Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics (III)

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2003.05.08

For citation:

Sartori G. Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics (III) . – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No. 5. P. 65-75. (In Russ.).


It is concrete examples of incorrect treatment of concepts in comparative politics that are analyzed in the final part of the article (for the first two parts see Polis, 2003, №№ 3 and 4). With models examined, of the usage of the “structure” and “function” categories and of the “pluralism”, “integration”, “participation” and “mobilization” concepts as examples, the author demonstrates that the basic problem of comparative studies is confusion as to the level of analysis, which entails conceptual stretching and logical inconsistencies. As a result, the very purpose of comparing is defeated, and we are left to swim in a sea of empirical and theoretical messiness. To overcome this situation, according to Sartori, it is necessary and possible (1) to develop the discipline along a medium level of abstraction with better intermediate categories, and (2) to manoeuvre, both upwards and downwards, along a ladder of abstraction in such a way as to bring together assimilation and differentiation, a relatively high explanatory power and a relatively precise descriptive content, macro-theory and empirical testing.

Content No. 5, 2003

See also:

Inoguchi T.,
Political theory. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No3

Matz U.,
Ideologies as Determinant of Modem Politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 1992. No1

Wittrock B.,
Modernity: One, None, or Many? European Origins and Modernity as a Global Condition. – Polis. Political Studies. 2002. No1

Modelski G.,
The Evolution of Global Politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2005. No3

Politics as a Science Discipline [After D. Held]. – Polis. Political Studies. 1991. No5



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