Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method

  title={Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method},
  author={Arend Lijphart},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  • Arend Lijphart
  • Published 1 September 1971
  • Sociology
  • American Political Science Review
This paper is a systematic analysis of the comparative method. Its emphasis is on both the limitations of the method and the ways in which, despite these limitations, it can be used to maximum advantage. The comparative method is defined and analyzed in terms of its similarities and differences vis-A -vis the experimental and statistical methods. The principal difficulty facing the comparative method is that it must generalize on the basis of relatively few empirical cases. Four specific ways… 
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