Mod6 Discussion – Comparative Politics – Where are we going

| January 31, 2017

Where are we going? How will this course change or impact your life as you seek to live in a complex world of comparative politics? Focus your answer on just one of the following issues we discussed – Global Crisis, Global Warming, Globalization, Interdependence, Ways of Thinking.

Author Steven Levitsky frames comparative politics as an analysis of the international dimension of democratization. There are two sources of international influence: leverage, that is, governments’ vulnerability to western pressure, and linkage, that is, the density of economic, political, organizational, social, and communication ties between particular countries and the West.

Although both leverage and linkage raise the cost of authoritarianism, linkage contributes more consistently to democratization. Extensive linkage contributes to democratization even under unfavorable domestic conditions. Where linkage and leverage are low, external democratizing pressure is minimal, and domestic forces predominate. Where linkage is low but leverage high, external pressure is intermittent and partially effective.

As you have examined the world of comparative politics, how do you think leverage plays into the political frameworks we have examined throughout the course? Linkage?

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