Compare Daniel Elazar’s three creates of politics cultureDescribe how cultural differences between the states deserve to shape attitudes about the function of government and also citizen participationDiscuss the main objections of Daniel Elazar’s theory

Some states, such as Alaska, are endowed with herbal resources. They deserve to use your oil or herbal gas reserves to their advantage to fund education and learning or alleviate taxes. Other states, choose Florida, room favored with a climate that attracts tourists and also retirees every winter, drawing in earnings to assistance infrastructure improvements throughout the state. These distinctions can result in strategic benefits in the financial fortunes that a state, which can translate into distinctions in the level of count that must be built up from citizens.

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But their financial fortunes are just one ingredient of what makes individual states unique. Theorists have long suggest that says are additionally unique as a function of your differing politics cultures, or their attitudes and also beliefs about the functions and also expectations that the government. In the book, American Federalism: A watch from the States, Daniel Elazar very first theorized in 1966 the the joined States might be separated into three unique political cultures: moralistic, individualistic, and traditionalistic. The diffusion that these societies throughout the United claims is attributed come the migratory trends of immigrant who settled in and spread out throughout the nation from the east to the west coast. These settlers had distinctive political and spiritual values that affected their beliefs around the proper function of government, the require for citizen involvement in the autonomous process, and also the role of politics parties.


Daniel Elazar posited that the united States can be divided geographically into three varieties of politics cultures—individualistic, moralistic, and traditionalistic—which spread out with the migratory patterns of immigrants across the country.

Moralistic political Culture

In Elazar’s framework, claims with a moralistic political culture view the federal government as a means to better society and also promote the general welfare. They expect political officials to be ethical in your dealings with others, placed the interests of the people they serve above their own, and commit to improving the area they represent. The political procedure is watched in a positive light and also not together a vehicle tainted by corruption. In fact, citizens in moralistic cultures have small patience for corruption and also believe the politicians have to be urged by a desire to benefit the ar rather than by a have to profit financially native service.

Moralistic states thus tend to assistance an expanded duty for government. Castle are more likely to think government have to promote the general welfare through allocating accumulation to programs that will advantage the poor. In addition, they watch it as the duty of publicly officials to support for new programs the will benefit marginal citizens or deal with public policy problems, even when public press to do so is nonexistent.

The moralistic political culture developed amongst the Puritans in upper new England. After number of generations, these settlers relocated westward, and also their values diffused throughout the top of the United states to the upper good Lakes. In the middle of the 1800s, Scandinavians and also Northern Europeans joined this team of settlers and reinforced the Puritans’ values. Together, these groups pushed further west v the northern part of the Midwest and also West and also then follow me the West Coast.<1>

States that identify with this society value citizen engagement and also desire citizen participation in all develops of politics affairs. In Elazar’s model, citizens indigenous moralistic states have to be an ext likely to donate your time and/or resources to politics campaigns and also to vote. This occurs because that two main reasons. First, state regulation is likely to make it easier for citizens to register and to vote because mass joining is valued. Second, citizens that hail native moralistic states have to be an ext likely come vote since elections space truly contested. In various other words, candidates will certainly be less likely to operation unopposed and much more likely to challenge genuine competition native a standard opponent. Follow to Elazar, the heightened vain is a role of individuals’ believing the public business is a worthwhile endeavor and an honorable profession.

Individualistic politics Culture

States that align with Elazar’s individualistic political culture view the government as a device for addressing issues that matter to individual citizens and also for follow individual goals. Human being in this culture interact v the federal government in the exact same manner castle would interact with a marketplace. They expect the federal government to carry out goods and also services they see as essential, and also the public officials and bureaucrats who administer them expect to it is in compensated for your efforts. The emphasis is on conference individual needs and private objectives rather than on serving the best interests of everyone in the community. Brand-new policies will certainly be spread if politicians deserve to use them come garner assistance from voter or other interested stakeholders, or if there is good demand for these services on the part of individuals.

According to Elazar, the individualist political society originated with inhabitants from non-Puritan England and also Germany. The an initial settlements were in the mid-Atlantic an ar of new York, Pennsylvania, and brand-new Jersey and also diffused right into the middle section of the United states in a reasonably straight line from Ohio come Wyoming.

Given their focus on follow individual objectives, says with one individualistic mindset will tend to development tax breaks as a means of make the efforts to boost a state’s economic climate or together a system for fostering individual initiative and also entrepreneurship. For instance, new Jersey governor kris Christie make headlines in 2015 when discussing the incentives he used to entice businesses come the state. Christie urged a number of businesses to relocate to Camden, wherein unemployment has risen to virtually 14 percent, by giving them with numerous millions of dollars in taxes breaks.<2> The governor really hopes these that company incentives will certainly spur job development for citizens who need employment in an financially depressed area of the state.

Since this theoretical lens assumes that the target of politics and also the federal government is to advancement individual interests, Elazar suggests that individuals are urged to come to be engaged in politics just if they have a an individual interest in this area or great to it is in in fee of the supplication of government benefits. Lock will often tend to remain associated if they obtain enjoyment from your participation or rewards in the kind of patronage appointments or financial compensation. As a result of these an individual motivations, citizens in individualistic claims will have tendency to be an ext tolerant that corruption amongst their political leaders and also less most likely to see politics as a noble job in which every citizens should engage.

Finally, Elazar says that in individualistic states, electoral competition walk not look for to recognize the candidate v the best ideas. Rather it pits against each other political parties that space well organized and compete straight for votes. Voters are loyal to the candidates who hold the same party affiliation lock do. Together a result, unlike the situation in moral enable cultures, voters carry out not pay lot attention to the personalities of the candidates when deciding exactly how to vote and also are much less tolerant that third-party candidates.

Traditionalistic politics Culture

Given the prestige of slavery in the formation, a traditionalistic politics culture, in Elazar’s argument, look at the government as necessary to maintaining the existing social order, the status quo. Just elites belonging in the political enterprise, and also as a result, new public policies will be progressed only if castle reinforce the beliefs and interests the those in power.

Elazar associates traditionalistic political culture with the southern part of the joined States, where it developed in the upper regions of Virginia and also Kentucky prior to spreading come the Deep South and also the Southwest. Choose the individualistic culture, the traditionalistic society believes in the prominence of the individual. But instead that profiting indigenous corporate ventures, inhabitants in traditionalistic says tied their financial fortunes come the need of enslavement on plantations throughout the South.

When chosen officials perform not prioritize public plans that benefit them, those on the social and also economic fringes of society can be plagued by poverty and also pervasive wellness problems. Because that example, return the map below shows that poverty is a problem across the whole United States, the South has the highest possible incidence. According to the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention, the South also leads the country in self-reported obesity, very closely followed by the Midwest.

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<3> These statistics present challenges for lawgiver not just in the brief term but likewise in the long term, due to the fact that they must prioritize fiscal constraints in the confront of growing demand because that services.