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. 

Methodologies for Comparative Analysis

Methodologies for comparative analysis

Chapter Outline

This chapter considers how and why comparative political analysis developed and identifies the main methods employed to account for similarities and differences between political phenomena.


Before progressing to discussions of specific institutions and actors, it is necessary to appreciate the research methods that are appropriate to the relevant theories and their application in a comparative context. It is these issues that this chapter will now address.

As we have already noted from Chapter 1, political scientists are not in agreement with regard to which theoretical approach provides the most effective explanation of why political institutions have developed in particular ways, and of how people behave politically. On the one hand, much the same can be said with regard to ...

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