The Global Challenges of Comparative Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics-Studies how different countries both shape and are shaped by the world. 1989,2001, and 2008 define the current era of world politics-describes a particular important moment; critical juncture. A frequently cited date is 1989, when the Berlin wall was dismantled. 1989 ushered in three important changes. Marked the end of a bipolar world-marked the emergence of a unipolar world. Marked the triumph of one model of political and economic development. 1989 was a gateway to globalization.
Globalization provided a new and distinctive lens for analyzing politics within and among countries. The key question is that whether the global diffusion of investment, trade, production, and electronic communication technologies would promote a worldwide expansion of opportunity and enhance human development. We have been forced to rethink the meaning of globalization
Since on September 11, 2001, when the Islamic terrorist group led by Osama Bin Laden launched deadly attacks on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The attacks created a new challenge, and produced a tragic and somber critical juncture following the brief post-cold war period. Many countries have been attacked by terrorist before Sept. 11, 2001, including the U.S. This was different because of the amount of the scale-more than 3000 deaths. 9/11 was not an isolated event, soon followed attacks around the world. This led to be known as the Contemporary era. In October, the U.S. attacked the Taliban regime in Afghanistan because that was where it was known for Osama Bin Laden-the leader of the attack on 9/11-to be hiding. Globalization and Terrorism make the current era complex and fraught with uncertainties. 2008 is noteworthy because of a cascade of economic challenges. Such as the price of crude oil on world markets reached $100 a barrel and $140 by the summer. Gas at the pump cost over $4 a gallon
And a world wide recession erupted in late 2008, the demand for oil plummeted. The price of petroleum matters because the world runs on oil, it
fuels the global economy. The world supply is finite, nonrenewable, and becoming increasingly scarce. Competition for access to petroleum has considerably increased in the twenty-first century. This is largely because China and India have achieved extraordinary rapid industrialization and economic growth that requires hugh amounts of oil. Many of the major petroleum exporters have somewhat unstable regimes. Finally, the cost of petroleum is measured in dollars, and the U.S. dollar has significantly declined recently. 2008 was the year when scientists started warning people about CO2 emissions and that in several decades may be an irreversible tipping point. Involving melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels, which can be disastrous for people in coastal areas. Globalization and Comparative Politics
Globalization also involves the movement of people due to migration, employment, business, and educational opportunities. Globalization includes other profound changes that are less visible but equally significant. For example, new applications of information technology and new ways to deliver news and images around the world. Making Sense of Turbulent Times
The World of States: the historical formation, internal organization, and interaction of states within the international order. Governing the Economy: the role of the state in economic management. The Democratic Idea: the spread of democracy and the challenges of democratization. The Politics of Collective Identities: the sources and political impact of diverse collective identities, including class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and religion. What-and How-Comparative Politics Compares
Comparative Politics is a subfield within the academic discipline of political science as well as a method or approach to the study of politics. Comparative Politics involves comparing domestic political institutions, processes, policies, conflicts, and attitudes in different countries. Level of Analysis
Countries comprise distinct, politically defined territories that encompass
political institutions, cultures, economics, and ethnic and other social identities. The state is almost always the most powerful cluster of institutions. State refers to the key political institutions responsible for making, implementing, and adjudicating important policies in a country. Causal Theories
Themes for Comparative Analysis
Theme 1: A World of States
States provide more or less well for the social protection of citizens through the provision-in one way or another-of health care, old age pensions, aid to dependent children, and assistance to the unemployed. It is states that regulate the movement of people across boarders through immigration law. States have been significantly affected by globalization.
Theme 2: Governing the Economy
The success of states in maintaining sovereign authority and control over their people is greatly affected by their ability to ensure that an adequate volume of goods and services is produced to satisfy the needs of their populations. Effective economic performance is near the top of every states personal agenda. How it organizes production and the extent and nature of it intervention in the economy-is a key element in its overall pattern of governance. Political economy refers to how governments affect economic performance and how economic performance in turn affects a country’s political processes. Sustainable development which promotes ecologically sound ways to modernize the economy and raise the standards of living. Theme 3: The Democratic Idea
One of the most important and astounding political developments in recent years has been the rapid spread of democracy throughout much of the world. There is overwhelming evidence of the strong appeal of the democratic idea, by which the claim by citizens that they should, exercise substantial control over the decisions made by their states and governments. By 2007 more countries were becoming free, while democracy is not yet uniformly practiced, nor uniformly accepted. Another important pressure for democracy is born of the human desire for dignity and equality. Social Movements have
targeted the state because of its actions or inactions in such varied spheres as environmental regulation, reproductive rights, and race or ethnic relations. Theme 4: The Politics of Collective Identity
Comparatists thought that social class-solidarities bases on the shared experience of work or economic position. Now know that the formation of group attachments and the interplay of politically relevant collective identities are far more complex and uncertain. Religion is another source of collective identity- as well as of severe political conflict. Distributional politics-the process of deciding who gets what and how resources are distributed. Classifying Political Systems
When Comparativists classify a large number of cases into smaller number of types or clusters, they call the result a typology. Typology facilitate comparison both within the same type as well as between types of states. Can also compare across clusters or types. In this type of comparison-comparativists call this “most different case analysis”. What is the meaning-or rather meanings-of democracy?
Selection to the highest public offices is on the basis of free and fair election. For an election to qualify as fair, there must be procedures in place guaranteeing candidates the right to compete, all citizens must be entitled to vote, and votes must be counted accurately. Political parties are free to organize, present candidates for public office, and compete in elections. The elected governments develops policy according to specified procedures. All citizens possess political rights.
The political system contains a judiciary with powers independent of the executive and legislature. The elected government exercises supreme power within the government and country. There is widespread agreement that conflicts will be resolved peacefully. A Typology of Political Systems
Our typology of political systems involves a further distinction between long-established, or consolidated democracies. Organization of the Text
1: The Making of the Modern State
Section 1 provides an overview of the forces that have shaped the particular character of the state. This discussion should give you the idea of how the country assumed its current political order. 2: Political Economy and Development
(1) Section 2 looks at the issues raised by our core theme of governing the economy and analyzes how economic development has affected political change. 3: Governance and Policy-Making
(1) Section 3 describes the state’s major policy-making institutions and procedures. Representation and Participation
(1) The focus of section 4 is the relationship between a country’s state and society. 5: Politics in Transition
(1) In Section 5, each country study returns to the books four themes and analyzes the major challenges reshaping the world and the study of comparative politics.