Roots of Comparative Politics. Aristotle:. Sees the importance of equality of conditions and the middle class to achieve freedom and friendship between the people.
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Plato (normative political theory, or the ideal city)
Aristotle (normative+empirical investigations)In Book II of his Politics, Aristotle depicts both the ideal (Ch. 1-8) and “the best existent states” (Ch. 9-12), in which he considers Sparta, Creta, and the Carthaginian.
Comparative study of 158 Greek constitutions
The combinatin of both theory and empirical studies makes Aristotle the founder of Western political science
“All states and all dominions that have had and continue to have power over men were and still are either hereditary… or they are new. And the new ones are either completely new, as was Milan for Francesco Sforza, or they are like members added to the hereditary state of the prince who acquires them, as is the Kingdom of Naples for the King of Spain.”
“Dominions taken in this way are either used to living under a prince or are accustomed to being free; and they are gained either by the arms of others or by one’s own, either through Fortune or through cleverness.”
“The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that the equality of conditions is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived...”
“I then turned my thoughts to our own hemisphere, where I imagined that I discerned something analogous to the spectacle which the New World presented to me. I observed that the equality of conditions is daily progressing towards those extreme limits, which it seems to have reached in the United States... It is evident to all alike that a great democratic revolution is going on among us” (Introduction, p.3)
John Stuart Mill, The System of Logic (1843)
“The aim of practical politics is to surround any given society with the greatest possible number of circumstances of which the tendencies are beneficial, and to remove or counteract, as far as practicable, those of which the tendencies are injurious. A knowledge of the tendencies... gives us to a considerable extent this power. It would, however, be an error to suppose that, even with respect to tendencies, we could arrive in this manner at any great number of propositions which will be true in all societies without exception.” (John Stuart Mill)
The Return of the State
(Historical and Rational Choice) New Institutionalism
They differ in the way of posing
problems, the choice of relevant
dimensions, and their
Despite the “computer revolution” and the availability of increasingly sophisticated statistical methods,“We cannot measure before conceptualizing”
Can democracy flourish within a one-party system?
Indicator (i.e. Question: “How much money do people in your household make every year?”)
We can always aggregate data collected on a lower level of analysis, but we cannot disaggregate data collected on a higher level
The majority of studies that compare many countries use quantitative methods.