chapter  2
20 Pages

Modernization and the political process model

Modernization and industrialization result in an increasingly complex political system. New political actors emerge and are vying for influence. Ruling elite groups become aware of the challenges and defend their power. The challengers in authoritarian regimes with democratic features, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, continue to face a strong regime. Both city-states reveal that attempts to contain the increased potential mobilization resulting from modernization are achieved with different success. This raises the question of how we can explain that modernization on the one hand leads to increased political mobilization, while on the other hand it also potentially reinforces existing political structures. To answer this question, we need to determine what factors influence the degree of politicization of a society. While modernization processes provide political opportunities for members of the opposition to challenge the political regime, modernization theory fails to explain how and when this translates into political contention that could eventually pose a serious challenge to the regime.