Institutions, Ideologies, and Comparative Political Theory

Institutions, Ideologies, and Comparative Political Theory

by Joshua Simon, Columbia University

Political theorists are often concerned to explain how prominent intellectuals’ ideas relate to the circumstances within which they lived and worked, but there are cases in which it is impossible to discern this relationship simply by reading their writings. The comparative method offers a systematic means of testing alternative claims about the relationship between ideas and context, which ultimately could teach us a lot about which intellectuals’ ideas are likely to be useful and attractive to us.

 

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