Comparative Inquiry in Politics and Political Economy: Theories and Issues

By Ronald H. Chilcote | Go to book overview

PART ONE
Introduction

FOUNDATIONS FOR INQUIRY

This introduction identifies and explains key issues, defines essential concepts, delineates theoretical directions, and notes the limitations and parameters of inquiry in (comparative) politics and political economy. My purpose is to show the importance of theory in coming to grips with the disparate material, to lay the foundations for further study, and to encourage the reader to assume a questioning stance in the recognition that all questions remain open and unsettled.1


ISSUES

The specialist tends to view comparative politics as the study of everything political. Any lesser conception obscures the criteria for selection and exclusion of what the field might study. There is no consensus on this view, however, and defining comparative politics evokes much confusion for student and scholar alike. More concretely, comparative politics studies a broad range of political activity, including governments and their institutions as well as other forms of organizations not directly related to national government, for example, tribes, communities, associations, and unions. The term comparative politics sometimes is used loosely and

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1
Bibliographic information for works cited in the text can be found in the References section at the end of this book. The reader will also find a glossary of terms that appear throughout the book. These terms are printed in bold in the text where an explanation occurs. Those readers desiring considerably more detail and explanation, including criticisms and annotations to an extensive survey of relevant literature, should consult my Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Revisited ( Westview Press, 1994) and Theories of Comparative Political Economy ( Westview Press, forthcoming).

-1-

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Comparative Inquiry in Politics and Political Economy: Theories and Issues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Part One - Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Politics of Comparative Inquiry 17
  • 2 - Theoretical Paths 31
  • Part Two - Dichotomies of Theories 53
  • 4 - The Social Dimension 83
  • 5 - The Cultural Dimension 103
  • 6 - The Economic Dimension 119
  • 7 - The Political Dimension Representative and Participatory Democracy 151
  • Part Three - Conclusion 177
  • 8 - The Unending Search for a Paradigm in Political Economy 179
  • GLOSSARY 187
  • References 197
  • Index 210
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