Curtis Systems Theory Communication Theory Structural Functionalism Behavioralism Rational Choice Institutional Analysis Statistical Analysis Political Development Dependency Theory Political Culture Political Attitudes Political Cleavages Globalization Lane Behavioral Revolution
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The Return of the State
(Historical and Rational Choice) New InstitutionalismComparative Politics: Main Approaches
They differ in the way of posing
problems, the choice of relevant
dimensions, and their
Ruth Lane Chapter 6
“… a picture of a real theory is worth a thousand definitions” (Lane)
For the final exam, examine and discuss a problem in a comparative perspective. You will write on three (or more) countries, and will have to include the United States in your (comparative) analysis. Include also Mexico, China, India, Russia, or one of the countries of the Middle East. Compare the cases along one of the questions below (or use one of your own that is framed in similar terms). Restate the problem in the question, place each country in relation to the problem, present a clear argument and develop it with the support of a major source of data (it can be statistics, historical data, or people’s stories). Which theory or theories of those presented by Ruth Lane and Michael Curtis seem better suited to account for your problem? Which theories seem completely wrong instead? (How much) Can you generalize on your conclusions? How would you go ahead to put together an empirical research project on this question? Be selective in the use of data (use only the data that is relevant to answer to the question) and include the sources and references at the end of your essay (include sources at the end). *Discuss the relationships between globalization and democratization *Does democracy produce economic wealth, or it is instead wealth that promotes democracy? *In the last three decades, democratic regimes have expanded dramatically around the world. Whereas this trend is still celebrated, there are certain warnings on that democratization could be in danger. How can we tell whether democratization is receding or progressing? *Do political parties and party systems enhance or hinder democracy? *Do political stability and participation oppose to each other? *If political culture frames political institutions, how much can institutional reform transform (authoritarian) political culture? Should we try to intervene to make culture more democratic everywhere, or it would be more prudent to leave culture as it is to avoid unforeseen consequences? Why? *What kind of party systems are best suited to make democracy thrive? What signs to you would indicate the need for change when it comes to the party system? ¡Electoral systems “produce” different party systems. So far, we explored the most popular ones (Single Member District and Proportional Representation ) plus variants (the Japanese SNTV) and combinations of the main systems in different countries. Which system, or combination, do you find better expresses the ideals and preservation of a democracy? Why?