Political Order in Changing Societies

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Political Order in Changing Societies is a 1968 book by Samuel P. Huntington dealing with changes in political systems and political institutions. Huntington argues that those changes are caused by tensions within the political and social system.

Huntington criticizes modernization theory, contending that its argument about economic change and development being the prime factors responsible for the creation of stable, democratic political systems is flawed. Huntington focuses on other factors like urbanization, increased literacy, social mobilization, and economic growth. He stresses that those factors are not significantly related to political development; in fact a major part of his argument is that those processes are related but distinct.

Huntington argues that order itself is a crucial objective in developing countries. The existence (or lack) of order should not be confused with the issue of the type of that order (both on political level - democratic, authoritarian, and on economic level - socialist, free-market, etc.)

Huntington makes the argument that while modernity equals stability, modernization is actually a cause for instability, due to urbanization, rising expectations due to literacy, education and the spread of media, etc.

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