Dados n. 6 Rio de Janeiro 1969

Desenvolvimento e Abertura Política

Schwartzman, Simon


A political system is more open if it absorbs and legitimates more demands for political participation in a given sociecy. The discussion of the concept of political "openess" implies the distinction between the "non-political" participation, which does not go beyond the level of the specific interest of groups and the political participation as such, which is more general. The merely functional and specific participation seems to be a characteristic of the "closed" or "participationist" type of political systems and it causes a series of consequences that are discussed, among which the creation of structural propensities towards technocratization and administrative corruption. The phenomenon of the political "openess", as a global dimension characterizing the political system of participation is approached through two sets of variables. First, such usual variables as economic development, urbanization and increase of social participation. The second set contains the more strictly political varíables. Briefly, these relate the level of institutionalization of the political system. At a closer sight, they have to do with the nature of the political system as it derives from solutions historically found by the power system for the problems of socio-economic growth within the society. The first of these processes leads to a specific type of demands for political participation. The author suggests a typology of such demands, in terms of participation in inputs, outputs and cathectic components. The second of the processes is more difficult to conceptualize. The integration of explanations of a historical cype (R. Bendix, B. Moore, A. Gerschenkron) seems to provide a more satisfactory perspective. It goes beyond the mere reasoning in terms of levels of institutionalization. After having conceptuallized the political "openess" and the two main sets of independent variables, the author turns to a more detailed characterization of the dimensions of the political "openess" and its implications. He discusses the two alternatives existing between "information" and "intelligence" and their implications use to the rigidity of the system. The differences between decisions and policies as well as those between the prevalence of issues of interests and issues of scope are some of other aspects dealt with. ln the last place, the author describes the differences between the technical and the political approach as to issues of development and social policy. The social costs of a "closed" political system seem to be high enough to justify an effort in arriving at political solutions that might keep the system "open" expanding.

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Desenvolvimento e Abertura Política