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Some Methodological Problems in Comparative Politics

Andrew Murray Faure

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1994, vol. 6, issue 3, 307-322

Abstract: This article attempts to highlight the logical fabric of comparison in comparative politics. The framework encompassing various views on the nature of comparison includes epistemological notions that underlie comparative analysis such as the contexts of discovery and justification in science, as well as the role of logic within these contexts. These various views on the nature of comparison range from (1) the MSSD (Most Similar Systems Design) to (2) the MDSD (Most Different Systems Design); (3) the possibility of mirror-imagng these designs; (4) the notion that comparison is such an intrinsic part of science that it cannot deserve special status; (5) the notion that comparison is of such divergent nature that it cannot be classified; and (6) the view that comparison should be regarded as a debate over the strategic employment of scientific method. In closing, a general conclusion on the locus and role of methodology in comparative politics is offered.

Keywords: comparative politics; comparison; method; methodology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1994
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