Making Sense of Complexity: Comparative Perspectives and Conclusions

  • Ludger Helms


For many decades, it seemed, the favourite writer and poet of most Anglo-Saxon political comparativists was Rudyard Kipling — if only for the legitimacy and dignity that his eagerly-quoted observation about the impossibility of understanding England from a purely English view added to their own work. Times have changed, though. There is no longer any need to buttress, or justify, comparative ambitions in political science by citing patron saints from outside the discipline. Today, it would seem, there is a greater burden on those who are unwilling to shed at least some comparative light on their subjects.


Prime Minister Chief Executive Veto Player Appointment Power Parliamentary Democracy 
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  1. 1.
    There has been a growing consensus among observers that the formal scrutiny and appointment process of presidential nominations in the Senate has turned into a largely dysfunctional procedure. See on this the special issue of the Brookings Review, vol. 19 (2001), no. 2, ed. by G. Calvin Mackenzie.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    This seems to reflect a more general historical trend. The average tenures of US cabinet secretaries have risen continuously since the Nixon presidency (National Journal, 22 May 1999: 1387–8). The average term of Clinton’s cabinet secretaries was only slightly less than four years.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ludger Helms 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludger Helms
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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