In Comparative Politics, there are two core approaches; the area studies and the cross-national approach. The cross-national approach in Comparative Politics deals with the study of many nation-states with the purpose of addressing certain theoretical questions that apply broadly. In this approach, the tools used in most cases involve empirical data subjected to quantitative analysis. The area studies method places more emphasis on in-depth analysis within a specific region or the borders of a particular country. With this approach, the necessary tools, in most cases, involves the researcher immersing himself into the culture and language of the region under study.
It is important to study states because their power faces considerable threats from growing interconnections and interdependencies and international agreements and arrangements. These threats limit the ability of states to control their individual affairs. These threats include multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and bodies operating on a global scale. This is evident from the rise of terrorism and other vices, which are not restricted to countries any more. However, states retain the power and responsibility to protect their citizens and undertake other national duties by virtue of having supreme power within their jurisdictions. States are still important, therefore forming the point of departure and focus for comparative approach to government and politics. Comparative Politics has six main approaches: Institutionalism, Systems theory, Governance, Marxism, Structural functionalism, Institutionalism and Corporatism. Institutional analysis forms the basis of Comparative Politics (Caramani, 2).
Comparative Politics is a science because it is guided by various theories (Caramani, 25). Alasdair MacIntyre first raised the question of the possibility of Comparative Politics being a science. The deduction he provided in his analysis was that there was