Presentation on theme: "Laura Sirbu Comparative Government Period 4"— Presentation transcript:
1Laura Sirbu Comparative Government Period 4 Political TheoriesLaura Sirbu Comparative GovernmentPeriod 4
2Theories -Proposed explanations of actual occurrences Systems Theory Structural-Functional TheoryDependency TheoryRational Choice TheoryRational Expectation TheoryOther miscellaneous theories
3Just Remember…For every theory that exists, there are several ones that propose an opposing ideaThe result? Interesting debates!
4Systems TheorySystem - “an object having interdependent parts, acting within a setting or environment” (pg 29)Domestic/NationalInternationalNo longer independent entities; everything is interconnected (think globalization)
5Systems Theory - Diagram IranRussiaUnited StatesEconomyPolitical SystemCulture and SocietyBritainMexicoKey:InputsOutputsNigeriaChina
6But what about… Multinational Companies? Terrorists? Systems that are not institutions or countries that are spanning these said “boundaries.”Can complex interactions really be separated in domestic or international spheres?
7Structural-Functional Theory Each structure has its own function so that government can operateSame structure may perform different functions in another country (ex: President of U.S. vs. President of China)Institutions do not have a monopoly on one functionCriticism: Conservative in its methodology
8Dependency Theory Two groups: Developed Nations and Developing Nations Former keeps the latter in a subservient positionDeveloping Nations increase dependency over timeKept “down” by economic sanctions or free-trade policies (ISI do not work)
9Free-Market IdeologyFree-markets help developing nations by giving them the opportunity to grow and become equal playersShort run, painful. Long run, establishes economies.Look at India and Thailand: there were developing, and are today more toward the “developed” side
10Dependency vs. Free-Market Are countries able to “break out of the loop”?Are developed countries still intentionally keeping developing countries in a subservient position?An obsolete idea?
11Rational Choice Theory All decisions can be broken down into rational calculationsDecisions are based on rewards/costsPeople act as if they are completely rational
12Rational Expectation Theory Individual decisions may be wrong at any one timeOn average, over a collective body, decisions are not systematically wrongBetter to work in a groupMany individuals Country
13Cultural Theory Political behavior is based on culture Decisions are based on societal norms, not rational, individual opinionsTo understand political behavior, one must understand the culture of that entity
14Rational vs. CulturalDo characteristics of individuals carry over to a group?If each individual is rational, does that guarantee that the entire group acts rationally?Can an individual person take in every cue from culture to come up with a singular decision?Do policies get watered down when there are many agendas working against one another?
15Political Realism International level is anarchy Each state is a rational actor working for its own best interests. Think Zero-Sum. Black and white.States are “main actors;” other supranational organizations, multinational corporations, and/or non-governmental organizations have little influence
16Criticisms Democracy-Peace Theory Federalism Democracies tend to not go to war with each other, even when there are conflicts of self-interestFederalismThere are many levels/stages of power and influenceDid the Zero-Sum “ideology” get America to its superpower status of today?
17Miscellaneous Theories The “Great Man” Theory—history is decided by a few influential and powerful individualsThe “Bureaucracy” Theory—the real decisions in a system happen in the push and shove of the bureaucracyWorld-System Theory—extremely similar to dependency theory; sees the “capitalist world economy” as “total social system”
18Works Cited“What is Dependency Theory?” WiseGeek. 26 Apr <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dependency-theory.htm>.“What is System Theory?” Principia Cybernetica Web Apr <http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/systheor.html>.Scott, John. “Rational Choice Theory .” Rational Choice Theory Apr <http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~scottj/socscot7.htm>.Ferraro, Vincent. Dependency Theory: An Introduction. 26 Apr <http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/depend.htm>.Almond, Gabriel A., et al. Comparative Politics Today. Vol. 7. New York: Longman, n.d.