Comparative Politics comparative politics

The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. 4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page. A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. The relative power, influence and methods of pressure groups in the UK and the USA. A comparison of the relationship of the UK prime minister and of the US president to other institutions of government.

  • Those two theoretical approaches have recently been combined to point out why the political consequences of different constitutional institutions account for (p. 549)the social and economic underpinnings of democratic regimes (e.g. Boix 2003).
  • Observational studies, ones that do not ensure that the cases we compare are matched in all respects other than the “treatment,” cannot deal adequately with problems of endogeneity.
  • If institutions matter, then to classify the EU as a consensual democracy appears highly unconvincing.
  • In an essay that is reproduced in this volume, Hendrik Spruyt provides a bird’s-eye overview of recent contributions to our understanding of modern state formation, an area of research that has grown substantially in the last three decades.
  • The consolidation of democracy in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia has increased the number of countries to be considered for the identification of democratic patterns.

Political Risk Yearbook provides political risk reports for the current year for many countries. CountryData allows users to generate exportable tables with political risk rankings and economic indicators for current and historical years, as well as current forecasts, for various countries. After more than 7 years outside the classroom, the experience of being at LSE has reignited my interest in academia. At the beginning I was afraid of studying Latin America outside the region, but the MSc Comparative Politics has demonstrated that coming here was the right choice.

What Is Comparative Politics?

Once a given institution has asserted itself, it tends to reproduce over time. Contrary to what occurs in the economy, however, in politics, the marginal productivity of an institution increases over time, as Paul Pierson has shown. First, it has been pointed out that an analysis that assumes institutions to be ahistorical entities ends up being overly abstract. Institutions are not aseptic rules but structures that are permeable to history. The same institutional structure may produce different effects in different historical periods.

A political world marked by complex interdependence calls for a political science ready to experiment with new methods and new theories. A new field of study, which some scholars call International Comparative Politics, might be developed to confront the challenges of this world. However, the structure of academic careers, still rigidly organized around the distinction between the two subdisciplines, will make such development difficult. Globalization, as noted by Philippe Schmitter, has become the independent variable in many national contexts. This, in turn, has weakened relations between the citizens and the institutions of those states, as soon as the former have become aware that the latter are unable to respond to their demands.

The development of the EU has allowed comparative politics to overcome national borders and apply its tools, concepts, methods, and theories to the study of a supranational political system. At the same time, the EU has also been compared with other regional organizations, a comparison that has shown the difference between political and economic regionalism. The comparative analysis of politics has been relaunched by the development of the EU. The main microlevel theory of comparative politics is rational choice institutionalism.

Msc Comparative Politics

Yet, as José María Maravall shows in his contribution to our edited volume, “in parliamentary democracies losses of office by prime ministers depend in one half of the cases on decisions by politicians, not by voters” . This fact would not be so dire if prime ministers were removed from office by colleagues who anticipated bad electoral outcomes—if, as Maravall puts it, “voters and politicians … share the same criteria for punishing prime ministers.” But they do not. Whereas prime ministers are more likely to be turned out by voters when economic times are bad, they are more likely to be turned out by their colleagues when economic times are good. Hence politicians who hold their comrades to account seem to practice a reverse kind of “economic voting.” Maravall’s chapter cautions us against excessive optimism regarding democracy, accountability, and economic voting.

Rational Choice Institutionalism

It is in Africa that the consolidation of democracy has continued to be an open question. Although Africa has made a big step toward democratization, democracy is far from having been consolidated. Democratic reversal has continued to be a likely possibility for most African countries. The political crises in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar in the past few years are cases in point. Democratic consolidation requires, among other things, a government turnover, and most countries in Africa are yet to undergo this crucial test.