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The nature and future of comparative politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2009

Philippe C. Schmitter*
Affiliation:
Emeritus Professor, European University Institute, Florence, Italy Recurring Visiting Professor, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Abstract

The future of comparative politics is in doubt. This sub-discipline of political science currently faces a ‘crossroads’ that will determine its nature and role. In this essay, I make a (willfully distorted) plea that it should eschew the alternative of continuing to follow one or another versions of ‘institutionalism’ or that of opting completely for ‘simplification’ based on rational choice. It should embrace the ‘complex interdependence’ of the contemporary political universe and adjust its selection of cases and concepts accordingly. Without pretending to offer a novel paradigm or method. I explore some of the implications of conducting comparative research in this more contingent and less predictable context.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Consortium for Political Research 2009

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