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What are the most important features of contemporary Irish political culture? Has this political culture really change significantly since 1960? If so, why has this not had a greater impact on the political party system?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The more important features of Irish political culture.
  3. Industrialization and urbanization.
  4. The main factor that caused the changes in political culture.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Sources.

Irish political culture is often seen as a peculiar one compared to western European countries. The political culture might be considered as a psychological part of political system: the set of values and attitudes of a political community. According to J. Coakley, it can be divided in tree levels: the system or ?core' values, the process and the policy or people expectations. Let us focus on the third level that is more likely to change because it concerns daily issues for citizens. First of all, why can it be said that Irish political culture is different from other societies in Europe? In other words, what best characterizes Irish political culture? Secondly, it must be focused on the changes of Irish political culture since 1960. Finally, we shall explain why these changes did not shape Irish political party system. First, let us focus on the more important features of Irish political culture. What can distinguish Irish political culture from other European societies? As a matter of fact, Irish political culture is often seen as a monolithic political culture of people sharing same features.

[...] As a consequence, social structure changed from an agrarian country to a more urban and industrialized one. Therefore, there has been a modernization of Irish political culture since the country itself modernized. Moreover, Ireland knows a communication revolution since 1960. Political journalism and television are more aggressive than before and Medias spread new ideas. Irish have more access to communication Medias since the first national channel of television appeared in 1962. In addition, a secularisation movement occurred. The Catholic Church nature and power changed towards radicalism and left side of the political spectrum. [...]


[...] However, since 1960, Irish political culture has changed without influencing the political party system. Irish political party system is still characterized by the same equilibrium. It is dominated by Fianna Fail, the left is still weak and no cleavages arose. What can best explain the stability of the Irish political party system? Firstly, a factor that prevented Irish political party system from changing can be that political party system is more independent than it is said and that it can also determine as P. [...]

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