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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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i why study comparative politics
I. Why Study Comparative Politics?
  • Internationalized Problems
    • Environment – Other countries’ environmental policies affect our air, water, and soil
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 dependent variable
Example: Selection on the Dependent Variable

Does ethnic diversity cause civil war?

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
a agenda setting
A. Agenda-Setting
  • Proposing alternatives to the status quo
    • Status Quo: The way things are (the current system)
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