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Madison defines factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and
promote their special economic interests and public opinions. Although these factions
are at odds with each other, they frequently work against the public interest, and infringe
upon the rights of others. J. Madison argues that the greatest vice of popular
government is its vulnerability to problems caused by factions who occasionally
undermine the rights of other citizens or the good of the whole. People are diverse by
nature, possessing different opinions, abilities, and resources. Because of this, they
generally have different interests at heart, interests which they will support, often at the
expense of others, if they are given the freedom to do so. Thus, human nature is prone
towards faction. When a faction gains of political power it is likely to: pursue its own
interest zealously, trample the rights of others and govern without concern for the
“public good”. There are two ways, Madison argues to eliminate this problem. First, the
causes of faction may be eliminated, or second, its effects may be controlled. There are
two ways of eliminating causes of faction: liberty which allows factions to form may be
eliminated, or people may be given identical interests, passions, and opinions. The
second, because of the diversity of human nature, is completely impossible. Therefore,
Madison concluded that factions arise out of human nature, and are rooted in human
liberty and the unequal distribution of property. So any attempt to eliminate them was
doomed to fail. “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire” – the inference to which we are
brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be
sought in the means of controlling its effects.
What is the role of factions in the democratic state or society? Pure democracies are
always spectacles of turbulence and contention. Since the causes of factions are
impossible to remove, the only solution to the problems caused by faction is in
controlling its effects. In a pure democracy, a minority faction poses a little threat
because it can be easily outvoted and suppressed. A majority faction, however, through
popular vote, has the power to completely control the government. Therefore,
modifications must be made to democratic government to keep the majority from
oppressing minority groups or acting against the good of nation. James Madison
created a sort of argument in federalist paper no.10 in which the smaller the society, the
fewer the distinct parties and interests, and the more frequently they will be a majority.
The smaller the number of individuals composing a majority and the smaller area they
inhabit, the more easily will they combine and execute their plans of oppression.
Consequently, Madison stated that “according to the degree of pleasure and pride we
feel in being the Republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and
supporting the character of Federalists.”


Comparative politics is much more learning about “foreign” countries. It is also a

systematic method for advancing knowledge about political systems and processes
more generally. This aspect involves comparing and contrasting across political
systems with the goal of generating and testing general theories of politics. Indeed, this
is the very essence of comparative politics. Comparative politics is an important aspect
of political science in that instead of studying how this country functions, it studies why
other countries around the world are the way they are. Thus, comparative politics is very
essential to help ourselves by allowing us to learn about other countries while escaping
the ethnocentric fallacy of the society.
What are the distinctions of comparative politics and international relations?
Comparative politics does not ignore external influences on internal structures, but its
ultimate concern is power configurations within political systems (Caramani, 2008). It is
often simply means studying foreign countries, the use of case studies and area
specialists. Comparing may focus on a small number of countries (two or more) or it
may attempt to incorporate the analysis of a very large range of countries. The intent of
comparative politics is a rigorous scientific and empirical field of study” description,
explanation, and prediction and thus, as what was stated a while ago it is much more
learning about foreign countries as well as its political systems and processes.
Therefore, comparing is to control as control means to test the hypothesis and
comparing is very essential as we help ourselves to be aware to such issues and how
these concerns be prevented.
International relations focus mainly on conflict in the world system and how to
prevent chaos from ensuing by managing power relations through the use of
deterrence. Foreign policy decision makers examine problems by equating five
variables namely: the societal and individual values of their state and that of the case
being examines, their own and the world’s understanding of the problem at hand, those
capabilities available on hand and what the goals of their nation in correlation to other
nations, the bureaucratic and organizational framework where decisions affecting
foreign affairs are constructed and how that individual defines the international system,
whether it may be bipolar, multipolar, classical balance of power, unilateral, etc.
international relations is like the philosophy of science as both are defined as, “a
symbolic construction, a series of inter-related constructs or concepts, together with
definitions, laws, theorems and axioms.”
Though there are differences between the two, comparative politics and
international relations are interconnected with each other as domestic politics may
influence foreign relations, which in turn may influence the domestic politics of a
respective nation-state. Existing linkages have been found to exist between external
and internal factors. Consequently, boundaries are evaporating between international
relations, which look at how the external actions of an actor affect those actions
undertaken by another actor.
The state is a central concept in the study and practice of the politics. Human society
predates the state. 200,000 years of human existence without the state. It arises at a
certain stage in social evolution: when human society becomes bigger, more complex,
more productive, more divided by private property and when the very existence of
society begins to require a special mechanism for coordination and use of social power.
The modern state arose between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, and it
spread to the rest of the world via conquest and colonialism. History is full of entities
that were called “states”. Yet, the modern state , has become the standard concept in
the West dates back to the early 19th century with Napoleon who created the modern
state of France. Before modern France that state was a loose body that did not have the
modern manifestation of common official language, separation between the state
structure and royalty family ties, no fixed borders or loyal citizens, and no patriotic
armies. Napoleon’s use of the French Revolution enabled him to create a sense of
“French Nationalism” coupled with a strong efficient French bureaucracy and army.
Therefore, modernization is a long, uneven, tumultuous and often violent process that
starts in Western Europe and gradually reshapes the world whereas, wars, intense
struggles for power, revolutions, colonial conquests, and of global markets occurs.
Given three definitive features (monopoly on force, legitimacy, territoriality) the modern
state plays a crucial role. As Europe enters the Modern Age in the 15th-16th centuries,
the state exists in its traditional forms: city-states, feudal systems patrimonial empires,
etc. the new type of state, the modern state, gradually emerges (through evolution and
revolution) to manage the transition to modernity.
The following are the features which distinguish the modern state from its predecessors:

o Traditional society believes in the strict adherence to the scriptural directions. It believed
seriously in the following of the directions as enjoined in the Bible or Quran or Vedas.
Modern society tends to relax the following of the strict directions enjoined in the
respective scriptures for lack of time and such other reasons.
o Traditional society has a lot of time at their disposal to perform its duties as prescribed
in the texts of the past. Modern society does not have a lot of time at their disposal to
perform its duties as prescribed in the olden texts. This is a major difference between
the two terms.
o Traditional society does not believe in the application of technology and science to a
great extent and hence, it tends to rely more on traditional methods of science and
medicine. On the other hand, the modern society revels in making the best use of the
technology available to it. It also makes use of the advancements made in medicine and
science to a great extent.
o Traditional society attaches more importance to the cultural and philosophical values of
the land. On the other hand, modern society does not pay much importance to the
cultural and the philosophical values of the land of its existence. Instead, it allows itself
to be influenced greatly by the cultures of the other lands.
o Traditional society believes in the joint family system of living. On the other hand,
modern society believes in the individual family system of living. Traditional society does
not believe in making use of the latest fashion in clothes and other accessories. On the
other hand modern society believes in making the best use of the latest fashion in attire
and other accessories.
Consequently, human history can be described as a process of social evolution. Just as
biological evolution is development of simpler forms of life into more complex and highly
organized forms of life. Social evolution is a process of growth of complexity and
differentiation of social organization.
Rational Choice Theory is an economic principle that assumes that individuals always
make prudent and logical decisions that provide them with the greatest benefit or
satisfaction and that are in the highest self-interest. Most mainstream economic
assumptions and theories are based on rational choice theory. RTC argues that self-
interests guide all behaviours, which involves conducting a cost benefit analysis.
Individuals weigh the cost along with the benefits and then decide to pursue something
if the benefits outweigh the costs. If we assume that everyone basis their actions on
self-interest we have to come to terms with situations involving actions that are not
beneficial and this depends on the quality of information one has been able to accrue.
Therefore, what is the nature of the Rational Choice Theory?
RATIONALITY, here equated with “wanting more rather than less of a good” is
widely used as an assumption of the behaviour of individuals in the microeconomic
model and analysis and appears in almost all economic textbook treatments of human
decision-making. Dissenters have pointed out that individuals do not always make
rational, utility-maximizing decisions whereas; RTC is a framework for understanding
and often formally modelling social and economic behaviour. There are 3 basic
principles of the said theory namely: human beings base their actions on rational
calculation, they act with rationality when making choices, and their choices are aimed
at optimization of their pleasure or profit. How does it form? It is formed as an
ideological development accompanied at the end of the Cold War, the attempt to apply
neo-classical theory model of a market to politics, maximizes utility and profits as to
minimize outlay and lastly, based on the laissez faire principle. According to Chalmers
Johnson, rational choice approach leads people to think they know what others want
and there is no place for ideology and culture. It was further criticized for ignoring
traditions and norms of communities and collectivities by paying attention solely to the
self-interest of individuals, even though collective norms are fundamental social factors
in these still traditional societies. Thus, it was criticized for paucity of empirical
application as critics claim that less attention is paid to the individuals and real-world
political events. As a result, BATES sparked the debate between area studies and RTC.
According to him, area studies have failed to generate scientific knowledge as RTC fails
to illuminate anything of genuine significance and avoid the complexities of real world.
Consequently, rational choice theory has its benefits in the study of
comparative politics (though there are few criticisms) such as neither neoclassical
economics nor RCT provides a mechanical alternative to genuine social science
analysis, i.e what political science but no other discipline of the social sciences calls
area studies. Secondly, it leads directly to genuine area studies since it requires that for
a researcher to break free of his or her own culture, he or she must immerse “oneself in
one’s subject, learning the language, living with the people, and getting to understand
the society so thoroughly as a participant that it problematizes one’s place as an
objective observer”. Finally, rational choice theory creates the whole pattern as area
studies discerns the pattern (interrelated) and therefore, the collaborative study will give
more profits to science and create more objective point of view and one should
understand that the study of the cultural dimension should be present in science,
because human beings are influenced by culture and the conditions in which they exist.