Introduction to Comparative Government - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Introduction to Comparative Government PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 77106f-NmNkN


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Introduction to Comparative Government


Introduction to Comparative Government AP Comparative Government & Politics 6 THEMES 2012-13 Hoilman – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:395
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 26
Provided by: Linds118
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Introduction to Comparative Government

Introduction to Comparative Government
  • AP Comparative Government Politics
  • 6 THEMES

1 The Comparative Method
  • Three world approach
  • Advanced democracies well-
    established democratic gov. high
    level of economic development
    e.g. U.S. U.K. (First World)
  • Communist post-communist countries
    some limits on individual freedom in order to
    divide wealth more equally (gov. control) e.g.
    Russia China
  • Less developed countries (LDCs) newly
    industrialized countries (NICs) (Third World)
  • LDCs lack significant economic develop.
  • w/ tendency toward authoritarian gov. e.g.
  • NICs rapid economic growth, tendency toward
    some democratization political/social
    e.g. Mexico Iran
  • http//

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Formal v. Informal Politics
  • Formal politics is defined by law the formal
    positions organization of gov. (can be neatly
    outlined in a chart)
  • Informal politics is the way in which citizens
    organize themselves, define their interests
    connect with policy-making activities of
    government it may also include the behavior of
    politicians outside their defined responsibilities

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Political Change the nature of world politics
    has changed significantly since the fall of
    U.S.S.R. (1991) b/c the world is no longer
    dominated by 2 superpowers their alliances
  • e.g. democratization, political
    (in)stability, cleavages within society, state
    capacity or power, international pressures
    globalization, mobilization of the citizenry

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Integration of political economic systems
  • Capitalism command economies are economic
    systems philosophies, but translates into
    politics too
  • Capitalism less gov. control citizens and
    businesses can make free economic decisions
    (neoliberalism is the movement toward more
    privatization less gov. interference) gov. is
    less centralized, in general
  • Communism gov. direction regarding quotas,
    supply production, business opportunities, etc.
    gov. is more centralized
  • Attitudes behaviors of citizens and how they
    respond to economic policies economic
    decision-making influence the actions of the
    government, especially regarding economic
    inefficiencies (e.g. large gap between rich
    poor, trade deficits, outside influence of large
    corporations, etc.)

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Empirical v. Normative Approach
  • Empirical data is based on factual statements
    statistics (e.g. infant mortality rate, GDP, GNP,
    population growth rates,
    military expenditures, etc.)
  • Normative issue approach requires value judgments
    (efficiency of government program(s), lack of
    public policy regarding an issue, better
    leader, protection of citizens, etc.) not
    quantitative, but qualitative

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Single country studies often called case
    studies few generalizations can be made, but
    vital for testing theories, formulating concepts,
    etc. high internal validity, but low external
  • Small n analysis a few carefully chosen
    countries e.g. Parliament in several countries
    is studied to design generalizations
    most-similar (commonalities) or most-different
    approach (contrasting)
  • Large N analysis lots of countries mainly
    statistical e.g. democratic stability as
    affected by the difference between
    presidential/executive institutions higher
    external validity

1 Comparative Method continued
  • Systems theory looking at an aspect or action
    of government through the system itself (e.g.
    nuclear weapons program inputs ideas
    groups who influence the gov, including officials
    themselvs output the policy the gov designs,
    feedback the influence of the policy on
    future gov actions, more policies, and how
    citizens are affected by the policy,
    environment domestic international
    situations that arise b/c of the policy
  • Rational Choice theory looking at the choices
    humans make which they believe are in their best
    interest regarding political or economic
    participation drawing conclusions or inferences
  • Middle-level theory - comparisons of specific
    features of a government in an attempt to draw
    generalizations, but realizing the event may have
    unique features as well (e.g. revolutions can be
    very different)

2 Sovereignty, Authority, Power
  • Sovereignty ability to design policies carry
    out actions within ones borders independently
    from interference either from the inside or the
    outside ultimate control over affairs
  • Authority claim of legitimacy (right to rule
    recognized by ruler and the ruled)
  • Power ability to influence others to act or
    accept certain actions those in political office
    are often those with more power
    the government of a country can
    give / take power

2 Sovereignty, Authority Power continued
  • Government / Regime
  • The system of political rule of a state (e.g.
    authoritarian government, theocracy,
    constitutional monarchy, democracy,
    republic, etc.)
  • State
  • Basic unit of political organization with a
    permanent population, defined territory,
    governing institutions, sovereignty over its
    territory intl recognition (e.g. country)
    the institutions individuals who run the show
  • Self-governing political entity (a state
    is not necessarily a nation
    vice versa)

2 Sovereignty, Authority Power continued
  • Institution(s)
  • Stable, long lasting organization(s) with
    authority to turn political ideas into policy
    e.g. legislature, executive, judiciary, council
    of advisors, assembly of religious experts
  • Institutions often create agencies to carry out
    policies or deal with a particular matter
  • Institutions may refer to organizations outside
    of the formal government (e.g. political parties,
    interest groups, media, etc.)

2 Sovereignty, Authority Power continued
  • Legitimacy the right to rule as determined by
    citizens perception of gov. citizens belief
    that gov. has rightful power to compel obedience
    - Max Webers 3 sources of political legitimacy
  • Traditional legitimacy based on historical,
    cultural and/or religious
    experiences regarding who should rule
    how (e.g. monarch, emperor, priestess,
    Ayatollah Khemeini, etc.)
  • Charismatic legitimacy - based on the
    dynamic personality of an individual /small
    group (e.g. clan chieftain, shaman, guru,
    prophet, Ayatollah Khoemeini, etc.)

2 Sovereignty, Authority Power continued
  • Rational-legal legitimacy - based on a system of
    well-established laws and procedures (U.K.,
    Mexico, Nigeria? Russia?)
  • Rule of law no person is above the law all
    will be held accountable to the laws will only
    be punished as set forth by clear, objective,
    publicly disclosed laws consistency,
    predictability, transparency (most modern,
    developed, stable states rely on this Mexico
  • President Xi has been promising rule of law
    cracking down on corruption with the CCP for the
    past two years.

2 Sovereignty, Authority Power continued
  • Authority, power legitimacy influence, and are
    influenced by, political culture ideology
  • Political ideology set of political values held
    by individuals regarding the basic goals of
    government politics (what the government should
    or should not do re foreign policy, military
    endeavors, taxation, etc.) fascist, liberal,
    conservative, fundamentalist
  • Political culture broad political beliefs,
    values, practices, institutions the government
    is based upon shared by large segments of the
    population (e.g. democracy, liberty, economic
    equality, patriotism, individualism, etc.)

3 Political Economic Change
  • Types of Change
  • Reform
  • Change practices, not substance (not advocating
    overthrow) reformers want to influence business,
    environmental, religious, or taxation practices
    often must wait until elections or become more
    involved in certain institutions (Mexican reforms
    regarding drug war, Nietos neoliberal reforms,
    Chinese economic reforms to privatize business or
    reduce corruption in the CCP, Irans allowance of
    3G mobile)
  • Revolution
  • Change at the most basic level involving the
    revision or overthrow of existing institutions
    success often requires widespread participation
    (Russian Revolution 1917 or Iranian Revolution
  • Coup detats (blows to the state)
  • Replaces leadership, but undirected often
    carried out by the military in countries where
    leaders have already taken control by force are
    weak usually results in another coup(Nigerian
    coup detat 1993)

3 Political Economic Change continued
  • The types of changes that take place are strongly
    influenced by the attitudes of those who promote
    the change itself
  • Radicalism belief that rapid, dramatic,
    systemic change is necessary (e.g. 1917 Russian
  • Liberalism promotes gradual change
    transformation (e.g. suffrage civil rights
  • Conservatism - change is disruptive brings
    unforeseen consequences state regime are
    sources of law order (sanctity of continuity)
  • Reactionary beliefs turn back to traditional
    practices, law order (e.g. communists in Russia

3 Political Economic Change continued
  • Democratization - expansion of democracy
    transition process outcome
  • Liberal democracies
  • Fair, free competitive elections
  • Civil liberties
  • Rule of law
  • Neutrality of the judiciary
  • Open civil society
  • Civilian control of the military

3 Political Economic Change continued
  • Illiberal democracies
  • Coined in 1997 by Fareed Zakaria, Indian-American
    journalist, correspondent author
  • Democratically elected leaders restrict rights
    consolidate the power of their government
  • Basic civil liberties (freedom of speech,
    religion, press, etc.) are often denied
  • Is not qualified as free by Freedom House (NGO
    that conducts research on democracy, political
    freedom human rights)
  • Some of these leaders may believe they have the
    right to act so long as they hold regular
    elections (Russia)

3 Political Economic Change continued
  • Economic Policy Shifts
  • Organizational re-structuring/economic
    liberalization movement toward market economy
    away from command economy involves
    decentralization, de-regulation, removal of
    subsidies tariffs privatization e.g. Russia
    1990s, Mexico today, China under Deng)
  • Mixed economy blending of characteristics of
    socialist capitalist economies some economic
    freedom some gov. regulation e.g. China
  • Any economic reforms influence, and are
    influenced by, political change (in China, CCP
    fights for weiwen (status quo) there is a cycle
    known as fang-shou (loosening of economic
    restrictions, but tightening of political
    restrictions which is uncommon)

3 Political Economic Change continued
  • Revival of Ethnic or Cultural Politics
  • 21st Century globalization requires an
    understanding acknowledgment of fragmentation
    (divisions within society based on ethnic,
    cultural or religious identity)
  • Nationalism remains strong in many parts of the
    world as well and can influence economic
    political practices (e.g. trade policies,
    military aggression, regime change, etc.)
  • Supranational organizations are influenced by
    these politics too (U.N., E.U., OAU, NATO, etc.)

4 Citizens, Society State
  • Divisions within society (religion, ethnicity,
    gender, race, social or economic classes) are
    known as social cleavages they dramatically
    influence political economic activity
  • e.g. What mix of each group does a country have?
    What laws are in place to inhibit or protect the
    rights of certain groups? Do political elites
    come from a certain group? Are some groups
    denied access to the political

4 Citizens, Society, State continued
  • Citizen-state relationships
  • Citizens belief that they can influence the gov.
    (political efficacy) influences their
  • Citizens opinions about how government should
    operate (political ideology) influences decisions
    about voting or which groups to support
  • Political socialization the way in which
    citizens learn about politics (family, media,
    gov., etc.)
  • Voting behavior consider whether elections are
    regular, competitive, free inclusive and
    whether turnout is high or low
  • Social cleavages influence citizens beliefs,
    participation, involvement in groups, political
    influence etc.

5 Political Institutions
  • Political institutions structures of the
    political system (both formal informal)
  • Legislative, executive, judiciary, Supreme
    Leader, P.M., etc. (may or may not be distinct
    separate branches with or without checks of
  • Levels of government
  • Federal system shares/divides power
  • with sub-units or geographical provinces or

    states (Mexico, U.S., Russia,
  • Unitary system concentrates power
  • within one central government (Britain, China,
  • Iran) http//

5 Political Institutions continued
  • Other institutions
  • Linkage institutions connect citizens with
    policy-making arena (e.g. interest groups,
    political parties, electoral systems, public
    opinion polling organizations, media, etc.)
  • Supranational organizations globalization has
    given rise to an increase in supranational
    organizations groups that go beyond state
  • Relationships with other countries membership
    in these organizations can influence trade
    (NAFTA), economics politics (OPEC, E.U., OAU),
    military security (NATO), international peace

6 Public Policy
  • Policies are created to address certain issues
    solve certain problems
  • Created by legislative vote, executive decision,
    judicial rulings, or a combination of all three
  • My be influenced by political parties or interest
    groups too
  • Governments differ in how they approach issues
    and what importance they assign to the issues

6 Public Policy continued
  • Economic performance
  • Domestic (unemployment, inflation, GDP, etc.) and
    international (trade, export v. import policies,
    GDP, etc.)
  • Social welfare of citizens
  • Health, employment, transportation
    infrastructure, family assistance, education,
    etc. (prioritization of needs, budgetary
    concerns, efficiency of bureaucracy, etc.)
  • Civil liberties, rights, freedoms
  • Civil rights (group protections such as voting,
    equality of opportunity, etc.) civil liberties
    (individual protections of behaviors speech,
    religion, trial by jury, etc.)
  • Government protection interpretation of laws
  • Freedom House international rankings (1-7)
  • Environment
  • Decisions regarding prevention reduction of
    harmful effects on the environment natural
    resources, and how gov. will address negative