8.30 - COMPARATIVE POLITICS Three conceptions of...

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8/30/06 COMPARATIVE POLITICS Three conceptions of comparative politics: 1) institutional comparison a. traditional approach b. compare and contrast government inst. (US vs German, compare parliaments, compare exec branches) 2) scientific method a. comparison is means to create a natural controlled experiment b. to do for social science what is done in natural sciences i. control group = one group of ants, experimental grp = another group -> how they are different behaviorally/socially c. Example… i. Hypothesis: revolution is caused by the combination of three factors: 1. high income inequality, 2. conflict within the governing group, 3. defeat in war ii. 2 cases iii. Method of difference (nothing the same) iv. Method of comparison (a, b, c the same) 3) distinctive approach a. an approach to studying political phenomena i. finding the general in the particular as a means to explanation b. goal is EXPLANATION i. how any why something occurs, rather than what occurs c. Example… i. Communist revolution in China ii. What happened? iii. Investigate sequence of events, relationship between peasants and landlords, evolution of communist party, economy, system of land ownership, decline in agric. productivity iv. Not interested in WHAT happened…interested in WHY revolutionary movement occurred v.
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