By Oliver Woshinsky

ISBN-10: 0415960789

ISBN-13: 9780415960786

This targeted textual content bargains a accomplished evaluate of who participates in politics and why, how social and political associations form that involvement, and, eventually, what shape citizen political participation takes. Drawing on a large number of things to provide an explanation for politics and political behaviour, Woshinsky exhibits that political results rely on a posh interaction among contributors and their setting. Psychology, character, and beliefs, including tradition, associations, and social context form political behaviour. Explaining Politics bargains a wealth of comparative examples and sensible purposes via a full of life and fascinating narrative.

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What groups in Iraq have been most at conflict with each other? Why has the conflict been so violent? 32 3 POLITICS AND COOPERATION If you ever attend a political convention in the USA, you will be struck by the raucous tumult. You will gape at the disorderly hustle and bustle. Throngs of important-looking people will be scrambling about, some bedecked with television cameras and microphones, others with yellow pads and briefcases, still others with funny hats and strange outfits. Beyond this boisterous turmoil, you will also be struck by the joy and exuberance of those present.

People do work together in life—and certainly in politics. There is a good reason for these efforts at mutual assistance. Cooperation is essential to human existence. It produces enormous benefits 33 C U LT U R E A N D P O L I T I C S for groups and individuals alike, and few people are more skilled at cooperative action than those socially-sensitive beings we call politicians. This insight helps make sense of the examples above. They all illustrate successful human interaction. The warm socializing of party members at a convention provides an emotional cement that strengthens the organization.

18 2 CULTURES AND CONFLICT Some years ago, I heard an odd story from my colleague at the University of Southern Maine, Leonard Shedletsky. He had been visiting Glasgow, Scotland, a city divided by class and religious tensions. The Protestant majority and the Catholic minority lived in separate neighborhoods, belonged to separate clubs, drank in separate pubs, and viewed each other with hostility. The antagonism between these two groups reflected a spillover effect from the violent Catholic–Protestant clashes taking place at that time in neighboring Northern Ireland.

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Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior by Oliver Woshinsky


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