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lecture note 2

Political Science
Course Code
R Rice

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Concepts in Comparative Analysis
I. What and How does Comparative Politics Compare?
II. Themes for Comparative Analysis
III. Concepts for Comparative Analysis
I. What and How Does Comparative Politics Compare?
Comparative Politics is:
a) a sub-field within the discipline of political science
working at political institutions, domestic issues -what questions on within countries
-competancy schools of thought
Behavioralists: scholars that emphasize statistical analysis and universal theories by
examining a large numbers of cases or by using complex mathematics (quantitative)
Interpretivists: that emphasize an in depth analysis of politics within a few cases, paying
attention to specific countries context (qualitative
Area Studies: the detail examination of politics within a specific geographical setting not
necessarily involving comparison.
- some polticial science says this is not real because you need to be able to have a general
-we are becoming more generalist
b) a method or approach to the study of politics-how to design the case studies
Most Similar Systems Design: the study of differences across similarities
-select 2 ore more countries that are similar in most respects except for the phenomenon
being investigated
-countries that are neighbours (similar e.g. ecvador, Bolivia, peru)
- countries – large indigienous population; weak party systems
-history of dictatorship – low level of per capital income
Differences-Ecuador & Bolivia- indigenous movement Peru- not here with a list you can
cancel what is different hence we can base the study on peru lack of indigenous
movement once everything else is the same in all 3 countries
Most Different Systems Design
The study of similarities across differences select 2 more countries that are different in
most respect except for the phenomenon under investigation
II. Themes for Comparative Analysis
a) Democratization- promotes opposition
-puzzle- what is the relationship between democracy & political stability?
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