The Importance of Political Goods in Transition Process

Currently, the world consists of more independent states than it was several decades ago. Ideally, these states organize and manage their delivery channels differently in accordance with the implemented policies or the governing laws. In most cases, state management involves the use of economic philosophies, cultural and social aspects which comprise different political ideologies. However, these aspects keep on changing and evolving at a rapid pace thus having an impact on state management. In public's view, the political transition that seems to make sense is that which will put more focus on critical aspects that are relevant to the public, such as the political goods. While the political power and control may be the essence behind regime change, economic and social standards becomes imperative to the citizen in a transition process. In most case, societies are defined by the patterns of socioeconomic and political development. As such the idea of transition is based and projected to pinpoint the underlying issues in the society and create a new way of solving these issues. Nonetheless, considering the issues on evolving society politics ideology that works in another state may be irrelevant to another country.

Relying on the above background my objective in this discussion is to explore the dynamics of transitions and their impact on political change, power, and legitimacy. In that respect, the change in political responsibility and other roles in delivering the political goods will be related to different transition. I also seek to bring the understanding of how the process is of transition interrelates to politics and its role in political ideologies and form of governance. Also, the discussion seeks to portray politics as an agent of transition.

The Essence of Transition

According to Grin (2011), the process of transition in the society entails the utilization of three fundamental processes which are; innovative practices, government structure, and the political landscape. In that case, therefore, the transition is realized when these factors are integrated into a functional relationship. As such the integration in this order redirects the co-evolution of the regime orienting to normative developmental agenda (Grin, 2011). Grin, therefore, describes transition as a process of change that influences power and legitimacy.

In transition processes, governments tend to experience diverse challenges which are traced to insufficient preparation for political office or coping with the opposition (Riddell and Haddon, 2009). Therefore, the politics following the change of office is far more crucial as it will define the adaptability of the new political party or the new regime in office. Additionally, such politics extends the practicability of the government especially after the election as there is series of negotiations even with the opposition parties seeking to get into the government (Riddell and Haddon, 2009).

The achievement of the objectives set out to call for a transition or regime change becomes the baseline for increased politics in the aftermath of transition. In essence, the key stakeholders in the transition processes seek to see their interest in being considered in the formation of a new leadership course. For instance, in the cases where the transition has been forced by civil war, the acknowledgement of the issues which led to the conflict should be included the bases in the discussion for the political or regime change ( The Carter Center, 2015). In essence, the disregards of some social movements that led to transition push may be seen as efforts of the key players to re-consolidate the current power leading to the heightened political environment. The political conflict in such a transition may not resolve amicably when the conflicting parties are not in cohesion since the pro-government key player may fear that the negotiation in transition process may be a way to strengthen the rebel groups leading to fatal consequences. In essence, the authoritarian regimes tend to maintain their power by suppressing the opposition and other agents of political representation to minimize the influence of their inputs in the subsequent politics (UNDP, 2012).

In case of democratization, Strachan (2017) acknowledge the essence of transition in three basic stages. Firstly, the process involves the organization to oust the old regime which is followed by the country holding a free election. In the last phase, the transition focuses on the delivery of public services as well as public goods (Strachan, 2017). In essence, the first phase is accomplished successfully in accordance with regime preparedness. However, the new discourse in politics is realized since the other two phases are prone to political party's interest. In that respect therefore they become hard to be realized as lack of experience stages in political parties (Strachan, 2017). As such, a successful transition is defined which the ability of the political parties to play critical roles in building ties with social movements as well as pushing for mobilization of the international support. Party politics in the transition process are essential in since their organization helps in selecting candidates as well as organising election ensuring that the incoming regime does not stray from their transition calls and objectives (Strachan, 2017).

Political Goods

The role and responsibility of the state to the public is defined with the responsiveness to the political goods. Ideally, these goods include national and personal security, political freedom, political participation, economic freedom and infrastructure (McComick, 2013). The delivery of such goods is affected in transition since the incoming state try to generate different ideas about the best methods that would work in delivering political goods (McComick, 2013). For instance, democratic government would like to align their delivery using an open competitive system guided by the rule of law whereas in the case of a communist system political goods are controlled and strictly delivered by the state. According to Patrick and Olusola 2015, most governments especially in Africa fail to experience a change in transitions due to their limited inputs in democratizing their governance which is essential in the delivery of public goods and services. Nonetheless, political institutions are the basic factor which contributes to shaping the economic performance of the country thereby determining the delivery of political goods and services (Acemoglu " Robinson, 2001).

Economic Delivery

Apart from being a political good, the economic variable has indicated a close link between political and commercial fields. For instance, efficiency state management is related to efficiency in economic activities and politics relates to economic performance (McComick, 2013). Such school of thought, therefore, assumes that good governance is more likely to lead to a successful economy as compared to inefficient government. Economic consideration, therefore, becomes an important factor in political transition. Nonetheless, political economy cannot be isolated from the transition process since their combination is reflected in systematic changes in country's economy. Intrinsically, in economic terms transitions may occur from a command to a market economy or from a state-controlled market to a free market which is both the basis of political ideologies (United Nation Development Programme, 2013). It is therefore not surprising to see vital political players taking more interest in controlling and influencing the outcomes of a transition.

Whenever a country is in the processes of transition, both socioeconomic development issues and the struggle of the outcomes of a transition becomes apparent (Frieden and Lake, 2003). Ideally, this may be as a result of uncertainty and the response to the emerging issues in politics. Also dealing with social and economic systems in the society makes the politics to shift and revolve around socialism, capitalism or communism (Nnia and Teresa, 2013). Political economy therefore becomes relevant since different groups in the society have a different insight on developmental course of the country's economy.

Economic stability is another area of concerns when it comes to politics and transition in the country due to its impact on the socioeconomic status of the citizens. During the transition from one political or economic ideology to the other, macroeconomic stabilization becomes a central concern due to the economic crisis facets that were inherited from the previous regime (United Nation Development Programme, 2013). The politics in such transition would be designed in such a way that their primary agenda would be centralized on socioeconomic stabilization. This may force the incoming regime to cut off public expenditure which is the main cause of depressed growth rates as well as higher rates of poverty in the country (United Nations Development Programme, 2013). Therefore the politics in such cases would revolve around formulating policies that would address poverty issues amicably without straining their economy further.

Majorly, the country’s economy in a transition becomes the most important factor of consideration since it defines the efficiency of political ideologies as well as shaping the subsequent politics in the country. For this reason, most countries tend not to shift their political ideologies projecting incoherence to the current economic strategies. For instance, the transition in the Arab countries, especially in the political arena, has resulted in social unrest leading to the economic downturn (Khandelwal and  Roitman, 2013). Intrinsically, there is a bidirectional relationship between political unrest and economic growth of the country (Khandelwal and Roitman, 2013). This indicates that where the transition is marred with political uncertainty and political unrest economic growth becomes the real occurrence. In essence, political instability leads to reduced rate of capital accumulation as well as reduced productivity growth in the country.

Social Aspects         

Social variables are essential in comparing the impact of politics from one transition to the other due to the relationship between government performance and quality of life. Ideally, it is expected that the performance of a certain regime be reflected how it meets basic needs of its population (McComick, 2013). Such needs would include healthcare service delivery, education, and nutrition.

Political Ideologies

The management of state depends on different political ideologies which change and evolve as the transition occurs from time to time. For instance, for a capitalist, there would be more regards in wealth creation, and most societies fall into this category (McComick, 2013). Ideally, no one would claim to live in a state with equal opportunities to t prevalence of race, gender, religion, sexual preferences as well as economic circumstances (McComick, 2013). This aspect is important in the notion of politics in transition as it helps in determining the effectiveness of one government to state challenges to the next.

In some aspect, the transition may occur leading to an evolved country that is unable to protect itself as well as its citizens. In such cases, the government may be ineffective in controlling states affairs leading to anarchism. For instance, Somalia has been experiencing a collapse in its territory leading to inefficient reduced state control. As such, security is generally scarce forcing the citizens to look for any practical measure in protecting themselves (Snyder, 2012).

In some cases, the transition may necessitate the government to change from one ideology to the other to conform to international politics. However, such transitions are faced by impracticability due to uncertainty. For instance, for Russia and India which have incompletely modernized powers are required to change the political ideologies to fit in the international political arena that is dominated by liberal democracies (Snyder, 2012). On the other hand, the liberals hope to incorporate rising political powers to a well-institutionalized economic order that is necessary for fostering international democracy. However, the realist projects that the rising powers would become strong economically and form a rival to the established democracies (Snyder, 2012).

            The transitions from one regime to the other also have an impact on political attitudes. For instance, regime change is associated with massive political uncertainty especially in the case of democratic transitions (Barcelo and Muraoka, 2018). This also has an imperative role in the people's perceptions and attitudes towards the economic and social role of the government (Barcelo and Muraoka, 2018).

Politics in transition has also been a major notable, exciting characteristic of Soviet to post-Soviet transition. As such, politics engulf such process of transition due to divergent political and economic interest. The interested groups, in this case, tend to create different influence in the political process especially, in the formation of policies and economic reforms of the country (White et al., 1994). However, interest groups are the most imperative parts of the civil society since their collaboration with the economic groups influences the developmental course of the country.

Legitimacy and Public Trust

The transition from one political ideology to the other develops several aspects that interest the public and political players in the country. As such, the legitimacy and the efficiency of governing becomes a subset of the government-public relationship. Ideally, public trust is developed as result of citizen’s satisfaction with government performance (Salim et al., 2017). Therefore, in transition, the politics plays an important role in improving public trust and level of satisfaction. The absence of public trust creates a sense of illegitimacy as the citizens seek not to cooperate with the new regime. Consequently, the atmosphere creates citizens who do not want to obey the set regulation or paying taxes as they consider the regime as illegitimate (Salim et al., 2017). For instance, the increased citizen revolution against the Yemen government was associated with the poor performance that has reduced public trust (Salim et al., 2017).

According to political philosopher Frederick Barnard, citizen always coexists with the government under a notion of social contract which tend to hold the ruling regime accounts (Rosario and Dorsey, 2016). This makes the ruling government to be obligated as the citizen maintains vigilance seeking to see the commitment in adherence to this contract.  Therefore, honouring social contract becomes the new tune in party's politics after assuming into office. This follows that, the greater adherence to the contract between the citizens and the government, the more the approval to the legitimacy of government to rule (Rosario and Dorsey, 2016). In support of citizen surveillance to political commitment, the media sector acts as another body in the society seeking to hold government accountable on its role and delivery of political goods and services (Stremlau and Gagliardone, 2015). Therefore, politics may revolve around how to make such bodies as independent or regulated to reduce their input in the political arena.

The Philippines case under the regime of Ferdinand Marcos presents a suitable case where transition led to increased politics leading to illegitimate of the ruling regime. According, to Rosario and Dorsey (2016), the assassination of Philippine’s opposition senator Begino Aquino in 1983 led to increased social movement and protest that lasted for three years. Succumbing to social movement force, Marcos called for an election which gave the social movement a platform to challenge the regime (Rosario and Dorsey, 2016). Consequently, high voter turnout was recorded signifying the urge of the Philippines to change the cause of politics. This, therefore, indicates that citizen-regime relationship is a critical part in defining a transition since they play an important part in shaping the subsequent country politics.

In some instances, satisfactory of material needs becomes fundamental as people prefer the achievement of economic security as compared to higher order needs. Therefore, in developing countries, the essence of transition is acknowledged on how the new political ideologies would benefit the socioeconomic status of the citizens (Bratton and Lewis, 2007).In simple terms, the social contract with such group of citizens would be based on the responsive of the government to fulfill issues related to improved standards of living. Although the satisfaction of citizen needs may play a major part in approving the new democracies, in the long term the citizens may have their initial political enthusiasm replaced by other needs which may lead to a renewed debate in the politics of the country (Bratton " Lewis, 2005).


 Transition forms the basic process through which a country changes its leadership orientation or regimes. Firstly the process has been seen as a result of countries wanting to change their political ideologies to accommodate the contemporary international order. For instance,e the growing political order in the international political arena has been dominated by democratic ideologies which might make a country to shift to such ideologies. However, due to diverse interest, the outcomes of the transition reignites a new struggle in country's politics. the political stakeholders, including the citizens, plays an important role in shaping the subsequent politics in the aftermath of the transition due to their expectation. For the citizen,s the transition should focus on the delivery of political goods and service that are aimed at improving their living standards as well as the economic security of the country. Ideally, the responsiveness of the incoming regime to such needs becomes essential as it determines public trust which is essential in legitimizing the government. Another thing noted is the importance of honoring or sticking to the initial objectives of the transition change which is essential in legitimizing the regime as well reduced heightened politics.


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