Comparative Politics–Paper One Assignment

Here is the prompt for the first paper in Comparative. The state is an extremely important concept in comparative politics and we will refer to it and its characteristics again and again over the course of the semester. As such, it is important to develop a strong understanding of the state as a concept, and it is, therefore, the topic of the first paper assignment.

Introduction to Comparative Politics Paper 1

O’Neil writes that while many different types of political organization have existed throughout orld history, the

globe is now clearly demarcated by only one type of political organization–the state–that over the past few hundred years has displaced vitually all other political structures. Almost no inhabitable territory or people on the face of the earth is not claimed by some state.

For this paper, please select two states as the subject of your paper, one of which is s developed state and the other of which is a “Top-40” state on the Failed States Index (i.e. it falls in either the red or orange categories). Your task is to comparatively analyze the nature of the state in each of these two states. I want you to mostly describe (i.e., what, where, when, etc.), but also explain (how, why) the similarities and differences between the state in these two states by answering the following questions:

  • When was the state formed? How was it formed? That is, was it formed through revolution, secession, de-colonization, etc.
  • What is the nature of the current ruling regime (democratic, authoritarian), how long has this regime been in place, and does this state have a tendency to rotate types of regime frequently?
  • The nature of the government? Do governments tend to last? Are they replaced democratically?
  • Assess the nature of the legitimacy of the regime. Is the regime seen as legitimate? On which of the three Weberian ideal-types of legitimacy does the legitimacy of the regimes mostly rest?
  • Is this state centralized or decentralized?
  • Is the state strong and does it have high capacity? What kinds of evidence have you used to support the previous claim?
  • Lastly, is state autonomy high or low? Please explain.

Please use chapter 2 of the O’Neil book (Essentials of Comparative Politics) as a source for the paper. For information related to your specific states, you will have to consult at least 3 other academically reputable sources. Note that this means Google1 is not your friend here!! This will entail a trip down to the library by foot, or a virtual trip to the library’s electronic resources. In addition, pleaes avail yourself of the many posts on my link to resources that collect data on different aspects of the state. Finally, use the course page at the Library’s website for further sources to use, such as Country Watch.
Your paper should be 4 − 5 pages long, double-spaced on 8.5X11 − inch paper, with 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and the sides. The paper must be written in Times Roman 12pt. The paper is due electronically via Digital Dropbox in Blackboard by the beginning of class on…

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