Rummel Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. My special concern is with such societies in the form of states.
Comparative Historical Method Essay Comparative Historical Method Essay The comparative historical method approaches social science research involving the over-time exploration of long processes within as well as between a small number of cases.
The goal is to arrive at generalizable theories concerning the origins of macro phenomena, such as revolutions, the welfare state, and political regimes.
This method contains two essential elements. Second, because the aim is theory building, the researcher also engages in explicit comparisons across cases to transcend the idiosyncrasies of any single case. This allows the researcher to evaluate hypothesized cause-and-effect relationships identified in the first case by assessing how these variables play out across a small number of similarly contextualized cases.
The comparative historical method has a long pedigree, going back at least as far as sociologist Max Weber and historian Otto Hintze, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in their writings on the origins of the modern state. In a generation of scholars from the mid to late twentieth century, political sociologist Barrington Moore Jr.
Later, sociologist and political scientist Theda Skocpol used the cases of France, Russia, and China to demonstrate that social revolutions were driven by a complex interplay of elite splits, economic dependency, and international threats. In the s, sociologist Rogers Brubaker explained the differences between modern French and German citizenship policies as the outcome of different legacies of nation-building.
Similarly, political scientist Kathleen Thelen has examined vocational training regimes in contemporary Germany, Britain, the United States, and Japan, showing the marked differences among them result from nineteenth-century employer-union-artisan political settlements. A casual review of this scholarship suggests that comparative historical analysis is particularly well-suited for testing hypotheses that emphasize the importance of founding moments, path dependence, critical junctures, and causal complexity in explaining macrophenomena.
There are at least three major criticisms of the comparative historical method. The first, made against all small-n studies or studies with a small studied populationis that there are simply too few cases or data points to arrive at generalizable inferences. The second problem relates to the comparability of cases, in that it is extremely difficult to identify those cases with a comparison that can adequately control for confounding variables, particularly when it comes to large-scale processes or superstructures.
Finally, given the massive scope of their subject material, practitioners of the comparative historical method must rely to an unusual degree on secondary sources, which may result in biased conclusions. Nonetheless, practical steps can be taken to minimize these concerns.
Attending to the causal mechanisms within each case—often called process tracing—generates additional data points within each case, lending greater validity to the causal inferences derived from historical case analysis.
Biases in the secondary source material might be guarded against by investigating the scholarly debates surrounding these sources and allowing the researcher to construct the least tendentious account of the case.
Cambridge University Press, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany.
Harvard University Press, Collier, Ruth Berins, and David Collier. Shaping the Political Arena.
Princeton University Press, Mahoney, James, and Dietrich Rueschemeyer. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Macrosocial Processes in the Study of Comparative Politics. States and Social Revolutions: If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services.Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe Introduction Comparative politics is concerned with examining the characteristics or qualities of two different political entities to discover resemblances or differences.
the European Union. Current Issues in Health Care, is a summary outline of common and different challenges and solutions to contemporary health care in the Member States.
This sample Processes of Democratization Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples, it is not a custom research paper. If you need help writing your assignment, please use our custom writing services and buy a paper on any of the political science research .
Comparative Politics involves both a comparative study of the political structures and functions of national political systems of various states and also a comparative study of the political structures at work within a single state.
As introduced in Unit 1, comparative politics enables us to understand how and why nations change, how and why governments in a particular part of the world compare to governments in a different part of the world, and other patterns and regularities between political systems.
Comparative Analysis of Economic and Political Cleavages in South Africa and Zimbabwe Introduction Comparative politics is concerned with examining the characteristics or qualities of two different political entities to .