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Historical and Comparative Theory

Historical and comparative theory seeks to identify patterns and causal relationships in long-term social processes, such as the rise of democracy, industrialization, the expansion of the working class, the development of welfare states, or national revolutions.

Patterns and relationships are sought and tested through the detailed study of historical narratives and by examining long-run data describing economic, social, political, cultural, demographic, or other social features over time. Historical and comparative theory thus differs from deductive social theory, which draws conclusions from formal models of social behavior. It also differs from branches of social theory focusing on data from experimental or field observations of social behavior and from theory resting mainly on statistical analysis of survey, demographic, or other data drawn from relatively narrow time frames.

Historical and ...

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