Reading Questions on Political Culture

Here are questions for the three assigned readings. (Note that I have uploaded a video on Blackboard that explains how to interpret the numerical results from regression analysis.)

Please come to class prepared to answer the following questions:

General Questions

After having read the three required articles, what is your assessment of the concept political culture? Is there evidence that national political cultures exist? Do you have reason to believe that political culture is a concept that can be adequately defined? Can we use the concept political culture to account for cross-national patterns in various political phenomena? How does each of the
authors use the concept political culture and what is their assessment of its utility as an explanatory mechanism in comparative politics?

Inglehart, Ronald–“The Renaissance of Political Culture”

  • What is the significance of Figure 1 n p. 1206?
  • Is there a correlation between life satisfaction and level of economic development [see Figure 2]? Explain.
  • Why does Inglehart analyze the phenomena i) life satisfaction, and ii) interpersonal trust?
  • What is the logic underlying the relationship between culture and economic development as outlined in Weber’s “the Protestant Ethic?”
  • The relative growth rates of Protestant as against non-Protestant countries in the 1970s and 1980s seems to undermine Weber’s “Protestant ethnic” argument. How does Inglehart reconcile the argument with the empirical evidence?
  • What is post-materialism and what is the relationship bebetween post-materialist values and economic growth?

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