Poli Sci 2245 - Intro to Comparative Poli lecture notes

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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 1021A/B
Bruce Morrison

Political Science 2245 Wednesday September 14 2011There will be a reading guide that will go online What to study and how to study in comparative politicsResearch in Poli Sci needs a question You need to find a framework So what makes what you want to study interesting Problem and Method o Problem approach based on recognition of surprising or anomalous developments of the world Something stands out to attract our attention or shatters our expectations o Method Approach is based on theory a POV thats been cultivated If you generalize along these lines how can you strengthen the conclusionsBoth of these methods are dependant on reflections of theory Everything is based of off theory Usually most things have already been theorized you have to work off of that theory and create conclusions or affirm those theoriesWhenever you ask a question think about how it relates to a certain body of expectations or theory You need prior expectations Think of a murder When the crime scene investigators arrive they have theories They cant just start looking for a suspect unless they have a theory If you have a murder in London ON you cant fly to Sydney AUS and start interviewing random people It would be just chance if you came onto an answer You need theory to help you do research to guide you one way or another Theory is based on strict subject matter QuestionTheorySubject MatterConclusion Thursday September 15 2011 MethodologyWhat to StudyQuestionpuzzleRooted in theoryDeductiveinductiveTheorys RangeGeneral eg MarxismNarrowhistorical uniquenessMiddle rangeConcept FormationLadder of generalityScale for broadening and narrowing out scope of topic o Contention TillyTarrow o Revolutions o Social revolutions ie SkocpolRevolution according to Skocpol is a social transformation must involve some change in the structure of social domination in society ComparisonComparison in the social sciences is the substitute for experimentation in the natural sciences o Cant do experiments but we want to achieve some degree of control over our subject matter as offered by experimentsExperimentalunit homogeneity the similarity of the characteristics of the group in aspects that matterStatisticalsamplingrandomnessComparative method o Must pick cases to compare that are as broadly similar as possible o Most similar systems method is comparing two different outcomes ie x and x and comparing the factors leading up to them for similarities o Most different systems method is combining two similar outcomes ie x and x and looking for differences in the factors leading up to themo Largely seen as to restricting for social sciences forces you to say yay or nay risky o Method of eliminating possibilities but operates on assumption that world is deterministic when it is not it is probabilistico Also dont want to come up with deterministic conclusions on the state of the world nothing is ever consistent for all countries at all times o Interactive sets of variables are common interactive causation merely one is not a sufficient condition combination of the two or more is much more likely to be sufficient Case study All research comes from a theoretical backdropRational choice scholars tend toward universalism in their approach dont distinguish between erasqualify research by time frames QuantitativeAbstracts from particular instancesSeeks measurable operationalizations Seeks general accountsLooking for as many cases as they can possibly find looking at broad informationIdea is more cases you look at more accurate your research will beLooking at variables trying to look toward more of a scientific method
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