Comparative Politics Memo

Subject: Political
Type: Synthesis Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 582
Topics: International Relations, Public Policy


According to Margate Levi (2009)’s reconsiderations of rational Choice in comparative and Historical analysis, rational and intentional actors generate collective outcome and aggregate behavior that are often socially suboptimal and personally undesirable. The author argues that comparative and historical rational choices demand theoretically informed empirical investigations. The author asserts that comparatives are drawn to deep immersion in cultures and countries, and they have been inspired using field works and interviews while relying on the game theory. Timothy Lim (2010), on the other hand, maintains that the state of havoc witnessed in the current world politics have a stake in comparative politics. The author maintains that comparative politics provides a ready array of conceptual and analytical framework that can be used to address and answer a wide range of questions about the social world. The author points that as a subject of study, comparative politics focuses on the understanding and explaining political phenomenon that takes place in the society, state, country or political system.

Geddes (1990) points that like in other subfields of political science; comparative politics has norms and conventions about what constitutes an appropriate research strategy and the kind of evidence that makes an argument to be persuasive. The author maintains that there are consequences of violating the taboo, and this has to do with comparative history. The author concludes that accumulation of theoretical knowledge in comparative politics calls for a need to change the conventions governing the kind of evidence that are regarded as theoretically relevant.  Ira Katznelson (2009) on his part argue that there has been a robust and unanticipated revival of writing based on huge comparisons of big structures and large processes that exhibits substantive hope in comparative politics. According to the article on political and value change, comparative and empirical methods are critical in comparative politics. The article asserts that comparing institutions, countries and political environments of the past and present helps in developing understanding of future politics.

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Analysis of Doing Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Approaches and Issues

Timothy Lim (2010) develops a well-informed study that helps in the understanding of what comparative politics is, the advantages of comparative politics, thinking about the theories entailed in comparative politics, and the implications of democracy. Nevertheless, when comparing the polices of the developed countries and the developing countries in an attempt to understand the reasons why poor countries are poor, the author makes serious flaws by arguing that the political structure of the poor countries is the reason for the poverty levels in these countries. However, the truth of the matter is that the destiny of most of the poor countries was determined during the colonial periods, where the colonial masters planted a spirit of segregation through divide and rule. This has resultantly led to clashes and wars in most developing countries leading to their poor status.

To revive the status of the poor countries, a research project needs to be undertaken to understand the implication of multilateral support for these countries. This would assume the process of not only providing aid to the economic needs of these countries, but also engaging in the political structures of these nations, not with the view of determining the political system, but with the hope of ensuring that the political structures of the countries are at par with the rest of the world. This approach would be instrumental in creating democracy, the rule of law, and recognition of human rights, all which are recipes for economic prosperity.  

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  1. Barbara Geddes. (1990). How the Cases You Choose Affect the Answers You Get: Selection Bias in Comparative Politics.
  2. Ira Katznelson. (2009). Strong theory, Complex history. Structure and Configuration in comparative politics revisited. 
  3. Margaret Levi (2009). Reconsiderations of rational choice in comparative and Historical Analysis Political and value change
  4. Timothy Lim. (2010). Doing Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Approaches and Issues Second Edition 
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