultural values have been acquired will be outlined and analysed. As argued by Coakley, political cultural values do not exist in isolation but are influenced by the social background of those who hold them, thus I will examine the evolution of certain aspects of Irish society which helps to characterise Irelands political culture. Further, I will endeavour to illustrate the direction that Irish political culture has taken since the foundation of the state since 1922. Firstly, in order to get an understanding of what political culture means in this essay, I will elucidate political culture and define the theories and concepts underlying it. Lucien Pye, a theorist who identified political culture in the 1960s saw political culture as a means "to discover a method for working back from the complex subtleties of individual psychology to the level of the social aggregate which is the traditional plateau of political science"2. ...read more.


It is surprising at first glance to see democracy and authoritarianism to exist side by side, however when studied closely at the relationship of both them is evident that both are compatible. It has been argued that the coexistence of democracy and authoritarianism are perfect elements for the function of a perfect society. Loyalty has been perceived as another characteristic of Irish political culture. In traditional rural society loyalty has been a particular important quality. "In the nationalist movement, loyalty to the concept of the Irish nation became identified for most with faithfulness to one's religion and to the Church. The fierce partisanship evoked by the split over the treaty and the civil war that ushered in the new state put a further premium upon fidelity to one's leaders"13. This loyalty in Ireland wasn't really toward ideas but rather to persons and institutions. Finally the characteristic of anti-intellectualism must be addressed. The social and historical factors that led to authoritarian attitudes and also the notion of loyalty created anti-intellectualism in society. In political term, Chubb argues that after the emanation of the new state, a rural, nationalist and Catholic order didn't feel the necessity nor got fresh initiatives from its leaders. All of these characteristics explained above helped shape Ireland's political culture. The investigation of the political culture of Ireland must be examined under three topical headings: socio-economic culture, religious evolution and the British legacy. Firstly the notion of socio-economic activity must be explored. The transition of 'traditional' to 'modern' is an integral element to the evolution of political culture in Ireland. ...read more.


To a degree the factors assisted in the stability of the Irish political culture, however issues in society never remain static, and since the foundation of the state these underlying factors have evolved, although not in their entirety. Whilst the British influence still remains highly efficacious, there are other outside influences which have an effect on our political culture. The same can be said about the Catholic Church. The Church was extremely authoritarian when the state was first established, but their influence has weakened during the past few decades, evidence of this is seen in the way of divorce, contraception, and abortion issues. Also the pre-industrial society of Ireland is gone. Ireland is rapidly becoming an extremely diverse commercial and industrial country, bringing with it many new ways of life and beliefs, which unavoidably changes the shape and nature of the Irish political culture. Nationalism is still very much intact in Irish political culture, and in my opinion, think it will always be so. Loyalty, which was a part of the design in the scheme of Irish political culture, seems to be fading. In a country, which is progressively becoming more and more urban, the concept of loyalty doesn't possess the strength it once had on the political culture. Also the authoritarianism and anti-intellectualism is fading as a result of Ireland's development into an industrial country and a member of the European Union. In conclusion, it would be inaccurate to say that the political culture wasn't stable, however certain issues, both social and political, arose to change the shape of political culture in Ireland. Although the Irish political culture didn't go through a complete metamorphosis, change was inevitable and happened gradually resulting in the fact that cultural political has not remained completely stable since the foundation of the state. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What impact did Mao have on the lives of the Chinese people from 1949 ...

    18 million young people went to the country. Finally, to restore order where the government had broken down, the PLA set up Revolutionary Committees consisting of peasants, soldiers and Red Guards. By 1969, peace and order had been restored in most parts of China and the Cultural Revolution had finished and there was a great deal of damage to China.

  2. Introduction and Company Background.

    In the same year, its foreign trade volume reached 34.45 billion. With an export volume of $189.9 million, accounting for 19.9% of Guangdong and 7.1% of China. Evaluation of the Site * Labor Climate It is an attractive place to be for manufacturers that require massive labor force like our company.

  1. Pakistan's Political and Economic Development

    He was not very successful in implementing many of his policies and the country as a whole did worse than it did in the epoch of Ayub Khan.9 He tried to radicalize the capitalist orientated development of the previous decade, while trying to maintain the integrity and power of the

  2. 1. Why was 'a welfare state' introduced after the War (note here that the term ...

    While the labour party supported and fought for social policies it was not a policy aim born with them. Like in any democratic state, Labour was positively manipulated by the population into accepting the peoples' wishes of a better Britain after the war.

  1. In detail describe the historical development of the welfare state since 1945 and how ...

    This was when 'Thatcherism' began. 'Thatcherism' is the term used to describe the idea behind the conservative party, led by Margaret Thatcher who took power in 1979. Thatcher had what could be considered as a more restricted view of the welfare state as she believed you should look after yourself

  2. Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party 1882-5 After the Kilmainham ...

    Thus, on 8 June 1886, when the vote was finally taken on the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill, 93 Liberals were against. The second general election of 1886 Parliament was then dissolved and the parties squared up for the second general election within a year.

  1. British History Coursework: The Irish Famine 1845-1849

    At the time the famine hit Ireland, the industrial and economic policies which had been adopted by the British over the previous two hundred years had left Ireland and its people unequipped to deal with such a full scale disaster, and was an underlying cause of the extent of the suffering which resulted.

  2. Some have noted the weak role of Dail Eireann within the Irish political system. ...

    The power given to a minister under these terms may be quite extensive, including, for example, the right to amend existing laws (ibid. p218). Delegated legislation effectively allows ministers to draft and implement legislation that is immune from parliamentary scrutiny (ibid.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work