Role of Political Parties in Developing Countries (Third Word Politics)

Role of Political Parties in Developing Countries

Political Parties are the most important institution of political mobilization in mass politics. Political parties always want to come to power. 

As an institution Political party has a direct link with the state administration. It can be regarded as the instrument of govt.

The needs of political parties arise out of the fact that individual wants and collective good are two different things.  Political parties represent collective interests.

Political parties in the Developing Countries:

It is very difficult to define a Political party in the developing countries because of Political parties in the 3rd world exhibit wide variation. However, it is easier to classify 3rd world Political parties according to their functions and ideologies.

Role of Political Parties in Developing Countries :

  1. Political parties provide legitimacy to the political systems through ideologies, leaders, and opportunities for political participation.
  2. Political parties act as a medium of political recruitment. In developing countries, Political parties provide the most important civilian route into a political career.
  3. Political parties provide opportunities for the formation of a coalition of powerful political interests to sustain a govt.
  4. Political parties provide opportunities for social mobilization.
  5. Political parties perform the function of political socialization.
  6. Political parties provide stability to the political system.

Role of Ideology in Shaping Political Parties of Developing Countries :

Ideology is the orientation of looking at certain events. The ideology of Political parties provides a framework of common values. 

In the case of the 3rd world, there is a distinction between ideological development and political organization based on them.

  1. Ideologies of 3rd world Political parties have been derived more from religion than from western materialistic ideologies. Religion shapes Political parties in 3rd world countries. Islamic political ideology has been becoming more significant in many regions of the 3rd world.
  2. In the 3rd world, Political parties provide the foundation to defend and represent the culture of different ethnic communities. For example, the Dalit party in India was created to represent the so-called ‘untouchable’. This part aims to promote social justice for India’s most oppressed and deprived people.
  3. A political party in the 3rd world is frequently populist. It seeks to mobilize people regardless of class. It denies the significance of class-based ideologies. It tries to mobilize all interest under the single conception of national interest. Thus populism stresses homogeneity rather than diversity.

 Analysis of Political Parties in Developing Countries –

There are mainly two preoccupations in the analysis of 3rd world political parties. The 1st one concerns the development of the single-party system, whereas the 2nd one concerns the survival of parties as an institution.

1. Development of the single-party system:

The emergence of the single-party system is linked with the nationalist movement that is fought for independence from colonial rule. After independence, the party that involved in the national movement came out as the single dominant party. 

In India, INC is the best example in this regard. The emergence of the single-party system has been a departure from a western-style multi-party system. 

David Apter argues a single-party system was crucial for the formation of national identity and rapid economic development in 3rd world countries.

2. Survival of parties as an institution:

There is no clear explanation of the survival of parties as an institution. Party as an institution differs, according to organizational structure, size, nature of membership, method, and pattern of authority, etc. 

While discussing party as an institution, the decentralization factor becomes very important, because parties that enable upward communication from the masses are more likely to survive long.

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