08192010 INTL3300

08192010 INTL3300 - INTL3300 What is Comparative Politics...

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INTL3300 – August 19, 2010 What is Comparative Politics? What is Politics? The struggle for power among individuals and groups in society The struggle for authority to make decisions that affect an entire community or polity Ex., health care The imposition of one person or group's preferences on the rest of society “Who gets what, when, and how” – Harold Lasswell Politics has distributional implications and consequences There will be winners and losers What is comparative politics? One of four fields within political science The systematic and scientific study and comparison of the world's political systems The major goal of comparative politics: explanation CP seeks to explain differences (outcomes) between countries Economic inequality Why is wealth more widely dispersed (less concentrated) in some countries than in others? Development Why are some countries wealthier or more developed than others? Political regime type Why are some countries democratic while others are autocratic? Party systems Why do some countries have more than two political parties? CP is concerned with discovering patterns, processes, and regularities among the political system Lich, Bachman, and Zukerman Breakdown of the structuralists, rationalists Universal laws that are applicable Patterns that are visible across a wide variety of cases Comparativists try to develop general propositions and hypotheses which describe and explain political outcomes across a multiplicity of cases The scope of CP is limitless: time and space
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08192010 INTL3300 - INTL3300 What is Comparative Politics...

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