Comparative Research

“The only credible justification for comparison ought to te pragmatic: that is, to enable us to understand better what is happening in the world in which we live.”

“The choice of questions and case studies must be appropriate. Only meaningful comparisons can yield meaningful insights.”

“… an analysis of the political order requires an understanding of power at the local level. … It is not possible to ascertain, a priori, which are the most relevant units of analysis. … Meaningful comparison must be demonstrated, not assumed. …

comparisons … [can] only be set up once the question being investigated has been related to the appropriate level of analysis within the relevant context. In this instance, an assessment of party politics in Muslim and non-Muslim societies requires an analytical framework that would enable a comparison of notions of representation rather than party competition …

… a cultural approach stresses the importance of taking a dynamic, historically based view of social relations. …

What is at stake is the appreciation of the variegated ways in which power, authority, control and influence impinge on the workings of the politics that really affect people’s lives. The difficulty here lies in identifying such webs of power and in finding means of advancing comparative analysis. …

A cultural approach makes possible the identification of important political actors in two ways. First, it proposes to make explicit the systems of meaning that validate authority in society. … Second, it recognises that significant political agency is to be found in both the formal and informal sectors of political life – two areas that need equal research attention. … Finally, it provides a means of studying the increasingly salient role of non-state actors in international relations. …

The first and most significant political function of culture in all societies is to provide a framework for the enunciation of rationality. … This entails working out its two distinct aspects: the first concerns the ‘logics’ of a political system; the second involves understanding how actors explain what they do. … Political logic is always constructed, contextually, within the culture of which it is a part. Thus the aim of a cultural approach is to seek to understand how such logics emerge, or are ‘invented’, how groups of people come to agree, even if only implicitly, on what rational political behaviour is. …

Myths … are usually a response either to the necessity of constructing a clearly defined sense of identity or to meet a perceived threat from other groups. Myths are thus the material from which communities are ‘imagined’ … What matters …. is the fact that myths of this ilk make possible large-scale political violence. …

We are … interested in identifying, understanding and discussing the ways in which the people concerned make sense of the changes they witness or undergo; how they explain what they do, in the ways in which they do it. … culture changes tectonically – meaning that the process is marked by three characteristics: it is perceived by us to be subteranean, unpredictable and to proceed in unequal quantum jumps. … What matters is how political meanings evolve and why.”

aus: Patrick Chabal & Jean-Pascal Daloz: Culture Troubles. Politics and the Interpretation of Meaning. London: Hurst & Co., 2006, S.125-155, 177, etwas umsortiert.


02/09/2009 (0:21) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

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