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This programme is associated with the final Block of the correspondence material which deals in part with methodology in comparative politics. The programme is a discussion between three distinguis...hed professors of political science in the United Kingdom and a studio audience comprising students of the D231 course and members of the Course Team. Professor J. Blondel, Professor S.E. Finer and Professor L. Schapiro discuss a number of matters relating to the methodology of comparative politics. Central to the discussion is the question of whether comparative politics can be scientific and whether it is possible for any one political scientist to study in depth more than one or two countries. The different methodological approaches, particularly between Professors Finer and Schapiro on the one hand and Professor Blondel on the other, become apparent as the discussion proceeds.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D231, Comparative government and politics
Item code: D231; 08
First transmission date: 22-09-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:27
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributor: John: Blondel, Jean: Finer, Samuel: Schapiro, Leonard Melling
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Comparative Politics
Footage description: Melling introduces the programme and the guests. Schapiro gives his views on whether comparative politics can be a science. Blondel and Finer also comment on this matter. Blondel sees some justification in using the term scientific whereas Finer is unconvinced. Finer answers a question on why authors write books on comparative politics. Blondel replies to the question on how far comparative politics can be predictive. Lewis wants to know whether the concept of 'political system' is useful. Finer prefers the old fashioned 'state' idea, but Blondel disagrees. Power poses a question about longitudinal studies, comparing politics over time. Schapiro prefers to call them historical studies. Blondel and Finer also discuss the benefits of historical comparative studies. Finer discusses the proposition that the bureaucracy of a military organisation may lead to military coups. A student asks whether there aren't other yardsticks for comparing governments, and the programme fades over a discussion of this point. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/71462
Production number: 00525_2060
Videofinder number: 104
Available to public: no