Functions of Political System are being discussed in this article.The following are six of Almond’s functions that we believe the student will find useful.
It involves filling new roles or jobs, replacing individuals, and promoting individuals to new positions. Whether a political system can maintain itself and adapt to new challenges depends in great measure on who occupies important roles or positions (presidents, members of congress, diplomats, military officers, financial experts) and how they reached (were recruited) to these positions or offices.
It is the shaping of attitudes and beliefs. As circumstances change, political attitudes may be shaped appropriately, maintained, or changed. Socialization occurs among the general population as well as among those who oc- cupy the elite political positions.
3. Interest articulation.
It occurs when individuals or groups request/demand that government change, continue a specific policy. or take no action (do not introduce gas rationing). These demands often are associated with promise of political support (vote, financial contribution, work for an individual or political party). In a democracy. this function is performed by a large number of independent groups or individuals. In a more authoritarian system, interest articulation may be limited to elite groups of landowners, industrialists, military officers, and the leaders of the ruling political party.
4. Interest aggregation.
It occurs when demands are combined or aggregated into a smaller number of policy alternatives. This activity often is associated with political parties who try to absorb, adjust, or compromise numerous demands in order to build a broad coalition of electoral support.
5. Policy making is the rule-making process in the political system.
This is the authoritative setting of official objectives. Every political system has a set of rules that determines what institutions decide policy. In Great Britain it is principally the elected prime minister and the cabinet: in the Soviet Union it is a few people on the Politburo: in a tribal society it may be a council of elders.
6. Policy implementation is the carrying out of policy. Often these policies are carried out through Civil bureaucracies or the military. As we have already seen, policy implementation may not be successful. Declaring a policy does not mean it will be implemented. For example, over 50 political systems have established comprehensive land-reform programs since the end of World War II. Only a handful of these programs (in Tawan. Japan, South Korea) have actually distributed land to the peasant and raised the rural standard of living, The remainder, for one reason or another, did not succeed.
7. Political communication refers to the flow of information dealing with politics including face to face contacts within nonpolitical groups such as the family, within political parties, interest groups. legislatures, political executives. the civil service and the mass media. It is not a separate function but precedes and is present in all of the above functions.