Political Science 2245E Chapter Notes -Comparative Politics, Unearned Income, Avocation

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Essential Readings in Comparative Politics10/15/2012 4:30:00 PM
Lichbach and Zuckerman
Intellectual Origins
Aristotle primacy he assigned politics and problems/methods
similar to current studies
Comparativists want to understand the critical events of the day
o Theory explained as it exists, not in abstractions
Contemporary comparative politics response to political problems
post WWII
o Communist threats, peasant rebellions, etc.
o Worldwide movements toward democratic rule
Rational Choice Theorists
Follow path laid out by Hobbes, Smith, Pareto
Assumptions about actors who act deliberately to maximize their
advantage
Analysis begins at individual collective actions, choices, and
institutions
Downs, Olson, Riker
Mathematical reasoning
Comparative static experiments
Culturists
Montesquieu Weber, Mosca
Need to understand varied ways of life, systems of meaning and
values
Frequently draw from fieldwork detailed readings of cases
Seek to understand
Strong doubts about ability to generalize to abstract categories
Interpretive understandings
Structuralists
Draw together long-standing interests in political and social
institutions
Emphasize formality of governments, how states and society’s
interact, political parties, political economy
Marx, Weber
Study historical dynamics of real social types
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10/15/2012 4:30:00 PM
Weber - Politics as a vocation (1918)
Sought to lay out basic ways in which we understand political power
Munich speech
Modern definition of state: monopoly of force over territory
Central forms of political authority (traditional, charismatic,
rational-legal)
Development of modern state alongside growing domination of the
bureaucracy politics as a profession rather than a calling
Pure types of legitimacy rarely found in reality
Obedience out of fear and hope
Political leadership in the form of the parliamentary “party leader”
has grown on the soil of the constitutional state
Essential for the concept of the contemporary state
o Separation of the admin staff, of the admin officials, and of
the workers from the material means of admin organization
Politics as an avocation is today practiced by all party agents and
heads of voluntary political associations who only function when
summoned
Under normal circumstances, the politician must be economically
independent of the income politics can bring him, hence he is a
man who receives unearned income
Entrepreneurs are not dispensable, they are tied to their
enterprises, therefore unfit politician candidates usually
Herbst War and the State of Africa (1980)
Historical studies on state formation in Europe and whether we can
expect similar outcome in other parts of the world
Warfare v. Remnants of empires ill equipped for administrative
tasks and lack national identity
Weak states that can’t secure propensity of security as a result of
lack of warfare
More civil conflict, permanently weak states
Develop non-traditional policies for these new brands of states?
At most basic level, war in Europe acted as a filter where weak
states were eliminated and political arrangements that were not
viable either reformed or disappeared
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Document Summary

Aristotle primacy he assigned politics and problems/methods similar to current studies. Comparativists want to understand the critical events of the day: theory explained as it exists, not in abstractions. Contemporary comparative politics response to political problems post wwii: communist threats, peasant rebellions, etc, worldwide movements toward democratic rule. Follow path laid out by hobbes, smith, pareto. Assumptions about actors who act deliberately to maximize their advantage. Analysis begins at individual collective actions, choices, and institutions. Need to understand varied ways of life, systems of meaning and values. Frequently draw from fieldwork detailed readings of cases. Strong doubts about ability to generalize to abstract categories. Draw together long-standing interests in political and social institutions. Emphasize formality of governments, how states and society"s interact, political parties, political economy. Study historical dynamics of real social types. Sought to lay out basic ways in which we understand political power. Modern definition of state: monopoly of force over territory.

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