Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Best Books on Comparative Political Analysis

A lot of times, students of political science and international relations ask about which books to refer for studying comparative political analysis (CPA)

In my JNU days, when I was doing my Masters in International Relations, one of my subjects was comparative political analysis. There were several books and authors that we sweared by for getting an indepth understanding on this subject.

Today in order to make the life of students who are searching -for proper books on this subject, I bring to you a comprehensive list of books on Comparative Political Analysis.

Comparative Politics Today: A World View

Gabriel A. Almond, G. Bingham Powell, JR., Kaare Strom and Russell J. Dalton

Not just for CPA but political science students will also find this book useful because it explains in detail the structure of international relations and its workings; how the constitution, political parties, etc. are formed; what is the political system of Russia, China, France, etc. It is quite bulky and lengthy book but it just goes on to say the amount of information that is stocked into it.

Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Reconsidered

Ronald H. Chilcote

This book gives an overview of the main theories and ideologies of politics and political behaviour. Being decades old, the book explains in detail the different approaches to study comparative politics like historical, post-behavioral, post-industrialization, etc. It also touches upon the contemporary challenges in this subject like state-building, ethnic conflict and security.

Bringing The State Back In

Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer and Theda Skocpol

State is the primary focus of this book. Questions like how is state formed, how has the concept of state changed over time and space, what are industrial states or economic states, how is state making post war, etc. are dealt from historical, economical, sociological point of view.

Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

This is another classic for all those interested in CPA, political science, Marxism and what not. Lenin talks about industrialization, concentration of capital, monopolies, big corporation giants, financial capital, etc. Before heading on to the contemporary works published on Marxism and economic theory, this book must be consulted as it makes a clear base for understanding newer concepts.

The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies

Neil Lazarus

The book touches upon the era of post-colonialism wherein newer issues like globalization, nationalism, decolonization, migration, etc. is making an impact on political system and debates.

Arguing Comparative Politics

Alfred Stepan

Divided into 3 parts, the books argues on state and society, different polities and democracy.

Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital

Vivek Chibber

Written by an Indian author the focus is on Global South and its school of thought. Especially if you are looking for an analysis of Subaltern Studies then Chibber's work wont disappoint you.

New Directions in Comparative Politics

Howard J. Wiarda

Explained in detail the important theories of CPA like state, developmentalism, dependency, political economy, institutionalism, etc.

So, these were my 9 books that I have found most useful for studying traditional approaches in CPA, behavioral approaches, systems theory, structural functionalism, modernization theory, dependency theory, Marxism and post-colonialism.

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