Almond and Powell’s Views on Political Development

In spite of the different approaches, concentration on political institutions and processes is common to all.

To Almond and Powell, it implies four problems: State-building, nation-building, political participation; welfare and distribution.

1. State-building:

State-building, according to Almond and Powell implies the creation of new structures and increased degree of differential in the existing structures of the State.

To say in simple words, the State must have modern government and administrative apparatus and agencies.

It is notable that in the backward and under-developed countries, the State manages its own affairs with the help of rudimentary apparatus or with inadequate organisation.

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It does not possess adequate machinery and separate organisations to deal with all .sorts of social, cultural, economic and political problems which arise from time to time in a developing or under-developed country. Therefore the State-building can occur only when the Government creates adequate machinery to deal with the multi­farious problems.


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“State-building is commonly associated with significant increases in the regulative and extractive capabilities of the political system with the development of centralised and penetrative bureaucracy related to the increase in these capabilities, and the development of attitudes of obedience and compliance in the population which are associated with the emergence of such bureaucracy”.

2. Nation building:

While the State-buildings points out to the improvement of structure for the performance of State-building, nation-building emphasizes one should give up narrow loyalties (loyalty to the tribal chief, family, caste, ethnic group, religion, region and the like) and switch off his loyalty to the nation. In other words it means that one should owe his allegiance to the State in preference over narrow loyalties. Consequently, it means national integration.


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It is not necessary that the State-building and nation-building may go together. There are many instances to show that in some developing countries while the problem of state-building has been solved, the problem of nation-building still remains to be solved, Bangladesh got dismembered from Pakistan because the problem of national integration was not solved there.


In Sri Lanka, the ethnic problem has not been solved, so violence has erupted in that country from time to time and 124, 828 refugees had come from that country to India by December 31 1985.1 During 1983-84 and 1984-85, Rs. 68.50 lakh and Rs. 143.18 lakh respectively were spent on providing relief to both repatriates as well as refugees.

From February 4, 1985 when a separate account for expenditure on relief to the refugees was maintained, Rs. 1.76 crore had been spent on this account till September 1985 as reported by Tamil Nadu Government. In India also the problem of nation building or national integration had not been solved, because the Sikh terrorists were people for the establishment of Khalistan.

3. Political Participation:

Whenever a society develops politically, mere is also an increasing demand of the public in the decision-making process. These claims are generally put forward through such political structures as political parties, pressure groups, factions, cliques and various organisations.


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Therefore the government has to respond towards these demands. Political participation thus implies the development of the requisite political infrastructure and the responsive attitudes and bargaining skill of the elite.

4. Distribution and Welfare:

Increased political participation further leads to the demand that the values, benefits and national income should be distributed equally among all sections of the society, irrespective of caste, colour, sex and creed. Equal opportunities should be given to all and merit should be the only consideration in criteria for selection in the high posts.


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