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Comparative Politics

Department of Political Science
Case Western Reserve University

(Revised October 2003) ***The faculty is currently revising this list. The version posted here provides a sense of some of the material that will be included after revision, but some will be dropped and other material added.***

M.A students are expected to be able to explain, critique, integrate, and apply the arguments in the works listed below.

REGIME TYPE

Max Weber. “Politics as a Vocation.” In From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, edited by Hans Heinrich Gerth and C. Wright Mills, 77-128. New York: Oxford University Press, 1946. Read 77-83.

Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski. “The General Characteristics of Totalitarian Dictatorship.” In Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, edited by Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski, 3-13. New York: Praeger, 1956.

H. E. Chehabi and Juan J. Linz. “A Theory of Sultanism 1: A Type of Nondemocratic Rule,” 3-25. In Sultanistic Regimes, edited by H. E. Chehabi and Juan J. Linz. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Read 7, 10-23.

Robert Alan Dahl. Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971. “Concepts” [part], 1-6.

DEMOCRATIZATION

Seymour Martin Lipset. “Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy,” 69-105.American Political Science Review 53, no. 1 (1959). Read 75-85.

Giuseppe Di Palma. To Craft Democracies: An Essay on Democratic Transitions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. “Rethinking Some Hard Facts”[part], “Why Transferring Loyalties to Democracy May Be Less Difficult Than We Think,” 1-9, 27-43.

Barrington Moore. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1966. “England and the Contributions of Violence to Gradualism” [part], 3-20, 29-39.

REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS AND REVOLUTIONS

Jeff Goodwin. No Other Way Out: States and Revolutionary Movements, 1945-1991. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. “Comparing Revolutionary Movements” [part], “The State-Centered Perspective on Revolutions: Strengths and Limitations” [part], 3-31, 35-50.

PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVISM

Joan M. Nelson. “Political Participation.” In Understanding Political Development, edited by Myron Weiner and Samuel P. Huntington, 103-159. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, Inc., 1987. Read 103-149.

Sidney G. Tarrow. Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action, and Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. “Introduction” [part],” “Collective Action and Social Movements,” “Seizing and Making Opportunities,” “Framing Collective Action,” “Mobilizing Structures,” 3-16, 9-27, 81-99, 118-134, 135-150.

STATES AND STATE-BUILDING

Juan J. Linz. The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Crisis, Breakdown and Reequilibration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978. 16-23

Stephen Krasner. “Approaches to the State: Alternative Conceptions and Historical Dynamics.” Comparative Politics (1984), 223-246.

Theda Skocpol. “Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research.” In Bringing the State Back In, edited by Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, 3-37. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Michael Mann. The Sources of Social Power: The Rise of Classes and Nation-States, 1760-1914. Vol. II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986, 59-60.

Charles Tilly. “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime.” In Bringing the State Back In, edited by Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, 169-191. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Lisa Anderson. “The State in the Middle East and North Africa.” Comparative Politics 20, no. 1 (1987), 1-18.

POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS

Samuel P. Huntington. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968. “Political Order and Political Decay,” 1-92.

ETHNIC CONFLICT AND PEACE

Anthony D. Smith. National Identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1991. Section defining ethnicity, 20-23.

Stuart J. Kaufman. Modern Hatreds : The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. New York: Cornell University Press, 2001. 17-29.

Donald L. Horowitz. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. “Structural Techniques to Reduce Ethnic Conflict,” “Preferential Policies to Reduce Ethnic Conflict,” 601-652, 653-680.

THE COMPARATIVE METHOD

Arend Lijphart. “Comparative Politics and Comparative Method.” American Political Science Review 65, no. 3 (1971), 682-693.


STUDY QUESTIONS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS

These questions are to help you learn the material. Exam questions may differ substantially.

1. What type of legitimacy do the leaders in each of the following societies likely have―a parliamentary democracy, a tribal community, and a populist dictatorship?

2. How have Marxist explanations of revolution changed over time? What causes revolutions according to Marx, and what causes revolutions according to later Marxists? Why did Marxist theory evolve?

3. Are crafting or socioeconomic theories of democratization more accurate? How can they be combined?

4. How do you define political participation? How has the definition changed over time? Provide concrete examples of the changes.

5. Explain the terms primordial, situational, and instrumental in the context of ethnicity and provide examples.

6. What is a state? How has the definition of the state evolved? What are its main functions?

7. How did nation-states develop? Why are they the organizing unit of the international system?

8. What does modernization mean and what, if anything, can it explain?

9. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the comparative method?

10. How does the type of governance in a country influence politics within its borders? Specifically, examine how the following political phenomena―revolutionary movements and revolutions, participation and activism, and ethnic conflict and peace―differ among democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian regimes.

11. How do economics influence politics? Specifically, consider the role that economic factors play in the following political phenomena―revolutionary movements and revolutions, democratization, participation and activism, ethnic conflict and peace, and state-building.

12. How do masses and elites influence politics within a country? Specifically, distinguish between the roles of masses and elites in the following political phenomena―revolutionary movements and revolutions, democratization, ethnic conflict and peace, and state-building.

13. How does culture influence politics? Specifically, consider the role that cultural factors play in the following political phenomena―revolutionary movements and revolutions, democratization, participation and activism, ethnic conflict and peace, and state-building.

14. How do institutions influence politics? Specifically, consider the role that institutions play in the following political phenomena―revolutionary movements and revolutions, democratization, participation and activism, ethnic conflict and peace, and state-building.

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