PO SC 1040 Lecture 1: comparitive politics - definitions and themes

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17 Jan 2017
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POSC 1040 Lecture 1 - Comparative Politics: Definitions & Themes
1. COURSE DEFINITIONS
A. Politics the process of making decisions about public and collective problems
and goals through the application of authority and power
B. State the people and organizations that make, enforce, and implement
political decisions for a community. (synonym of state in this case in “the
government”)
C. Nation the people with the same heritage and language (mostly within the
same area)
D. Nation-State the government is supposed to be the representatives of the
people that live within its borders
E. Comparative Politics
i. the scientific study of politics and states in multiple countries
ii. (textbook definition) the study of the domestic politics and economics of
multiple, and typically foreign, countries in an attempt to generate broader
generalizations about important questions in political science
2. COURSE THEMES
A. The “goal” of political science
B. What is democracy? Why are some countries democratic and others
authoritarian?
C. How do countries run their economics? Why are some countries rich while others
are poor?
D. How are politics and economics related? Does democracy cause capitalism? Or
does capitalism cause democracy?
E. The 4 “I’s”
i. Institutions rules and procedures that structure social interaction by
constraining and enabling actor’s behavior
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