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...

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