Diverging Pathways: The Peculiar and Problematic Gap between Comparative Politics and American Political Development
34 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2013
This paper examines the diverging pathways of the fields of comparative politics and American Political development and explores areas of potential dialogue between them. Since the 1980s, the two subfields have become increasingly isolated from each other, reflecting the specialization trend in political science, growing emphasis in comparative politics on large-N cross-national research, a gap between the two fields over the merits of studying of political development, and the larger divide between the study of comparative and American politics. I argue that two areas in which comparative politics and APD have had extensive dialogue – qualitative methodology and the study of the welfare state – show there is much to be gained from greater linkages between the two sub-fields. There is no reason why fruitful dialogue cannot take place in other areas, particularly in the study of state-building, democratization, and identity.
Keywords: American political development, comparative politics, history of political science
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