• Summary
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History I: The Long Term
History I: The long term

In discussing systems analysis in Chapter 1, I stressed the impact of history in determining the basic parameters of political life in any country. Events in the past do not determine everything that happens today. If that were so, there would be no reason to study political science.

Nonetheless, we ignore the past at our peril. Policymakers who fail to take history into account often find themselves fighting losing battles against their fellow citizens who are more wedded to their country's traditions than they are. Students who do not include historical trends in their analyses of current events often miss the key reasons why a country uses a particular election system or has as many political parties ...

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