Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction by Michael J

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction by Michael J"— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction by Michael J
Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction by Michael J. Sodaro, contributions by Nathan J. Brown (2006 Edition); and Dean W. Collinwood, Joseph L. Klesner and Timothy D. Sisk (2008 Ed.) This 2008 Sodaro Third Edition is Presented for Political Science Instruction by Angela Oberbauer, M.A. Updated 2011

2 Part I: Chapter 1. Comparative Politics: What is it? Why Study it?
Comparative Politics examines political realities in countries all over the world. It Looks at the many ways governments operate and the ways people behave in political life. The relevance of government as a primary topic. Governments around the globe play a central role to decisions made on humanity, from science and the economy, to public health and the environment.

3 How can Governments make war or negotiate peace?
Governments fight crime or breed corruption. They can grant human rights or silence opposing voices. Governments are constituted in numerous ways; can have a wide variety of procedures, and operations. Therefore, Sodaro suggests, they occupy a prominent place in the study of comparative politics.

4 Individuals in government leadership roles are also studied in comparative politics because, Sodaro writes: “It matters who governs!” (p.6): Who are they? Why do they seek political power? How do they behave once they have risen to peak positions of governmental authority? What policies do they choose, and go about implementing them?

5 Why are the People that are governed in different countries also studied?
the ways ordinary people behave in their interactions with governments. How people can hold their leaders accountable for their actions Are the people willing or unwilling to endure the most extreme forms of tyranny? Can they vote and participate in political life, join organizations? Sodaro asks further, do some of the people, or many withdraw into apathy for politics and toward government in general? Do they cooperate with one another for mutual benefit, or are they uncompromising, confrontational, and act out violently over conflicts?

6 Therefore, Comparative Politics examines such specific things as:
How governments are structured: their governmental institutions. How they function, including different forms of democracy and various forms of non-democratic government. How governments interact with their populations in pursuing community goals, e.g. health care, reducing unemployment, dealing with conflicts relevant to political, economic and social issues: emphasis on “public policy”.

7 Further: How political leaders and the population behave in politics:
e.g. the ideas they have about politics. the ways they participate in political life through political mechanisms as elections, parties, interest groups, and other modes of political activity. Focus is on: “elite and mass political behavior”, and includes political ideologies and political participation. How political leaders and the mass public think and feel about politics, and how these attitudes affect their behavior, known as “political culture.” What does the American Political Culture believe in? liberties, rights, political equality, individualism, capitalism, property, universal suffrage, democracy, equal opportunity, and pluralism.

8 Who makes up the “Mass Publics?”
Political issues have low salience. People focus attention on concrete issues, have minimal grasp of abstract political concepts, and don’t have constraint knowledge. Interest/political knowledge is short-term. Fundamental beliefs are stable, but can be volatile in short-term political opinions. 5. Content of beliefs is often inaccurate.

9 Who makes up the “Elites?”
Have relatively high levels of interest and involvement in political life; hold positions of political responsibility. Elites communicate their beliefs to others. They influence the Mass Publics. Have relatively high levels of constraint knowledge, accuracy, complexity. Emphasis is on consistency, however, Elites can have conflicting opinions among themselves.

10 A Global Introduction:
1. Countries: • Chapters (chps) devoted to specific countries. Chps present considerable information about: Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey, among others. We will continually compare the United States throughout the semester with other countries. Also biographical profiles of world leaders: important to political developments in their countries and their political leadership styles (p.8).

11 2. Concepts: We not only want to examine relevant facts concerning the country’s history, political institutions, public opinion, and political system, we must also pay close attention to the ways “general political processes and concepts” apply to them: e.g. “democracy”, “power”, “the state”, “nationalism”, ideology”, “political culture”, and “political economy”.

12 3. Critical Thinking is about?
---How to think about politics and how to analyze politics in a logical and systematic manner. (p. 9) Important Elements to Critical Thinking Are? • Definition: Definitional clarity is especially necessary in politics, e.g. socialism, liberalism, democracy, because they are often misused or misunderstood.

13 Elements important to Critical Thinking, continued:
Description: to describe political phenomena, e.g. “checks and balances”, or “separation of powers”. Explanation: “Why” do things happen the way they do? Sodaro explains following: Political Scientists make generalization about the phenomena they try to understand as “theories”; or “hypotheses” that suggest a “cause-and-effect relationship between things. Plus: “Testing” the generalizations against the hard facts of reality to determine whether they are true or false, or whether they are true under some conditions but not in others (p. 8)

14 Elements to Critical Thinking continued:
• Prediction: The realities of human behavior and political life are so varied that political scientists have very little ability to foretell what will happen over the near term, let alone the long term (Soldaro, p. 9) However, political scientists observe trends and patterns, or suggest tentatively what broad tendencies are possible or even probable in various aspects of political life, assuming that certain conditions hold (p. 9)

15 Critical Thinking Elements continued:
Prescription: Soldaro asks, “Can Political Scientists prescribe remedies to the political problems besetting the nations of the world?” And he answers: “Yes and No”. Recommendations may be a better word, if followed, may increase the probability of a desirable outcome at some indeterminate point in time (p.10). Therefore, critical-thinking skills assist you as a student and show you how political scientists as researchers study comparative politics in accordance with scientific rules and methods.

16 Differences between Comparative Politics and International Politics
Comparative Politics: examines political activities within individual countries. Focus: on each country’s “internal Politics, government structures, public policy, political leaders. International Politics: concerns relations “between countries”. Focus: is on the “external relationships” of individual countries: e.g. Diplomacy, international law, international economic relations, war, and peacemaking. This area of investigation aims at explaining how these relationships work and they seek to provide us with a more theoretical understanding of the processes of international politics in general (p ).

17 What is Globalization? Definition: Globalization refers to the growing interconnectedness of governments, non-state organizations [corporations, multinational-corporations, financial institutions], and populations throughout the world utilizing political, economic, technological, cultural, environmental, and other forms of interactions. e.g. Global economy, international trade, economic exchange; The World Trade Organization with over 153 member countries as of July 2008:

18 Globalization Affects Economic Activities:
Why may some people, states, industries be hurt and strongly affected by Certain Economic Interactions? --Powered by the Internet [today] people/corporations can move inventories, jobs, and money around the world quickly (p ). --When global investors pull their money out of countries with struggling economies, the results can be catastrophic for employees, businesses, and governments in those countries: More examples: e.g. Collapse of the state-dominated economies of the Soviet Union and the communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa switching from Statism Economies/Command Economies [state-centered economies that support supply oriented system, State control of production and distribution of goods, state regulates the market and the actions of firms and households, and protects firms from external competition], over to Market Economies [Every private actor/household controls own factors of productionland, labor, capital to maximize profit; the system is demand oriented; the market stabilizes itself based on supply and demand, State regulation is minimal.

19 Globalization affects economic activities, continued:
Becoming Market economies expanded their international trade. What does all this have to do with the Study of Comparative Politics? --Governments around the world are also caught up in the globalization process: active promoters of Int’l trade, sources of jobs, unemployment compensation, retraining, and other forms of assistance to those whose livelihood is jeopardized by global economic activity. --Further, Sodaro points out, it therefore matters who governs (p. 17) --Political leaders will deal with these issues in different ways, then their decisions become public policy. --Developing countries are especially hard hit by global economic tendencies: poverty, lack of natural resources, exploited labor conditions. The International Monetary Fund [and the World Bank]: loans to developing countries with stringent conditions on the recipient governments---put domestic finances in order, cut budget deficits by raising taxes or reducing government spending, etc. (p ).

20 Globalization and International Security:
What is International Security? --The pursuit to control Nuclear proliferation: How? Through the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968, obligates states that sign this treaty and do not yet have nuclear weapons, to pledge that they will not acquire them. Israel, Pakistan and India never signed the NPT (p. 20). North Korea signed the NPT in 1985, but Kim Jong Il is abrasively boosting about North Korea’s nuclear goals and abilities. --Pursuit to stop the spread of Chemical and Biological Weapons --The pursuit to stop terrorist activities.

21 Explain Global Elements that may influence Environmental Sustainability.
Rise in Industrial emissions. The destruction of rain forests The release of greenhouse gases like: carbon dioxide and methane have increased concerns about global warming. The Kyoto Protocol 1997, 150 countries: The Protocol obliges them to reduce the emission of six greenhouse gases by a global average of 5 percent of 1990 levels by (see page 21). The U.S. produces one-fourth of world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and should cut 7 percent emissions. U.S. has not yet signed on.

22 Explain Global Interconnectedness:
Culture: Pattern of beliefs, values, attitudes, and lifestyles that people tend to share: Telecommunications: the internet, “digital divide” in computer literacy and Web access between rich and poor countries. The media: Global television networks: CNN and the BBC transmit real-time information. Also cable or satellite TV, Al-Jazeera based in Qatar broadcast news and politically sensitive discussions that some countries would censor. Refugee flows have intensified in recent years. Public health issues assuming a more important global scope: e.g. HIV/AIDS resulting in more than 2 million deaths annually. Law enforcement, especially of drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism crossing into and affecting many countries of the world (pp 21-22).

23 Democratization: is the transition from non-democratic to democratic forms of government?
Western Europe: after World War II: Greece, Portugal, and Spain. The Third Wave: Latin America in the 1970, 80s and after: Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua in the 1990s. The Caribbean: Haiti in December 1991. Central and Eastern Europe with the end of the Cold War : Poland, East Germany, Çzechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Romania, and Bulgaria, and Hungary. The Soviet Union, with the end of the Cold War 1991 broke into 15 independent states. Africa, democratic developments in 1980s and 90s, but with little success. Asia: Turkey (Islamic country with both European and Asiatic roots) returned to electoral democracy in 1983 after years of military rule. Also India in 1975, Pakistan when military coup took power; Philippines 1986 revolution and replace Ferdinand Marcos; Indonesia, President Suharto’s resignation 1998; the Republic of China (Taiwan) 2000. The Fourth Wave: The Arab Spring 2010/2011: Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc. revolutionary movements utilizing “social media” to rid dictators and achieve democracies. Go to “References/Resources” in class website for coverage.

24 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
The Declaration’s thirty articles begin by proclaiming that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”….pp However, many democratic governments that have signed this document (or not) abuse its principles.

25 Does being a Democracy guarantee peaceful behavior?
Does globalization help or hinder the cause of democracy? --Thomas Friedman says yes because those who want to invest in other countries are less attracted to a nondemocratic country without stable governmental institutions. --Benjamin Barber (1996) argues the world is torn between two contending forces: “Jihad”--he uses as a blanket designation for groups and movements that reject international cooperation, technological advancement, the market economy, and modernization as a whole, versus the “McWorld” forces, which threatens to immerse the world into a profit-driven consumerism, reducing it to a “homogenous global theme park” where democratic governments turn their back on the public interest and the common good. And to avoid combat by these two forces, Barber calls for the creation of a “global civil society” dedicated to promoting greater citizen participation in the affairs of government throughout the world (p. 26)

26 Democracy and globalization, continued
--Zbgniew Brzezinski (1994), former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter warns: global spread of Western (especially American) economic and cultural influences may actually undermine the appeal of democracy around the world unless the West infuses its democratic message with positive moral values. However, Brzezinski argues if the Western popular culture conveys little more than an obsession with greed, sexual gratification, and other forms of self-indulgence, then millions of people across the globe offended by these tendencies may turn their backs on democracy, ignoring its core values of intellectual freedom, the rule of law, scientific rationality, and compromise (p ).

27 What are Principal Purposes of Studying Comparative Politics as outlined by Sodaro?
To widen our understanding of politics in other countries. To increase our appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of our own political system and to enable us to lean from other countries. To develop a more sophisticated understanding of politics in general, including the nature of democracy and non-democratic governments, the relationships between governments and people, and other concepts and processes. To help us understand the linkages between domestic and international affairs. To help us see the relationship between politics and such field as science and technology, the environment, public health, law, business, religion, ethnicity, and culture. To enable us to become more informed citizens: form our own political opinions, participate in political life, evaluate the actions and proposals of political leaders, and make our own political decisions and electoral choices. To sharpen our critical thinking skills by applying scientific logic and coherent argumentation to our understanding of political phenomena (p ).

28 Chapter 2: Major Topics of Comparative Politics (pages 31 - 59)
What is Politics: Politics is a process (an activity) in which individuals exercise “power” to influence “change.” Changes can be laws, benefits, restrictions, etc. --What is causing individuals to pursue this activity of “politics”? --What assets make individuals “powerful”? --Who are these individuals trying to reach to make change? --What is meant by “change”? --What results when “change” has been accomplished? --What kind of governmental system is a democracy? Where the people have the right to determine who governs them: Direct Democracy; Representative Democracy. Popular Sovereignty = people have ultimate authority over government. --What kind of governmental system is Authoritarianism? Authoritarian governmental systems place the governing authorities above the people. e.g. Dictatorships, Totalitarian, Theocratic “Regimes” (forms of government). The Political Processes: Bargaining, Coercion, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), political parties, interest groups, political participation, political behavior, elite behavior, mass publics behavior, attitudes about politics, what is “rational choice theory” (p. 55)?

29 Political Processes: differences between Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes.
What type of governmental system are individuals dealing with to achieve change? Democratic or authoritarianism? What are the goals of different governmental systems? How do these different systems approach solving conflicts? Bargaining: a process in which individuals and groups pursue their goals and deal with their conflicts through direct negotiation or indirect forms of exchange (p. 35). Usually a peaceful process. --Democracies: involve compromise, deal-making, forms of give-and-take. -- Democracies tend to favor bargaining: e.g. voting process --less in Authoritarian regimes, however, a dictator may seek to gain the people’s agreement by providing economic and social benefits---as exchange for the populations acceptance of the regime. Coercion: the use of force or the threat to use force to achieve a certain result. --Democracies are based on law and its enforcement: the police, the courts, penal systems, laws, effective enforcement, extreme applications of force the police, all of these are coercive institutions. --Authoritarian regimes are strongly oriented toward coercion: through outright force, intimidation and terror to stay in power, using the military, secret police.

30 Differences how Intermediate Organizations involved in the political processes are used:
• Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), political parties, interest groups. ---In democracies, main role of parties is to recruit candidates that can win elections, run government, and make policy. Interest groups are free to speak up for vaious segments of the population who want to influence government to make decisions that will benefit the “group”. ---In authoritarian regimes, political parties and interest groups tend to be instruments of the government’s domination over the society. • Political participation depends upon Elite and Mass Public structures within a regime. (see slides 8 & 9).

31 Explaining Political behavior: Rational Choice Theory/Rational Actor Theory
Economic behavior: individuals act and are motivated in their economic behavior by material self-interest: strive to acquire money, other possessions aimed at enhancing their material well-being to “maximize their Utilities”. Goal, to have a net gain from their useful goods rather than a net loss, therefore, considered “economic rationality”. Political behavior: individuals act and are motivated in their political behavior by: voting or financially supporting candidates they feel will secure their values and those of their group, or the welfare of society. Information is often received from sources such as public opinion polling in Democracies. ---Politicians may act and are motivated by power, or altruistic reasons to improve laws, disparities or injustices in society, or want to totally reform a political system and the governmental structures.  Authoritarian regimes, even without competitive elections and sources of information available to the public, can experience demonstrations and discontent from their societies: e.g. Poland’s “Solidarity Movement”, the Ukraine 2004, Iran in 2009. Therefore, “…rational choice theory today maintains that individuals behave in politics on the basis of self-interest, seeking to increase their expected gains and reduce their expected costs and risks on the basis of personal preferences and priorities” (p. 55).

32 Name and Explain Five Main Sources of Political Conflict?
Power: Who has the power in society? Governmental institutions: executive, legislative, judicial, non-democratic authoritarian structures, e.g. dictatorships, totalitarian. Resources: economic, natural resources  explain which? Identity Political socialization: family, religion, media, peers, school. ----Demographics education, gender, age, race, ethnicity, wealth, class, “ethnonationalsim”, social cleavages: (see tables 2.2 p.39, 2.3 p. 40, 2.4 p.47) polarizing cleavages (social divisions), when the factors composing one’s social identity tend to pull in the same political direction, cross-cutting cleavages, when the various factors that make up an individual’s social identity tend to pull that person in different political directions, Ideas: Political Philosophies, “ideology” are a coherent set of ideas and guidelines that defines what the nature and role of government should be and prescribes the main goals the community should pursue through political action(p. 51). Values: are principles, spiritual or moral, ideals, or qualities of life that people favor for their own sake.

33 Game Theory: Game Theory provides a conceptual approach to understanding how humans behave in conflict situations in general. Zero-sum game: A two-sided game in which one player’s loss is the other player’s gain in equal measure. Variable-sum games, e.g.: Outcomes can be beneficial for all players. Positive-sum game: your gain is my gain Negative-sum game: if we do not cooperate, or other factors conspire against us (we lose a war or economic downturn) Prisoner’s Dilemma: A mixture of zero-sum, positive-sum, and negative-sum outcomes (see p.56)

34 Chapter 3: Critical Thinking About Politics Analytical Techniques of Political Science--- The Logic of Hypothesis Testing (pp.60-97) Ought-Questions: What ought to be done about political reality? Because one of the purposes of studying comparative politics is to decide what we ought to do about the world we live in through political action, comparative politics is at least in part, a “policy science.” It helps us devise and select governmental policies aimed at improving things. Therefore, comparative politics can be used to service “prescriptive and meliorative” purposes, helping us choose the right policy prescriptions with a view to making the world a better place. ---Value judgments are evaluations that we make on the basis of values, standards, or ideals (political philosophies), thus reflect personal preferences about what is moral or immoral, good or bad, ---Normative Political Theory: principle purpose is to think coherently about the ultimate aims of politics and to think through the possible consequences of alternative courses of political action--therefore, make value judgments. ---Public policy analysis: primarily concerned with ought-questions, but also employs empirical analysis to assess the impact of policy decisions. It defines governmental goals and outcomes of policy.

35 continued What Ought-Questions and what Is-Questions: Answer by describing and explaining the what, the how, and the why of political realities. ---through Empirical analysis: is centered on facts. It seeks to discover, describe, and explain facts and factual relationships, to the extent that the facts are knowable. It is not concerned with our values, ideals or preferences, but based on what we can experience or perceive through out senses, namely facts. Also called Value-free political science. ---Clarity in defining Concepts: a word, a term, or a label that applies to a whole class or category of phenomena or ideas. ---Description, Observing, Collecting, Comparing: study things systematically involving the Comparative Method (p. 63). ---Explanation and Generalization: if we want to comprehend the significance of discrete facts or events in political life, we must integrate them into larger processes or frameworks, deepen our understanding of general processes and tendencies to sharpen our understanding of specific events at hand; therefore understanding the relationship between general concepts and explanations:

36 Empirical Analysis: the quest for understanding through close observation and broad generalization
Variables: is something that can vary or change. It can take different forms or be a changeable characteristic of a phenomenon. Example: Why voters make the choices they do? ---SYSTEMATICALLY GATHER INFORMATION ON ALL POSSIBLE VARIABLES AND ANALYZE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE VARIOUS CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ELECTORATE ACCOUNT FOR THE POPULATION’S ELECTORAL CHOICES.  Dependent and Independent Variables: The dependent variable is the variable we are are most interested in examining; it is the main object of our study. It is the effect or outcome that is influenced or caused by another variable or variables. It is the variable whose value changes in response to changes in the value of other variables. The Independent Variable: is the factor or characteristic that influences or causes the dependent variable. In cause-and-effect relationships, it is the causal or explanatory variable. Changes in the value of the independent variable may produce changes in the value of the dependent variable.

37 Empirical Analysis, (cont’d)
Correlations (or association): is a relationship in which two or more variables change together. Correlations do not conclusively demonstrate causality, all a correlation does is suggest or imply that there may be a cause-and-effect relationship between the variables under observation: Examples: Variables are positively correlated when they vary in the same direction (they increase together or decrease together). Variables are inversely (or negatively) correlated when they vary in opposite or reverse directions: one variable increase and the other variable decreases, or vice versa. Intervening variables are located in between the independent and dependent variables p Spurious correlation occurs when two variables appear to be directly linked in a cause-and-effect relationship but in fact (a) there is no causal linkage whatsoever, or (b) they are linked indirectly by some other causative variable or variables, or may be a matter of pure coincidence with no causal factors at work (see pages 63, 64, 65, and 66).

38 Empirical Analysis, (cont’d)
What are Laws? A law is a regularly occurring association (or correlation) between two or more variables. What is Deterministic Law? Whenever X occurs, Y always occurs. (e.g. laws of gravity, or Albert Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2, is a law specifying that energy always occurs as the product of mass times the square of the speed of light (Sodaro, p. 70). What is Probabilistic law? Whenever A occurs, B sometimes occurs; in other words, occasionally we can calculate the degree of probability with which B is likely to occur. (e.g. weather predictions, or human behavior). Therefore, Prediction of the future in the social sciences is thus suggestive or Probabilistic in nature. In economics: the law of supply and demand. In political science, Duverger’s law stipulates that an electoral system in which the voters choose competing candidates by a simple majority (e.g. the highest number of votes) in a single ballot tends to produce a two-party system. Therefore, the principal ways of explaining political realities scientifically are by formulating theories and hypotheses.

39 Empirical Analysis, (cont’d)
Theories: 1. In its broadest sense, theory simply refers to thinking about politics as opposed to practicing it (as an abstract intellectual exercise). Making generalizations about politics (formally or informally). General principles or abstract ideas -- that may not necessarily be true in actual fact (p. 68). Theory can mean “normative theory”: value-centered political philosophy (or political thought). In natural and social sciences: theory most frequently means “generalizations”, that seek to explain, and perhaps predict, or relationships among variables (Explanatory theory) p Parsimonious Theories: a theory that explains a vast range of phenomena in very succinct terms (p. 72)--very few such theories in Political Science. Middle-range theories: explain specific categories, or segments, of political reality. They are sets of statements and hypotheses that are strung together to explain a particular subfield of political reality: e.g. Democratic theory describes how democracies are supposed to work; Elite Theory describes the roles that political elites play, their social backgrounds, and their relationships with the masses; Rational choice Theory explains political behavior by regarding virtually all individuals as “rational actors” who seek to increase their personal gains and minimize their losses or risks.

40 Empirical Analysis, (cont’d
Hypotheses: is an assumption or supposition that needs to be tested against relevant evidence (p. 73). Explanatory hypotheses: posit a cause-and-effect relationship between dependent and independent variables that can be tested empirically (I.e., against factual evidence). By testing hypotheses empirically, we submit them to a reality check: Look at all the available facts to see if they substantiate or contradict the relationships we propose in our hypotheses. Scientific Generalization and Practical Politics: Explanatory theories and hypotheses in political science greatly enhance our understanding of the real world of politics (p. 74). They can also help us figure out our own positions on the political problems of our times. Debates include theories.

41 Empirical Analysis, (cont’d
Models: are a simplified representation of reality in descriptive or abstract form. They enable us to understand some aspect of reality, be it the economy,by representing some of its essential features in a simplified or idealized form (p. 74). Paradigm: 1) is a prime example of a particular phenomenon or pattern. E.g. The U.S. system of government is a “paradigm of a Presidential system or democracy. 2) a paradigm is also a particular way of looking at phenomena, e.g. a particular form of intellectual inquiry or a specific approach to scientific investigation (p.77). Logical Fallacies, pp Read: The logic of hypothesis testing, pp ).

Download ppt "Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction by Michael J"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google