Overview Of Comparative Politics comparative politics

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.

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  • That notwithstanding, in many African countries, elections have not called into question the power of former liberation movements or ruling parties to dominate domestic politics.

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.

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In a nutshell, in spite of having formal mechanisms that should have increased political accountability and the welfare of the population in poor democracies, the provision of public goods and economic performance remain thoroughly deficient in those countries. In our edited volume, Keefer claims that, since the key parameters of democracy and redistribution cannot explain that outcome , it must be political market imperfections that explain the failure of governments to deliver in democracies. In young, poor democracies, politicians lack the credibility to run campaigns that promise the delivery of universal benefits and public goods. Accordingly, they shift to building personal networks and delivering particular goods. This type of electoral connection, compounded by low levels of information among voters, who can scarcely monitor politicians, results in extreme levels of corruption and bad governance. comparative politics is significant because it helps people understand the nature and working of political frameworks around the world.

The process of European integration was traditionally considered a unique experiment in international relations. International relations scholars were interested in explaining the process of integration rather than its outcome (i.e., the community system and its institutional characteristics). Since the Treaty of Maastricht , a new generation of studies has started to investigate the EU as a political system. However, although the EU could no longer be considered an international regime, it could not be compared with other domestic political systems.

The study of comparative politics involves conscious comparisons in studying political experience, institutions, behaviour and processes of the systems of government in a comprehensive manner. It includes the study of even extra-constitutional agencies having their immediate connection, open or tacit, with formal governmental organs. This being so, it becomes increasingly less plausible to establish what constitutes an independent cause of a dependent outcome.

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 legitimacy of public institutions has been further reduced by the growing role that noninstitutional actors have acquired in the context of globalization. These actors comprise companies, associations, and transnational nongovernmental organizations that operate outside the border of single states, and they have contributed to the emergence of new supranational regulative systems or international regimes. One may claim that no nation-state is able to control domestic decision-making processes, autonomously steer its own economic dynamics, or develop its own separate cultural identity. The interest in the organization and functioning of democratic regimes has inevitably promoted research on the latter’s performance by scholars of comparative politics. One might argue that the analysis of Western welfare policies constitutes the starting point of comparative policy analysis, and even today, it represents its core business. To the individualistic outlook of rational choice theory, historical institutionalism has placed in opposition a vision of the political process as structured by institutions that have consolidated over time and thus shape this process.

Some examples of comparative politics are studying the differences between presidential and parliamentary systems, democracies and dictatorships, parliamentary systems in different countries, multi-party systems such as Canada and two-party systems such as the United States. Comparative politics must be conducted at a specific point in time, usually the present. A researcher cannot compare systems from different periods of time; it must be static.


All these new developments had to live alongside the institutionalist approach (or “old” institutionalism), which never ceased to exert its influence on the comparative political research of the post–World War II period. Since the 1980s, the old institutionalism has been superseded by theoretical developments that have merged in the new institutionalism—new because it is distinct from its predecessor owing to its nonformalistic vision of institutions and norms. As noted by Ira Katznelson and Helen V. Milner, there are significant differences within the new or neoinstitutionalism. Some are microlevel institutionalist theories, as they take their point of departure from the preferences or interests of individual political actors or collective political actors understood as unitary. Others, instead, are macrolevel institutionalist theories, as they depart from supraindividual aggregates.

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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.