The good life or dictatorship depression and genocide
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The Good Life – or Dictatorship, Depression and Genocide?. The Logic of Comparative Politics. I. Why Study Comparative Politics?. Internationalized Problems Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil. Chernobyl Effects.

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The Good Life – or Dictatorship, Depression and Genocide?

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The good life or dictatorship depression and genocide

The Good Life – or Dictatorship, Depression and Genocide?

The Logic of Comparative Politics


I why study comparative politics

I. Why Study Comparative Politics?

  • Internationalized Problems

    • Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil


Chernobyl effects

Chernobyl Effects


I why study comparative politics1

I. Why Study Comparative Politics?

  • Internationalized Problems

    • Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil

    • Economy – Other countries’ economies and economic policies affect our economy, for better or worse


I why study comparative politics2

I. Why Study Comparative Politics?

  • Internationalized Problems

    • Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil

    • Economy – Other countries’ economies and economic policies affect our economy, for better or worse

    • Instability – Other countries’ wars and civil violence endanger our security


I why study comparative politics3

I. Why Study Comparative Politics?

  • Internationalized Problems

    • Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil

    • Economy – Other countries’ economies and economic policies affect our economy, for better or worse

    • Instability – Other countries’ wars and civil violence endanger our security

    • Repression – Human rights violations affect us through immigration and international conflict


B domestic problems

B. Domestic Problems

  • How can we preserve freedom at home? Look at cases where freedom failed…

  • How can we achieve economic growth? Look to other economies’ performance…

  • How can we protect our security? Examine security strategies of other countries…


C questions looking for variation

C. Questions: Looking for variation

  • How independent should the judiciary be? Need examples of politicized judiciaries…

  • What effect does the two-party system have on politics and government? Need examples of multi-party systems…

  • What effect does government-sponsored universal health insurance have on health? Need examples of national health strategies…


Ii the comparative method solving problems and answering questions

II. The Comparative Method: Solving Problems and Answering Questions

  • Turn normative (value) problems into empirical (fact) ones.

    • Normative statements

      • Definition: Prescriptive statements about how the world should be or how we ought to behave

      • Keywords: Should, Ought, Right, Wrong, Best, Worst

      • Examples: What is the best government? Should we take measures to reduce inequality? Should we go to war?


2 empirical statements

2. Empirical Statements

  • Definition: Descriptive, Explanatory, or Predictive statements about what the world is like or how it is likely to change

  • Keywords: Causes, Prevents, Affects, Increases, Decreases, Higher, Lower

  • Examples: Does democracy decrease the risk of war? Does a free market economy grow faster than a command economy?


B theories and hypotheses

B. Theories and Hypotheses

  • Identify the dependent variable (DV): What do you wish to explain? Chapter 2 has examples of problems…

  • Suggest possible independent variables (IVs) that might explain the dependent variable. Chapter 2 has a long list of IVs – Resources, Social Identity, Ideas, etc.

  • Hypothesize either a positive or negative relationship between each IV and the DV:

    • Positive (+): ↑ Wealth  ↑ Political Stability

    • Negative or Inverse (-):

      ↑ Corruption  ↓ Political Stability


4 theory the story behind your hypotheses

4. Theory: The story behind your hypotheses

  • Why did you expect a positive relationship? What causes what?

  • Are there other things you expect to find if this hypothesis turns out to be true?


Example a theory of political stability with five hypotheses

Example: A theory of political stability with five hypotheses

Dependent

Variable

Independent

Variables

Hypothesized

Relationships


C hypothesis testing here comes the science

C. Hypothesis-Testing: Here Comes the Science

1. Gather evidence (data) on the DV and all IVs

  • Comparative Politics: Gather data for each country examined (Belgium, France, Sweden, Burundi, etc.), perhaps even each country-year (Belgium 1990, Belgium 1991, Belgium 1992, France 1990, France 1991, etc.)

  • Process: Gather data that might challenge the hypothesis (your selection of cases will be scrutinized closely for bias!)

  • Goal: Variables should…vary. Often a problem with single-country studies.


Example selection on the independent variable

Example: Selection on the Independent Variable

Does democracy increase economic growth?


Example selection on the independent variable1

Example: Selection on the Independent Variable

Does your answer change?


Example selection on the dependent variable

Example: Selection on the Dependent Variable

Does ethnic diversity cause civil war?


Example selection on the dependent variable1

Example: Selection on the Dependent Variable

Has the answer changed?


2 compare the hypotheses to the data

2. Compare the hypotheses to the data

  • Is the hypothesis a deterministic law? Very rare…

  • Is the hypothesis a probabilistic law?

    • Is there a correlation between IV and DV?

    • Is the direction (+ or -) consistent with the hypothesis?

  • Evaluate the usefulness of the laws.

    • How much better can we predict if we know this law, versus knowing nothing but the average value of the DV? (Example: How much better do we do at predicting growth if we apply the law to each case than if we just guess “Medium” for every country?)

    • How much variation in the DV is left unexplained?


3 evaluate challenges to the theory

3. Evaluate challenges to the theory

  • Could the DV be causing changes in the IV? Solution: Time (Cause must precede effect!)

  • Is the independent variable really an intervening variable? Solution: “Control” variables.

  • Did some hypotheses fail the test? What might have led to this failure? Solution: “Control” variables.

  • Do you need to modify your story to better predict the DV?

  • What new hypotheses are suggested by these results?


Iii defining politics a starting point for models

III. Defining Politics: A Starting Point for Models

  • Definition: “The authoritativeallocation of resources and values.”

  • Politics creates winners and losers

  • Key Terms:

    • Authority: Government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, so it is the only one with the authority to allocate.

    • Resource Allocation: Money, labor, commodities

    • “Allocation” of Values: Deciding between incompatible moral or ethical principles


Iv how are resources authoritatively allocated a simple process model

IV. How are resources authoritatively allocated? A Simple Process Model


A agenda setting

A. Agenda-Setting

  • Proposing alternatives to the status quo

    • Status Quo: The way things are (the current system)


1 individuals

1. Individuals


1 individuals1

1. Individuals


1 individuals powerless alone

1. Individuals -- Powerless alone


2 unorganized groups

2. Unorganized Groups


2 unorganized groups must be considered but cannot set agenda

2. Unorganized Groups -- Must be considered, but cannot set agenda


3 organized groups

3. Organized groups


3 organized groups set agenda and shape citizen response

3. Organized groups -- Set agenda and shape citizen response


4 benefits of organization

4. Benefits of Organization

a. Credible Commitment -- Conditional support

b. Outreach -- Publicity, Money, Media Access

c. Persuasion -- Information to representatives


5 how to initiate change

5. How to Initiate Change

  • Representatives: The Elected

    • Use Money, Votes, Publicity

    • Math for politicians: Anything + Money = Anything Else?

  • b. Bureaucrats: Experts and Career Officials – or Dictators

    • Use Information, Persuasion

  • c. Appointees: Judges, Cabinet, etc.

    • Target Appointers

  • d. ALL: Corruption or Revolution


B government action 1 legislation

B. Government Action1. Legislation

a. Logrolling: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours

b. Partisanship: Leads to either partisan government or gridlock

From the early American practice of neighbors gathering to help clear land by rolling off and burning felled timber.


2 implementation bureaucracy courts and the rule of law

2. Implementation: Bureaucracy, Courts, and the “Rule of Law”

a. Enforcement of laws

  • Relies on executive power and judicial capacity

    b. Regulations and Decrees…

  • Substitute for legislation in many dictatorships

  • Clarify legislation in democracies


C citizen response

C. Citizen Response

  • Media reports: Citizens base decisions on easily-accessible information, whether right or wrong

  • Elections and voting: Citizens may punish or reward leaders (retrospective voting) or look to the best candidate for the future (prospective voting)

  • Protest and Resistance: Citizens may ignore, disobey, protest, or fight government authority (Challenge to state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force)


D implications of the model

D. Implications of the Model

  • Agenda-Setting can determine the outcome of political struggles  organization key to political success

  • Democracies should prompt less violent resistance than autocracies (legal avenues for powerful interests to set agenda)

  • Rational politicians try to anticipate which coalitions will support or oppose them in elections or war  pre-empt opposition


V key variables in comparative politics steps in the general model

V. Key Variables in Comparative Politics: Steps in the General Model…

  • How is the agenda set?

    • What issues or ideas (cleavages) divide unorganized groups?

    • How do people organize?

    • How do organized interests pressure the government?

  • How do governments decide?

    • Which coalitions do leaders have to please to remain in power?

    • What procedures exist to select between logrolling and partisanship?

    • Does partisanship produce partisan rule or gridlock?

  • How do citizens behave?

    • How do citizens perceive government action?

    • When are citizens likely to obey the law?

    • When are new leaders selected?

    • What form will citizen resistance take?


D why study these variables

D. Why study these variables?

  • What causes civil war and genocide?

  • What causes depressions and recessions?

  • What causes political violence?

    Comparative Politics: At least some causes of these things lie in the political choices made by different countries’ people and governments -- and the cultures in which those choices are made


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