PSC 1001; Intro to Comparative Politics
PSC 1001; Intro to Comparative Politics PSC 1001
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eleanor Parry on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Christopher Mitchell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comparative Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/12/16
Why Comparative Politics • Two elements in tension ◦ Area Studies ‣ Rich, country specific knowledge ◦ Generalizability ‣ Answer general questions • The comparative method ◦ Cross national comparison ◦ Enables broader generalizations Studying Politics Scientifically • Applying scientific methods to social studies ◦ Develop theories ◦ Test theories against data in unbiased rigorous ways Variables • Dependent Variable ◦ Outcome of interest ◦ What causes economic growth? ◦ What makes democracy work? • Independent Variable ◦ Potential causes ◦ The trick is determining which are actual causes. "Reversing the Causal Arrows" • Argument that effect is actually the cause • Democracy and Economic Development ◦ Does democracy cause economic growth ◦ or vice versa ◦ Both may be effects of a third cause Social Science Methods • Ideal: experimental method • Next: statistical method • Then: comparative method • Finally: Case studies The Comparative Method • Comparing cases eliminates variables ◦ Differences cannot be explained by commonalities • Find comparable cases ◦ Similar on many independent variables Using the Comparative Method • United States ◦ Relatively harsh bank bailouts ◦ Democracy ◦ Advanced Capitalist State ◦ Western Culture ◦ Large Economy ◦ Stock market based financial system • Germany ◦ Generous bank bailouts ◦ Democracy ◦ Advanced Capitalist State ◦ Western Culture ◦ Large economy ◦ Bank based financial system Forces Shaping Politics • Institutions and Politics • Ideas, Identities and Politics • Political Economy Intellectual History • Deep origins: Athens ◦ Plato ◦ Aristotle • 15th - 18th centuries ◦ Machiavelli ◦ Rousseau, Montesquieu Emergence of Social Science in the 19th Century • Karl Marx • Max Weber Comparative Politics Emerges post 1945 • How to produce stable democratic regimes • Cold war ◦ US superpowers global concerns ◦ Lack knowledge Major Question since 1945 • How can states become democratic? ◦ Is it a universal value? • How can states develop economically ? ◦ Role for the state • What links between democracy and development? Major Questions of Today • What are the sources of instability • How is globalization changing policies?
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