chapter  3
A synthesis
Pages 10

As chapter 2 demonstrated, there has been considerable debate among

comparativists concerning the adoption of an appropriate approach to the

discipline. In many ways this debate has come to resemble the ‘‘dialogue

of the deaf’’ of a decade earlier between modernizers and dependency

Each of these approaches has in its own way shed much light on pre-

viously unexplored angles, and each has deepened and enriched the level of

analysis by its critique of the one before. But, as previously demonstrated, arguments over which line of inquiry best provides a method of comparison

continue to rage in books, in university lecture halls, and in scholarly jour-

nals. As some of the quotations presented in chapter 2 indicate, at times the

debate has lost sight of the issues at hand and has degenerated into one-

upmanship and name-calling. Successive generations of scholars appear to

have learned little from those who preceded them. Earlier state-centered

analyses drew attention to the importance of political institutions and their

forms, but their insights and contributions were largely neglected by the behavioralists. The behavioralists pointed to the significance of social forms,

only to be overlooked by neo-statists.