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PS 2 Lecture 9-2-08 - Robert Price ■ All...

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Political Science 2 Lecture September 2, 2008 What is comparative politics? Traditional: Compare/contrast government institutions. No longer widespread use. Scientific: Using scientific method and data, discover what causes political phenomena. Compare over several countries. Tough to have controlled experiments. Distinctive approach: Study politics, seek to extract the general explanation from the particular observations. Explain why things happen. How do we define politics? “Politics is the process of who gets what, when, and how.” - Harold Lasswell Politics is the process of allocating scarce, valued resources. Too broad, encompasses disciplines like economics. David Easton and Max Weber talk about a political system that allocates values for society and enforces its decision in a territorial area through threat of force. Politics does not have to be delineated by territory. Could be any collectivity. “Politics is the process whereby binding value allocations are made for a collectivity.” -
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Unformatted text preview: Robert Price ■ All collectivities (e.g. universities, businesses) have political aspects. 2 main processes of politics: ■ Decision making: Making resource allocations for collectivity. ■ Enforcement: Inducing members to view these decisions as binding. Important political terms Political system: Totality of social actions that influence making binding value allocations for collectivity. ■ Involves more than formal mechanisms. ■ Cultural values important; different cultures value different things. ■ Will exist so long as there is a collectivity and a scarcity. Government: “The collection of offices in a political system.” - Robert Dahl. Institution specialized in allocating values. State: Makes a claim to monopolize the legitimate use of force within a collectivity. Claims sovereignty. ■ Weber says that this is within a territorial area....
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