In the first collection of interviews with the most prominent scholars in comparative politics since World War II, Gerardo L. Munck and Richard Snyder trace key developments in the field during the twentieth century. Organized around a broad set of themes—intellectual formation and training; major works and ideas; the craft and tools of research; colleagues, collaborators, and students; and the past and future of comparative politics—these in-depth interviews offer unique and candid reflections that bring the research process to life and shed light on the human dimension of scholarship. Giving voice to scholars who practice their craft in different ways yet share a passion for knowledge about global politics, Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics offers a wealth of insights into contemporary debates about the state of knowledge in comparative politics and the future of the field.
Drawing on years of academic research on democracy and measurement and practical experience evaluating democratic practices for the United Nations and the Organization of American States, the author presents constructive assessment of the methods used to measure democracies that promises to bring order to the debate in academia and in practice. He makes the case for reassessing how democracy is measured and encourages fundamental changes in methodology. He has developed two instruments for quantifying and qualifying democracy: the UN Development Programme's Electoral Democracy Index and a case-by-case election monitoring tool used by the OAS.
Democratization and Research Methods is a coherent survey and critique of both democratization research and the methodology of comparative politics. The two themes enhance each other: the democratization literature illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of various methodological approaches, and the critique of methods makes sense of the vast and bewildering democratization field. Michael Coppedge argues that each of the three main approaches in comparative politics - case studies and comparative histories, formal modeling and large-sample statistical analysis - accomplishes one fundamental research goal relatively well: 'thickness', integration and generalization, respectively. Throughout the book, comprehensive surveys of democratization research demonstrate that each approach accomplishes one of these goals well but the other two poorly. Chapters cover conceptualization and measurement, case studies and comparative histories, formal models and theories, political culture and survey research, and quantitative testing. The final chapter summarizes the state of knowledge about democratization and lays out an agenda for multi-method research.
Pluralism at Yale: The Culture of Political Science in America explores the relationship between personal experience and academic theories of American politics. Through a detailed examination of the Yale University Department of Political Science between 1955 and 1970, including interviews with many of the political scientists involved, this book traces the way "pluralism," a predominately optimistic theory of American democracy which the Yale department helped to develop in those years, helped to support the American political regime. Merelman also analyzes the impact of social and political events on the decline of Yale pluralism and describes pluralism's continued political relevance today. Included are discussions of McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War.
It is often said that effective government requires a concentration of power. If we want our political leaders to adjust public policies to changing economic, social, and political circumstances, we should, in this view, leave our leaders alone: we should put in place electoral procedures that identify a clear winner in each election, and then we should let the winning political party govern without having to cooperate with others. The argument of this book is that this view is mistaken, since it seriously underestimates the ability of political decision makers to overcome democratic paralysis by compensating losers (groups that stand to lose from a reform). Reform capacity - the ability of political decision makers to adopt and implement policy changes that benefit society as a whole - can therefore be achieved in both power-concentration systems (which enable governments to ignore losers) and power-sharing systems (where governments build support for reform by compensating losers). If political decision makers are able to solve the bargaining problems that sometimes complicate negotiations between winners and losers, power-sharing systems have certain advantages over power-concentration systems. The book argues that power sharing can lead to high reform capacity in societies where interest groups are powerful enough to block reforms; the book also argues that power sharing can lead to high reform capacity when reforms have short-term costs and long-term benefits, since power sharing helps to correct some of the short-sightedness that is inherent in democratic policymaking.
the political culture of the Netherlands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Author: Piet de Rooy
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Category: Political Science
In this survey of the Dutch political culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Piet de Rooy reveals that the “polder model” often used to describe economic and social policymaking based on consensus is a myth. Instead, modern political culture in the Dutch Low Countries began with a revolution and is rife with rivalries among political and ideological factions. De Rooy argues that because of its extremely open economy, the country is vulnerable to external political, cultural, and economic pressures, and Dutch politics is a balancing act between profiting from international developments and maintaining sovereignty. The sudden rise of populism and Euroscepticism at the turn of the millennium, then, indicated a loss of this balance. Shining new light on the political culture of the Netherlands, this book provides insights into the polder model and the principles of pillarization in Dutch society.
The usefulness and political implications of Area Studies programs are currently debated within the Academy and the Administration, where they are often treated as one homogenous and stagnant domain of scholarship. The essays in this volume document the various fields’ distinctive character and internal heterogeneity as well as the dynamism resulting from their evolving engagements with funders, US and international politics, and domestic constituencies. The authors were chosen for their long-standing interest in the intellectual evolution of their fields. They describe the origins and histories of US-based Area Studies programs, highlighting their complex, generative, and sometimes contentious relationships with the social science and humanities disciplines and their diverse contributions to the regions of the world with which they are concerned.