New Directions In Comparative Politics


Howard J Wiarda

Third Edition • March 29, 2002 • 264 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813398495 • $45.00 USD$82.50 CAN

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As “must” reading for anyone interested in comparative politics, this text is designed to address the theoretical developments and approaches important to the comparative study of political systems today. These include: developmentalism, dependency theory, corporatism, state society relations, political economy, public policy analysis, indigenous theories of change, rational choice, and the new institutionalism. This text sees the new diversity of approaches as healthy and invigorating. The diversity in comparative politics over the past two decades has been reflected in prior editions of this book. Whereas these separate approaches once may have been regarded as fragmentary, now scholars have come to regard the diverse lines of inquiry as lending complimentary tools of analysis to our complex modern world. The emerging methods of comparative study often provide “causeways” between previous “islands of theory.” In this new edition, all the main approaches to comparative politics are represented in chapter length treatment. Several contributors revisit the topics they addressed in the prior editions, e.g. Tony Smith on dependency analysis, Lawrence Graham on public policy, and Joel Migdal on state-society relations. Most significantly, the third edition introduces readers to new, provocative analyses such as Paul Adams on corporatism, Anthony Gill on political economy; Ronald Inglehart on political culture; Gerardo Munck on rational choice, A. H. Somjee on indigenous theory, and Frank L. Wilson on the new institutionalism. Introductory and concluding essays by editor Howard J. Wiarda integrate the book, placing the different approaches in perspective.


Howard J. Wiarda is Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations and head of the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and Senior Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He is la member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author or editor of numerous Westview books including An Introduction to Latin American Politics and Development (with Harvey Kline) and Civil Society: The American Model and Third World Development. He is also a contributing co-editor (with Harvey Kline) of Latin American Politics and Development, Sixth Edition (2007, Westview).

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