Comparative politics has undergone significant theoretical changes in recent decades. Particularly since the 1980s, a new generation of scholars have revamped and rejuvinated the study of the subject.
Mehran Kamrava examines current and past approaches to the study of comparative politics and proposes a new framework for analysis. This is achieved through a comparative examination of state and social institutions, the interactions that occur between them, and the poltical cultures within which they operate. The book also offers a concise and detailed synthesis of existing comparative frameworks that, up to now at least, have encountered analytical shortcomings on their own.
Although analytically different in its arguments and emphasis from the current "Mainstream" genre of literature on comparative politics, the present study is a logical outgrowth of the scholarly works of the last decade or so. It will be essential reading for all students of comparative politics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part 1: Approaches to Comparative Analysis 2. Theories of Comparative Politics: A Brief Overview Part 2: The Comparative Study of Politics 3. A Synthesis 4. States and Social Institutions 5. A Framework for Analysis Part 3: State in Comparative Perspective 6. Democratic States 7. Non-Democratic States Part 4: State-Society Interactions: Revolution & Democratization 8. Revolutions 9. Democratization Conclusion Bibliography
Dr. Mehran Kamrava is Director of the Centre for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of a number of books on political development and Middle East politics, including The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, Politics and Society in the Developing World, Democracy in the Balance: Culture and Society in the Middle East, and Revolutionary Politics.
'This new edition of Mehran Kamrava's Understanding Comparative Politics exemplifies the changes that comparative political analysis has undergone in the last 15 years. Kamrava examines current and past approaches to the study of comparative politics, and proposes a new framework for analysis. Focusing on twin themes - revolution and democratisation - he examines state and social institutions, how they interact, and the context provided by the political cultures from whence they operate. It will be essential reading for all students of comparative politics.' - Professor Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK
'In a concise, though often provocative update of his ideas on comparative politics, Professor Kamrava reconciles the debate on the primacy of state and society by examining both and focusing on the interaction between them. Drawing on his experience in the Middle East, he also offers a useful corrective to standard 'ideal types' drawn from the USA and Europe.' - Peter Calvert, Emeritus Professor of Comparative and International Politics, University of Southampton, UK