John C. Scott 's Comparative Politics Essay

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The Oxford Dictionary defines politics as the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power. Comparative politics is the interdisciplinary study of how power is organized across time and space. It connects the operation of power across multiple time and spatial scales and identifies the similarities and differences of how power operates across space and time. A key word in these definitions is power and I believe power is a major factor in both of the approaches to comparative politics this paper will cover. Power as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is the ability or capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. The Eurocentric approach to the study of comparative politics which Robert Marks attempts to contest in his book The Origins of the Modern World is one that favors European nations as the central powers in the formation of modern world as we know it today. On the other hand, James C. Scott’s approach to the study of comparative politics is state centric and it focuses more on the development of the state as the central and dominant aspect of society today. Eurocentric views see Europe as being the only active shaper of world history, its “fountainhead” if you will. Europe acts; the rest of the world responds. The rest of world in this sense has no history until it is brought into contact with Europe as Europe is the center of it all. Some critics believe that

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