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Comparative Politics of Developing Nations Fall 2007, FSPUB Logistics: Instructor: Florin Fesnic E: [email protected] ( [email protected] ) T: 0728-095715 W: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/fesnic/fspub/241.htm Office hours: Wed 4-5 and by appointment Logistics II:

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Logistics:


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Logistics II:

  • Attendance: NOT required (caveat)

  • Readings: CD

  • Notes: on line (caveat)

  • 2 exams (40% each)

  • Weekly contributions (10 percent)

  • Class participation and/or discussion board contributions (10%)

  • Class roster with emails


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Exams

List with questions in advance

(e.g., https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/fesnic/fspub/questions_2006.htm)

Exam: 3-5 questions from the list provided in advance


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Weekly contributions (10%):

  • Five email submissions ([email protected]);

  • No later than Tuesday, 3 PM (the day prior to discussion of the texts);

  • ½ to one page; substance, not length

  • E.g., summary; criticism(s); relevance (e.g., lessons for Romania)


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Class participation and/or discussion board (10%):

  • Discussion board: FSPUB and/or yahoo groups

  • Roughly similar to weekly contributions;

  • Even more open-ended (e.g., interesting topics, books, web sites)


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“Assignment”:

Name what are, in your opinion, the best “political” book(s)/article(s)/movie(s);

Name what are, in your opinion, the worst “political” book(s) & article(s);

Think of positive things (e.g., from other courses) that may improve this course; explain;

Think of positive things (e.g., from other courses) that may improve this course; explain;

What do you expect from this course?


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“Comparative Politics of Developing Nations”

  • “Developing Nations”: what

  • “Comparative Politics”: how


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Comparative Method:

  • Comparative politics: refers to both a subject and a method of analysis

  • (i) Subject: Comparative Politics is the special field of teaching and research within Political Science customarily devoted to “the politics of other countries or peoples”


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  • (ii) Method: As a method, comparative politics involves an analytical effort to exploit the similarities and differences between political units as a basis for developing “grounded theory,” testing hypotheses, inferring causality, and producing reliable generalizations

    (The Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World)


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Why compare?

  • [Advantages of comparison (pp. 69-71; Box 5.1, p. 69)]

  • [Difficulties of comparison (Box 5.2, p. 71)]

  • Functional equivalence

    (e.g., military coups in Third World countries ≈ elections in established democracies)

  • [Selection bias; selection on the dependent variable]

  • [Too many variables, too few countries]


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Techniques of comparison:

[ - Case study

- Small-N vs. large-N analysis:

  • Focused comparison (small N, case-oriented)

  • Statistical analysis (large N, variable-oriented)]

    - Most similar vs. most-different:

  • Most similar systems

  • Most different systems

    [- Dependent variable, independent variable, intervening variable (Box 5.6, p. 84)]


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I. “Developing Nations”

  • The “label game”(?)

    • “Underdeveloped nations”

    • “Developing nations”

    • “Less Developed Countries” (LDCs)

    • “Third World” – residual category


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Development: three components

  • Economic development: high GDP per capita, equitable income distribution

  • Social development: quality education, health care, low infant mortality, high life expectancy

  • Political development: democracy & functional institutions



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GDP per capita = correlated (why?)best measure for development?

  • GDP per capita – problems:

    • Not comprehensive enough (social development?)

    • No measure of inequality (sensitive to extreme values)

      Solution?


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Human Development Index correlated (why?)

  • HDI = “The UN Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth, and other factors for countries worldwide. ”

    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index>

    UNDP: <http://www.undp.org/>


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Colonialism & Consequences correlated (why?)

  • Colonialism (Y/N)

    Consequences (e.g., democracy)

  • If yes, what type? (e.g., British vs. French)


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