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Comparative Politics
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Book description

Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure is a revised second edition of the volume that guided students and scholars through the intellectual demands of comparative politics. Retaining a focus on the field's research schools, it now pays parallel attention to the pragmatics of causal research. Mark Lichbach begins with a review of discovery, explanation and evidence and Alan Zuckerman argues for explanations with social mechanisms. Ira Katznelson, writing on structuralist analyses, Margaret Levi on rational choice theory, and Marc Ross on culturalist analyses, assess developments in the field's research schools. Subsequent chapters explore the relationship among the paradigms and current research: the state, culturalist themes and political economy, the international context of comparative politics, contentious politics, multi-level analyses, nested voters, endogenous institutions, welfare states, and ethnic politics. The volume offers a rigorous and exciting assessment of the past decade of scholarship in comparative politics.

Reviews

'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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