Lecture 2 September 8

Lecture 2 September 8 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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Today in Comparative Politics Announcements for new arrivals The science in political science The comparative method and its problems A quick tour of logic Scientific method
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Are you registered for a recitation section? Yes, if you are enrolled in the course. Formally, one registers for the section, not the lectures. Meet your recitation for the first time next week. Lecture next Monday (September 13) First recitation Wednesday/Thursday/Friday
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Required purchases Clark, Golder, and Golder, Principles of Comparative Politics i>clicker personal response system
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Your course syllabus contains A. The date on which your 8:00 a.m. final exam occurs B. Why you cannot use a laptop in this class C. What happens if you miss an exam D. How much the first exam counts in your grade E. Why you should ignore notices posted on the classroom door
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Your course syllabus contains A. The date of the first geography quiz B. Your TA’s email address C. Sources of advice on study skills D. My expectations about classroom behavior (soon to be enforced more vigorously…) E. The date and location of every recitation meeting
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Comparative politics is a subfield of political science. And what is political science? Political science is the study of politics in a scientific manner. Today: flesh out this idea. Political Science
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Comparative Method Collect observations of the world. Use them to develop (and test) general laws or theories about why certain political phenomena occur. Goal: identify causes of political events or phenomena
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Necessary and Sufficient Conditions A necessary condition of an event is a circumstance without which the event cannot occur. Formally, if P implies Q, then Q is a necessary condition for P. A sufficient condition is one that, if satisfied, guarantees the statement's truth. If P implies Q, then P is a sufficient condition for Q.
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Comparative Method The comparative method is the search through particular cases for necessary and for sufficient conditions for political phenomena. John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic , 1843, proposed two main methods: Method of Agreement Method of Difference
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Mill’s methods Method of Agreement when the cases agree on the phenomenon to be explained Method of Difference when the cases differ on the phenomenon to be explained
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Method of Agreement What causes countries to have democratic governments? To answer, look at some characteristics of democracies.
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Country Democracy Ethnically homogeneous Multiparty system Parliamentary system UK Yes Yes No Yes Belgium Yes No Yes Yes What can we infer from these two observations? Whatever can be eliminated is not a cause of the
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Lecture 2 September 8 - Today in Comparative Politics...

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