Issues in Comparative Politics
Winter Term 1996
Erik Jones
Department of International Relations and European Studies
Central European University



Course Description

The purpose of this course is to examine the national state as a paradigm for philosophical inquiry, political organization and economic management. The course is divided into sections covering the philosophical basis of the state, popular participation and the organization of the state, the role of the state in the national economy, and the so-called 'crisis' of the state in advanced industrial society.

Students will meet three hours per week with an equal division of time between lecture and seminar. Lectures will be devoted to the presentation of theoretical materials, and seminars will incorporate specific national and/or historical case studies.

Students will be asked to prepare required readings (c. 100 pages / session), and will be given the option of preparing additional readings as well. Though highly recommended, preparation of additional readings is not necessary for satisfactory participation in the course.

Course grades will derive from a combination of short writing assignments (50 percent) and final examination (50 percent). There will be ten short writing assignments (c. 300 words) based on the weekly reading material. The final examination will last two hours, and will be open book.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction: Comparing Political and Economic Systems

Section I: The State and Scientific Realism.

Week 2: The State as a Paradigm for Political Organization.
Vincent (1987), Hall and Ikenberry (1989).

Week 3: The State as a Building Block for International Society.

Hoffmann (1968), Waltz (1979), Buzan (1993), Yost (1994).

Week 4: The Agent-structure Debate: Methodology, Metaphysics, or World-view.

Gourevitch (1978), Giddens (1979), Wendt (1987), Dessler (1989).


Section II: The Polity.

Week 5; Democratic Systems (Electoral).

Lijphart (1984), Mair (1990).

Week 6: Democratic Systems (Governmental).

Budge and Keman (1990), Laver and Schofield (1990).

Week 7: Value Change and the Democratic Electorate.

Inglehart (1990), Bartolini and Mair (1990).


Section III: The State and the Economy.

Week 8: The Keynesian Consensus.

Hall (1989).

Week 9: The Conservative Revolution.

Olson (1982), Dahrendorf (1988).

Week 10: Economic Interdependence.

Bryant (1980), Cooper (1968), Gilpin (1987).


Section IV: A Crisis of the State or a Crisis in the Study of Comparative Politics?

Week 11: McCarthy and Jones (1995), Chilcote (1994).
Reading list
Bartolini, Stefano and Peter Mair (1990). Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: The Stabilization of European Electorates 1885 - 1985. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bryant, Ralph C. (1980). Money and Monetary Policy in Interdependent Nations. Washington D.C.: Brookings.
Budge, Ian and Hans Kemen (1990). Parties and Democracy: Coalition Formation and Government Functioning in Twenty States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Buzan, Barry (1993). "From International System to International Society: Structural Realism and Regime Theory Meet the English School." International Organization 47:3 (Summer) 327-52.
Chilcote, Ronald H. (1994). Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered. (Boulder: Westview, Second Edition).
Cooper, Richard (1968). The Economics of Interdependence: Economic Policy in the Atlantic Community. New York: McGraw-Hill for the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dahrendorf, Ralph (1988). The Modern Social Conflict: An Essay on the Politics of Liberty. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Dessler, David (1989). "What's at Stake in the Agent Structure Debate?" International Organization 43:3 (Summer) 441-73.
Giddens, Anthony (1979). Central Problems in Social Theory: Action, Structure and Contradiction in Social Analysis. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Gilpin, Robert (1987). The Political Economy of International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Gourevitch, Peter (1978). "The Second Image Reversed: The International Sources of Domestic Politics." International Organization 32:4 (Autumn) 881-912.
Hall, John A. and G. John Ikenberry (1989). The State. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Hall, Peter editor (1989). The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism Across Nations. (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
Hayek, Friedrich A. (1960). The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Inglehart, Ronald (1990). Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Laver, Michael and Norman Schofield (1990). Multiparty Government: The Politics of Coalition in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lijphart, Arend (1984). Democracies: Patterns of Government in Twenty-one Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Mair, Peter editor (1990). The West European Party System. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McCarthy, Patrick and Erik Jones editors (1995). Disintegration or Transformation: The Crisis of the State in Advanced Industrial Society. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Olson, Mancur (1982). The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Vincent, Andrew (1987). Theories of the State. (London: Blackwell).
Waltz, Kenneth N. (1979). Theory of International Politics. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Publishing.
Wendt, Alexander E. (1987). "The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory." International Organization 41:3 (Summer) 335-70.
Yost, David S. (1994). "Political Philosophy and the Theory of International Relations." International Affairs 70:2 (April) 263-90.



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996


Jon_CompPol.W96IR.v2

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