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The University of Southampton
Centre for Political Ethnography

The Art and Craft of Comparison book

Published: 25 June 2019
book cover

Is it possible to compare French presidential politics with village leadership in rural India? Most social scientists – even those of opposing methodological and philosophical persuasions – are united in thinking such unlikely juxtapositions are not feasible. We think they are. This book explains why and how.


The book is a call to arms for interpretivists to embrace creatively comparative work. Initial chapters explain, defend and illustrate the comparative interpretive approach. But it is also an engaging, hands-on guide to doing comparative interpretive research. The chapters cover design, fieldwork, analysis and writing. The advice in each revolves around ‘rules of thumb’, grounded in experience, and illustrated through stories and examples from our own research in different contexts around the world.

Read chapter 1 of the book by clicking on the link below.

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