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  1. 1. Comparative Politics Seminar PresentationFebruary 2012 Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field Hannah McFaull
  2. 2. Sidney Verba - Comparative Politics: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going? Howard J. Wiarda – Comparative Politics: Past and Present Roy C. Macridis – Major Characteristics of the Behaviouralist Approach Robert A. Dahl – The Behavioural Approach in Political Science: Epitaph for a Monument to a Successful Protest David Easton – The New Revolution in Political Science Atul Kohli, et al - The Role of Theory in Comparative PoliticsComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  3. 3. Comparative politics: where have we been and where are we going?Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  4. 4.  Greater depth within individual countries  Hybrid disciplines  Combination of qualitative and quantitative methods  Comparative politics only truly comparative for the first time?  Lack of all encompassing theory  1970s and 80s: the development of range of new approaches including those derived from neo-Marxism and political economyComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  5. 5. Comparative politics: past and presentComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  6. 6. The 1950s  Comparative Politics not new: Aristotle, Machiavelli and other examples  European scholar refugees post-WWII  Sociological and psychological theories and methods  Driven by foreign policy ideals  Behaviouralism  Structural-functionalism  Pattern variablesComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  7. 7. Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  8. 8. The 1960s  Developmentalism  Western political systems criteria used to assess non-Western political systems  Corporatism  Dependency Theory  Further fragmentation of the field  The ‘imperial claim’  Future optimism?Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  9. 9. Major characteristics of the traditionalist approach  Non-Comparative  Focus on northern and western European democracies  Historical approach  Legalistic approachComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  10. 10. The behavioural approach in political science Dissatisfaction with Study of individuals? state of current field Scientific standards Studies into voting patterns and electoral Integration prevented behaviour alienation from the other social sciences Survey and polling; possible Problem with the a-historical to prove hypotheses about nature of behaviouralist behaviour research?Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  11. 11. Post-behaviouralism: a new revolution in political science Neutrality of Dissatisfaction political science? with current field Understanding – frustration with the values behind slow pace and research irrelevancy of political science Duty of those with knowledge to use Substance over it for action technique Call for the politicisation of the Readdress the imbalance between political science profession pure and applied researchComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  12. 12. The role of theory in comparative politics  Theory in comparative politics spans a broad spectrum  Theoretical opportunism as a result of theoretical diversity  Research driven by real-world problems  Theory only to frame empirical research?  Need for causal factors The field is strong, optimism for the future of comparative politicsComparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
  13. 13. Discussion questions Is all empirical political science comparative? Do you agree with the ‘imperial claim’ mentioned in the Wiarda reading? Is America too big/complex to be used as a single case study in comparative research? Has the ‘superiority complex’ felt in the mid-twentieth century completely disappeared or it is ever justifiable? Is it ever possible to get a full understanding of how a country functions if you don’t understand what motivates the people in it? Do you agree with the behaviouralist dissatisfaction with the traditional approach? If you have superior understanding, or knowledge, are you compelled to use it? Do you agree with Easton’s call for the politicisation of political scientists and universities based on a duty of knowledge? Should political science be political? Both Dahl and Easton’s descriptions of behaviouralism and post-behaviouralism ascribe the foundations of the approach in dissatisfaction with the current state of the field. Does the fragmentation of the field following the apex of these movements mean that these revolutions would no longer possible?Comparative Politics: Historical Development and Overview of the Field
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