Global politics, also called global economics, refers to both the field which studies the economic and political patterns of the world and the socio-political processes which drive these economic and political patterns. In the core of this subject are the various economic and political processes in relation to issues of social hierarchy. The history of this subject traces its origins all the way back to the ancient history of classical Greece. Economics mainly refers to the study of how individuals and groups affect the world around them and how those effects are shaped by political institutions and norms. Politics in turn can be subdivided into different parts: Theoretical/metaphysical political activity; actual political activity; political activity conducted through popular assemblies or referendums; and political action taken out of such political institutions and groups as parties, trade unions, civic organizations, international organizations, and international bodies that promote inter-governmental cooperation.
Politics and Economics have often been studied side by side in parallel because they deal with very much the same concerns and goals. Many scholars of world politics have criticized the turn away from studying world politics and economics as a result of the growth of global free-market capitalism and a focus on economic growth at the expense of social welfare. However, proponents of political theory claim that such criticisms are not based in any logic. Furthermore, economic development tends to increase political freedom, endow greater opportunities for the economically disadvantaged section of society, and improve standards of living. Political freedom is said to lead to political tolerance and peace, to be associated with economic prosperity, and to stabilize world politics.
As globalization continues and spreads, more theories on world politics and economics are becoming entangled with the rapidly changing political environment of the globalized economies. For example, the failure of Bretton Woods and other attempt at attempts at regulating the international economic system has sparked debates among scholars of world politics. Similarly, the Internet has created a new avenue for international political debate that was previously impossible. The rise of environmental, human rights, and other social issues as global concerns have also highlighted the need for new theories of international relations.
Although globalization is arguably one of the biggest developments in world politics and economics in the past century, it has not managed to completely shake the fundamental principles of world politics and economics. In particular, the failure of localized economic policies in developing countries to attain desired development has posed a challenge to the validity of many of the more prominent theories of world politics and economics. This challenge has been particularly pronounced in relation to the growth and resurgence of multiparty democracy.
Comparative political economy offers an alternative to the dominance of world politics and global economics. Unlike political science, comparative politics makes use of various empirical techniques, including the method of comparative analysis. Comparative political economy attempts to provide a similar level of detail as political science at the level of the national level. Thus, it attempts to overcome some of the shortcomings of previous efforts at international comparative study. Comparative political science has attempted to overcome some of these shortcomings through its focus on national economy and national government.
Comparative political science is used to prepare students for work in international relations, international business, or political science departments. Students preparing for a career in international relations may use this curriculum to develop an advanced degree in international relations or political science. Comparative courses in international business and political science have also proven very successful as electives for incoming students preparing for a future career in international business, political science, or economics. As a matter of fact, these are just two of the most popular electives used to prepare students for work at the college or university level.