This text contains an analysis of the key concepts, hypotheses, and models of comparative politics. The work of key theorists is examined. Concepts include revolution, dictatorship, political development, legitimacy, and others. The author formulates ways in which the key concept can be made clearer, the hypothesis can be modified to give it more explanatory power, or the model refined so that it approximates empirical reality more closely. Political ideology is presented as a particular descriptive understanding of the world, together with a prescription for desirable political outcomes. In politics the danger comes from too much ideological thinking, or from too little. The Concepts of Comparative Politics is analytical, yet also empirical. It focuses on the premise that one must have a unifying vision, an integrated view of the world, which otherwise becomes a chaos of unintelligible events. Yet possession of that world view should not be carried to the point of limiting one's ability to perceive factual situations correctly. This work is invaluable as a text for Introduction to Comparative Politics and as a supplement for any course in comparative politics.
MARTIN C. NEEDLER is Dean of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He is the author of a number of books and monographs, including Mexican Politics: The Containment of Conflict, 2nd Edition (Praeger Publishers, 1990).
Introduction Crisis and Discontinuity Revolution Totalitarianism and Dictatorship Legitimacy Developmental Perspectives Political Development Political Issues in Developmental Perspective Military Rule and the Single-Party System in the Third World Political Infrastructure Political Culture Social Class and Politics The Two-Party System Political Institutions Pressure Groups, Bureaucrats, and Policymaking Executives, Legislatures and the Separation of Powers The Parliamentary-Presidential Hybrid Conclusion Identity, Interest, Ideology Bibliography Index