Comparative Approach in the Study of Politics

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A comparative approach enables us to think towards the circumstances where there is an absence of a favorable political environment. In such conditions any institutional design is inadequate for the development of the constitutional state as well as other democratic institutions.


The linkage between constitutionalism and political culture is not always directed, fixed, or clear, however it depends upon which method of comparison is adopted. While studying comparative approach the unubiquitous issue present now a days is the political comparison of umpteen countries, which most closely approximates the experimental method of science. This comparison is particularly suited to quantitative analysis through measurement and analysis of aggregate data collected on many countries (Lijphart 1971). Although there are examples of qualitative comparisons of such countries, like Huntington's (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and Finer's (1997) History of Government, the majority of studies that compare many countries simultaneously use quantitative methods. This method of comparison requires a higher level of abstraction in its specification of concepts in order to include as many countries as possible. (Landman, 2003) Its main advantages include statistical control to rule out rival explanations, extensive coverage of countries along with its political circumstances, the ability to make strong inferences, and the identification of 'deviant' countries or 'outliers'.
Comparing many countries is referred to as 'variable-oriented', since its primary focus is on general dimensions of macro-social variation (Ragin, 1994) and the relationship between variables at a global level of analysis. ...
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