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Introduction to Comparative Politics

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American Politics. Public Administration. Political Theory. International Politics ... 'A scholar who studies only American presidents is an Americanist, whereas a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Comparative Politics


1
Introduction to Comparative Politics
2
Fitting Comparative into PoliSci
  • Sub-disciplines of Political Science
  • American Politics
  • Public Administration
  • Political Theory
  • International Politics
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Others (Public Law, Methods, Public Policy, etc.)

3
Fitting Comparative into PoliSci
  • A scholar who studies only American presidents
    is an Americanist, whereas a scholar who studies
    only French presidents is a comparativist. Do
    not ask me how this makes senseit does
    not--Giovanni Sartori as quoted in Draper and
    Ramsay, 2008xv.

4
What is Comparative Politics?
  • Comparative Politics v. Comparative Government
  • ONeil
  • Politics is often described as the struggle in
    any group for power that will give one or more
    persons the ability to make decisions for the
    larger group.Politics is essentially the
    struggle for authority to make decisions that
    will affect public as a whole (3).
  • Within political science, comparative politics
    is the subfield that compares this struggle
    across countries (3).
  • Note the linkage of power to politics.

5
What is Comparative Politics?
  • Howard Wiardas defintion
  • systematic study and comparison of the worlds
    political systems
  • seeks to explain differences between as well as
    similarities among countries
  • It is particularly interested in exploring
    patterns, processes, and regularities among
    political systems
  • It looks for trends, for changes in patterns
  • It tries to develop propositions or hypotheses

6
Defining Terms
  • Theory an attempt to explain and therefore to
    understand the complex reality around us.
  • Empirical v. Normative Theory

7
Defining Terms
  • Proposition stating the idea that two or more
    things are related. (White, 38)
  • Hypothesis
  • propositions stated so that they can be tested
    empirically (White, 38)
  • ltorgt A hypothesis is a testable statement of
    relationship, derived from a theory (Corbett,
    73).

8
Things to Compare
  • Regime Types
  • Institutional Structures
  • Levels of Development
  • Wealth (GDP and GDP per capita)
  • Governance
  • Capabilities of Citizens (Sen and Nussbaum)
  • Meeting Physical Needs
  • Insuring Physical Safety
  • Making Informed Decisions
  • Having Civil and Political Rights

9
How to Conduct Comparative Political Inquiry
  • Wiardas list
  • Single Case Study
  • Studies of Multiple Cases
  • Area Studies
  • Cross-Regional Studies
  • Global Comparisons
  • Thematic Studies

10
How to Conduct Comparative Political Inquiry
(ONeil, 7).
  • Quantitative Method Gathering of statistical
    data across a large number of countries in order
    to look for correlations and test hypotheses
    about cause and effect. Emphasis on breadth over
    depth.
  • Qualitative Method Mastery of a limited number
    of cases through the detailed study of their
    history, language, and culture. Emphasis on
    depth over breadth.

11
Institutions
  • Habitual, valued and normal (Graham 1994259).
  • Can be seen as organizations or activities.
  • Typically manifest as rules.
  • Institutions are formal and informal rules that
    structure the relationship among individual.
    Rules may be as formal as written laws or as
    informal as cultural norms (Draper and Ramsay
    200815).

12
Institutions...
  • ...organize politics.
  • ...create specific incentives and disincentives.
  • ...structure choices.
  • ...create winners and losers.

13
Institutions
14
Examples of Institutions
  • Traffic Laws
  • Constitution
  • Electoral Rules (e.g., Duverger's Law)

15
Other Factors to Consider
  • Political Culture
  • Basic norms
  • Determines which ideologies are likely to
    dominate.
  • Unique to a given country or group.
  • Distinct from attitudes and ideologies.
  • Political Attitudes.
  • Ideology.
  • Outside forces.

16
Attitudes and Ideology
  • Political Attitudes
  • Focused on speed and methods of change.
  • Basic spectrum radical, liberal, conservative
    and reactionary
  • Particularistic i.e., context matters.
  • Distinct from ideologies.

17
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19
Attitudes and Ideology
  • Political Ideologies
  • Set values and fundamental goals.
  • 5 dominant examples liberalism, communism,
    social democracy, fascism and anarachism.
  • Universalistic
  • Distinct from Attitudes

20
Source http//www.politicalcompass.org/index
21
2004
2008
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