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PO221 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Nomenklatura, United States, Totalitarianism

Political Science
Course Code
Mark Yaniszewski
Study Guide

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PO 221 notes second week-------- Monday, January 12, 2015
The history and foundation of comparative politics
oThe contemporary period
Scholars that are relevant in this period
oAlexis de Tocqueville ( 1805-1857)
Highly know for his traditional methodology who was a french
historian , best know for the book democracy in America, fvery
influential book—which he recorded his travels through out the
United States in the early part of the 19th century before the civil
war, where he would talk to people and record his impressions,
almost like a highly in depth opinion survey conducted by one
person. His book is a comparative study of politics, but interstingly
he only talks about one country ( The UNITED STATES) !!!!
How can u have a comparison with only one case which is what
the downfall to Alexis de tocueville in his book titled “ democracy
in America
His book was aimed at a European audience which means
he is expliclity comparing eurooe to the United States, but
essentially makes no recollection of Europe in his book.
This means he is telling the reader that when we don’t do
this particular style in America, then essentially the Europe
situation is worse off by not following this ameican path.
The criticism to this book include
Modernismsit menas that he does not have enough
normative theories in its particular context, this means that
the normative question is “ what ought to be”
Eaerly steps in the comparative technique
oJohn stuart Mill ( 1806-1873) – The book on liberty
His other most know book called A System Of Logic
Where he suggests methods to making comparisons, which
were hugely influential.
Basic research comparative designs which include five
Two of them are quite well know these include
oThe method of agreement
Pick a bunch of societies which are very
similar to the starting point you have picked
( Norway, Sweden, Denmark, finland)
Independent variable ( different
cases are the letters)—after figuring
out where each independent answer
to each different country is then
determined in order to find out where
the difference in the dependent
variable came from.

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Dependent variable
oNorway is very stable
oSweden is very stable
oDemark is not stable
oFinland is stable
This is essentially where we are able to
create a hypothesis where we are able to
delineate that independent variable Z shows
that Denmark is different from all the other
reason and we can conclude that this is
essentially causing a slight distortion in the
dependent variable.
oThe method of difference
In this cases we find countries or cases that
are completely different from one another
and do the same test as above in order to see
if the outcomes may be similar or different
and also to find trends . This essentially
hwree u are able to show that if the trend in
eah country for the dependent variable then
it in most ases should relate similar
outcomes to the outcomes of the
independent variable
The joint method is a combination of both of these methods
by john stuart mill, which is used to show that there are any
irregularities in the positive and negative outcomes
The method of residue- which is where u keep eliminating
factors each time until what is left , which essentially will
be the explanation of what caused the problem.
The method of concomitant variation- which tires to
measure the intensity of the connection between the
dependent variable and the independent variable.
Political Culture approach
oFirst had its hay day in 1945 then fell away but in the last 15 year it has
had a comeback, in the poltical cultuere approach comes to us by Gabriele
almond, and Sydey Varba ( b.1932)
oThe idea of political culture is to build a meter stick in which to compare
things to eachother. In political culture was going to be assigned to study
people political attitudes, in all different kinds of societies western
societies , non wester socities,

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oThese two authors were particular on three sets of attitudes in these
Cognitive dimension
What do people knwow about the potiical sytem, what is
their knowledge of the system, does not matter If they are
wright or wrong it matters on what the person believes to
be right.
What do people feel about the political system in which
they live.
These are the moral judgments that people make about the
political system. So again ur looking for the same
characteristics in any societies, this is essentially your
meter stick of comparison to undertake deep analysis.
oParochial, subject, and participant across the globe there are three main
types of poltical systems
Parochial political culture
Live largerly un connected to the larger socitiies ( this
means living off the grid, which is quite difficult from the
invention of agriculture, where the move to the city was a
big deal
This means back in the day small towns had no essential
connection to the poitical culture so they were not included
in the political process
Subject political culture
These are people with no real rights, means that thep eole
have to pay taxes, or help the king build a castle these are
essentially subjects of a greater power wich makes them
different from the classification of a citizens who has rights
Participant political culture
No you have obligations, obey law, but you also have rights
oThe irghts to make demands on the poltiicla system
oMake the system do stuff for you ( a two way street)
oObviously this is a very gerneralization of this
poltical culture where there could be a common
measure to differentiate between different coutnries
or cultures
oNeo- Instituionalists
Main actors in bring this forward in comparative politics
Eric noldlinger
oTalked about the modern state with beuraucrats,
they are not mindless servants, they have adegree of
flexabiltity, and some ability to use their own power
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