Comparative Politics

Comparative politics is a field and a method used in political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method. Arend Lijphart argues that comparative politics does not have a substantive focus in itself, but rather a methodological one: it focuses on "the how but does not specify the what of the analysis." In other words, comparative politics is not defined by the object of its study, but rather by the method it applies to study political phenomena. Peter Mair and Richard Rose advance a slightly different definition, arguing that comparative politics is defined by a combination of a substantive focus on the study of countries' political systems and a method of identifying and explaining similarities and differences between these countries using common concepts. Rose states that, on his definition: "The focus is explicitly or implicitly upon more than one country, thus following familiar political science usage in excluding within-nation comparison. Methodologically, comparison is distinguished by its use of concepts that are applicable in more than one country."

When applied to specific fields of study, comparative politics may be referred to by other names, such as for example comparative government (the comparative study of forms of government) or comparative foreign policy (comparing the foreign policies of different States in order to establish general empirical connections between the characteristics of the State and the characteristics of its foreign policy).

Sometimes, especially in the United States, the term "comparative politics" is used to refer to "the politics of foreign countries." This usage of the term, however, is often considered incorrect.

"Comparative political science" as a general term for an area of study, as opposed to a methodology of study, can be seen as redundant. The political only shows as political when either an overt or tacit comparison is being made. A study of a single political entity, whether a society, subculture or period, would show the political as simple brute reality without comparison with another society, subculture, or period.

Read more about Comparative PoliticsMethodology, Some Major Works in Comparative Politics

Other articles related to "politics, comparative politics, comparative":

Political Science
... discipline concerned with the study of the state, government, and politics ... extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior ... they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works." Political science intersects with other fields including economics, law, sociology ...
Some Major Works in Comparative Politics
... Aristotle In his work The Politics, Aristotle compares different "constitutions", by introducing a famous typology based on two criteria the number of rulers (one, few, many) and the nature ... Not Being Governed Seymour Martin Lipset Political Man The Social Basis of Politics Barrington Moore In Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Lord and Peasant in the ... Theda Skocpol In States and Social Revolutions A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China Theda Skocpol compares the major revolutions of France, Russia and China three ...
Frank Aarebrot
... He is professor of comparative politics at the University of Bergen and adjunct professor of democracy development at the Örebro University ... Michigan and received his cand.polit.-degree in comparative politics in 1976 ... Since 1977 he has been employed by the Institute of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen ...
Steven Levitsky - Selected Bibliography - Journal Articles
... Party Politics ... East European Politics and Societies 27, No ... Comparative Politics 39, No ...

Famous quotes containing the words politics and/or comparative:

    In politics people throw themselves, as on a sickbed, from one side to the other in the belief they will lie more comfortably.
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    The hill farmer ... always seems to make out somehow with his corn patch, his few vegetables, his rifle, and fishing rod. This self-contained economy creates in the hillman a comparative disinterest in the world’s affairs, along with a disdain of lowland ways. “I don’t go to question the good Lord in his wisdom,” runs the phrasing attributed to a typical mountaineer, “but I jest cain’t see why He put valleys in between the hills.”
    —Administration in the State of Arka, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)