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January 10, 2013.docx

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Joseph Roman

January 10, 2013 1) What does comparative politics study? 2) How to do research 3) Designing research 4) Problems of research design – not important, not on exam, just look over in text. Comparative Politics (C.P) - all about comparing (specifically countries) - How and why practices change - Why certain policies take the form that they do - Historical transformations ie parliamentary practices - With politics you need to understand how decisions are made, also need to understand authority and why it sticks o Why does authority stick in Canada but not in countries such as Syria o Why do Canadians pay taxes without question whereas in Russia it’s a laughable matter? - Who gets what? Winners/losers - All policies are political - Comparative politics are highly empirical - Emphasis on study of institution is only focused on in the past 20/30 years o Strong emphasis on classification - After WWII is where an American influence on comparative politics is shown o Emergence of behaviouralism (EXAM DEF.) - C.P. mostly focused on Western Europe and the US o Whatever was happening in the Western world was inevitably going to happen in the rest of the word o Communism ruins this thought o Newly independent African countries don’t want democracy o Germany and Italy’s regression into fascism also kills this - Greater emphasis of coming up with concepts and ideas after WWII o This is one of the points of comparing countries o Start to see a turn towards classifying party systems - Behaviouralism influences all of this - The return of institutionalism (new institutionalism) was a reaction to behaviouralism - When behaviouralism was dominant the study of the state was not highlighted - The study of the state did not start until the 70’s - Only comparative researches compared with Marxism - New institutionalists instated on the study of the state o Rules, procedures and social norms - All the old institultionalists thought of institutions as mere formalities - Not only are institutions not mere formalities, they also have their own interests and logics an distinct trajectories - Greater emphasis on specificity o Shift to small end inquiries o Behaviouralism was associated with large end (extended use of cross sectional data, variables, abstract shit, choosing many cases) o Shift to geographic focus to highlight the specificities Research (important for essays) - Research method will largely depend on the question - Are you going to engage in a spatial comparison? - Functional comparison? – dif. In ideologies, why they developed the way they did, policies, don’t have to be territorial but is easier. - Longitudinal comparison?- historical analysis over time between two countries - Comparative- finding differences, why do similarities occur (similar outcomes, similar factors, similar outcomes with different factors) - Quantitative methods/analysis- measuring human behaviour, how people will act, measuring outcomes, etc. - Your perspective is going to colour how your research will be conducted o Constructivism- A system of meaning is always going to develop amongst people o Positivism - Link the micro with the macro- look at the specific and see how it links in with the general o Look at the institutions and then look at how they have influenced shit - Theory
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