This book provides a distinctive new introduction to the study of comparative politics at undergraduate level. Rich in case study material and global in coverage, Comparative Politics sets out the basic theoretical and methodological foundations for studying different political systems as well as the key structures and actors of which they are comprised.
Chapter 1: Theory, Institutions and Comparative Politics
Theory, Institutions and Comparative Politics
This chapter defines the nature of political institutions and discusses three theoretical frameworks for the comparative analysis and explanation of how institutions work in modern democratic states. These approaches, derived from the ‘new institutionalism’, are rational choice institutionalism, cultural institutionalism and structural institutionalism. In each case discussion focuses on three elements – ontology, explanation of why institutions matter and explanation of the origins of institutions and institutional change. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how elements of the three approaches might be synthesized in order to enhance explanation and analysis.
Introduction: Why Comparative Politics?
As its name suggests, comparative politics is concerned with the comparative study and analysis of political systems. It aims to overcome the ...