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Comparative Politics
Rationality, Culture, and Structure

2nd Edition


Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

Mark Irving Lichbach, Alan S. Zuckerman, Ira Katznelson, Margaret Levi, Marc Ross, Joel S. Migdal, Mark Blyth, Etel Solingen, Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilly, Robert Huckfeldt, Christopher J. Anderson, Jonathan Rodden, Isabela Mares, Kanchan Chandra
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  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521712347

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Completely revised version of a very successful volume
    • A set of rigorous analyses of the current state of comparative politics
    • Authors are leading scholars in the field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521712347
    • length: 520 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Paradigms and pragmatism: comparative politics during the past decade Mark I. Lichbach and Alan S. Zuckerman
    2. Thinking and working: discovery, explanation, and evidence in comparative politics Mark Irving Lichbach
    3. Advancing explanation in comparative politics: social mechanisms, endogenous processes, and empirical rigor Alan S. Zuckerman
    4. Strong theory, complex history: structure and configuration in comparative politics revisited Ira Katznelson
    5. Reconsiderations of rational choice in comparative and historical analysis Margaret Levi
    6. Culture in comparative political analysis Marc Ross
    7. Researching the state Joel S. Migdal
    8. An approach to comparative analysis, or a sub-field within a sub-field? Political economy Mark Blyth
    9. The global context of comparative politics Etel Solingen
    10. Comparative perspectives on contentious politics Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly
    11. Citizenship in democratic politics: density dependence and the micro-macro divide Robert Huckfeldt
    12. Macropolitics and microbehavior in comparative politics Christopher J. Anderson
    13. Back to the future: endogenous institutions and comparative politics Jonathan Rodden
    14. The comparative political economy of the welfare state Isabela Mares
    15. Making causal claims about the effect of 'ethnicity' Kanchan Chandra.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Political Systems
    • Ethnicity and Nationalism
    • Foundations of World Politics
    • Middle Eastern Politics
    • Political Economy and Historical Institutionalism in Western Democracies
    • Political Science Research Methods
    • Problems in Comparative Politics
    • Survey of Comparative Politics
    • The Politics of Adapting to Climate Change
    • Theories and Methods in Comparative Politics
  • Authors

    Mark Irving Lichbach, University of Maryland, College Park
    Mark Irving Lichbach is Professor and Chair of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. A theorist interested in social choice and a comparativist interested in globalization, Lichbach explores the connections between collective action theories and political conflict as well as the connections between collective choice theories and democratic institutions. He is the author or editor of many books, including the award-winning The Rebel's Dilemma, and of numerous articles that have appeared in scholarly journals in political science, economics, and sociology.

    Alan S. Zuckerman, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Alan S. Zuckerman is Professor of Political Science at Brown, University. Zuckerman's scholarship has focused on the analytical principles of comparative politics; the social context of political preferences, choice, and behavior; the individual and the state in established democracies; and the political structure of small groups. He is also the author, coauthor, editor, and co-editor of several books, including most recently Partisan Families: the Social Logic of Bounded Partisanship in Germany and Britain (2007) and The Social Logic of Politics: Personal Networks as Contexts for Political Behavior (2005). He has also published numerous articles in the leading journals of political science, as well as monographs in the United States, Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Israel.


    Mark Irving Lichbach, Alan S. Zuckerman, Ira Katznelson, Margaret Levi, Marc Ross, Joel S. Migdal, Mark Blyth, Etel Solingen, Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilly, Robert Huckfeldt, Christopher J. Anderson, Jonathan Rodden, Isabela Mares, Kanchan Chandra

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