Sample Essay On The Aforementioned Factors Provoked The Termination Of The Soviet Union’s Existence On The Political Map.
The current paper deals with the challenges existing in comparative politics on which the scholars cannot consent. The essay examines the development of states, the layers of the state political system, variables of states studied by the researches, types of political regimes and discusses the causes why certain states fail.
1. Is comparative politics a science? Why is it so difficult to create a science of comparative politics?
Comparative politics can be deemed currently as one of the disciplines lacking the basically necessary elements required to recognize these studies as a science. Scholars in this field from around the world regularly underline certain challenges the comparative politics is facing. Basing on the findings having been stated in the textbook by O’Neil, it is fairly reasonable to refer to the well-known problems making it practically difficult to recognize the comparative politics a fully-fledged science (3 – 6).
The first aspect is that when analyzing any state, the scholars try to define particular characteristics and features attributable only to this very state. Among these ones may be the following: a type of the political regime, a type of the power’s legitimacy, a string of institutions prevailing in the state, a level of economic development, poverty rates, unemployment rates, freedom and equality reconciliation. Where the researcher is likely to be successful in describing all sides of life existing in the state, he is more likely to fail in explaining how these factors are interconnected and which one caused the other. So, the first problem is that scholars do not manage to define the interconnections of the states’ features and predict their consequences.
The second aspect referred to by the scholars from different countries rests on the limited quantity of the comparable states which are able to be researched. The scientists bear for the natural resources, number of population, size of the territory, cultural values and traditions, religion. It may even be feasible to find a couple of states with the identical political regimes, but they are likely to differ by the geographical characteristics, cultural values and traditions.
The third obstacle discussed lies within the unavailability of information needed by the potential researches. For instance, the necessity of learning foreign languages which is expensive and time-consuming, travelling abroad to gain the required data to complete the project, obtaining access to the secret state archives – all these challenges create substantial difficulties to the scholars.
2. Why do we have states? Would it be possible for people to live without them? If they disappear in the future, what would replace them?
O’Neil considers that the cause of the states’ evolving historically rests on the necessity of people to ensure their security and defense from unlawful seizures and attacks (25 – 28). In addition, if make a deep insight into the historical development of the first political organizations, we will find out that the sedentary living style contributed to the accumulation of capitals and material things. The assets needed to be protected against criminals and rivals. So, there has been elaborated the relevant theory saying that the first political communities were set up for the aim of defending the individuals, the territory they lived in and their accumulated material things. Following this scientific attitude, the elite and the people entered into the social agreement: the elite was obliged to ensure the security of the population and act in its favor, while the other people assented to pay taxes and get some of their rights limited. This is the theory of agreement.
There is another attitude dealing with the notion of coercion. Some scholars claim that the first states were established on the basis of force exercised by the rich and influential elites.
I reckon it is the nature of people to be organized in political institutions, since people tend to identify themselves with a certain territory, religion, culture and traditions embedded in the political and economic fields of life.
If states disappear, there likely will be created another political organizations. Why? Owing to the nature and convictions of the people forcing them to live in the organized and clearly structured systems comprising rules of the game, they will set up organizations.
3. Can authoritarian rule be legitimate? Why or why not? Should all people live under democracy? What are the possible benefits and potential dangers that result from promoting this goal?
O’Neil alleges that legitimacy could be understood as a tool of assessing the power and leadership of the person as lawful or illegal (34). Lawful leadership may rest on the traditional, charismatic or rules-based approaches. The authoritarian regime relies on the charisma of a king, monarch or a president. Since, the state’s governor is found as having unique and exceptional abilities to hold the office, then – yes, the authoritarian regime can be deemed legitimate.
4. Why was communism unable to provide the benefits that it promised in theory? Are there flaws in this line of thinking, or did those in power misapply its principles?
O’Neil’s discussions on the types of legitimacy, centralization and decentralization, autonomy and states’ capacity are sure to be useful in responding to the given question. Communism, inter alia, in the Soviet Union failed as a political regime and economic order due to the following factors, on my point of view:
1) both Lenin and Stalin’s cults were the central point of the political life in this country: these leaders were undoubtedly charismatic. So, after Stalin’s death the power’s capacity tended to decrease, which eventually led to the collapse;
2) the Soviet Union was comprised of 15 republics possessing their own interests and goals of contradicting nature. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were oriented at the Western capitalism and democracy rather than on the Soviet values;
3) the Soviet elite, in particular, has also misapplied the state’s collectivist principles: the leaders of the communist party had better living conditions and access to the critical goods than ordinary citizens.
The research conducted above allows us to arrive at the decision that currently a comparative politics cannot be considered as a full-fledged science but rather a study being under the process of formation. State is one of the political organizations existed in history and if it disappears, it is certain to be replaced with another organizational institution owing to the people’s needs. Should all people live under democracy? My answer is no, but only if the other non-democratic regimes in the world conform to the international rules and do not hold aggressive intentions. Soviet Union is a stunning example of the failed state having terminated its existence.
O'Neil, Patrick. Essentials of Comparative Politics. 3rd ed. W. W. Norton, 2009. 384. Print.