Theories of Comparative Politics

The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered


Ronald H Chilcote

Second Edition • August 30, 1994 • 440 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813310176 • $57.00 USD$49.99 CAN

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Extensively revised and updated, this classic text revisits the central problem of searching for mainstream and alternative paradigms to guide us in comparative political inquiry. Building upon the first edition’s comprehensive and systematic overview of frameworks, ideologies, and theories, the second edition highlights new directions and developments over the past decade, including the continuation of an ideological political science; methodological innovations such as rational-choice, historical, and postbehavioral approaches; new emphases on and links between political culture and participation; the recasting of modernization theory and the revitalization of class analysis; and a thoroughgoing post-Keynesian political economy point of view.

The second edition continues the tradition of the first in updating what one reviewer commended as outstanding & excellent annotated bibliographies at the end of each chapter and the thorough survey of the general literature of comparative politics at the end of the book. In addition, the new edition includes an appendix of definitions that facilitate clarity and understanding of political science terminology, important for students at every level from the introductory on up.

In a post Cold War world in which challenges to comparative inquiry abound — ethnic conflict, authoritarian repression, state building and disintegration, new industrialization and postindustrialization, security systems redefined — the search for new paradigms that Theories of Comparative Politics represents gains in importance daily.


Ronald H. Chilcote is professor of political science and economics at the University of California, Riverside. He is founder and managing editor of Latin American Perspectives and author and editor of numerous books and articles, including Theories of Development and Underdevelopment.

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