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20 Cards in this Set

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Social Science
The study of people and the interactions between them; core principle is positivism: society is no different than nature, therefore society can be studied like nature by observing concrete, material phenomena
Comparative Politics
Comparison of similarities and differences among the world's states; goal is to find broad patterns which can help predict political events across a wide range of cases
Ladder of Abstraction
Refers to inverse correlation of connotation and denotation; If too many caveats are placed on a definition, the concept becomes too narrow; too few, and it becomes meaningless, allowing totally different cases
Government
The political institution responsible for making binding decisions for the people it governs; esp. the highest level of said institutions
Governance
The act of making political decisions, not necessarily done by gov't; for example, NCAA decides its student athletes can't have salaries
Power
The capacity to produce intended effects; not necessarily the ability to make B do something he wouldn't normally do
Authority
Acknowledged right to rule/wield power; does not mean people recognize validity of decisions, just that they must obey
Legitimacy
When people recognize a gov't decision as right; decision can be legal/constitutional without being accepted as legitimate by public
Weber's Three Types of Authority
Traditional: based on customs and long-established ways of doing things (monarchy); Charismatic: based on intense support of leader and his message (many revolutionary leaders); Legal-rational: based on rules and procedures, following the office, not the person in it (bureaucracy)
Post-Colonial State
States formed from four waves of decolonization; CHARACTERISTICS: no effective governance, lack of governing experience, not fully developed, little int'l respect, multinational (many nat'l identities in single state)
Small N Problem
Too few similar states in the world make it difficult the independent variable responsible for a particular dependent variable
Selection Bias
The tendency to select cases for testing that do not adequately represent the group to which they belong (selection favors safer countries for study, familiar language, etc.); i.e. English speaking democracies are not representative of all democracies
Quantitative Analysis
Study of variables and how they correlate; goal is to find independent and dependent variables which can be used to make predictions in other states
State
Highest political entity ruling over territorially-bound society; has monopoly on legitimate use of force
Sovereignty
Ultimate source of authority in society, having final decision making power; unbound by higher power
Nation
Group of people sharing common culture or ethnicity; often associated with territorial homeland
Expansion and Restructuring of State
1789-1974: Expansion--state involvement in society goes up; welfare increased, border controls put in place, societies standardized; 1975-2000: Restructuring--welfare trimmed, state involvement in society decreases, income taxes reduced, some formerly gov't responsibilities turned over to private sector
Clash of Civilizations (Huntington)
Civilizations transcend states and are comprised of large groups of people sharing cultural identities; future conflicts will be between these civilizations
All Cultures are Not Equal (Brooks)
Theoretical Implication: underlying assumption is that culture determines everything; material circumstances are insignificant compared to cultural differences
Falsifiability
Ability of a theory to be proven wrong; theory can never be proven true (bird-X example); if theory can't be proven false, it can be applied to any case and thus has no value