The complications of using similar concepts in different situations are well known to everyone in comparative politics.
This volume faces the problems of comparability and equivalence head on and indicates practical ways they can be tackled. Each contribution focuses on a theoretically relevant theme, such as tolerance, political values, religious orientation, gender roles, voluntary associations, party organisations, party positions, democratic regimes, and the mass media.
Chapters cover different approaches, methods, data and countries, making use of widely available empirical research to illustrate the gains of finding equivalent measures in realistic research settings. Many of the strategies show how the complicated search for comparability and equivalence uncovers substantial additional information in comparative politics. Dealing with these problems can enhance the quality and reliability of any research.
This edition includes a new introduction from Jan W van Deth, examining developments in the field over the last twenty years.
'Comparative studies are a growth industry in political science, although the issue of concept and data equivalence is often a neglected one. When this volume first appeared greatly contributed to understand how to deal with different aspects of equivalence. The second edition is a welcome update of the state of art on this topic.'
Professor of Political Sociology, Dipartimento di Studi Sociali e Politici, Università di Milano
'For any scholar or practitioner concerned with the validity of cross-national and cross-cultural comparison, the problem of equivalence affects questions concerning conceptual and theoretical development, measurement and analysis, and the generation of useful inferences that matter for the real world. Jan W van Deth has long been the world’s leading scholar on this topic and this volume offers an updated and expanded examination of equivalence that charts a pragmatic 'middle road' between universality and relativity in comparative politics, which will appeal to a wide range of readers.'
Professor of Government and Director of the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, University of Essex