Comparative Government Wednesday, August 30, 2006 Two fundamental errors in the study of comparative politics: Ethnocentrism – making judgments about other peoples cultures and societies on the supposition that one’s own cultural values are superior to others (ie. When we say Cuba is a failed state because it is not democratic); allowing biases to intrude Cultural Relativism – asserting that judgments about other cultures and societies are invalid because cultures as such have their own unique moral logic and justifications (ie. Saying we prefer every nation to be democratic) Two kinds of evaluative statements in comparative politics • Empirical Statement – a statement of fact (i.e. an occurrence that can be verified by sensory observation and can be analyzed through logical means) [ avoid ethnocentrism ] • Normative Statement – a statement of value preference related to an institutional arrangement or form of behavior [ avoid cultural relativism ] ( truth claims – ask someone)
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course POS 150 taught by Professor Mitchell during the Fall '06 term at ASU.