Comparative Politics and the Choice of the Political Regimes

Basic aspects of the comparative politics for comparative analysis

Comparison – the usual way of thinking. There is even a phrase:

«All is learnt in comparison»

Even the knowledge of the man himself is through the knowledge of other people. The French scientist-comparativist, Dogan argues that the political sociology should be comparative.

Elements of comparativism can be found already in Plato and Aristotle (criteria of differentiation of the political systems). Highlighting the reasons for the use of comparison in political science, Tom Mackey and David Marsh wrote:

«the Main reason for the comparative study reflects the basic nature of social scientific research; it almost always is unable to use the experimental method… More specifically, we can identify two main reasons, why the comparative analysis is significant: firstly, to avoid ethnocentrism in the analysis, secondly, to compile, verify and, accordingly, to reformulate theory and related concepts and hypotheses about the relationship between political phenomena».[1]

Political scientists originally approached comparative politics through the study of political institutions. Comparative politics is essentially about comparing patterns of politics in different countries and is valid once we can show that institutions (their design and operation) do follow patterns.[2] Some models, the US, for example, have shaped the institutions of other countries and comparative politics can be the study of how this system operates in different contexts.

The character of political society cannot be explained without taking into consideration how government institutions work.[3] Group politics, social forces and economic changes may all have an impact upon what governments do, but the rules of government itself cannot be reduced to social forces or economic interests.

The legal and institutional structure of any society will be independently influential in determining the character of its power relationships.[4] These power relationships will, in turn, have a considerable impact on people’s political, social and economic behavior.

In the framework of such an approach appears the chance to adequately cover the key to the typology of political systems issues such as the types and models of democracy and dictatorship; the horizontal and vertical, functional and territorial division of authorities and the essential characteristics and forms of the states and its most important institutions (legislative, executive, judicial, administrative apparatus); the ratio of categories, etc.[5]

The answer to these questions gives a comparative measurement of different political systems, on the basis of which is their typology. If you look only on some one side of the analysis (level of administration or the level of democracy and the structure of state bodies or mechanism of the formation of authorities, etc). it can create a distorted picture of the political system and lead to an error concerning its type.[6]


 The choice of the political regimes: could it be closely connected with the economic development?

There is no doubt that the level and nature of the economic system of any state depends largely on and predetermine by the political environment: the form of political government and the political regime, the nature of the political power and the level of its legitimacy, the level of development of civil society, the personality of the political leader of the country, the composition of the political elite, the degree of development of the political system of the country and etc.[7]

Practically there is no such political movement, which does not reflect the economic interests, or the economic system, in the preservation of which the political order is advocated would be the most important factor.

The political system of a society cannot function normally, without an appropriate economic security of political processes. Practice shows that the impact of the economic system on the political, manifests itself in many ways. Firstly, the coming to power of this or that politician, or the party (political bloc) is predetermined by the program of economic activities that they undertake to implement in the case of the acquisition of power.[8]

It is impossible not to notice, that in modern democratic countries the leaders (political parties) who have come to power are required to perform and, as a rule, carry out the economic program that was putted in the course of pre-election struggle. And many of the candidates, who proposed new economic transformations, won the elections.

The influence of the economic system on the political, manifests itself in the fact that the level and state of development of the economy initiate and stimulate the also-politically-directed processes and activities: the reform, restructuring, etc.[9] The low level of economic development of the country, and especially the crisis in the economy give rise to state-political measures aimed at lifting the economy out of the crisis condition. The high level of economic development of the country also does not leave policy indifferent.[10]

There are several states with a relatively high level of life of the people, in general with prosperous economics, which in the form of the rule relate to the absolute monarchies. The reason for success lies in the fact that these countries belong to the producers of crude oil. It is known, for example, that a lot of countries `with outstanding economic performance kept stable authoritarian system. Among them are… Spain, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and a number of other`. [11]

The studies of the western experts show that, the transition to a democratic regime (its pace and scope) largely depends on the level of economic development and organization of the economic system of the state. There are some regularities:

1) for the transition to a democratic political regime, the most favorable the decentralized economy with the limited control of the government, respectively least favorable conditions are at a rigid system of state rule of economy;
2) the higher base level of economic development, the easier the country stands on the path of democratic changes.[12]

Various political regimes dictate different types of organization and functioning of the economic sphere.
So, the totalitarian regime in the former USSR conformed to the planned from the center the economic system.[13] This in itself assumed the absence of private ownership that is public property in its two forms – the government’s and kolkhoz-cooperative.

China, Russia and Germany have proven that democracy is not at all the cause of economic growth and have made great strides without democracy. Russia and China is well do without democracy, rejecting and condemning Western political model. Modern democratic nation become democratic only when their economic growth reached its peak and went into decline.[14] And the example of China proves that democracy is not a necessary condition for economic development.[15]


[1]Cравнительная политология. для бакалавров : [учебное пособие по направлению подготовки 030200 “Политология”]

[2] Comparative politics. Institutions as a basis for comparison. B. Kissane, G. Philip. 2011

[3] Ibid page 15

[4] Ibid page 15

[5] Сравнительная политология. (В.М Долгов)

[6] Сравнительная политология. (В.М Долгов)

[7] Влияние экономики на политические процессы в обществе.

[8] Влияние экономики на политические процессы в обществе.

[9] Влияние экономики на политические процессы в обществе.

[10] Курс политологии: Учебник.-2-е изд., испр. и доп.-М.: ИНФРА-М, 2002.   С.289

[11] Международный журнал социальных наук. М., 1993. С.6.

[12] Курс политологии: Учебник.-2-е изд., испр. и доп.-М.: ИНФРА-М, 2002. С.315.

[13] Политические режимы.

[14] Политические режимы.

[15] Развитие невозможно без демократии.


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