classnotes - POLI 211-001 COURSE INFO 9739 MWF 15H35-16H25...

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POLI 211-001 COURSE INFO: 9739 MWF 15H35-16H25 CONFERENCES START IN 2-3 WEEKS – THEN: NO FRIDAY CLASS LEACOCK BUILDING 132 PROF: FILIPPO SABETTI Introduction to the study of comparative politics as it applies both to the developed world and developing countries.  The course presents the basic concepts and approaches used in the field of comparative politics and it focuses on  patterns of similarity and difference in a way political institutions and processes are structured in a wide variety of  national contexts.  INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS 1) Textbooks: Course pack How we study foreign politics. Comparative = understanding how human beings, in different parts of the world, have resolved collective issues that matter beyond the individual concern. Why? - Why countries develop the way they do - Why they are governed as they are - To show that it is possible to study politics without being ‘political’ Study politics in a disciplined way, drawing on the acquired knowledge we have inherited over the course of millenniums. We study how we can better understand the dynamics of political rule and domination. Grades: midterm: 40% final 40% participation/conferences: 20% Willingness to invest time/effort Openness to new knowledge Develop the art of listening (conceptual language that characterize the study of politics)
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Read critically – do justice to the reading – what am I trying to get out of it? Think comparatively Participate actively READING ASSIGNMENTS Everything in the first part Each reading generally contains two sets of information that you should remember: 1) A puzzle for a descriptive story about some political events 2) Concepts used in the story and that go beyond the particular puzzle or narrative TOPIC 1 What is comparative politics? 1. The value of comparative analysis 2. Comparative politics is a major field in political science: similarities and differences with political theory and international relations 3. The craft of comparative analysis This class: Internal to countries Descriptive NOT normative 4. HOW POLITICAL SCIENTISTS DO IT Different traditions involving different concepts and methods 1. Inductive/deductive Inductive: starts with observing phenomena without a priori model – mainly descriptive Deductive: starts with implied theoretical road map, often in the form of models or abstract reasoning
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2. Quantitative / qualitative research Quantitative research uses numbers and statistical methods Qualitative: - generally does not rely on numerical measurements -small number of cases POINT TO REMEMBER: In spite of difference quantitative vs. qualitative, all good research derive from the same logic of inferences - Common goal: to learn facts about the real world - Descriptive and causal inferences 3. Macro /micro Macro: regime types Repertoires of actions Micro: focus more on individual as the starting point Concerned with individual or group behavior LEEDON, THE VISIBLE HOOK STORIES
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