chapter  1
Pages 4

Thus began the discussion of the discipline of ‘‘political science’’ in the 1968

edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Indeed, the

discipline within which this book falls has been one in search of an identity,

defining and redefining its very core, its analytical agendas, and the concepts

and methodology with which it has sought to prove its points. The sub-field with which the book is specifically concerned, that of comparative politics,

has undergone even wider oscillations in its search for an adequate para-

digm, an overall conceptual and theoretical framework based on a certain

methodological approach. But there has also been a growing realization by

a number of comparitivists that, because of its very nature, comparative

politics does not need achieve a paradigm, nor can it really do so: the best

the discipline can do is to build testable explanatory theory. It is within this

vein that the present book is written. The book presents a modified framework for comparative political analysis; but its approach is not radically

new, nor does it pretend to be. What the book does is to draw on existing

explanations and approaches in order to give theoretical cohesion and to

explicitly spell out an approach that the logic of the recent literature on

comparative politics implies.