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Political Climate

Political Climate

The political climate of a society is important in understanding what drives the social order. Research papers on any political climate can be custom written by the writers at Paper Masters.

The concept of political climate refers to the way a given society views political issues at any given time; it is often used when these views are in a state of flux or instability. There are a number of factors that shape the political climate, including the following:

  • Individuals that make political decision within that given society
  • Social events of varying degrees of significance
  • Movements to promote social changes.

Political climate is often mistaken for public opinion, but the two are markedly different; the latter, rather than being synonymous with, shapes the former. When politicians learn the opinions of the public they serve, they can work to alter the political climate through new legislative strategies.

Oftentimes, political climate is ascertained through the use of polls; in actuality, these are likely gauging public opinion instead, as polls cannot take into consideration the opinions and perspectives of the entire society. Instead, cross-sections of the entire society must be taken into consideration, but also keeping in mind the social changes taking place at any given point in time. Polls, for example, might suggest that one party is more concerned with changes in the political climate than another; however, it is important to consider the political and social events that play in to this, thereby shaping the political climate as a whole. Understanding the political climate of a given society allows for politicians to more appropriately address the needs and concerns of their constituents, thereby working to maintain a positive relationships and political environment all around.

After the Civil War, the political climate in the country, fueled by the reforms of the Progressive Era politics, again created a changing perception of good citizenship. Campaigns became less about stirring emotional loyalties to one party or candidate and more about providing the individual citizen with the necessary information to allow a reasoned choice. Reform also allowed a less pervasive influence of the individual party, as the kickbacks and appointments that they had often used to curry favor were no longer part of the process. Another important change in this era was the advent of the secret ballot election, which further reformed the process and its integrity. These reforms were aimed at the increased power of civil service organizations, which helped to alleviate the notions of extreme partisanship of the political process, and it brought an informed nature to the notion of being a good citizen. This era also saw reform in the parties themselves, as well as a change in the scope and aims of the press, which is why Schudson terms it the "politics of information" era.

This era has slowly involved into the way that citizen involvement is viewed today. In a certain sense, there is so much involved with state and federal politics, Schudson argues, that it is next to impossible for even the highest-minded citizen to stay abreast of all of the political developments taking place. The changes that took place in the 1960's and 1970's also moved political identity toward a greater understanding and assertion of individual rights, which further moved the process into the understanding of specific individual agendas. This is the era of the "rights-bearing citizen", which also changed the nature of citizen involvement as something that required more than just showing up to vote on election day from the individual. Other platforms, like the protest march or the PTA meeting, then became forums for the political activity and involvement of the individual.

This model heavily informs the future of political involvement of the citizen. Schudson advances the notion of the "monitorial citizen", whose actions become politically motivated only when his rights or beliefs are challenged directly by the political process. Because the current political climate has become so complex, Schudson argues that this will become the new mode of citizen involvement, as it will take specific issues that affect the individual directly and profoundly to energize political activity.

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Political Climate Research Papers

Research papers on political climate discuss the term that refers to the way a given society views political issues at any given time; it is often used when these views are in a state of flux or instability.

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