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Level 35

Essentials of Comparative Politics

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Comparative politics
Examines different types of institutions & issues w/in different countries. Usually regionally based
international relations
A field in political science which concentrates on relations between countries, such as foreign policy, war, trade, and foreign aid
An organization or activity that is self-perpetuating and valued for its own sake
conflict over the leadership structure and policies of government
because cannot assume power and means to live well, without acquisition of more
comparative method
The means by which social scientists make comparisons across cases
inductive reasoning
Research that works from case studies in order to generate hypotheses
Deductive Reasoning
Descartes, doubt everything and use deductive reasoning. Reasoning based on facts. Combined with empiricism to create scientific method.
An apparent relationship between two or more variables
causal relationship
cause and effect
When variables are interconnected and interact together to produce particular outcomes
area studies
A regional focus when studying political science, rather than studying parts of the world where similar variables are clustered
selection bias
A focus on effects rather than causes, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions about correlation or causation
The issue that cause and effect are not often clear, in that variables may be both cause and effect in relationship to one another
An idea that has been tested that aims to demonstrate a correlation between political phenomena
modernization theory
A theory asserting that as societies developed, they would take on a set of common characteristics, including democracy and capitalism
behavioral revolution
A movement within political science during the 1950s and 1960s to develop general theories about individual political behavior that could be applied across all countries
qualitative method
Study through an in-depth investigation of a limited number of cases
quantitative method
Study through statistical data from many cases
rational choice
Approach that assumes that individuals weigh the costs and benefits and make choices to maximize their benefits
game theory
An approach that emphasizes how actors or organizations behave in their goal to influence others. Built upon assumptions of rational choice
formal institutions
Institutions usually based on officially sanctioned rules that are relatively clear
informal institutions
Institutions with unwritten and unofficial rules
The ability of an individual to act independently, without fear of restriction or punishment by the state or other individuals or groups in society
A shared material standard of individuals within a community, society, or country
The organization that maintains a monopoly of force over a given territory; A set of political institutions to generate and execute policy regarding freedom and equality
signifies the independent of a nation among other nations and the ability of a state to rule over a specified boundary without external interference
An arrangement of a city with respect to its offices, particularly the one that has authority over all matters.
institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled
Term used to refer to state, government, regime, and the people who live within that political system
a characterization of elections by political scientists meaning that they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders
Traditional Legitimacy
Acceptance that comes from culture or tradition
Charismatic Legitimacy
Acceptance that comes form stature and who that person is
Rational-legal legitimacy
Acceptance because it is codified in law and is legitimate
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments.
asymmetric federalism
When power is divided unevenly between regional bodies; For example, some regions are given greater power over taxation or language rights than others--a more likely outcome in a country with significant
unitary state
A state in which most political power exists at the national level, with limited local authority
A process in which political power is ""sent down"" to lower levels of state and government
strong state
A state that is able to fulfill basic tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
weak state
A state that has difficulty fulfilling basic tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
failed state
A state so weak that its political structures collapse, leading to anarchy and violence
The ability of the state to wield power to carry out basic tasks, such as defending territory, making and enforcing rules, collecting taxes, and managing the economy
The ability of the state to wield its power independently of the public
Level 36