Mon, Jan 30

Ch. 1, Introduction



  1. Does O'Neil's approach to studying comparative politics—using a "guiding concept" and a "guiding ideal"—seem like a good idea to you? Explain your answer.
  2. Which is more important: individual freedom or collective equality? Support your position based on your personal values and experiences.
  3. Are you a hedgehog or a fox? What do you think accounts for this? Offer an illustrative example or two, drawn from your personal experience.
  4. Answer the Institutions in Action questions (on page 25), then explain whether or not you believe we can "make a science of politics" and why.
  5. What does it mean to say that "every explanation in this book is conjecture" (26-27)? How might this impact your learning experience in this class?
  6. Make connections between some of the key terms on page 27. Explain why you selected these terms and how they might prove useful to you.