Proposing no less than an epistemological shift in comparative politics, this ambitious book argues “that a genuinely ‘scientific’ comparative study is only possible if every effort has been made to identify the relevant local evidence.” (p. 201). This work is a timely and important contribution to a sub-discipline under pressure to strike a balance between disciplinary requirements to standardize its methodological apparatus in view of its claim to be a “social science” and the inherently conflictual and contentious nature of its object of study. Patrick Chabal, Professor of Lusophone African Studies at King’s College London, and Jean-Pascal Daloz, Senior Researcher at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux, have already produced a well-received piece of collaborative work, Africa Works: Disorder as a Political Instrument. Drawing on a well-established record as specialists on Africa and the comparative study of elites, they ask two central...
Comparing the Cultural Meanings of Power
HARALD WYDRA TEACHES POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, WHERE HE IS A FELLOW OF ST CATHARINE’S COLLEGE. HIS RESEARCH INTERESTS INCLUDE EASTERN EUROPEAN AND RUSSIAN POLITICS, COMPARATIVE DEMOCRATISATION, POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY, AND INTERPRETIVE METHODS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF CONTINUITIES IN POLAND’S PERMANENT TRANSITION (PALGRAVE, 2001), COMMUNISM AND THE EMERGENCE OF DEMOCRACY (CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2007), AND THE EDITOR (TOGETHER WITH ALEXANDER WÖLL) OF DEMOCRACY AND MYTH IN RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE (ROUTLEDGE, 2007).
Harald Wydra; Comparing the Cultural Meanings of Power. Cultural Politics 1 July 2007; 3 (2): 259–264. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/174321907X194075
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