What Is Comparative Politics? With Pictures comparative politics

The different viewpoints of institutionalist scholars have also highlighted the existence of different research programs. The rationalist approach is engaged in a formidable undertaking of simplification of comparative politics, as these scholars aim to provide their research program with a microeconomic foundation. Historical and sociological institutionalists, instead, seem to be engaged in an equally formidable enterprise of complexification of comparative politics, as they start from less limited and less restrictive assumptions. The former seek to construct a theory on the basis of the actor, whereas the latter start from the structures or the meanings embedded in them. Indeed, it is rarely the case that the actors intend to create institutions or that the actors correctly foresee the future impact of institutions.

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.

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Even in countries that have maintained stability, such as Botswana and Namibia, one-party dominance remains a key feature of their democracy. Politics is a game between individual actors or between collective actors understood as unitary subjects. As Riker has argued in many writings, the aim of this theory is to explain how collective action emerges in a multiactor game and to examine the microlevel foundations of processes that give rise to macrolevel effects. Rather, as pointed out by Margaret Levi, a scholar working within this approach, collective action may be irrational even though individuals act in a rational way, unless they are subjected to the constraints of specific rules in the pursuit of their interests. The statistical method, however, is ever more widely employed by political scientists. Those data are the product of a standardized process of quantitative measurement of aspects of political life—standardized because the same criteria of measurement can be used in different contexts.

Thus, Indonesia, as one of NPM adopters can learn from experience gleaned from the three polities in conducting its administrative reform agenda. During the analysis process, institutions, states, and central processes were combined to have a better understanding of the similarities and differences of the agencification process implemented among them. Five basic approaches in comparative research are generally used ( Fleming, 1970;Hopkin, 2010;Lim, 2010;Peters, 1998) a.

  • In yet other areas (e.g., environmental and research policies), they share sovereignty.
  • It establishes a correlation of events identifying the causal mechanism that links the independent with the dependent variables.
  • Institutions matter because they make collective action possible by lowering the transaction costs between the actors, by furnishing reliable information on the rules of the transaction itself, and by sanctioning free riding, thus making individual behavior predictable.
  • Especially in the 1990s, scholars of comparative politics devoted their work to seeking to explain why some countries and not others were successful in transitioning from nondemocratic to democratic systems.

There are many types of political systems worldwide according to the authentic, social, ethnic, racial, and social history. Indeed, even comparative constructions of political association shift starting with one country then onto the next. For instance, India and the United States are majority-rule nations; nonetheless, the U.S. has a liberal vote-based presidential system contrasted with the parliamentary system used in India. Even the political decision measure is more diverse in the United States when found in light of the Indian popular government. The United States has a president as their leader, while India has a prime minister.

The end of the Cold War also had dramatic effects in the non-Western world, ushering in a new democratic era in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In these regions, a process of democratization started with the aim of creating regimes able to provide, as it was claimed in many quarters, security in the sense of protection against widespread and arbitrary violations of civil liberties. Many political elites of new democratizing countries seemed to share the belief that a democratic regime has an intrinsic value. This belief was epitomized by the introduction of democratic rule in South Africa in 1994. On these empirical bases, the 1990s registered a diffusion of studies on democratization (e.g., Geddes, 2007), studies that benefitted largely from the previous generation of works on the democratization of Southern Europe and Latin America, such as that by Leonardo Morlino . At the end of this module students will have acquired a detailed knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts of comparative politics.

History Of The Field

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.

It addresses not only a wide range of substantive topics, with a special focus on democratisation, but also brings together our broad methodological expertise. Please complete this reCAPTCHA to demonstrate that it’s you making the requests and not a robot. If you are having trouble seeing or completing this challenge, this page may help. New concern with a “hegemony of methods” as theorizing is not given as much attention. Greater attention to causal inference, and increased use of experimental methods.

Sociological Institutionalism

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.