By Rod Hague, Martin Harrop
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Additional resources for Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction
Legitimacy is not just based on election; it too can derive from tradition, religion and from economic or military success. Legitimacy is distinct from legality. A legitimate law is one people feel obliged to obey. A legal regulation is one passed according to constitutional procedures. DisclIssion points 1. Can Robinson Crusoe engage in politics on his desert island? Why (not)? 2. Why is it difficult to reach international agreements over (a) the arms trade (b) ecological problems? 3. Is politics possible without government?
Comparison enables us to test general hypotheses about politics. Comparison improves our classifications of political processes. Comparison gives us some potential for prediction . • The problems of comparison Several problems arise in putting the comparative approach to work. But Sartori (1970) has warned against the dangers of over-conscious thinking which leads only to the conclusion that all comparisons have overwhelming difficulties. So we will describe these problems in order to be aware of the difficulties, not to present a case against comparative politics.
A general may exercise power over enemy soldiers, but he does not have authority over them; this is Political Concepts 17 restricted to his own forces. At the same time, authority is more than voluntary compliance. To acknowledge the authority of rulers does not mean you agree with their decisions. It means only that you accept their right to make decisions and your duty to obey them. For example, you may not agree with your teacher's request for you to read this book, but here you are, studying away.
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