The Third Problem: Theories

  • Geoffrey K. Roberts
Part of the Studies in Comparative Politics book series


As must now be apparent from the argument so far, it is a major postulate of this treatment of problems of comparative politics today that theory is more than a residual consequence of additive empirical comparison; it is inextricably woven into the very process of comparison itself. It has already been emphasised that concepts and their taxonomies are reflections of theorising (see above, pp. 23–4). Przeworski and Teune have noted68 that data only acquire significance in some theoretic context. Strategy (as already noted) is associated with theory, and methodology (as will be shown) also depends on theory.69 Macridis70 sets out a procedure for comparative analysis that consists of:
  • the collection of data on the basis of carefully constructed classificatory schemes;

  • the discovery and description of uniformities and differences on the basis of such data;

  • the formulation of interrelationships involving political and other social phenomena as tentative hypotheses;

  • the verification of such hypotheses; and

  • the cumulative ‘acceptance’ of various basic propositions;


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Copyright information

© Government and Opposition 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey K. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences and EconomicsUniversity of TechnologyLoughboroughUK

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