Belarusian Collegium and “Political Sphere” Institute seminar “Institutes and Politics”, 2014-2015

 “Institutes and Politics” seminar organised by Belarusian Collegium and “Political Sphere” Institute starts on October 23.

Introduction. Political studies are in the first place the studies of institutions while the institutional study of political life remains an influential direction for the contemporary political science. However, this does not remove the problem of the depth of understanding and practical application of the approach. The seminar is organised to address these challenges. In 2014-2015, the consideration will be limited to historical institutionalism. From a practical point of view, this approach is important for the study of contemporary politics and political history.

The Subject. The seminar provides for a detailed analytical review of important and influential texts that changed the understanding of politics and international relations in contemporary social sciences and humanities. In particular, it is related to the works of Paul Pierson (Politics in Time), Kathleen Thelen (How Institutions Evolve), Samuel Huntington (Political Order in Changing Societies), Barrington Moore (Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy), Charles Tilly (Coercion, Capital and European States, AD 990-1990), and others.

Competence. It is expected that the work at the seminar will allow the participants to significantly deepen their understanding of politics and political history as well as to learn the methods and research analysis schemes both of political history and contemporary political and social processes.

Participants. Senior, master’s, doctoral students, teachers of social sciences and humanities, and other interested persons are invited to participate.

Disciplines. The seminar is intended for political scientists, historians, sociologists, economists, philosophers and representatives of other disciplines that touch upon politics research.

Seminar leader: Andrej Kazakievič, PhD in Political Science, Director of the “Political Sphere” Institute, Co-Director of Belarusian Collegium.

Frequency and work procedure. Seminar sessions are planned for every two weeks on Thursdays, from 18:30 to 20:30. The start is on October 23.

To register for the seminar please send the request to kalehium@gmail.com

Download the announcement and the plan (Institutes and Politics_2014-2015.pdf)

Plan for the seminar

Seminar 1. Introduction to the problem

Programme presentation, definition of the rules and regulations for work. Designation of the problem, subject and targets for the seminar.

Seminar 2. Short introduction in the context of the history of political science

Seminar 2 is held to denote the intellectual foundations of institutionalism in political science. History and tradition of political science as a discipline has conflicting interpretations, that is why it is important to identify the main approaches of the event organisers.

References:

Almond, Gabriel (2013). Political Science: The History of the Discipline, in Political Science. Anthology of Classical Texts

Thelen, Kathleen, and Steinmo, Sven (1992). Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Politics, in Steinmo, Sven; Thelen, Kathleen; Longstreth, Frank. Structuring Politics. Historical Institutionalism in Comparative Analysis.

Seminar 3. Positive Feedback and Path Dependence in creation of political institutions (Part 1)

Consideration of the principles of Positive Feedback and Path Dependence and their analysis through examples. Belarusian examples include the creation and development of the Belarusian nation from the end of the 19th century, political history from 1946 to 1991, political history from 1991, consideration of individual institutions’ evolution (courts, parliament, local councils).

References:

Pierson, Paul (2004). Positive Feedback and Path Dependence, in Politics in Time, p. 17-53.

Pierson, Paul (2003). Slow-Moving, and Invisible: Macrosocial Processes in the Study of Comparative Politics, in Mahoney, James; Rueschemeyer Dietrich (eds.) Comparative Historical Analysis in Social Sciences.

Seminar 4. Positive Feedback and Path Dependence in creation of political institutions (Part 2)

Consideration of the principles of Positive Feedback and Path Dependence and their analysis through examples. Belarusian examples include the creation and development of the Belarusian nation from the end of the 19th century, political history from 1946 to 1991, political history from 1991, consideration of individual institutions’ evolution (courts, parliament, local councils).

References:

Pierson, Paul (2004). Positive Feedback and Path Dependence, in Politics in Time, p. 17-53.

Pierson, Paul (2003). Slow-Moving, and Invisible: Macrosocial Processes in the Study of Comparative Politics, in Mahoney, James; Rueschemeyer Dietrich (eds.) Comparative Historical Analysis in Social Sciences.

Seminar 5. Long-Term Processes in politics (Part 1)

Consideration of the features of the Long-Term Processes in politics and their analysis through examples. Belarusian examples include the creation and development of the Belarusian nation from the end of the 19th century, political history from 1946 to 1991, political history from 1991, consideration of individual institutions’ evolution (courts, parliament, local councils).

References:

Pierson, Paul (2004). Long-Term Processes, in Politics in Time, p. 79-102.

Seminar 6. Long-Term Processes in politics (Part 2)

Consideration of the features of the Long-Term Processes in politics and their analysis through examples. Belarusian examples include the creation and development of the Belarusian nation from the end of the 19th century, political history from 1946 to 1991, political history from 1991, consideration of individual institutions’ evolution (courts, parliament, local councils).

References:

Pierson, Paul (2004). Long-Term Processes, in Politics in Time p. 79-102. 

Seminar 7. Samuel Huntington. Political Order in Changing Societies

Analysis and discussion around the famous classic text on comparative politics

References:   

Huntington, Samuel (1968). Political Order in Changing Societies.

Huntington, Samuel (2007). Order and Conflict in Global Perspective, in Gerardo Munсk and Richard Snyder (eds.), Passion, Craft and Method in Comparative Politics. 

Seminar 8. Barrington Moore. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy 

Analysis and discussion around the famous classic text on comparative politics

References:

Moore, Barrington (1966, 1974). Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World.  

Moore, Barrington (2007). The Critical Spirit and Comparative Historical Analysis, in Gerardo Munsk and Richard Snyder (eds.), Passion, Craft and Method in Comparative Politics.

Семінар 9. Charles Tilly. Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990-I990

Analysis and discussion around the famous classic text on comparative politics

References:

Tilly, Charles (1990). Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990-I990.

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