Political system From Institutional to systemic Approach

Institutional approach in the study of politics has been common in the past. Political science was believed to be mainly, even exclusively, concerned with the study of such political institutions as the state and government, their various activities, pans and functions. In this approach, no attempt was made to see any relationship or effect both within and outside an institution. However this approach began to change at the end of the nineteenth and in the beginning of the twentieth century. It was brought about by a new approach to the study of a politics, which is known as system analysis. It was also due to the need for comparing different kinds of states and governments in the world, especially after the World War II.

System Analysis of Political system

From about 130 and especially since the behavioral revolution in 1950 the study of politics has been influenced by the concept is derived from biology and physical sciences, in which the focus is on systems. System is bounded regions in space-time, involving energy interchange among their parts, which are associated in functional relationship. In simpler words, it means that every living and non-living body consist of two or more parts, which are constantly acting and interceding with each other as well as with the environment around it, as a single operating whole, or as a system. Examples of such operating wholes or system are countless, for the whole universe is full of them. Some are very small and other immense in dimensions. The atom is a system, and so are molecules, crystals, viruses, clocks, engines, ocean fleets, animals (including humans), small groups, like families or schools, societies (including state or political systems), planets, solar systems, galaxies, etc. If, however, we restrict ourselves to living systems, they are really behavior systems, which extend from viruses and animal to human societies and political system. Moreover, a system consists of two or more subsystems. For instance, human body, which is in itself a system, consist of several subsystem, such as the nervous system, the digestive system, the circulatory system, etc.

Definition of a system

A system is a structural functional organization of two or more separate but interdependent parts, which form an integrated whole o achieve some objectives. Each system has two or more subsystems within it, while it is itself a subsystem of a larger system, which forms its environment. For example, a family is a subsystem of the society, or a political party is a subsystem of the state which is itself a political system.
Every system has the following characteristics

1: Inter-dependence

It means that the functioning of a system depends on the proper functioning of each one of its component parts.

2: Dynamic Equilibrium

A system maintains itself throughout a limited period of time. If anything goes wrong in it, some regulatory mechanism comes into operation to restore equilibrium.

3: Activity

A system is a flow process it exist to convert inputs into output.

4: Dependence on external environment

A system maintains itself by constantly interacting with the environment around it. Such a system is known as an open system.

Definition of political system

A political system means a network of individuals, groups and organizations whose interactions, and relationships help to determine, enforce and interpret the rules and policies governing the behavior of the society. It includes not only the governmental institutions, such as legislature, courts, or administrative agencies but also all structures in their political aspects, as Almond says. Every political system exists with a social system or society, of which it is, a subsystem. The society around the political system is its environment, from which it is separated by its boundaries. The political system may be described as follow.

  • International political system: – Which is the international community – IGO, INGO, etc
  • National political system: The individual national system and individual states and goverment
  • Decision making sub system: Which is includes form of government constitution, political party, interest group etc
  • Citizen as a voter which demand and support

Types of Modern political system

They are differentiated from each other on the basis of the principles of

  • Democracy
  • Modernity

A political system is said to be democratic if its political subsystem, like political parties or interest groups, enjoy autonomy with regard to the decision-making governmental system. If not, it is a traditional political system. Hence there are four types of political systems, as under

  • Traditional non-democratic political system.
  • Traditional democratic political system.
  • Modern non-democratic Political System.

David Easton Political System

The first political scientist to apply systems analysis to politics in his book, The Political System, which he wrote in 1953. The concept of political system was very formally the sold by the political scientist. Easton defines a political system is that system of the interactions in any society through which binding or authoritative allocations are made and implemented. Authoritative allocations relate to the values or objects or resources of human needs and desires. They can be roughly translated as laws or acts of policy.
Easton’s model of the political system consists of two main parts the environment and the political system as such. The political system consists of

  • The conversion process,
  • The inputs,
  • The outputs,

The feedback of Easton for Political System

According to Easton, there are, besides the political system, two other political systems. One of them is bellow it, which he called Para-political system, e.g. political panics, pressure groups, etc. and the other is above it, namely the international political system. But it is the national political system which is political system par excellence because it alone makes and implements authoritative decisions allocating values or goods and resources to individuals, and groups, in the society.