structural functionalist theory

1737 Words Jan 31st, 2014 7 Pages
This essay is an attempt to discuss the problems political parties in Zambia are facing by using structural-functionalist and their contributions to liberal democracy. The academic piece shall begin by defining the key terms; those being, structural-functionalist, political parties and liberal democracy. This will be followed by a comprehensive discussion of political parties, focused on, with examples, the Zambian scene. Lastly, a brief conclusion based on the discussion will be outlined.
“Functionalism holds that society is a complex system whose various parts work together to produce stability and solidarity” (Giddens 2006:20). It also views society in terms of their functions. Merton (1968), made an important distinctions between
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The constant presence of a recognized opposition is an obstacle to despotism, with a programmed fairly within the limits of a possible public opinion, is a bulwark against the tyranny, not only of a despot but also a practical political majority.
Significant political developments have occurred in Zambia since the 2001 tripartite elections. After having had two previous elections in 1991 and 1996, the 2001 elections produced a multiparty Parliament for the first time since Zambia’s independence in 1964. These elections seem to signal that the country has moved from a dominant one party political system to a competitive multi-party system
According to The Post Newspaper (20/01/2013), opposition parties have serious financial difficulties. And for the new member of the opposition, MMD, this is even worse. The MMD doesn't know how to operate without a lot of money. They were used to receiving a lot of money from all sorts of characters doing business with government. And the MMD was also parasitic on government institutions for resources. As a result of this, a series of other problems have appeared. Passions about the future of their party rightly fired people up, but wrongly led them to attack and despise their colleagues. The impact of disunity upon members of the party is clear to see. They must in the very near future learn again to display the camaraderie and common purpose that are fundamental to a party's prospects. If they don't do so, they stand no chance of