The new innovations in the discipline of comparative politics

This article throws light upon the new innovations in the discipline of comparative politics summarised by Gabriel A. Almond and G. Bingham Powell, Jr. The four new innovations are:

1. The Search for a More Comprehensive Scope

2. The Search for Realism 

3. The Search for Precision 

4. The Search for a New Intellectual Order.

 1. The Search for a More Comprehensive Scope:

The effort is:

(i) To break out of parochialism and ethnocentrism,

(ii) To give equal importance to the study of non-western governments and political processes along with studies of political systems, and

(iii) To make comparative politics studies comprehensive by including the efforts of all political scientists and area specialists for theory-building in political science. Past as well as present political systems form an integral part of contemporary studies of comparative politics.

 2. The Search for Realism:

It means rejection of all formalism and the dominant concern with law, ideology, and governmental institutions. It includes an examination of the structures and processes involved in politics and policy-making.

The study of governmental processes, viz., rule-making, rule-application, and rule-adjudication, political parties, interest groups, electoral processes, political communication and political socialization processes dealing with the European and non-Western areas is included in its scope. It emphasizes the study of the dynamic forces of politics.

3. The Search for Precision:

Like other social sciences, particularly psychology, economics, sociology and anthropology, there have emerged voting behaviour and electoral behaviour studies in political science also. Studies through precise measurement and controlled observations have started becoming very popular with American, European and non-western, non-European political scientists.

A large number of political scientists have produced “studies of electoral trends based on voting statistics, studies of factors affecting voters” choices based upon sample surveys; studies correlating quantitative social data and the characteristics of the political system, studies of political culture and socialization based on sample surveys, clinical case studies, and anthropological field observations, quantitative studies of political elite recruitment; quantitative content analysis of political communication, observational studies of political of judicial decisions; and the development of mathematical models for the analysis of political processes.

Organisation and analysis of opinion polls and exit polls and social surveys have become important features of modern comparative politics studies. All these attempts have been directed in the direction of securing precision in comparative politics studies.

4. The Search for a New Intellectual Order:

The above three tendencies have strained the traditional theoretical frameworks and conceptuational vocabularies beyond their capacity to codify and assimilate the new insights and findings of political science research. Concepts such as the state, the constitution, representation, rights, duties etc., cannot codify such activities as the extra-constitutional activities of political parties, pressure groups, and the media of mass communication.

Theoretical experimentation, relying primarily on sociological, psychological and anthropological concepts and frameworks, has become common, and new concepts such as political culture, political elite, political socialization have already become very popular.

Comparative Politics has developed and is still developing a new intellectual order. These four directions have greatly revolutionaries the contemporary comparative politics studies. These have been definitely directed towards the buildings of a science of politics.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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