Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure

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Overview

Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure examines the major research traditions in comparative politics, assessing knowledge, advancing theory, and in the end seeking to direct research in the coming years. It begins by examining the three research schools that guide comparative politics: rational choice theory, culturalist analysis, and structuralist approaches. Margaret Levi, Marc Howard Ross, and Ira Katznelson offer briefs for each of the schools, presenting core principles, variations within each approach, and fresh combinations. A second set of authors then applies the research traditions to established fields of scholarship. Samuel H. Barnes examines work on mass politics, Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tilly synthesize studies of social movements and revolutions, Peter A. Hall contrasts new research on the political economy of established democracies, and Joel S. Migdal offers a new approach to studies of the state. The concluding section contains essays by Mark I. Lichbach and Alan S. Zuckerman, returning the focus to the theme of advanced theory in comparative politics. Lichbach offers a critical evaluation that draws on the schools' theoretical sources and Zuckerman calls for a reformulation of the standards for explanation in comparative politics as a way to advance theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This volume offers a completely revised, updated and exciting version of the well-known volume published by Mark Lichbach and Alan Zuckerman a few years ago. Both editors have recruited a cast of outstanding scholars to offer a balanced and deep discussion of the main avenues of research in empirical political science. There is truly a lot to learn from this new Comparative Politics!”
-Carles Boix, Princeton University

“Assembling an impressive array of key players in contemporary theory and research of the various subfields of Comparative Politics (from institutionalism to political behavior and political economy), this book is a timely and highly welcome update of one of the best treatments of central issues of contemporary political science. Organized along the distinction between the rational choice paradigm with its emphasis on reasoned agency, the cultural paradigm, with its emphasis on rules, norms, and identities, and the structural paradigm which focuses on institutions, the book not only carves out the major positions that inform today’s theoretical debate in Comparative Politics; it also evaluates their respective merits and problems, and identifies their complementarities. It is unique in that it highlights not only the big theoretical issues of the discipline, but also delves deeply into their epistemological and methodological implications and ramifications. Most remarkable is the understanding of politics as a multi-level phenomenon that guides many of the volume’s chapters.”
-Rudiger Schmitt-Beck, University of Manheim, Germany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521583695
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1997
  • Series: Studies in Comparative Politics
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Irving Lichbach is Professor and Chair of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. A theorist interested in social choice and a comparativist interested in globalization, Lichbach explores the connections between collective action theories and political conflict as well as the connections between collective choice theories and democratic institutions. He is the author or editor of many books, including the award-winning The Rebel's Dilemma, and of numerous articles that have appeared in scholarly journals in political science, economics, and sociology.

Alan S. Zuckerman is Professor of Political Science at Brown, University. Zuckerman's scholarship has focused on the analytical principles of comparative politics; the social context of political preferences, choice, and behavior; the individual and the state in established democracies; and the political structure of small groups. He is also the author, coauthor, editor, and co-editor of several books, including most recently Partisan Families: the Social Logic of Bounded Partisanship in Germany and Britain (2007) and The Social Logic of Politics: Personal Networks as Contexts for Political Behavior (2005). He has also published numerous articles in the leading journals of political science, as well as monographs in the United States, Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Israel.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgment

Contributors

Pt. I Introduction 1

Ch. 1 Research Traditions and Theory in Comparative Politics: An Introduction Mark I. Lichbach Lichbach, Mark I. Alan S. Zuckerman Zuckerman, Alan S. 3

Pt. II Research Traditions in Comparative Politics 17

Ch. 2 A Model, a Method, and a Map: Rational Choice in Comparative and Historical Analysis Margaret Levi Levi, Margaret 19

Ch. 3 Culture and Identity in Comparative Political Analysis Marc Howard Ross Ross, Marc Howard 42

Ch. 4 Structure and Configuration in Comparative Politics Ira Katznelson Katznelson, Ira 81

Pt. III Theory Development in Comparative Politics 113

Ch. 5 Electoral Behavior and Comparative Politics Samuel H. Barnes Barnes, Samuel H. 115

Ch. 6 Toward an Integrated Perspective on Social Movements and Revolution Doug McAdam McAdam, Doug Sidney Tarrow Tarrow, Sidney Charles Tilly Tilly, Charles 142

Ch. 7 The Role of Interests, Institutions, and Ideas in the Comparative Political Economy of the Industrialized Nations Peter A. Hall Hall, Peter A. 174

Ch. 8 Studying the State Joel S. Migdal Migdal, Joel S. 208

Pt. IV Social Theory and Explanations in Comparative Politics 237

Ch. 9 Social Theory and Comparative Politics Mark I. Lichbach Lichbach, Mark I. 239

Ch. 10 Reformulating Explanatory Standards and Advancing Theory in Comparative Politics Alan S. Zuckerman Zuckerman, Alan S. 277

Subject Index 311

Author Index 313

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