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Encyclopedia > Comparative politics

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 should be considered incorrect.[2]

## Contents

The comparative method is - together with the experimental method, the statistical method and the case study approach - one of the four fundamental scientific methods which can be used to test the validity of general empirical propositions,[3] i.e. to establish empirical relationships among two or more variables while all other variables are held constant.[4] In particular, the comparative method is generally used when neither the experimental nor the statistical method can be employed: on the one hand, experiments can only rarely be conducted in political science;[5] on the other hand the statistical method implies the mathematical manipulation of quantitative data about a large number of cases, while sometimes political research must be conducted by analysing the behaviour of qualitative variables in a small number of cases.[6] The case study approach cannot be considered a scientific method according to the above definition, however it can be useful to gain knowledge about single cases, which can then be put to comparison according to the comparative method.[7] In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex-+-periri, of (or from) trying), is a set of actions concerning phenomena. ... A graph of a normal bell curve showing statistics used in educational assessment and comparing various grading methods. ... Case studies involve a particular method of research. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ...

### Comparative strategies

Several different strategies can be used in comparative research.[8]

• Most Similar Systems Design/Mill's Method of Difference: it consists in comparing very similar cases which only differ in the dependent variable, on the assumption that this would make it easier to find those independent variables which explain the presence/absence of the dependent variable.
• Most Different Systems Design/Mill's Method of Similarity: it consists in comparing very different cases, all of which however have in common the same dependent variable, so that any other circumstance which is present in all the cases can be regarded as the independent variable.

Mills Methods are five methods of induction described by philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1843 book A System of Logic. ... Mills Methods are five methods of induction described by philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1843 book A System of Logic. ...

## 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 of the political regime (good or corrupt). Thus he distinguishes six different kinds of "constitutions": monarchy, aristocracy, and polity (good types), versus tyranny, oligarchy and democracy (corrupt types).
• Montesquieu:
• Alexis de Tocqueville:
• Seymour Martin Lipset:
• Barrington Moore:
• Samuel P. Huntington:
• Robert A. Dahl:
• Arend Lijphart:
• Giovanni Sartori:
• 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 basically similar events which took place in three very different contexts. Skopcol's purpose is to find possible similarities which might help explain the phenomenon of political revolution. From this point of view, this work represents a good example of a research conducted according to the Most Different Systems Design.

Aristotle (Greek: AristotÃ©lÄ“s) (384 BC â€“ 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Aristotles Politics (Greek Î Î¿Î»Î¹Ï„Î¹ÎºÎ¬) is a work of political philosophy. ... Montesquieu can refer to: Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu Several communes of France: Montesquieu, in the Hérault département Montesquieu, in the Lot-et-Garonne département Montesquieu, in the Tarn-et-Garonne département This is a disambiguation page &#8212; a navigational aid which lists other pages... For other uses, see Tocqueville (disambiguation) Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis-Charles-Henri ClÃ©rel de Tocqueville (Verneuil-sur-Seine, ÃŽle-de-France, July 29, 1805â€“ Cannes, April 16, 1859) was a French political thinker and historian. ... Seymour Martin Lipset (born 1922) is a political sociologist. ... Barrington Moore Jr. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Robert Alan Dahl (b. ... Arend DEngremont Lijphart (b. ... Giovanni Sartori is an Italian political scientist specializing in the study of comparative politics. ... Theda Skocpol (born May 4, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan) is a sociologist and political scientist at Harvard University, presently serving as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. ...

The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political Science is the field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour. ... Comparative government or comparative politics is a method in political science for obtaining evidence of causal effects by comparing the varying forms of government in the world, and the states they govern, although governments across different periods of history may also be the units of comparison. ... There are a great many similarities between the countries of Canada and Australia. ... There are a great many similarities between Australia and New Zealand. ... Though whats up there are many similarities between the politics of Canada and the politics of the United States, there are also important differences. ...

## References

1. ^ Lijphart, A. (1971) "Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method", in American Political Science Review, vol. 65, no. 3, p. 682
2. ^ Hopkin, J. [2002 (1995)] "Comparative Methods", in Marsh, D. and G. Stoker (ed.) Theory and Methods in Political Science, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 249-250
3. ^ Lijphart, A. (1971), cit., p. 682
4. ^ Lijphart, A. (1971), cit., p. 683
5. ^ Hopkin, J. [2002 (1995)], cit., p. 250
6. ^ It should be noted however that, as Lijphart points out in the article cited above, the experimental and statistical methods share the same logic as the comparative method: they all imply a comparison between cases which differ on the variable which is being studied, while remaining identical on all the other possible variables.
7. ^ Lijphart, A. (1971), cit., p. 691
8. ^ http://poli.haifa.ac.il/~levi/mlogic.html

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