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Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method*

  • Arend Lijphart (a1)


This paper is a systematic analysis of the comparative method. Its emphasis is on both the limitations of the method and the ways in which, despite these limitations, it can be used to maximum advantage.

The comparative method is defined and analyzed in terms of its similarities and differences vis-à-vis the experimental and statistical methods. The principal difficulty facing the comparative method is that it must generalize on the basis of relatively few empirical cases. Four specific ways in which this difficulty may be resolved are discussed and illustrated: (1) increasing the number of cases as much as possible by means of longitudinal extension and a global range of analysis, (2) reducing the property space of the analysis, (3) focusing the comparative analysis on “comparable” cases (e.g., by means of area, diachronic, or intranation comparisons), and (4) focusing on the key variables.

It is argued that the case study method is closely related to the comparative method. Six types of case studies (the atheoretical, interpretative, hypothesis-generating, theory-confirming, theory-infirming, and deviant case analyses) are distinguished, and their theoretical value is analyzed.



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This article is a revised version of a paper presented to the Round Table Conference on Comparative Politics of the International Political Science Association, held in Turin, Italy, September 10–14, 1969. I am very grateful to David E. Apter, Donald T. Campbell, Robert A. Dahl, Giuseppe Di Palma, Harry Eckstein, Lewis J. Edinger, Samuel E. Finer, Galen A. Irwin, Jean Laponce, Juan J. Linz, Stefano Passigli, Austin Ranney, Stein Rokkan, Dankwart A. Rustow, and Kurt Sontheimer for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of the paper, which were very helpful in the preparation of the revision.



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1 The reverse applies to the relatively new field of “political behavior”: its name indicates a substantive field of inquiry, but especially the derivative “behaviorism” has come to stand for a general approach or set of methods. See Dahl, Robert A., “The Behavioral Approach in Political Science: Epitaph for a Monument to a Successful Protest,” American Political Science Review, 55 (12, 1961), pp. 763–72.

2 Sartori, Giovanni, “Concept Misfonnation in Comparative Politics,” American Political Science Review, 64 (12, 1970), p. 1033 .

3 Kalleberg, Arthur L., “The Logic of Comparison: A Methodological Note on the Comparative Study of Political Systems,” World Politics, 19 (October 1966), p. 72 .

4 Eisenstadt, Shmuel N., “Social Institutions: Comparative Study,” in Sills, David L., ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan & Free Press, 1968), Vol. 14, p. 423 . See also Eisenstadt, , “Problems in the Comparative Analysis of Total Societies,” Transactions of the Sixth World Congress of Sociology (Evian: International Sociological Association, 1966), Vol. 1, esp. p. 188 .

5 Lasswell, Harold D., “The Future of the Comparative Method,” Comparative Politics, 1 (10, 1968), p. 3 .

6 Almond, Gabriel A., “Political Theory and Political Science,” American Political Science Review, 60 (12, 1966), pp. 877–78. Almond also argues that comparative politics is a “movement” in political science rather than a subdiscipline. See his Comparative Politics,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 12, pp. 331–36.

7 Kalleberg, op. cit., pp. 72–73; see also pp. 75–78.

8 Sartori, op. cit., p. 1033. See also Lazarsfeld, Paul F. and Barton, Allen H., “Qualitative Measurement in the Social Sciences: Classification, Typologies, and Indices,” in Lerner, Daniel and Lasswell, Harold D., eds., The Policy Sciences: Recent Developments in Scope and Method (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951), pp. 155–92.

9 Heckscher, Gunnar, The Study of Comparative Government and Politics (London: Allen and Unwin, 1957), p. 68 (italics added).

10 Goldschmidt, Walter, Comparative Functionalism: An Essay in Anthropological Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), p. 4 . Oscar Lewis argues that “there is no distinctive ‘comparative method’ in anthropology,” and that he therefore prefers to discuss “comparisons in anthropology rather than the comparative method.” See his Comparisons in Cultural Anthropology” in Thomas, William L. Jr., ed., Current Anthropology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), p. 259 .

11 For the idea of discussing the comparative method in relation to these other basic methods, I am indebted to Smelser's, Neil J. outstanding and most enlightening article “Notes on the Methodology of Comparative Analysis of Economic Activity,” Transactions of the Sixth World Congress of Sociology (Evian: International Sociological Association, 1966), Vol. 2, pp. 101–17. For other general discussions of the comparative method, see Moulin, Léo, “La Méthode comparative en Science Politique,” Revue Internationale d'Histoire Politique et Constitutionelle, 7 (01-06, 1957), pp. 5771 ; Nadel, S. F., The Foundations of Social Anthropology (London: Cohen and West, 1951), pp. 222–55; Duverger, Maurice, Méthodes des Sciences Sociales (3rd ed., Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964), pp. 375–99; Whiting, John W. M., “The Cross-Cultural Method,” in Lindzey, Gardner, ed., Handbook of Social Psychology (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1954), Vol. 1, pp. 523–31; Moore, Frank W., ed., Readings in Cross-Cultural Methodology (New Haven, Conn.: HRAF Press, 1961); Przeworski, Adam and Teune, Henry, The Logic of Comparative Social Inquiry (New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1970); and Holt, Robert T. and Turner, John E., “The Methodology of Comparative Research,” in Holt, and Turner, , eds., The Methodology of Comparative Research (New York: Free Press, 1970), pp. 120 .

12 The case study method will be discussed below.

13 Meehan, Eugene J., The Theory and Method of Political Analysis (Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1965). He expresses this idea in three short sentences: “Science seeks to establish relationships” (p. 35); “Science … is empirical” (p. 37); “Science is a generalizing activity” (p. 43).

14 Lazarsfeld, Paul F., “Interpretation of Statistical Relations as a Research Operation,” in Rosenberg, Lazarsfeld and Morris, eds., The Language of Social Research: A Reader in the Methodology of Social Research (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1955), p. 115 . However, control by means of partial correlations does not allow for the effects of measurement error or unique factor components: see Brewer, Marilynn B., Crano, William D. and Campbell, Donald T., “Testing a Single-Factor Model as an Alternative to the Misuse of Partial Correlations in Hypothesis-Testing Research,” Sociometry, 33 (03, 1970), pp. 111 . Moreover, partial correlations do not resolve the problem of the codiffusion of characteristics, known in anthropology as “Galton's problem”; see Naroll, Raoul, “Two Solutions to Galton's Problem,” Philosophy of Science, 28 (01, 1961), pp. 1539 , and Przeworski and Teune, op. cit., pp. 51–53.

15 Nagel, Ernest, The Structure of Science (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1961), pp. 452f.

16 For instance, if the groups are made equivalent by means of deliberate randomization, the investigator knows that they are alike with a very high degree of probability, but not with absolute certainty. Moreover, as Hubert M. Blalock, Jr., states, so-called “forcing variables” cannot be controlled by randomization. See his Causal Inferences in Nonexperimental Research (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964), pp. 2326 . In general, Blalock emphasizes “the underlying similarity between the logic of making causal inferences on the basis of experimental and nonexperimental designs” (p. 26).

17 Lazarsfeld, , “Interpretation of Statistical Relations as a Research Operation,” p. 119 . Talcott Parsons makes a similar statement with regard to the comparative method: “Experiment is … nothing but the comparative method where the cases to be compared are produced to order and under controlled conditions.” See his The Structure of Social Action (2nd ed., New York: Free Press, 1949), p. 743 . Another advantage of the experimental method is that the time variable is controlled, which is especially important if one seeks to establish causal relationships. In statistical design, this control can be approximated by means of the panel method.

18 In order to highlight the special problems arising from the availability of only a small number of cases, the comparative method is discussed as a distinct method. Of course, it can be argued with equal justice that the comparative and statistical methods should be regarded as two aspects of a single method. Many authors use the term “comparative method” in the broad sense of the method of multivariate empirical, but nonexperimental, analysis, i.e., including both the comparative and statistical methods as defined in this paper. This is how A. R. Radcliffe-Brown uses the term when he argues that “only the comparative method can give us general propositions.” ( Brown, , “The Comparative Method in Social Anthropology,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 81 [1951], p. 22.) Émile Durkheim also follows this usage when be declares that “comparative sociology is not a particular branch of sociology; it is sociology itself, in so far as it ceases to be purely descriptive and aspires to account for facts.” ( Durkheim, , The Rules of Sociological Method, translated by Solovay, Sarah A. and Mueller, John H., [8th ed., Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1938], p. 139.) See also the statements by Lasswell and Almond cited above. Rodney Needham combines the two terms, and speaks of “large-scale statistical comparison,” i.e., the statistical method. ( Needham, , “Notes on Comparative Method and Prescriptive Alliance,” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 118 [1962], pp. 160–82.) On the other hand, E. E. Evans-Pritchard uses exactly the same terminology as used by Smelser and as adopted in this paper, when he makes a distinction between “small-scale comparative studies” and “large-scale statistical ones.” See his The Comparative Method in Social Anthropology (London: Athlone Press, 1963), p. 22 .

19 Beer, Samuel H., “The Comparative Method and the Study of British Politics,” Comparative Politics, 1 (10, 1968), p. 19 .

20 Eckstein, Harry, “A Perspective on Comparative Politics, Past and Present,” in Eckstein, and Apter, David E., eds., Comparative Politics: A Reader (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963), p. 3 .

21 Rokkan, Stein, “Comparative Cross-National Research: The Context of Current Efforts,” in Merritt, Richard L. and Rokkan, , eds., Comparing Nations: The Use of Quantitative Data in Cross-National Research (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), pp. 1920 . Rokkan specifically recommends the use of “paired comparisons” for this purpose; see his Methods and Models in the Comparative Study of Nation-Building,” in Citizens, Elections, Parties: Approaches to the Comparative Study of the Processes of Development (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1970), p. 52 .

22 Merritt and Rokkan, op. cit., p. 193.

23 Hopkins, Terence K. and Wallerstein, Immanuel, “The Comparative Study of National Societies,” Social Science Information, 6 (10, 1967), pp. 2733 (italics added). See also Przeworski and Teune, op. cit., pp. 34–43.

24 He adds: “This is a very naive conception of social science propositions; if only perfect correlations should be permitted social science would not have come very far.” Galtung, Johan, Theory and Methods of Social Research (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1967), p. 505 . The functions of deviant case analysis will be discussed below.

25 Mackenzie, W. J. M., Politics and Social Science (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 52 . I have been guilty of committing this fallacy myself. In my critique of Giovanni Sartori's proposition relating political instability to extreme multipartism (systems with six or more significant parties), one of my arguments consists of the deviance of a single historical case: the stable six-party system of the Netherlands during the interwar years. See Lijphart, Arend, “Typologies of Democratic Systems,” Comparative Political Studies, 1 (04, 1968), pp. 3235 .

26 It is clearly incorrect, therefore, to argue that on logical grounds a probabilistic generalization can never be invalidated; cf. Guenter Lewy's statement: “To be sure, a finding of a very large number of … [deviant cases] would cast doubt upon the value of the proposition, but logically such evidence would not compel its withdrawal. The test of the hypothesis by way of a confrontation with empirical or historical data remains inconclusive.” Lewy, , “Historical Data in Comparative Political Analysis: A Note on Some Problems of Theory,” Comparative Politics, 1 (10, 1968), p. 109 .

27 Furthermore, unless one investigates all available cases, one is faced with the problem of how representative one's limited sample is of the universe of cases.

28 On the necessity of establishing general concepts not tied to particular cultures, see Smelser, op. cit., pp. 104–09; Nadel, op. cit., pp. 237–38; Oliver, Douglas and Miller, Walter B., “Suggestions for a More Systematic Method of Comparing Political Units,” American Anthropologist, 57 (02, 1955), pp. 118–21; and Frijda, Nico and Jahoda, Gustav, “On the Scope and Methods of Cross-Cultural Research,” International Journal of Psychology, 1 (1966), pp. 114–16. For critiques of recent attempts at terminological innovation in comparative politics, see Sartori, “Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics”; Holt, Robert T. and Richardson, John M. Jr., The State of Theory in Comparative Politics (Minneapolis: Center for Comparative Studies in Technological Development and Social Change, 1968); Dowse, Robert E., “A Functionalist's Logic,” World Politics, 18 (07, 1966), pp. 607–23; and Finer, Samuel E., “Almond's Concept of ‘The Political System’: A Textual Critique,” Government and Opposition, 5 (Winter, 19691970), pp. 321 .

29 Haas, Michael, “Comparative Analysis,” Western Political Quarterly, 15 (06, 1962), p. 298n . See also Lewy, op. cit., pp. 103–10.

30 Freeman, Edward A., Comparative Politics (London: Macmillan, 1873), pp. 1, 19, 302 . See also Gideon Sjoberg's argument in favor of global comparative research: The Comparative Method in the Social Sciences,” Philosophy of Science, 22 (04, 1955), pp. 106–17.

31 Lazarsfeld and Barton, op. cit., pp. 172–75; Barton, “The Concept of Property-Space in Social Research,” in Lazarsfeld and Rosenberg, op. cit., pp. 45–50.

32 Smelser, op. cit., p. 113. Holt and Turner refer to this strategy as the process of “specification” (op. cit., pp. 11–13). It is probably also what Eisenstadt has in mind when he mentions the possibility of constructing “special intensive comparisons of a quasi-experimental nature” (op. cit., p. 424). See also Scheuch, Erwin K., “Society as Context in Cross-Cultural Comparison,” Social Science Information, 6 (10, 1967), esp. pp. 2023 ; Mackenzie, op. cit., p. 151; Eggan, Fred, “Social Anthopology and the Method of Controlled Comparison,” American Anthropologist, 56 (10, 1954), pp. 743–63; and Ackerknecht, Erwin, “On the Comparative Method in Anthropology,” in Spencer, Robert F., ed., Method and Perspective in Anthropology (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1954), pp. 117–25.

33 Braibanti, Ralph, “Comparative Political Analytics Reconsidered,” Journal of Politics, 30 (02, 1968), p. 36 .

34 Mill, John Stuart, A System of Logic (8th ed., London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1872), Book III, chapter 8.

35 Nadel, op. cit., pp. 222–23; Bock, Kenneth E., “The Comparative Method of AnthropologyComparative Studies in Society and History, 8 (04, 1966), p. 272 .

36 Mill, op. cit., Book VI, chapter 7; see also Book III, chapter 10.

37 Durkheim, op. cit., pp. 129–30. But he hailed the method of concomitant variations, which he evidently interpreted to mean a combination of the statistical and comparative methods, as “the instrument par excellence of sociological research” (p. 132). See also Bourricaud, François, “Science Politique et Sociologie: Réflexions d'un Sociologue,” Revue Française de Science Politique, 8 (06, 1958), pp. 251–63.

38 If the area approach is often preferable to research efforts with a global range in order to maximize comparability, the era approach may be preferable to longitudinal analysis for the same reason. Cf. the following statement by C. E. Black: “There is much greater value in comparing contemporary events and institutions than those that are widely separated in time. The comparison of societies or smaller groups that are concerned with reasonably similar problems is more likely to lead to satisfactory conclusions than comparisons between societies existing many centuries apart.” Black, , The Dynamics of Modernization: A Study in Comparative History (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), p. 39 .

39 Heckscher, op. cit., p. 88.

40 Macridis, Roy C. and Cox, Richard, “Research in Comparative Politics,” American Political Science Review, 47 (09, 1953), p. 654 . See also Martz, John D., “The Place of Latin America in the Study of Comparative Politics,” Journal of Politics 28 (02, 1966), pp. 5780 .

41 Rustow, Dankwart A., “Modernization and Comparative Politics: Prospects in Research and Theory,” Comparative Politics, 1 (10, 1968), pp. 4547 . Area study may also be criticized on the ground that, in the words of Hitchner, Dell G. and Levine, Carol, in Comparative Government and Politics (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1967): “Its very method of delimitation puts emphasis on what may be particular to a limited group of states, as opposed to the universal generalizations which fully comparative study must seek” (pp. 7–8). This argument has been answered above in terms of the need for partial generalizations as a first step. See also Braibanti, op. cit., pp. 54–55.

42 Russett, Bruce M., “Delineating International Regions,” in Singer, J. David, ed., Quantitative International Politics: Insights and Evidence (New York: Free Press, 1968), pp. 317–52. See also Russett, , International Regions and the International System (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1967).

43 Blanksten, George I., “Political Groups in Latin America,” American Political Science Review, 53 (03, 1959), p. 126 . See also Neumann, Sigmund, “The Comparative Study of Politics,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1 (01, 1959), pp. 107–10; and Schapera, I., “Some Comments on the Comparative Method in Social Anthropology,” American Anthropologist, 55 (08, 1953), pp. 353361 , esp. p. 360.

44 See Lipset, Seymour Martin, “The Value Patterns of Democracy: A Case Study in Comparative Analysis,” American Sociological Review, 28 (08, 1963), pp. 515–31; Alford, Robert R., Party and Society: The Anglo-American Democracies (Chicago: Rand Mc-Nally, 1963); Lipson, Leslie, “Party Systems in the United Kingdom and the Older Commonwealth: Causes, Resemblances, and Variations,” Political Studies, 7 (02, 1959), pp. 1231 .

45 Frye, Charles E., “Parties and Pressure Groups in Weimar and Bonn,” World Politics, 17 (07, 1965), pp. 635–55. (The quotation is from page 637.) The postwar division of Germany also offers the opportunity of analyzing the effects of democratic versus totalitarian development against a similar cultural and historical background. See Dahrendorf, Ralf, “The New Germanies: Restoration, Revolution, Reconstruction,” Encounter, 22 (04, 1964), pp. 5058 . See also Thrupp, Sylvia L., “Diachronic Methods in Comparative Politics,” in Holt, and Turner, , eds., The Methodology of Comparative Research, pp. 343–58.

46 Heckscher, p. 69; Eulau, Heinz, “Comparative Political Analysis: A Methodological Note,” Midwest Journal of Political Science, 6 (11, 1962), pp. 397407 . Rokkan, too, warns against the “whole-nation” bias of comparative research (“Methods and Models,” p. 49).

47 Smelser, op. cit., p. 115.

48 Juan J. Linz and Amando de Miguel, “Within-Nation Differences and Comparisons: The Eight Spains,” in Merritt and Rokkan, op. cit., p. 268.

49 Naroll, , “Scientific Comparative Politics and International Relations,” in Farrell, R. Barry, ed., Approaches to Comparative and International Politics (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1966), pp. 336–37.

50 Braibanti, op. cit., p. 49. In this context, “configurative” analysis is not synonymous with the traditional single-country approach, as in Eckstein's definition of the term: “the analysis of particular political systems, treated either explicitly or implicitly as unique entities” (“A Perspective on Comparative Politics,” p. 11.

51 Lasswell, op. cit., p. 6.

52 See Snyder, Richard C., Bruck, H. W., and Sapin, Burton, eds., Foreign Policy Decision-Making (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962).

53 LaPalombara, Joseph, “Macrotheories and Microapplications in Comparative Politics,” Comparative Politics, 1 (10, 1968), pp. 6077 . As an example he cites Dahl, Robert A., ed., Political Oppositions in Western Democracies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), esp. chapters 11–13. See also LaPalombara, , “Parsimony and Empiricism in Comparative Politics: An Anti-Scholastic View,” in Holt, and Turner, , eds., The Methodology of Comparative Research, pp. 123–49.

54 Eckstein, , “A Perspective on Comparative Politics,” p. 30 .

55 Nadel, op. cit., p. 228.

56 Rosenau, James N., “Private Preferences and Political Responsibilities: The Relative Potency of Individual and Role Variables in the Behavior of U.S. Senators,” in Singer, , ed., Quantitative International Politics, pp. 1750 , esp. p. 19. Rosenau adds that if “the findings are not so clear as to confirm or negate the hypotheses unmistakably, then of course the analyst moves on to a third comparable period” (p. 19). If such a third or even more periods can be found—which seems unlikely in the case of Rosenau's particular research problem—they should be included regardless of the outcome of the analysis of the first two eras (if the available resources permit it, of course).

57 See also the proposed use of “multiple comparison groups,” as an approximation of the experimental method, by Glazer, Barney G. and Strauss, Anselm L., “Discovery of Substantive Theory: A Basic Strategy Underlying Qualitative Research,” American Behavioral Scientist, 8 (02, 1965), pp. 512 .

58 LaPalombara, , “Macrotheories and Microapplications,” pp. 6065 .

59 See Curtis, Michael, Comparative Government and Politics: An Introductory Essay in Political Science (New York: Harper and Row, 1968), p. 7 . See also Macridis, , The Study of Comparative Government (New York: Random House, 1955).

60 As Przeworski and Teune state: “The main role of a theory is to provide explanations of specific events. These explanations consist of inferring, with a high degree of probability, statements about particular events from general statements concerning classes of events” (p. 86).

61 Hudson, Michael C., “A Case of Political Underdevelopment,” Journal of Politics, 29 (11, 1967), pp. 821–37. See also Beer, , “The Comparative Method and the Study of British Politics,” pp. 1936 .

62 Naroll, , “Scientific Comparative Politics and International Relations,” p. 336 . An example of such a case study is my analysis of the determinants of Dutch colonialism in West Irian. In most cases, both objective (especially economic) and subjective factors can be discerned, but the case of West Irian is unique because of the complete absence of objective Dutch interests in the colony. See Lijphart, , The Trauma of Decolonization: The Dutch and West New Guinea (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966).

63 See Kendall, Patricia L. and Wolf, Katherine M., “The Analysis of Deviant Cases in Communications Research,” in Lazarsfeld, and Stanton, Frank, eds., Communications Research: 1948–49 (New York: Harper, 1949), pp. 152–57; Sjoberg, op. cit., pp. 114–15; and Lijphart, , The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968), chapter 10.

64 This process of refining generalizations through deviant case analysis is what Robert M. Marsh calls “specification.” See his article The Bearing of Comparative Analysis on Sociological Theory,” Social Forces, 43 (12, 1964), pp. 191–96. Specification should therefore definitely not be regarded as “the garbage bin” of comparative research; see Kottak, Conrad Phillip, “Towards a Comparative Science of Society,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 12 (01, 1970), p. 102 . See also Gordon, Milton M., “Sociological Law and the Deviant Case,” Sociometry, 10 (08, 1947), pp. 250–58; and Köbben, André J. F., “The Logic of Cross-Cultural Analysis: Why Exceptions?”, in Rokkan, , ed., Comparative Research Across Cultures and Nations (Paris: Mouton, 1968), pp. 1753 .

65 Eckstein, , Division and Cohesion in Democracy: A Study of Norway (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966), esp. pp. 60–77, 177201 . Part of the critique which follows is included in my review of this book in the Journal of Modern History, 41 (03, 1969), pp. 8387 .

66 Truman, David B., The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion (New York: Knopf, 1951).

67 In one respect, it is not altogether correct to call the Norwegian case study a theory-confirming study. Because the congruence theory has a rather narrow empirical basis, consisting chiefly of only two cases (Britain and Germany), it is a hypothesis rather than an established theory. The case study of Norway is, of course, not a hypothesis-generating study either. Perhaps it should be called a “hypothesis-strengthening” case study or, as Eckstein himself suggests, a “plausibility probe” (oral comment at the IPSA Round Table Conference in Turin, September 1969).

68 Eckstein, , A Theory of Stable Democracy, Research Monograph No. 10 (Princeton, N.J.: Center of International Studies, 1961).

* This article is a revised version of a paper presented to the Round Table Conference on Comparative Politics of the International Political Science Association, held in Turin, Italy, September 10–14, 1969. I am very grateful to David E. Apter, Donald T. Campbell, Robert A. Dahl, Giuseppe Di Palma, Harry Eckstein, Lewis J. Edinger, Samuel E. Finer, Galen A. Irwin, Jean Laponce, Juan J. Linz, Stefano Passigli, Austin Ranney, Stein Rokkan, Dankwart A. Rustow, and Kurt Sontheimer for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of the paper, which were very helpful in the preparation of the revision.

Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method*

  • Arend Lijphart (a1)


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