On some problems of classification of political parties
On some problems of classification of political parties
On some problems of
classification of political parties
methodological problem in the study of political parties is their
classification (typology). Since it has always faced by all researchers of
political history and thesis, making sure the theoretical complexity and
ambiguity of the problem, in the absence of a unified or at least
"basic" classification, expressed in a multiplicity of approaches and
criteria for the typology of parties and the need to develop some basic
consensus in the block theoretic and methodological issues.
It should be
stressed that this issue is generally better developed by political scientists
than historians, though among them there is no expression of the unity of
approaches, criteria for the classification of political parties both in
historical terms, and especially in modern conditions. In political science
usually focuses on the possibility of using different criteria, among whom some
consider the root characteristics parties, and others - and even minor random.
political science in most cases it carries out the classification of parties
based on the recognition of plurality and the equivalence of various
characters. Therefore, both parties used the division of authoritarian and
democratic, ideological and pragmatic, national and regional, religious and secular,
the massive, human and elitist, representative and mobilizing etc. Such a
classification allows to characterize the party with the various parties. At
the same time, recognition of the multiple criteria poses a risk of ignoring or
belittling the basic characteristics of the parties (their software and
ideological beliefs, strategies, tactics, etc. [1, p.30].
It should be
recognized as a practical value of modern political science thesis on the
appropriateness of including the association of specific variants of the
typology of political parties with the objectives of a particular scientific
study of the relationship types of parties and party systems in terms of social
development [2, p.4].
Russia's modern history
political science does not operate, unfortunately, a single (common) typology
of political parties as the pre-revolutionary Russia, and modern Russia. Thus, some experts focus on the party systems of the past and the degree of
political opposition parties in the present [3, s.278-350]. Another group of
scientists shared the western methodological principle of equal criteria for
analyzing the plurality of political parties [4, p.231-232]. Third exercise
typology based on the organizational structure and membership, the scale of the
two - and a multiparty system [5, p.183-187], etc.
opinion, in Russia (and Belarussian) science of history and political science
at hand: a) inappropriate recognition of absolute mass, at least, the class
classification criterion of political parties, and b) the absence of a single
scheme (hence the common criteria) typology of domestic and foreign parties; c)
attempt to provide universal and the most commonly accepted classification
system of parties. In this third problem is solved very slow and difficult,
when confronted with the contradictions and discrepancies of scientific,
political, ideological and subjective nature.
there is the feeling that the system of political parties is not chaos and,
therefore, can be theoretically rationalized. Petersburg researcher SI Stepanov
wrote that "the classification as a method of learning a large number of
empirical material, as a sign of comprehension of essence of the phenomenon ...
is a value in themselves political science instrument to adequately reflect the
political reality of the retrospective and predictive functions" [6, p.16
there is almost universally accepted fact that reduction is attributed to the
ability of social-class approach, previously the most common in the Soviet
historical science. The current realities of the information society requires a
change outdated view of politics as a "concentrated expression of
economics", a review of the political party as the exponent of the interests
of certain social classes and groups.
At the same
time, even in modern Russian generalizing "History of the Party"
works are conspicuously absent unity of approaches, criteria and opinions as a
matter of classification of political parties and the general methodological
understanding of party-political issues.
For example, a
textbook on the history of political parties of Russia in 1994 the publication
pointed out that the classification of parties is carried out "on all of
the inherent characteristic features: a social framework, political program,
strategic and tactical principles. The authors insisted that the basis for the
classification of parties must be shown the entire set of factors (social
class, political, national, moral and ethical, religious, etc.). However, they
noted that, depending on the goals and objectives of the analysis of political
parties is one of many criteria could speak to the fore, while the other plays
a supporting role [7, p.8-9]. Then as in the textbook were identified: a)
All-Russia party and the national b) the monarchy, the bourgeois and
petty-bourgeois and separately Bolsheviks [7, p.11].
edition on the history of political parties in pre-revolutionary Russia (1996)
assumed that the fundamental differences between the parties and movements
clearly traced to the doctrinal level, and therefore proposed to allocate three
software-political bloc (directions): conservative, liberal and socialist
parties [8 , p.5-6]. Immediately it should be noted that instead of the
category of "socialist" was more appropriate to use the term
Modernize Russia's textbook on the history of political parties (2000) concludes that "the
current state of knowledge allows us to propose the following classification:
conservative, liberal, centrist and socialist parties and movements" [9,
p.9]. The term "centrist" is not commented and not explained, so do
not understand exactly what the party should be assigned to this unit.
I think that,
firstly, fundamentally unacceptable to classify political parties on the basis
of diverse criteria and need to come to the greatest possible recognition of
the leading (basic) criteria of historical typology of parties. Second, the
structuring of the national parties (Belarusian, Polish, Jewish, etc.) do not
always fit into the overall classification of political parties.
In our view,
the basic criterion for classification can be software-ideological orientation
of political parties, suggesting their division at the reactionary,
conservative, reformist (liberal) and radical (revolutionary). And within each
block must take into account the degree of political radicalism of certain
parties in relation to related political structures. We believe that this
theoretical and methodological approach can be used both for the parties of the
past, and for the systematization of modern parties.
At the same
time does not exclude the possibility of using both categories of "right -
left - the centrist" party. In this case, however, should pay attention to
the fact that: a) the typology (in the tradition of the French Revolution)
greatly simplifies the problem, because in such a scheme is difficult to
squeeze the religious, ethnic-national and other interests, and b) historically
adjustably very content of the concepts "right" and "Left",
c) is extremely difficult to more or less clearly defined what constitutes a
the complexity of the classification of national parties in a public education,
we can assume that when they are organizing, in addition to the base
(software-ideological) principle should be considered: a) the extent of
radicalism in relation to public and political center (Imperial, Federal ...)
b) the presence (absence), confessional component, etc.
historians and political scientists linked classification of political parties
with the state of public consciousness. They use the categorical chain
"value - philosophy - ideology - the doctrine. In this world view is
characterized as a general picture of the world, and a hierarchy of preferences
based on varying values, ideology - as a description of the desired state of
society and the main directions of movement to it, the doctrine - as the action
and tactics to achieve the goals set by ideology.
shall be emphasized that in their understanding of the "Party -
consciously organized and socially active representative of a particular type
of mass consciousness" [6, p.17]. In an attempt to give an absolute
historical typology of political parties (especially modern Russia) St. Petersburg, scientists are taking as a basis for ideological values (national, liberal,
socialist) and allocate the appropriate group of parties [6, sch.19-23]. We
believe that such an approach, on the one hand, quite convincingly reasoned
arguments, but on the other hand, needs to historical specificity, and further
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