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Comparative Politics QA

Previous Year Questions

  1. Discuss the subject matter of comparative politics. Outline the limitations of comparative political analysis. [2020/10m/150w/1a]
  2. Examine the significance of the comparative method in political analysis. Discuss its limitations. [2019/20m/250w/2a]
  3. Describe the changing nature of comparative politics. Briefly explain the Political Economy approach to the study of comparative politics. [2018/10m/150w/1a]
  4. Explain the Political-Sociological approach in the field of comparative politics and discuss its limitations. [2017/10m/150w/1a]
  5. Critically examine the Marxist aspect of Political Economy approach to the study of comparative politics. [2016/10m/150w/1a]
  6. Which are the major approaches of comparative politics? Explain in brief, the Political Economy approach to the study of comparative inquiry. [2015/10m/150w/1a]
  7. Discuss David Easton’s model of systems analysis. [2015/15m/200w/paper 1/4c]
  8. “Examining political phenomena through a process of cross-global investigation has become the fundamental function of Comparative Politics.” Discuss. [2012/12/150/1a]
  9. Elucidate the transdisciplinary nature of modern comparative politics and identify the contributions of political sociologists towards this goal. [2012/15m/200w/3d]
  10. “Structural-functional approach to political analysis focuses more on status quoism, and less on change.” Elucidate. [2011/30m/3]
  11. How is the modern comparative politics approach different from the traditional legal-institutional approach? [2010/20m/200w/1a]
  12. How does comparative political sociology help in understanding the socio political process of different countries of the world ? [2008/20m/200w/1c]
  13. Examine the relevance of the Political Economy approach to the study of comparative politics. [2007/20m/200w/1a]
  14. Write a short note on input-output functions of the political system. [2006/20m/200w/1b]
  15. Do you agree with the view that Political culture of a society is a highly significant aspect of the Political System? Give reasons in support of your answer. [2006/60m/3]
  16. Critically evaluate the nature of the capitalist model of development and its usefulness and limitations for developing countries. [2005/60m/3]
  17. Comment on the importance and limitations of the Political Economy Approach. [2004/20m/200w/1a]
  18. Discuss the structural-functional analysis of politics. [1998/60m/6]

Exercise Questions.

  1. Examine the significance of comparative method in political analysis. Discuss its limitations.
  2. Describe the changing nature of comparative Politics. Briefly explain the Political Economy approach to the study of comparative Politics.
  3. Explain the political-sociological approach in the field of comparative politics and discuss its limitations.
  4. Critically examine the Marxist aspect of political economy approach to the study of comparative politics.
  5. Which are the major approaches of comparative politics? Explain in brief the political economy approach to the study of comparative politics.
  6. Elucidate the trans-disciplinary nature of modern comparative politics and identify the contributions of political sociologists toward this goal.
  7. Examining political phenomenon through a process of cross-global investigation has become the fundamental function of comparative politics. Discuss.

Sample Answers

1] Examine the significance of comparative method in political analysis. Discuss its limitations.

Comparison is at the heart of analysis. And comparative politics is one of the core subjects in political science. Comparative politics means comparing politics of different states. Not just governments and constitutions, but also social, economic forces influencing politics of a state.
Comparative politics make the enterprise more scientific. In comparison meaning is searched. Natural sciences have the luxury of laboratory conditions. In politics comparative politics serve the purpose of laboratory for the discipline.

By comparison at micro level, one learns about politics of different countries. It helps us to understand politics of our country in better way. The study allows us to understand best practices and mistakes done by other states. Thus it can be incorporated/avoided from politics of our country e.g. institution of Lokpal in India is inspired from Ombudsman institutions in Scandinavian countries.
The comparison also allows us to verify/reject/modify political theories. When certain assumption works universally, it establishes its’ authenticity. Comparative politics increases the objectivity of our research and avoids the criticism of being ethnocentric
.
How different institutions work under different circumstances can be understood by observing their functioning in different circumstances.

However, comparative politics is not a one stop solution. The culture, society, economy of every state is unique. Thus same institutions behave differently under these circumstances. Something which works for one country may not work for someone else e.g. democracy may be best form of govt. in West, but in country like Iraq, it may lead to anarchy and chaos.
Comparative politics also lack from ‘out of the box’ solutions to the problems. Since it mostly focuses on existing practices and their comparison. Innovations seldom come from comparison.


Nonetheless comparative politics remains a highly useful branch of political science. And its utility cannot be overstated.

2] Describe the changing nature of comparative Politics. Briefly explain the Political Economy approach to the study of comparative Politics.

Comparative politics is as old as politics and see the origin of comparative politics in the works of Aristotle.
The discipline has witnessed lot of changes throughout history. Until mid 18th century the method of comparison was largely normative and philosophical. The outcome of studies were a blueprint and prescriptions for the future of state.
With establishment of democracies in the west, from 18th century the focus shifted to study of constitutions and statues (legal-institutional approach). Tt focused exclusively on western countries since rest of the world was colony and had no independent system.
After 2nd World War, many new countries (former colonies) were established. In these states, there was difference between theory and practice, text and context. Social structure played a prominent role in these states and the study of constitution was not sufficient. Legal institutional approach was found inadequate. This gave rise to many Modern comparative approaches. Political sociology and Political economy being prominent amongst them.

Political economy approach focuses on the issues at interaction of economy and politics. It analyzes the macroeconomic policies of state. The role played by various political organs like bureaucracy, judiciary, legislature in formulation and implementation of such policies.
It even studies the tariff structures of state and the influence of domestic and international factors in determining these.
Political economy approach is widely used. It have advantage of being quantitative as well as prescriptive. And there are lot of variations in political economy. Liberal scholars like Adam Smith support laissez faire model of economy. While Marxist scholars suggest common ownership of means of production.

The disadvantage of political economy approach is that it focuses only on economics and hence cannot be used alone. It should be used with other approaches for broader and better understanding
.

3] Explain the political-sociological approach in the field of comparative politics and discuss its limitations.

Comparative politics deals with comparing politics of different countries. Several new methods have developed in the field with evolution of politics.
After 2nd World War, traditional methods of comparison were found inadequate for analysis of 3rd world countries. This gave rise to development of modern comparative approaches, including political-sociology.

The approach focuses on the issues lying at the interface of politics and society. In modern times Marx can be considered as political sociologist, who suggested the role played by basic structure of society in determining politics (superstructure).
Political-sociology discusses on how society affects politics. It tries to understand the interaction between decision making institutions and conflictual social forces. How the informal political institutions like interest groups, social movement operate and exercise power. How various divisive forces like caste, class, race etc. play role in politics (identity politics) and power. For example Paul Brass has studied the role of religion in Indian politics.

There are 3 main approaches in political sociology. Pluralists focus on the role played by public opinion, interest groups and social movements in politics. Elitist like Weber focus on role played by elites, which in modern times are considered as people with leadership and organisational capabilities. Marxist, on the other hand suggest that the capitalist, propertied class sets the agenda and exercises power in politics.

Although the political-sociology approach is quiet popular, there are certain limitations. It emphasises too much on society. So much so that there is fear of discipline getting submerged in sociology. Theda Skockpol calls for ‘bringing the state back in’.
This approach neglects the role played by economic factors. Factors like poverty, profit maximisation etc.
Further the method also undermines the role played by institutions in shaping politics. Not just society, but institutions and structure also put some restrain on behaviour of actors.

But we can say that politics is too complex. There are multiple forces at play. Single approach is never sufficient for analysis. Political-sociology can be used with other approaches for comprehensive understanding.

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Anchika

Transdisciplinary page 2

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Anchika

Page 1-Transdisciplinary question

Transdisciplinary 1.jpg
Anchika

Thanks !

Anchika

Page 3

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Anchika

Page 2

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Anchika

My introduction remain long this time too. I will make it short next time.
Part 1

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Anchika

Thanks 🙂