(2007) Important Concepts And Terms

(2007) Important Concepts And Terms - Week 1 State a set of...

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Unformatted text preview: Week 1 State: a set of permanent administrative, legal, bureaucratic, and coercive systems with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. American state consists of such institutions as the IRS, Post Office, army, etc. State is pretty much a permanent institution, except in the case of a Revolution. The Russian Revolution, for instance, was a state change – entire Tsarist infrastructure collapsed. Regime: Rules by which political power is allocated. Regimes change more often than a state, though less often than government. For instance: Mexico switches to democracy, or Pakistan has a military coup. Government: The group of people who occupy the top positions of a state at a given time – the people in power. Governments change all the time: Clinton to Bush in 2000 is the most recent American example. Independent Variable: An event, person, or thing that can be used to explain another event or occurrence. Dependent Variable: An event or occurrence which may be explainable by one or more independent variables. Mill’s Method of Difference: Look at two similar cases where the outcome is different; to identify the independent (explanatory) variable, you focus on what’s different between the two cases. Example: Honduras and Nicaragua are very similar countries in many respects – yet Nicaragua had a revolution, while Honduras did not. One difference is that Nicaragua had a Sultanistic regime – could this be why? Mill’s Method of Agreement: Looks at two different cases, with a similar outcome. To identify the explanatory variable, you focus on the few things they have in common. Institutionalist Approaches: Approaches which emphasize the rules, procedures, and organizations that structure political life – for instance, Congress, Presidency, Electoral College, etc. These institutions shape how the game is played, who wins and who loses. Institutional approaches explain different outcomes based on differing institutions. For instance: parliamentary systems are more conducive to stable democracy. Structuralist Approaches : Cultural and Institutionalist approaches tend to be structuralist. They tend to disregard the role of political leaders – that is, a certain outcome would have happened no matter who is in charge. Revolutionary leaders are still necessary, but they are a dime a dozen. Voluntarism : Political leadership by individuals best explains political outcomes. They might argue that even poor Islamist countries can become liberal democracies with proper leadership. Week 2 Relative backwardness : This was a phrase coined by Gerschenkron in his theory that late industrial development differed from early industrial development. According to Gerschenkron, each country’s industrial development was strongly influenced by the development of its neighboring countries. If a country’s neighbors were modernizing and industrializing, this country suffered from “relative backwardness”, or being less modern/industrial in relation to the other nations around it. Being “relatively backward” could inspire a country to industrialize more quickly in order to compete with its neighbors. industrialize more quickly in order to compete with its neighbors....
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2012 for the course GOV 97 taught by Professor Various during the Spring '11 term at Harvard.

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(2007) Important Concepts And Terms - Week 1 State a set of...

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