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Lecture

lecture note 2


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB91H3
Professor
R Rice

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LECTURE 2:
Concepts in Comparative Analysis
OUTLINE:
I. What and How does Comparative Politics Compare?
II. Themes for Comparative Analysis
III. Concepts for Comparative Analysis
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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
idea
-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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