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Comparative Politics Chapter 1

Comparative Politics Chapter 1

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Comparative Politics Chapter 1

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  1. Comparative PoliticsChapter 1

  2. Web Page Quiz, Clicker – 2pts • Which of the following is frequently used by a communist nation to describe their government ? • Communist Autocracy • Democracy • People’s Republic • Republic • Tyranny

  3. Comparative politics: The systematic study of politics and government in different societies.

  4. What do we gain by comparative study? • Comparison: • helps us describe political systems. • gives us context. • gives us points of reference. • helps us draw up rules about politics. • helps us understand ourselves.

  5. What do we gain by comparative study? • Comparison • helps us understand others • allows us to be less ethnocentric • Ethnocentrism:Looking at others from the perspective of the group or culture of the observer, rather than looking at others on their own terms.

  6. What do we gain by comparative study? • Comparison • broadens our options. • helps us make sense of a confusing global system.

  7. The Comparative Approach Generally empirical rather than normative. • Empirical:Drawing conclusions on the basis of facts, experience, or observation. • Normative: Implyingor prescribing norms and values, in contrast to stating facts --Value judgments.

  8. Clicker • A democratic form of government is better than an aristocratic form of government. • Empirical • Normative • Neither

  9. Clicker • Mexico is classified as a newly democratic nation because of its recent reforms and its relatively short time practicing free and open elections. • Empirical • Normative • Neither

  10. What Do We Compare? • Level of analysis:The unit we focus on for study • Individual • Primary Group • Local Community • Sub-national Polity (US States, Canadian Province, etc.) • The State • The international system

  11. The State: • A legal and political entity based on the administration of a territory. Interchangeably known as a country, although the latter usually refers only to the territory of a state.

  12. Characteristics of The State: Territory: Fixed, marked territory with borders controlled by “the state” Sovereignty: Supreme control over the territory, its resources and people, including sole authority to impose laws and taxes Independence: Operates without answering to a higher authority Legitimacy:Recognition by residents and other states as having legal jurisdiction over their territory

  13. What Do We Compare? • Government: The institutions and offices through which societies are governed; the form of system of rule; the nature and direction of the administration of a community. • Politics:The process by which people compete for power, influence, and resources. • Power: The ability to act, or to exert authority and control over others.

  14. What is the goal of government?What do we compare? • National and personal security • Political freedom • Political participation • Economic freedom • Infrastructure • Material-physical infrastructure • Social infrastructure • Economic systems

  15. four approaches to political research: • The experimental method: Uses experimental and control groups to isolate the effects of different stimuli. • The statistical method: Uses empirically observed data to tease out relationships among variables. • The case study method: Focuses on individual cases rather than large samples.

  16. four approaches to political research: • Thecomparative method: Focuses on drawing conclusions from the study of a small number of samples. • Different cases are compared to better understand their qualities, and to develop hypotheses, theories, and concepts

  17. Clicker • Which method is simply impractical for studying politics • Experimental Method • Statistical Method • Case Study Method • Comparative Method • Any of them is practical and effective in studying politics

  18. Clicker • Which method is involves a limited number of sample studies from which we draw hypotheses? • Experimental Method • Statistical Method • Case Study Method • Comparative Method • Any of them is practical and effective in studying politics

  19. Groupings, categories and typologies • Aristotle: in Ancient Greece • Monarchy – ruled by one • Oligarchy – ruled by a few • Democracy – ruled by many

  20. Groupings, categories and typologies • Montesquieu: in Enlightenment France • Republic • Monarchy • Despotism

  21. Groupings, categories and typologies • Max Weber: late 19th and early 20th century German • Traditional Authority • Rational Legal Authority • Charismatic Authority

  22. Groupings, categories and typologies • Three Worlds: 1945--- 2000 +??? • First World: Capitalist Democracies • Second World: Communist States • Third World: Poor, less developed, les democratic and non-aligned countries

  23. Groupings, categories and typologies • McCormick Text: Six Arenas • Liberal Democracies • Communist & Post Communist States • New Democracies • Islamic States • Less Developed States • Marginal States

  24. The Six Arenas Table 1.3 Summary Features of the Six Arenas

  25. Clicker • The McCormick text identifies one “Typology” of modern states as the dominant, if somewhat outdated model most commonly used still. Which is it? • Aristotle’s Monarchy, Oligarchy, Democracy • Max Weber’s: Traditional, Rational Legal, and Charismatic • Montesquieu’s: Monarchy, Republic, Despotism • Three Worlds: First World, Second World, Third World • None of these

  26. Clicker • In McCormick’s Six Arena’s typology, he identifies a special category for Islamic states. Does that seem useful to you? • Yes, it seems meaningful and useful to me • No, I don’t understand the distinction • No, while I believe I understand the distinction it doesn’t seem useful • It’s too soon to tell

  27. Clicker • In McCormick’s Six Arena’s typology, is the distinction between Less Developed States and Marginal States a useful distinction? • Yes, it seems meaningful and useful to me • No, I don’t understand the distinction • No, while I believe I understand the distinction it doesn’t seem useful • It’s too soon to tell

  28. Measures of political variables • Overtly Political Measures • Freedom in the World Index: Freedom House • Governance Indicators: World Bank • Democracy Index: The Economist • Corruption Perception Index: Transparency International

  29. Measures of political variables • Economic Measures: • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) • GDP per Capita • Purchasing Power Parity • Gini coefficient • Economic Freedom Index: Fraser Institute

  30. Measures of political variables • Social Measures: • Life expectancy • Infant mortality • Adult literacy • Human development Index: United Nations