The study covering the political experience of and within one nation-state to make systematic comparisons is Comparative Politics. There are two main approaches within Comparative Politics, the strategy to Cross-national and the approaches to the area studies. The path to cross-national necessitates the coexistent studying of a considerable number of nation-states to monologue the theoretical questions of broader applicability. The tools typically demand the quantitative analysis of the empirical data. There is a need for some medium to find the differences between one country and another. The need for finding the differences arises to discover the effects of certain aspects like the economic strength, the military strength, and the structural regime of power. Comparing the countries is helping us to allow ourselves to learn about other countries while evading our ethnic, cultural misconceptions, which a number of us have.
The approach to area studies focuses on the in-depth inspection in a specific country or the part of the world. The strategy dictates the need for tools like immersing into the language and culture of the geography of the region, which is under the survey.
Comparative Politics is not new; in fact, its time of existence is equal to Political Science. The father of Political Science, Aristotle, initially used the comparison method of comprehending and analysing the principles, the concerns and problems within the Greek City-States during his time. The knowledge he gained during his comparative analysis further helped him to develop theories in Political Science. Following in the footsteps of the father of Political Science, several other thinkers of the field began the use of the comparative analysis method to present their views and inferences about politics. Therefore, one can conclude for sure that the origin of Comparative Politics is with Aristotle.
Today, in modern times, Comparative Politics is now gained recognition as a primary and a crucial dimension of Political Science. A colossal number of Political scientists also consider Comparative Politics as an independent discipline as has a vast scope and significance of the comprehensive understanding required of all societies in politics. In the study of politics, the comparative approach emerges as very practical and highly demanding. There is no doubt to the fact that the comparative approach to the political systems is an intrinsic part of Political Science.
Since the very ancient times, Comparative Politics is prevalent and convenient subject to study within the broad spectrum of Political Science. By observing the workings of 158 countries, Aristotle used the knowledge gained to find answers for many vital questions. Like, which is an ideal state or which is the best practicable state? Or the finding the answer to the more obvious question that: which is by far the best constitution of the world? The path followed by Aristotle was admirable to all the political thinks, and the tradition hasn’t changed till today. It is now indeed a fact that beginning from the days of Aristotle, the comparative analysis and study of the federal governments, processes and institutions is continuously developing as a vast and approachable area of investigations for a considerable number of political scientists. J.S Mill, Cicero, Bagehot, Machiavelli, Polybius, Montesquieu and many other Political thinkers after Aristotle used the comparative analytical method which produced highly effective results.
Comparative Politics gained the recognition of an independent discipline in the Western World. Many political scholars of the third world countries also engaged themselves in the extensive study of the subject and the practise continues. Even in modern times, the study of Comparative Politics is a common choice of discipline. What makes this even more challenging and exciting is the increase in the number of independent sovereign states.
The modern times is witness to the increase in the importance of the discipline. The existing 193 political systems of the countries along with the existing non-state governmental entities of the world magnify the importance of Comparative Politics even more. The increase in the importance of the subject is due to the demand for building a scientific theory about politics and finding scope in the comparative analytical method. In the 19th century, Comparative Politics was known as Comparative Government. The study was highly useful for political scientists to arrive at the right and reasonable conjuncture about nature and organisations of the nation and government along with the comparative analytical study of functions, organisations and powers of different workings of political institutions in different societies.
The main objective of Comparative Politics is to understand and investigate the legal and historical similarities and differences amongst the different types of government and the political institutions of the same, to obtain the answer to two critical questions: Which was the best form of Government? And, which sort of political institutions were the superior ones?
- The main features of Comparativepolitics are as follows:
- Analytical and Empirical Research
- The objective of the study of Politics
- The Study of the Political process of both Developed Countries and Developing Countries
- Emphasis on the study infrastructure of Politics
- Horizontal and vertical comparisons
Some of the definitions in Comparative Politics are indeed traceable back to Greek Philosophy. But, being a modern Independent discipline, Comparative Politics comprises of research within the range of significant areas which include, bit does to limit itself to the study of:
- Political violence
- The methologies of comparative analytical political research
- Comparison of the Political institutions
- Voting behavioural patterns
- The politics involved in the democratic states
- The provision of public goods and distributive politics
- The politics involved in the authoritarian states
- The origin of a state
- The collective action
- The development of a political economy
- Change in a regime and democratisation
- Party system, elections and electoral
- The true meaning of Political identity and the involvement of ethnicity and religion in politics
As several political scientists research, various governments and research institutions gain recognitions according to the categories mentioned above; it is not unusual to find claims to specialisations of geographic or coutries as a differentiating category.
Feb 12, 2020