Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework


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This title is currently not available in digital format. Presenting the revised and updated theoretical chapters from the bestselling Comparative Politics Today , this text is a brief survey of the fundamental concepts students need to study government and politics. Beginning with a discussion of the purpose of government and of the methods for comparing political systems, the text then examines system, process, and policy as well as essential themes in comparative politics, like democratization, identity and community, and economic and social development.

Through the seminal theoretical framework created by Gabriel Almond and G. Bingham Powell and refined by Kaare Strom and Russell Dalton, students will learn to make insightful comparisons no matter what countries they are studying. Plus easy-to-understand solutions written by experts for thousands of other textbooks. You can cancel at any time. Search for books to buy. Your Cart. Log In Your Account. Find your textbooks Search. Your cart is empty. Comparative Politics Today: Theoretical Framework - 6th edition. Published: International: No.

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Comparative Politics Today: A World View

ADD to Cart. As a whole, this paradigm was more concern on the conditions and mechanisms necessary for social transformation from traditional to modern. However, PD approach faced a number of criticisms. Among other things, this approach was criticized as biased, ethnocentric and based entirely on the U. Consequently, dependency theory DT grew out of dissatisfaction with the PD approach and it main paradigm of modernization. DT emerged in the late s and early s both as a guide in its own right to thought and praxis on Latin America Wiarda, The main argument raised by DT was that, rather than U.

Thus, underdevelopment is seen as the flip-side of the coin of development, with the development of industrialized countries a product of the underdevelopment of the Third World countries Ibid; Wilber, This was due to global expansion of European capitalism which emphasised trade based on the unequal terms and power structure. DT is girded in Marxist perspectives class analysis which became increasingly relevant for understanding the situation of underdeveloped countries.


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DT is hence more critical to the U. While PD saw the main causes of underdevelopment as domestic and internal to the developing nations themselves such as lack of political parties, interest groups, effective government etc. Proponents of Washington Consensus insisted that the internal political and economic arrangements in Africa and other developing countries created the disabling environment and slowed the rate of development Owusu in Smith, Under this architecture, the state has not only adopted market-driven policies such as privatization, deregulation, and liberalization, but also transformed the remaining public sectors into business-like entities in terms of role, structure, orientation and organizational culture Ibid.

While this mode of governance can easily function in developed countries, it has had many adverse outcomes to the Third World countries both internally and externally. Externally, the main concern is diminishing state sovereignty, worsening external dependence and expanding international inequality. In its initial meaning, Third World is termed as economically poor, politically powerless, and socially marginalized.

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The term was in fact grounded in the post- conjure of decolonization, national liberation and the Cold War Berger, In such an antagonistic geopolitical context, Third World inevitably became political, expressing the attractions of keeping a neutral position, or finding a third way between the capitalist and communist camp —Non Aligned Movement NAM Payne, Despite the NAM attempts, most nationalist movements and Third World regimes had diplomatic, economic and military relations with one or both of the superpower, e.

However, from a modernization perspective especially in s, the emphasis was more on economics. Under a dependency school of thoughts, especially in s, the world system approach used different vocabulary, i. As Payne noted, the overall approach was still based on a bipolar analysis. In the s, the world setting was characterized by the notion of a North-South divide.

This was mostly a divide between the northern and southern hemispheres, separating North America from South America, Europe from Africa, and North Asia from South Asia, deviating only to draw Australia and New Zealand into the economic and political north Payne, Today, most textbooks in comparative politics have traditionally been organized according to two main categories based on the dependency i.

Nevertheless, since early s, following the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the end of Cold War and the intensification of globalization, the notion of the Third World has been challenged by many scholars. Ma , have raised doubts on the validity of the threeworld taxonomy i. On the other hand, there are countries formerly classified as less developed, but which are becoming rapidly industrialized. These countries underwent rapid industrial growth in the s and s, attracting significant financial investment, and are now associated with hightechnology industries.

More recently, Thailand, China, and Malaysia have been classified as newly industrializing countries.

He argues that the transition from authoritarian to democratic regime in Third World should bring with it a revival of the original spirit of Bandung7. In view of the spirit of Bandung, Cho argues that the only challenge facing the Third World it is to look at how it related to the current globalization context.

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Cho proposes that Third World states have to put an emphasis on strengthening national sovereignty, in the way of recovering the manoeuvring power of the nationstate and emphasizing that nation-state-centred strategy is still basic and important. Vicky Randall in Berger argues that Third World still retains its strategic relevance in some geopolitical circumstances. The summit of the NAM of which majority of them are Third World countries in Havana, Cuba showed that the Third World countries are asking for a bigger say in world affairs.

Profound and fruitful debates were held, in an atmosphere of true understanding, unity and cohesion, which allowed for the adoption of documents of crucial importance to the future of the Non-Aligned Movement. The authors of this paper would prefer other terms such as - developing countries or emerging nations simply because of their optimistic view on the Third World. Globalization has become a key concept in the social sciences Kiely, and a new regime of truth from the s Blackmore, While the concept of globalization is not new, it is only since the end of the Cold War that the term has been under the analytical spotlight Haynes, Globalization is typically described as increased economic, cultural, environmental and social interdependencies and new transnational financial and political formations arising out of the mobility of capital, labour and information, with both homogenizing and differentiating tendencies.

Globalization has transformed the relationship between political process and territorial, sovereign states, thus political responsibilities and practices commonly attributed to states have shifted to an international level Ougaard, This has resulted into an emergence of increasingly influential non-state actors e.

Thus, political decisions are increasingly made at the international level rather than local level. With the current global system, the ability to generate policy for multiple nations is vested to international institutions, since it is not within the boundaries of individual states any more. As Ougaad argues, this ability has become increasingly important in dealing with the most pressing global issues facing states such as climatic change, pandemic diseases, increased migration, proliferation of poverty, economic recession, the spread of weapons, terrorism, and resource scarcity.

However, globalization as described by Mittelman is a highly contested domain thus no absolute lines for demarcating it. In fact, there are diverse interpretations with regard to the meaning, intensity, dimension, extent, cause, and consequence of globalization in existing literature Haque, According to this author, the concept of globalization seems to presuppose a stratification and compartmentalization on one hand, and transgress this stratification and compartmentalization on another hand.

Bartelson, Conversely, social theorists refer globalization as a part of interlocking and long-term social processes beginning in early modernity. As Bohman noted, the social fact of globalization proves exemplary since it can be experienced from different perspectives and as such can best be understood in a multiperspectival practical inquiry into the framework of decision-making and problem solving.

Van Der Bly makes the same claim that, the current sociological concept of globalization is open to various interpretations which offer both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage on the other side arises on the confusion resulting from this broad and yet undefined and implicit points of reference.

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Thus, globalization is a state of betweenness from modernity to postmodernity which according to him is not yet complete. Munck explores another view which sees globalization as a new imperialism. This author argues that globalization has led not to a levelling of social and economic conditions worldwide but to a dramatic increase in social exclusion within and between nation-states.

Vilas argues on the same trail that, from historical perspective, globalization is the present stage of economic imperialism.

Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework / Edition 6

According to this author, globalization transforms the market place into the universal mechanism for economic regulation and accentuates and complicates international and internal inequalities. Consequently, Chilcote argues that globalization can only be as a manifestation of imperialism and devastating capitalist order. Although globalization is new phenomenon, I agree with many scholars that its intensification especially after the Cold War, has transformed the economic, social, political and cultural aspects in the contemporary world.

In modern political science, state theory and analysis is mainly dominated by two traditions: one derived from Marx and Engel and the second one from Max Weber. For Weber, the modern state is a compulsory association with a territorial base; legitimate by its members and run by an impersonal bureaucratic staff; in the context of legal administrative order; regulated and limited by legislation and representative government Leftwich, The fundamental assumption of the modern state proposes that public offices should not be used for private gain and that occupancy should entail no powers of private patronage in support of any particular private client base.

By and large, Weberian conception of the modern state and bureaucracy has been central debates in empirical democratic theory and public administration and policy. However, this was, to a great extent, caused by colonial rulers. With exception of Japanese rule in Korea, the rest of colonial rulers in developing countries were not developmental in a sense, but intended for extraction of riches and raw materials as their focalgoal. Accordingly, after independence, many states in developing world have had great trouble in establishing their supremacy and maintaining sovereignty within their borders and in relation to regional and international political forces.

Most of them aspired to combine the best in their own traditions of governance to oversee social, political and economic development. Thus, the wide variation among states in the developing world is based on: the nature of the precolonial polities; the economic purpose of colonial rule; the characteristics of the colonial state institutions; socio-political groups which dominates these institutions and; the manner of incorporation of pre-colonial political processes and institutions in the systems of colonial and post-colonial rule Leftwich, The theory and practice of state in developing countries vary from country to country and time to time.

Hence, different countries will inevitably confront very different historical circumstances and developmental challenges, something that makes generalisation more difficult. According to him, aplan rational or developmental state was one that was dogged to influence the direction and pace of economic development by directly intervening in the development process, rather than relying on the uncoordinated influence of market forces to allocate economic resources. This form of state is well known for its capacity to define, pursue and implement developmental strategies which can and do overrule class, regional or sectoral interests in the reputed national interests.

It involves a much closer symbiosis between state and private sectors, but with autonomy, effectiveness and legitimacy. Historically, this form of state can be traced back to Bismarckian Germany and Meiji Japan. Generally, this form of states maintain a control of public good, an arena of public space in which citizens can debate common problems and attempt to achieve a common goal.

Moving to globalization and state, Hirst and Thompson , akin to other scholars, propose that the contemporary globalization suggests that certain if not all traditional powers of the state are declining. In a similar vein, Habermas explores the idea of weakening of the nation-state. He suggests that state can no longer count on its own forces to provide its citizens with adequate protection from the external effects of decisions taken by other actors. Kahler in Katznelson and Milner argues that, globalization has brought about the increased influence of nongovernmental organizations that have international allies.

According to him, this shift in bargaining power between states and non-state actors leads those pessimistic about the effects of globalization on the state to accentuate declining state capabilities, whatever the national policies pursued. The critical question for discussion in this paper is; which state is losing power?

It might be true that a state like Zambia is losing power, but is US or UK losing power in capitulate to globalization or rather gaining more power? To me, this sounds like a cover for an imperialistic strategy, where America and many of states of the Global Northare chief beneficiaries of globalization at the expense of the Global South.

Lentner claims that with the idea of globalization, liberal states maintain dominant positions in the international system, managing international political economy through coordinated and largely institutionalized action, where the US remains central and hegemonic within this arrangement p.

Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework
Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework Comparative Politics Today: A Theoretical Framework

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