RC 21



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Abstract and Keywords 'Politics, Culture and Socialization' vol. 2, nr. 1

'Psychological Dysfunction and Great Achievement: The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson'
Robert E. Gilbert (USA)

Lyndon B. Johnson was a president who achieved great things. In the domestic arena, his legislative record is perhaps as extraordinary as that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, making him one of the most effective legislative leaders in American history. Johnson, however, became emotionally overwrought in response to the war in Vietnam that came to dominate his Administration. As a leader with narcissistic traits, he was deeply unsettled by the attacks he suffered during this period. He became obsessed with enemies and convinced that they were engaged in plots against him. Overall, during the last eight years of his political career, and applying diagnostic criteria specified by the American Psychiatric Association, Johnson increasingly exhibited behavior patterns that conform to those associated with paranoia. The paranoid reactions he showed as President seem to have been those of a wounded narcissist. These did not notably affect his work in the domestic arena where he was very self-assured but they inflicted damage on him and perhaps on the country in the international domain where he was much less secure.

Keywords: Lyndon Johnson – childhood – narcissism – paranoia – legislative achievements – Bobby Kennedy – Vietnam

'About Socialization of Russia in the “Big Eight”: Russia’s Self-perception'
Igor Kiselev & Anna Smirnova (Russia)

In the article the process of socialization of states in International Relations is under consideration. Russia’s acquisition of a G8 group member status during 1997-2006 used as an example. The results of empirical research, which describes the main stages of socialization of the country in the “Group of Eight” and formation of its new identity as an active participant of the G8, are presented. It was proved that acquisition of status by Russia in the “Big Eight” coincided with the formation of its new identity in accordance with the membership criteria of the club of major industrialized democracies. Thus, the empirical research enabled us to come to the conclusion about the formation of Russia’s identity as the participant of the “Group of Eight” and completion of its socialization there.

Keywords: socialization – international relations – state image – Russia – “Group of Eight”

'Vote Buying or Respecting ‘Culture’? Cameroonian Politicians’ Contending Interpretations of Campaign Donations'
Teke Ngomba (Denmark)

Arguably, one of the most prominent features of political election campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa is the distribution of money and or other material things from politicians to the electorate. Often seen as a form of vote buying, scholars have usually framed the distribution of these things as clear manifestations of the neo-patrimonial political culture so prevalent across the continent. While this study aligns itself along some of the central contentions in these discourses, it nonetheless furthers the discussion by examining the different ways in which Cameroonian politicians frame the money and or the material things they give to the electorate and traditional rulers. The study concludes by suggesting that these campaign-era financial and material donations can be approached heuristically, through the concept of ‘politics na njangi’

Keywords: Cameroon – election campaigns – political culture – neo-patrimonialism – political parties – sub-Saharan Africa

'Ideological variation in political style and emotive strategy of metaphor'
Christ’l De Landtsheer & Dieter Vertessen (Belgium)

Political rhetoric and metaphor have since Antiquity been used as a way of ‘symbolic’ government. In their persuasive efforts, political and ideological groups around the world, granted special role to metaphor and emotive style. Is it true that radical groups would prefer more powerful emotive “metaphor” style compared to mainstream (centrist) political groups? This article focuses on political ideology as one aspect of the political that is expected to influence political language. As can be learned from the theory part, the article aims to establish traces of political ideologies in political language. Focus is on metaphor as a symbol of emotive strategy within political party rhetoric. The article details the style analysis method for examining the ideology of metaphor. The empirical part consists of a Belgian case that relies upon two written press interview samples with politicians of 918,515 words and one television news sample with 255 minutes of politicians’ speech. The analysis supports the hypothesis that parties that approach the extremes of the political spectrum distinctively use more “metaphor” style compared to those in the middle of it.

Keywords: political metaphor – Belgian politics – language – ideology

'Despite everything, an engaged socialization: Childhood and adulthood processes leading to politically engaged citizens in Spain'
Carolina Galais (Spain)

The advent of the rational perspective in political science in the late 70’s placed more emphasis on the role of political context and marginalized explanations based on political socialization processes. The revival of the political socialization approach in the 2000’s has again highlighted the same methodological and theoretical limitations that it suffered in its initial stages. To address some of these limitations, in the following pages I propose an integrated active political socialization model to explain Spaniards’ subjective political engagement. This approach takes into account the two main phases of political socialization, and challenges the classical primacy principle. Neither of these socialization stages should be ignored, since both early and late experiences contribute, to some extent, to encourage (or discourage) political engagement. Moreover, I argue that the primary and secondary phases of political socialization are not independent of each other because early experiences affect later patterns of social interaction, and this leads to a less deterministic perspective of childhood socialization. Finally, I test to what extent this model based on individual level variables is independent from cohort effects.

Keywords: political socialization - political engagement - political culture - political attitudes - cohorts - period effects

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Content: Christ'l De Landtsheer
: Ganna Diedkova
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