This paper explores the concept of political culture and its origins, establishing four main theses. First, the nature of a country's system of government cannot be concluded from its political culture. Second, political culture cannot be extrapolated from the broader general culture. Third, direct conclusions about political practice are unlikely to be drawn from political culture. And fourth, the impact of the political culture of elites during the democratic transition should not be underestimated. The paper addresses the importance of both “civic culture” in preserving democratic stability and the belief in liberal democratic values. It makes a distinction between political culture as attitudes and as behavioural trends. It contends that the emergence of theories linking the nature of the system of government to the prevalent culture in a given country was due to Cold War alliances between Western democracies and their loyal dictatorships. There is no truth to the claim that the political culture of a society must be democratic as a precondition for establishing a democratic system. Conversely, this assumption obscures the true condition for democracy, which is the political culture of the elites, and the latter’s adherence to democratic principles during the democratization process.