An Introduction to the Challenges of Research Design in Comparative Politics
7 Pages Posted: 5 May 2022
Date Written: April 16, 2022
This article is intended as a short introductory guide for readers and students who are interested in studying and conducting research in the field of comparative politics, and it covers the following three content areas. First, it provides a snapshot of the general characteristics and development of comparative politics as a subdiscipline of political science and as a modern social science. Second, it gives a bird’s eye view of the important scholarly topics and approaches in comparative politics by listing a range of classical works conducted by some prominent comparativists in history. Third, it classifies and summarizes the common challenges and dilemmas in research design and empirical analysis potentially faced by young scholars in comparative politics. Our brief discussions aim to shed light on how comparability and generalizability lie at the heart of comparative studies and how they ask for both intuition and precision in model building, and we hope to emphasize the importance of constantly reflecting upon the limitations and deficiencies in previous studies and of reexamining past theories and findings with updated evidence across time and space.
Keywords: Political Science, Comparative Politics, Methodology
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