The dictionary says that a prolegomenon is “a learned preface or preamble, … introductory or preliminary observations on the subject of a book.” And indeed, the remarks I am about to make are preliminary to a volume on state formation that Lloyd Rudolph and I hope to produce one of these years. Such a prolegomenon is also a commitment to a path of action, a justification, a polemic in favor of what one proposes to do. Today, I want to speak for the domain of comparison.

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