The growth of Comparative Politics has been a recent phenomenon (particularly post second world war period). It is a systematic outcome of realization within the circle of political scientist to study political reality with the use of new methods and techniques to evolve what may be called a science of politics.
Moreover, widespread scepticism and disenchantment with the traditional approaches provided impetus to this trend.
Contemporary manifestation comparative politics is aimed at studying politics as a dynamic affair—as an activity, a process and power relations. While ‘comparative government’ is concerned with the study of different political system with respect to the institutions and their functions, comparative politics is concerned with study of institution, functions and also the study of non state actors.
It has wider focus and as Sidney Werba points out “look beyond description to more theoretically relevant problems; look beyond the formal institutions of government to political processes and political functions, and look beyond the countries of Western Europe to new nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
rigin and Evolution:
There have been three trends in the development of comparative politics.
1. In the earliest phase, works of Aristotle, Machiavelli, Alexis-de-Toaueville, Bryce, etc. are categorised. Most of the writers employed comparative method with the aim of evolving a better political order.
2. In the second phase comes the works of writers like Samuel Beer, Ulam, Macridis etc. It represents more sophistication in the realm of political enquiry.
3. In the third phase comes the works of Easton, Almond, Coleman, Karl Deutsch, Lass well etc. With the help of interdisciplinary focus in their enquiry they evolved a number of tools and techniques for the analysis of politics.
Some of the main points of Comparative Politics include.
1. Change in focus from purely normative to empirical enquiry.
2. Focus on all those factors having impact on politics.
3. Their approach is interdisciplinary.
4. Attempts to build value free political theory.
5. Most of these works concentrate on the study of developing societies (third world countries).
Thus the study of comparative politics has enormously influenced the expanding horizon of political science. It has attempted to encompass all those factors which it considers affects the politics of the day. It also expresses a kind of intellectual rigor towards the analysis of developing countries.