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Political Modernization

The political aspects of modernization refer to the ensemble of structural and cultural changes in the political system of modernizing societies. The political system comprises of all those activities, processes, institutions and beliefs concerned with the making and execution of authoritative policy and the pursuit and attainment of collective goals.

Political structure consists of the patterning and interrelationship of political roles and processes; political culture is the complex of prevailing attitudes, beliefs and values concerning the political system.

The overall process of modernization refers to the changes in all institutional spheres of a society resulting from man's expanding knowledge of and control over his environment. Political modernization refers to those processes of differentiation of political structure and secularization of political culture which enhance the capacity – the effectiveness and efficiency of performance –of a society's political system.

The political framework of modernization is essentially rooted in the changing sources of legitimation of authority and process of its diffusion and centricity in the social structure. In a society having a traditional polity source of power is in the traditionally established and institutionalized offices of kings or chiefs. In such a system authority has a hierarchical character and not consensual.

Democratic political framework radically alters such role structure with regard to power. Power ceases to have a closed hierarchical characters, the sphere of political action is broadened to the level of mass participation.