CLAUSTRO, AGNETHA A.
BA POLITICAL SCIENCE IV
COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Comparative government and politics provides an introduction to the wide, diverse world of governments and political practices that currently exist in modern times. It focuses on specific countries; it also emphasizes an understanding of conceptual tools and methods that form a framework for comparing almost any governments that exist today. Additionally, it requires to go beyond individual political systems to consider international forces that affect all people in the world, often in very different ways. What is Comparative Government?
Most people understand that the term government is a reference to the leadership and institutions that make policy decisions for the country. However, what exactly is politics? Politics is basically all about power. Who has the power to make the decisions? How did they get the power? What challenges do leaders face from others; both inside and outside the country's borders & in keeping the power? So, as we look at different countries, we are not only concerned about the ins and outs of how the government works. We will also look at how power is gained, managed, challenged, and maintained. What and how countries should be studied and compared?
One approach is to emphasize empirical data based on factual statements and statistics, and another is to focus on normative issues that require value judgments. For example, the first approach might compare statistics that reflect economic development of a group of countries, including information about Gross National Product, per capita income, and amounts of imports and exports.
The second approach might not reject those statistics, but would focus instead on whether or not the statistics bode well or ill for the countries. Empiricists might claim that it is not the role of political scientists to make such judgments, and their critics would reply that such an approach leads to meaningless...
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