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Comparative Politics of Developing Nations

Comparative Politics of Developing Nations

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Comparative Politics of Developing Nations

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  1. Comparative Politics of Developing Nations Fall 2007, FSPUB

  2. Logistics: • Instructor: Florin Fesnic • E: ffesnic@yahoo.com (fesnic@uiuc.edu) • T: 0728-095715 • W:https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/fesnic/fspub/241.htm • Office hours: Wed 4-5 and by appointment

  3. Logistics II: • Attendance: NOT required (caveat) • Readings: CD • Notes: on line (caveat) • 2 exams (40% each) • Weekly contributions (10 percent) • Class participation and/or discussion board contributions (10%) • Class roster with emails

  4. Exams List with questions in advance (e.g., https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/fesnic/fspub/questions_2006.htm) Exam: 3-5 questions from the list provided in advance

  5. Weekly contributions (10%): • Five email submissions (ffesnic@yahoo.com); • No later than Tuesday, 3 PM (the day prior to discussion of the texts); • ½ to one page; substance, not length • E.g., summary; criticism(s); relevance (e.g., lessons for Romania)

  6. Class participation and/or discussion board (10%): • Discussion board: FSPUB and/or yahoo groups • Roughly similar to weekly contributions; • Even more open-ended (e.g., interesting topics, books, web sites)

  7. “Assignment”: Name what are, in your opinion, the best “political” book(s)/article(s)/movie(s); Name what are, in your opinion, the worst “political” book(s) & article(s); Think of positive things (e.g., from other courses) that may improve this course; explain; Think of positive things (e.g., from other courses) that may improve this course; explain; What do you expect from this course?

  8. “Comparative Politics of Developing Nations” • “Developing Nations”: what • “Comparative Politics”: how

  9. Comparative Method: • Comparative politics: refers to both a subject and a method of analysis • (i) Subject: Comparative Politics is the special field of teaching and research within Political Science customarily devoted to “the politics of other countries or peoples”

  10. (ii) Method: As a method, comparative politics involves an analytical effort to exploit the similarities and differences between political units as a basis for developing “grounded theory,” testing hypotheses, inferring causality, and producing reliable generalizations (The Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World)

  11. Why compare? • [Advantages of comparison (pp. 69-71; Box 5.1, p. 69)] • [Difficulties of comparison (Box 5.2, p. 71)] • Functional equivalence (e.g., military coups in Third World countries ≈ elections in established democracies) • [Selection bias; selection on the dependent variable] • [Too many variables, too few countries]

  12. Techniques of comparison: [ - Case study - Small-N vs. large-N analysis: • Focused comparison (small N, case-oriented) • Statistical analysis (large N, variable-oriented)] - Most similar vs. most-different: • Most similar systems • Most different systems [- Dependent variable, independent variable, intervening variable (Box 5.6, p. 84)]

  13. I. “Developing Nations” • The “label game”(?) • “Underdeveloped nations” • “Developing nations” • “Less Developed Countries” (LDCs) • “Third World” – residual category

  14. Development: three components • Economic development: high GDP per capita, equitable income distribution • Social development: quality education, health care, low infant mortality, high life expectancy • Political development: democracy & functional institutions

  15. Typically, E-S-P components of development are highly correlated (why?)

  16. GDP per capita = best measure for development? • GDP per capita – problems: • Not comprehensive enough (social development?) • No measure of inequality (sensitive to extreme values) Solution?

  17. Human Development Index • HDI = “The UN Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth, and other factors for countries worldwide. ” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index> UNDP: <http://www.undp.org/>

  18. Colonialism & Consequences • Colonialism (Y/N) Consequences (e.g., democracy) • If yes, what type? (e.g., British vs. French)