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Comparative Politics

by: Destin Paucek

Comparative Politics PSCI 2400

Destin Paucek
GPA 3.99

Mihaiela Ristei

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Mihaiela Ristei
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Destin Paucek on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 2400 at Western Michigan University taught by Mihaiela Ristei in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see /class/216849/psci-2400-western-michigan-university in Political Science at Western Michigan University.

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Date Created: 09/30/15
PSCI 2400 Comparative Politics January 15 2008 Cont d 0 Class webgage URL39 httphomepageswmichedum2risteiPSCI o 2024005pring08 tml 0 Course Requirements Midterm exams 40 20 each 39 35 Quizzes 15 Class participation 10 Today Introduction to Comparative Politics CP What is CP The Comparative Method Brief history of CP Political Institutions What is CP 0 Politics the struggle in any group for power that will give one or more persons the ability to make decisions for the larger group 0 Power The ability to influence or impose one s will on the other 0 CP is a subfield of Political Science that compares across cases 0 Cases not necessarily countries Comparative Method 0 CP is the only subfield of political science that is in large measure defined by a methodological orientation which is the method of comparing 0 Def A way of comparing across cases and draw conclusions 0 Conclusions generalizable and valid in other cases Correlation and Causation 0 Def Correlation means that there is a relationship between two or more variables 0 Correlation is different than causation use it doesn t necessarily mean that one variable causes changes in another variable Cont d 0 Def Causation means that changes in one variable the independent variable cause changes in another variable the dependent variable 0 The dependent variable a factor or a phenomenon that is to be explained o The independent variable a factor that is thought to affect the dependent variable Comparative Method Limitations 0 We can t control for all relevant variables because each case is different from every other There s only a limited number of cases eg less than 200 countries in the world 0 Our access to data is limited by several factors eg time access to ata and information access to necessary resources Quantitative vs Qualitative Research 0 Quantitative method Focus on empirical data statistics across a large number of cases Variables are numbers We can access a large number of casescountries large N Conclusions are more generalizable Limited to variables expressed in quantitative data and across countries Cont d o Qualitative method Focus on a more detailed study of one or few cases small N It usually concentrates on the unique aspects of a country such as history and culture It allows for more detailed conclusions and for the analysis of more sophisticated research questions Brief history of comparative politics 0 The Modernization theo developed in 1950519605 sought a universal theory of social political and economic development based on the experience of modern systems 0 The theory states that as societies develop they would become capitalist democracies sharing a similar set of values and characteristics Cont d o The Behavioral revolution sought to explain the behavior of actors rather than describe institutions 0 A shift from descriptive study of politics to one that stresses explanation an prediction 0 The goal was to explain politics through actors actions and decisions and to produce a grand theory Cont d o The Dependency Theory a new approach developed by the critics of the modernization theory 0 It argued that development wasn t linear and that third world was poor because of international capitalism not because it was premodern Major changes in CP 0 Rapid industrialization of Asian states Taiwan South Korea Singapore defied expectations about third world development Collapse of Soviet communism was unexpected many had argued that mmunism would eventually collapse but few saw it coming when it did 0 The third wavequot of democracy during 19705 and 19805 a large number of countries around the world democratized Political Institutions 0 Institutions are seen as both results and causes of politics 0 Def Institutions are rules norms or patterns of behavior that regulate social life 0 Institutions are a useful way to approach the study of politics because they set the stage for political behavior Cont d 0 Political institutions are crucial because they influence politics and how political institutions are constructed will have a significant impact on how politics is conducte o Eg legislatures courts the army the police customs etc Characteristics of Institutions Institutions are often valued by their societies Institutions are difficult to change andor dismiss stickiness Variation over political systems and countries Two other concepts 0 Freedom Def It is the ability to act independently without fear of restriction or punishment by the state or other individuals or groups in society 0 Equality Def It refers to shared material standards of individuals within a community society or country


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