1. It takes the society as a single inter-connected system each element of which performs a specific function aiming at maintenance of equilibrium.
Thus it seeks to understand a behaviour pattern as a socio-cultural institution in terms of the role it plays in keeping the given system in proper order and thus maintaining it as a going concern.
2. A social system has a dominant tendency towards stability that is maintained by virtue of built in mechanism.
Thus change in social system is not sudden as; revolutionary but gradual and adjective.
3. Underlying the whole social structure there are broad aims and principles that are observed by the manners of the society.
2. Main Emphasis:
Structure-functional analysis revolves round the two key concepts, viz. structures and functions.
Structures refer to those arrangements within the system which perform the functions. A single function may be fulfilled by a complex combination of structures.
As regard the concept of functions, there are three basic questions:
1. What basic functions are discharged in a system?
2. By what instruments those functions are performed
3. Under what condition performance of these functions is done
As a model adopted from natural sciences functionalism accepts the organism analogy—that a social or political unit will have certain adoptive qualities—in consult to a lybenatic is mechanistic analogy.
According to Almond, a political system has four characteristics that may be called ‘legitimate patterns of interaction’.
1. Every political system has its structures some of which may be more specialized performing more functions, while others may be less specialized, performing less functions in it.
2. Whatever differences may be between the system and its structures, the same political functions are performed in all political systems.
3. Political structures and multifunctional.
4. All political system beings parts of the society as a whole have a culture of their own fact is always a mixture of the traditional and the modern.
This approach is inclined to emphasize the search for processes that maintain the stability of the system.
4. Input-output Analysis:
In Border Forms:
It is framework for organizing, conceptualizing, codifying and manipulating data.
If political system is a set of interactions having structures, each part of which performs its ‘functions’ in order to keep it like an ongoing concern, it is also a set of processes routinely converting inputs into outputs.
1. Focuses is on the system as a basic unit of analysis and on the intra-system and inter- system behaviour of various systems as principal areas of research.
2. Its refers to the analytic system (abstractions with focus on selected elements of human behaviour) existing and operating within an overall social system.
3. This approach treats all political systems as both open and adaptive. Its most salient focus is on the nature of exchanges and transactions that take place between political systems and its environment.
4. There exists a very strong and underlying concern with questions relating to persistence of the system, the sources of stresses and modes of processes of regulating all tensions and threats that utter challenge to the stability.
5. It does not reject the issue of change, it cleverly interprets the process of accommodating change that is invariably slow, peaceful and gradual but that by no means threatens the very stability and maintenance of the political system.
The political system is seen as a conversion process performing work, producing outputs, and outwearing its environment with a continuous exchange between a political system and its environment based on the steady operation of the dynamic processes.
The approach focuses mainly on changes whose principal results are only to modify or streamline the system.
It refers to demand made by people who contribute their role in the political system—called environment.
Demand for allocation of goods and services
Demand for regulation of behaviour
Demands for participation in political system
Demand for communication and information.
Ex: material support
Obedience to laws and regulation
Attention paid to governmental communication
A proper balance should be maintained between the demands and support for smooth running of the political system.
Outputs are authoritative decision and actions of the systems leaders that bear on the allocation of values for the system.
Outputs are the result of the conversion process acting upon a great variety of demands and supports.
They are primarily means of generating specific support for a political system as they, according to Easton ‘may help to maintain a minimum level of support for the various political objects.
Further, to Easton it is the aspect of output that tends to be neglected in theoretical enquiry and which lies at the heart of this part of enquiry.’
It is this aspect that completes the cycle of political system and that makes it a dynamic and regenerative operation.
a. helps system receive information concerning the position of the goal and concerning its own distance from it.
b. helps system to response to this information, by further changes into its own position or behaviour.
It is essentially a regulative element.
It refers to the extent to which the system can cope with inputs in a successful manner.
It may be extractive, regulative, and distributive.
Thus, the comparative approaches to political analysis have heralded a new era in the realm of political studies. They have brought tools and techniques to qualify data and predict outcomes. But, they are inadequate in providing criteria for evaluation and judgment.