Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 2 - Question 2
90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 19-Nov-2018
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19-Nov-2018 - Question 2
Describe the changing nature of Comparative Politics, Briefly explain the Political Economy approach to the study of Comparative Politics. (150 words) - 2018
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Comparative politics is a methodological sub-discipline of political science , employing comparison as a method of political inquiry. According to John Blondel , it is the study of patterns of national government in contemporary world.
The changing nature of comparative politics.
The comparative politics has mainly two approaches traditional approach and modern approach.
So how comparative politics changed from tradition to comparative , same way the nature of comparative politics also changed.
It changed its nature from normative to scientific.
It shifted its focus from text to context. Just study of constitutions was not enough to understand politics.
Its research area shifted from developed world to developing world.
It also changed its nature from the study of governments to study of politics as system replaced state
Function substituted power , role substituted office and structure substituted institution. This substitution claimed to be solution to the problem of studying different categories of political systems
Change from traditional approach to modern approach also made it comparative in true sense since uniform west are more or less uniform. While , political structure in developing countries are multifunctional and culturally mixed.
It changed from status- quoist to dynamic, from value laden to factual analytic , from formalistic to comprehensive too.
Political economy approach
Political economy as defined by Friedrich Engels, in the widest sense, is the science of the laws governing the production and exchange of the material means of subsistence in human society. A Political Economy approach studies the effects of people's involvement in society as members of groups, and how that changes their ability to function. Comparative Politics employs Political Economy to focus on the interaction between institutions and human behaviour, the way in which the former shapes choices and how the latter change institutional frameworks.
Political economy, an inter-disciplinary approach involves economics and politics. It is the methodology of economics applied to the analysis of political behaviour & institutions. Since the institutions do not change considerable over time, a comparative perspective helps in identifying institutional influences on political behaviour as well as on social & economic outcomes. In comparative politics, political economy has participated in three major theoretical developments: -
It helped in establishing an analytical perspective to politics in which uncovering regularities, patterns & causal mechanisms are of primary interest rather then political orders.
Political economists provided path- breaking insights into the interaction b/w corporations & governments. It explains why policies in autocracies tend to differ from policies in democracies & government spending is higher in countries with proportional electoral system than in countries with majoritarian electoral system.
(iii) Political economists are at the forefront of explaining how government decisions are altered by the increase in global economic integrations.
Despite numerous studies proving the effectivity of Political Economy approach, there exists certain limitations which render its use only upto an extent. Political Economy Approach neglects understanding of Constitution, and Political Institutions by turning its focus to economic aspects of polity. Studies related to the approach uses nomenclature like North-South countries, Developing- Developed countries, Third world countries which has made political economy approach biased. The approach is normative, and specialized knowledge is needed for quantitative techniques utilized by it. Political Economy studies are costly due to sophistication, and due to such numerous faultlines, it can't give comprehensive understanding of the subject. Samuel Huntington exclaimed that challenge to reconcile economic determinism, with political determinism remains in this approach.
Adam Smith called Political Economy as that science for statesmen which leads to wealth & prosperity. The approach has now more than four hundred year old history and includes the works of French Physiocrats, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx, among others which despite limitations have led to emergence of conclusive findings beneficial for better understanding of politics.
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