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Introduction Week 1 Notes

by: Rhiannon Cobb

Introduction Week 1 Notes POLS 104

Marketplace > University of Nebraska Lincoln > POLS 104 > Introduction Week 1 Notes
Rhiannon Cobb
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These give a brief intro over what is being covered in the textbook and information you will need for future exams
World Politics: Intro to Comparative Politics
Class Notes
Politics, comparative




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Cobb on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 104 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Beahm in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 08/31/16
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Comparative Politics 104 Introduction - Governing is a political process - Comparative Politics is the study of government and their political process • systematic evaluations regarding - political behaviors - historic trends - various institutions of government function within a broad variety of alternatives. • concerned with power relationships between individuals, groups, organizations, classes, parties and institutions within political systems. - political systems become traditions - Three Traditions of how the study of Comparative Politics is Approached • The study of single countries - evaluations of individual countries on many different levels. • quantitative and qualitative • Methodological - conceptual, logical, and statistical analysis - most quantitative • Analytical - uses law-like explanations. uses systematic comparison to understand differences - older style of doing things, but you see it some at almost every level - quantitative and qualitative What does Comparative Politics do? - It describes similarities and differences. • it explains similarities and differences, while attempting formulating predictions of what will occur. - we are still terrible at predicting world events. 1 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 • comparative politics is empirical in that it tries to understand what is. It can also be normative in prescribing what should be. - often looks at national political systems but examine sub-national regional political systems such as states like in the U.S. or Länder, supra-national units such as regions, and supra-national organizations (e.g. • European Union, UN) - it also examines types of political systems such as • democratic quasi-democratic • • authoritarian regimes • regarding economic performed • civil liberties - comparative politics examine single elements of the political system rather than the whole system, e.g. • policies • structure of legislatures • finances • electoral laws • legislative • executive process - Comparative Politics Textbook Summary - comparative politics has undergone a number of shifts over time (over what the focus should be) - examples of these have been institutionalism focused on state, functionalism which looks at politics in practice, and back to institutionalism only now with an emphasis on systems rather than state. • not a return to the beginning but a return to fundamental tenets of comparative politics, institutionalism and functionalism that brought the 2 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 state back with more emphasis on systems, case studies, and rational choice theory. - What we know now is systemic functionalism. - specific cases turned to research based on a large number of cases. • there was also a shift from aggregate data to individual data and back to aggregate data (ICSPR, Data archive, and others). • Ecological fallacy can develop between aggregate data and individual data when correlations between things like race and literacy don’t jive. - Convergence is the belief that models of government are headed in a similar direction • Continuing to go on in our society today - Divergence is the idea that models of government are not headed in a similar direction • Can argue that we have Divergence today - e.g. ISIL and Middle East in general - The study of Comparative Politics has gone back and forth between these two as the dominant view. • Divergence seems to have the upper hand at present. - Consociationalism is a form of democracy which seeks to regulate the sharing of power in a state that comprises diverse societies (distinct ethnic, religious, political, national, or linguistic groups), by allocating these groups collective rights. • Most countries today are nation-states. - Nation state is a form of political organization in which a group of people share the same history, tradition, or language and live in a particular area under one government. • This political system is also referred to as nationalism. - Globalization has to do with the interconnectedness of countries through trade, migration, and the internet 3 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 • Nationalism is still the primary form of political organization for countries around the world, but globalization is increasing influencing how people and nation-states interact with each other rendering physical, political and cultural boundaries less dominant. - this view has gain increasing attention in the last two decades. - Ethnocentrism a narrow view of the world. Most people in the world suffer from some degree of this, including many americans. Our understanding are often clouded by myths and misconceptions • Aristotle was the first political scientist and was also the first comparative political scientist. He was interested in the GOOD LIFE. (in the book) - the good life was basically the pursuit of virtue with the hope of bringing about a well ordered soul. • Wisdom, Justice, courage, and temperance were the virtues valued because you can never have too much of them (money, power, fame, and physical pleasure were considered corruption to the soul). - Aristotle felt that politics was an extension of our personal lives and he used theory and method to understand it. • The scientific method uses induction and education. - Deduction applies to abstract though and logical reasoning from general propositions • larger to smaller case. - this approach is often associated with normative political theory or what ought to be. - Induction uses reasoning from particular facts or individual cases to general conclusions • smaller to the larger case. - This is usually associated with what is, and is a proponent of behavioralism. 4


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