Debating the Direction of Comparative Politics. An Analysis of Leading Journals
Comparative Political Studies, Volume 40 Number 1, pp. 5-31, January (2007)
27 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2007
This article contributes to ongoing debates about the direction of comparative politics through an analysis of new data on the scope, objectives, and methods of research in the field. The results of the analysis are as follows: Comparative politics is a rich and diverse field that cannot be accurately characterized on the basis of just one dimension or even summarized in simple terms. In turn, the tendency to frame choices about the direction of the field in terms of a stark alternative between an old area studies approach and a new economic approach relies on largely unsupported assumptions. It is therefore advisable to focus on problematic methodological practices that, as this study shows, are widespread in comparative research and thus pose serious impediments to the production of knowledge.
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