Political Science 2 – Comparative Politics - Power Point #2
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 2 Modern World Governments – Fall 2012Power Point Presentation – September 4th & September 6th
COURSE LECTURE TOPICSThis Week’s Lecture Covers:•Why And How We Compare•Most Similar Systems & Most Different Systems•Political System Formation Political Systems & Their Environments Structures & Functions Policy Performance & Consequences•Approaches To Comparing Rational Structural-Functionalism Cultural
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #2 (2)•The Policy Level Performance Outcome Education•Globalization World Capitalist Economy Power Of Technology Interdependency & Peaceful Relations•International Relations Versus Comparative Politics Future Of Comparative Politics Future Of International Relations Will Both Schools Merge?
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #2 (3)Reading Assignments For Week #2•Textbook: “Comparative Politics Today” Chapter 2 From “Comparative Politics Today” Review Key Terms For Chapter 2•Course Pack Article: “The Future In Comparative Politics” By: Robert H. Bates
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 2 (2)14. Policy Level15. Policymaking16. Political Culture17. Political Communication18. Political Recruitment19. Political Socialization20. Political System21. Process Functions22. Regulation23. Structural Functional Approach24. Structures25. System26. System Functions
WHY WE COMPAREWe compare to accomplish the following:1. Compare to control. This is done in order to see if our claims hold merit. Our arguments may be about social, political, or economic phenomena.2. To understand and explain. Understanding means one is interested primarily on one case. The researcher will draw from various cases and theories to learn more about the case of interest. Explaining requires comparison while understanding that the world is not a controlled laboratory. Theories help us on our quest for truth.
HOW WE COMPARE: MSS & MDSThe two basic comparative strategies are calledthe Most Similar Systems (MSS) and MostDifferent Systems (MDS) Design.•MSS: Find key differences between two similarsystems.•MDS: Find key similarities between two or moredissimilar systems.
MOST SIMILAR SYSTEMS DESIGN (1)MOST SIMILAR SYSTEMS (MSS) is based oncomparing two or more social systems that aresimilar. It is important to understand thatresearchers must compare two more systemsthat possess a large number of commonalities,but also differ in some areas. At least two of thecases should possess an independent variableand dependent variable that are different.
MOST SIMILAR SYSTEMS DESIGN (2) Dependent Versus Independent Variables Independent variables affect the dependent variable or the outcome itself. Let us look at this statement: “Democracy can only take root in capitalist societies”. Dependent Variable: Democracy. Independent Variable: Capitalist Societies.
MOST DIFFERENT SYSTEMS DESIGN MOST DIFFERENT SYSTEMSThe key difference between MDS and MSS is thatin an MDS design, the dependent variable should be the same for all chosen cases. Identify the different independent variable(s) to make your case. Theory comes in very handy when summing up your arguments.
POLITICAL SYSTEMSENVIRONMENT AND INTERDEPENDENCE (1)• To utilize a structural-functional systems framework to compare political systems we need to discuss three general concepts: – System: suggests an object having interdependent parts, acting within a setting or an environment – Structure – Function• Political system: a set of institutions and agencies concerned with formulating and implementing the collective goals of a society or of groups within it.
POLITICAL SYSTEMSENVIRONMENT AND INTERDEPENDENCE (2) • Governments are the policymaking parts of political systems. – Decisions of governments are normally backed up by legitimate coercion; obedience may be compelled. • A political system exists in both an international environment and a domestic environment. • A system receives inputs from these environments. – International • Exchanges among countries may vary in many ways: small to great. • Interdependence has increased enormously in the last decades. – Globalization – Domestic • Economic and social systems • Political culture of its citizens
POLITICAL SYSTEMS STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS (1)• Structures: parliaments, bureaucracies, administrative agencies, and courts• Structures perform functions, which in turn enable the government to formulate, implement, and enforce its policies. – Policies reflect the goals; the agencies provide the means. – Six types of political structures: political parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies, and courts. • Formal organizations engaged in political activities. • Some structures, such as ruling military councils or governing royal families, are found in only a few countries. • Similar structures may have very different functions across political systems. – Example: China and Britain
POLITICAL SYSTEMS STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS (2)• Three additional functions which are not directly involved in making and implementing public policy - socialization, recruitment, and communication, are fundamentally important.• These are SYSTEM functions. – They determine whether or not the system will be maintained or changed. • Political socialization: involves families, schools, communications media, churches, and all the various political structures that develop, reinforce and transform the political culture, the attitudes of political significance in the society • Political recruitment: refers to the selection of people for political activity and government offices • Political communication: refers to the flow of information through the society and through the various structures that make up the political system
POLITICAL SYSTEMS STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS (3)• Outputs = the implementations of the political process. – Substantive impacts on the society, the economy, and the culture – Regulation of behavior; extraction of resources; distribution of benefits and services – Reflect the way the policies interact with the domestic and international environments• Example of structures and functions in Russia before and after the breakdown of communist rule in the Soviet Union – Approach - structural functional comparison • Allows us to examine how the same functions are performed in different countries, or in the same country at two different points in time
POLITICAL SYSTEMS STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS (4)• Process functions are performed by political structures.• The structural-functional approach stresses two points: – In different countries, the same structure may perform different functions. – While a particular institution may have a special relationship to a particular function, institutions often do not have a monopoly on any one function. • Ex: Presidents and governors may share in the policy-making function (veto powers), as do the higher courts (judicial review).
RATIONAL CHOICE (1)Rational Choice Analysis: This theory argues that self-interestsguides all behavior, which involved conducting a cost benefitanalysis. Individuals weigh the cost along with the benefits andthen decide to pursue something if the benefits outweigh thecosts. If we assume that everyone basis their actions on self-interest then we have to come to terms with situationsinvolving actions that are not beneficial. This depends on thequality of information one has been able to accrue.
RATIONAL CHOICE (2)Decision makers rarely have access to perfect information, asthey simply don’t possess viable access to the informationrequired to make a rational decision. This includes a lack ofexperience, limited data, lack of education, inability to assessactions of others, lack of knowing future developments, oreven just bad luck. Strategic interaction also comes into play,which is the implication that indecisions made by oneindividual is made according to decisions made by others,which leads us to game theory. Prisoner’s dilemma is oneaspect of strategic interaction.
STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALISMStructural-Functionalism: This theory utilizes micro-interpretation to suggest that given the issue, individuals mayunite temporarily to defend its interests. Structural-functionalism helps to explain how political leaders can dealwith citizen demands that are hard to fulfill. Instead ofproviding the actual goods sought, political leaders may instillloyalty based on symbolic or cultural goods. The structural-functional approach maintains two points:1. In different countries, the same structure may perform different functions.2. Absolute power is impossible and no one institution, or individual entity, no matter how powerful, may be able to control all facets in society.
CULTURAL APPROACHESCultural Approaches: This theory is likely to accept thearguments of rational choice or structural analysis as both areseen as helping to construct societal norms. Culturalismbegins with the premise that culture matters in anyexplanation. It is important not to state grand assumptionswhen using culture as a variable. For example, statements like“Muslim countries are resistant to democracy,” or“Confucianism helps explain capitalist development in EastAsia” are not appropriate. The problem with these claims isthat it generalizes culture as clear-cut, uniform, and basicallystatic. The majority of Culturalists would argue today thatculture is multi-vocal and multidimensional.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (1)Societal interdependence addresses situation in which eventswithin one society affect events in another. Governmentinvolvement in instigating these events does not have to takeplace for this to occur. Transnational relations helps toencourage interdependency between states. Statesinterdependent on one another presents each with economicand political trade-offs, whereas gains in one may lead to theweakening of another. One may argue that an interdependentworld of liberal-democratic states can at some point in timelead to world peace. Adopting current rules of the game, evenamong nation-states that may not be democratic, does presenta situation where the success and or survival of one country isdependent on the success and or survival of its peer.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (2)Societal and economic interdependence can interlinkthe domestic policies of two nation-state. Take theexample of Canada and the United States. The highdegree of societal interdependence assures thatCanada will be strongly affected by Americanpolicies. The most powerful nation-state can moreaffect the policies of another country interdependenton its society as this example shows. Underlyingmost analyses of world politics and internationalorganizations is the state-centric approach: 1. Governments are the most significant actors in world politics. 2. Governments are unified actors.
PREVENTING A MAJOR WARInterdependent linkages among nation-statesresults in the trade of products, services,ideas, culture, etc. The greatest advantage ofthis global trade is not just cheapmerchandise for our people. Many argue wehave not had a major war for over 60 yearsthanks to complex interdependency. Somestudents may believe that Persian Gulf War I& 2 is a major war. That is inaccurate, for amajor war results when at least two majorpowers attack each other. The result wouldbe millions dead in less than an hour. Watchthis video presentation of America nuclearweapon tests. Ask yourself this question,“Why does the United States not use theseweapons?”
GLOBALIZATION (1)Globalization is a process that seems to create a more unifiedworld united in a single economic system. Globalizationcontinues to be cited as a cause for the withering away of thestate. Technology has allowed mankind to realize globalization.Liberalism and its market-based order continue to be theprimary motivator for technological innovation that in turn hasrendered previous norms obsolete. One can argue that thisconstant drive may in time render international strife, conflictand other assorted calamities obsolete. Liberals would arguethat globalization is a trend toward the transformation of worldpolitics with states no longer remaining sealed units.
GLOBALIZATION (2)Globalization may be seen as a homogenization process thatequalizes prices, products, wages, wealth, rates of interestand profit margins. It is a movement that can spark resistanceboth within the United States as well as around the world. Thiscan come from religious fundamentalists, labor unions andother types of special interest groups. Globalization has so faronly encompassed western countries, Israel and certain Asiancountries like Japan, South Korea and China. Most of theworld has been left out, including Africa, Latin America,Russia, Middle East and swaths of Asia.
GLOBALIZATION (3)This political piece explores theeffects of globalization. One canargue that globalization hasextended people’s buying power.Dollars can be stretched mustfurther thanks to lower laborcosts found in distant lands. “BigBox-Mart” argues that cheapgoods does present a seriousside effect. Does the messagerelate to your personal beliefabout our present globaleconomy?
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (1)Comparative politics inspires students to establish linkagesbetween international relations with domestic politics.Structural-functionalist approaches had failed to recognize theinteractions between international and domestic issues.Comparative politics deals with complex systems issues thatcan include comparing capitalism to communism, democracyto totalitarianism, free markets to planned economies, etc.Scholars saw many avenues open to comparison from the1960s to 1970s when comparative analysis started to takenotice. Nothing seemed to be beyond these scholars as theypursued every conceivable option including democracy,authoritarianism, Marxism, revolution, corporatism,totalitarianism, fragmentation, disintegration, and civil war.
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (2)Comparing to control is perhaps the major point of interest forstudents as it relates to case studies. Control means to testour hypothesis. An example would be a claim that “Democracycannot be imposed on society by an external power.” How dowe know if this is a strong or weak claim? The first thing to dois look for other cases where democracy has been imposed onanother society. Looking at two cases like Germany and Japanafter World War II reveals that we may need to adjust our mainthesis statement. This is why it is a good idea to look at evenmore cases to evaluate the strength of our argument. Thoughwe cannot ignore any evidence, we can explain why differentresults occurred.
DEFINING COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3)Comparative Politics used to be focused mainly on WesternEurope until the Cold War compelled American policymakersto pay attention to “lesser” countries, regions and formercolonies. The concern was that these countries representedeither future enemies or allies. This concern propelledAmerican policymakers to learn more about these countries.Cases are usually based on a specific issue or concern likeindustrialization, social revolution, terrorism, democracy, or anyother issue of interest. They are also delimited graphically astime can be a focal point of analysis.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (1)International Relations focuses mainly on conflict in the world systemand how to prevent chaos from ensuing by managing power relationsthrough the use of deterrence. Foreign policy decision makers examineproblems by equating five variables:(1) the societal and individual values of their state and that of the case being examined;(2) their own and the world’s understanding of the problem at hand;(3) those capabilities available on hand and what the goals of their nation in correlation to other nations;(4) the bureaucratic and organizational framework where decisions affecting foreign affairs are constructed; and(5) how that individual defines the international system, whether it may be bipolar, multipolar, classical balance of power, unilateral, etc.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (2)International relations is like the philosophy of science as both aredefined as, “a symbolic construction, a series of inter-related constructsor concepts, together with definitions, laws, theorems and axioms.” Thefield of study came about following World War I by those who sought tounderstand what causes conflict so that the barrage of conflict may notbe repeated again. The field consists of contending theories that somehave argued has not been able to reign uncontested. One can argue thatthe field as a whole is wrought with contesting theoretical approaches,which have yet to achieve recognition as a new paradigm or standing asa law that all researchers can depend on. Found within the naturalsciences are certain laws retaining equal standing among researchers inthat field. None of the subfields of IR or the entire discipline for thatmatter have yet achieved this state. All of the competing theoreticalapproaches and methodologies applied in IR depend on each other toform a nucleus of knowledge that researchers may utilize in differentconfigurations to strengthen or attack hypotheses.
COMPARATIVE JOINING WITH IR?Domestic politics may influence foreign relations, which in turnmay influence the domestic politics of a respective nation-state. Existing linkages have been found to exist betweenexternal and internal factors. External factors like securitythreats may affect a state’s economy. This is why students maydiscover that boundaries are evaporating betweeninternational relations, which looks at how the external actionsof an actor affects those actions undertaken by another actor.