Epistemology comparative political science

Classified in Geography

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Historical Sociology or Comparative History: Historical sociologists are interested in how modernization takes place, it’s not the level of modernization that matters but how modernization is achieve. They focus in class structure because they believe that the result of modernization will depend on the class structure of the country and the relations between the different social groups. Groups will be benefited in different ways so they analyzed which social groups were more affected and benefited by democracy. // Barrington More was the founder of this school and wrote in 1966 “Social origins of dictatorship and democracy: lord and peasant building modern world.” It was one of the most influential books of the XXth century. The study was based on how these societies from 1800-1950 became modern: France, Russia, US, China, India and Japan. The title is also the heart of the thesis: the result of modernization will depend on the relationship between the social groups and how it evolves in time. These social groups are divided in 3 classes: landed aristocracy, bourgeoisie and peasantry. // He first asked himself 2 questions: // How to absorb peasantry, this large part of the population in a modern economy? // The defeat of the aristocracy by a raising bourgeoisie? // Then he described 3 posible historical scenarios:

  1. Bourgeoisie revolution: the revolution of the middle class“No bourgeoisie, no democracy” because it allows political power to shift from aristocracy to a new middle class. (French Revolution, English Industrial Revolution and American Independence)
  2. Revolution form above: modernization is developed by aristocracy through state institutions and in some cases they also control the army and have a military elite, this is also known as Junker class (Bismarck). Another characteristic is that bourgeoisie is politically weak and aristocracy runs the state so peasant class remains in the land. 
  3. Revolution from below: here aristocracy is weak, bourgeoisie is weak and peasantry is strong. 

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