Comparative Politics

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By Michael Coppedge

Democratization and examine tools is a coherent survey and critique of either democratization examine and the method of comparative politics. the 2 subject matters increase one another: the democratization literature illustrates the benefits and downsides of assorted methodological methods, and the critique of equipment is sensible of the massive and bewildering democratization box. Michael Coppedge argues that every of the 3 major techniques in comparative politics - case experiences and comparative histories, formal modeling, and large-sample statistical research - accomplishes one primary learn target fairly good: "thickness," integration, and generalization, respectively. in the course of the publication, finished surveys of democratization learn display that every procedure accomplishes the sort of ambitions good however the different poorly. Chapters hide conceptualization and dimension, case experiences and comparative histories, formal types and theories, political tradition and survey learn, and quantitative trying out. the ultimate bankruptcy summarizes the nation of information approximately democratization and lays out an time table for multimethod learn.

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In both examples, the first regime in each list is democratic, but there is no implicit ordering of the other regimes on a democracy-nondemocracy dimension. Nominal indicators contain the least amount of quantitative information, but they often compensate by representing a great deal of qualitative information. Nominal indicators can even be used to measure multidimensional phenomena, simply by establishing thresholds on each dimension and labels or types that correspond to being above or below the threshold on certain dimensions.

Sir Isaiah Berlin once suggested that people are either foxes, who know many small things, or hedgehogs, who know one big thing (Berlin 1953). A better analogy for comparative political theories would contrast whales and octopuses. Both are renowned for their intelligence, but they use their intelligence in different ways. Whales come to know great swaths of the earth in their tours of the globe; they lack limbs that would allow them to experience objects firsthand; and their eyesight is too poor to perceive fine detail.

To the extent that there is systematic error, it has no effect on our estimates of the marginal effect of any cause on democracy. To the extent that there is random error, it should increase confidence in the many findings that have achieved statistical significance despite the error, although it does cloud the interpretation of other findings that are only marginally or occasionally significant. It might 17 If either variable is multiplied by a constant, the new estimate of the slope will be changed.

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