Review article

Mirjana Kasapović ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Danijela Dolenec ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Dario Nikić Čakar ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: pdf (377 KB), Croatian, Pages 83 – 108

This article analyses the representation and main characteristics of comparative
politics articles published in the journal Politička misao. Starting from
the assumption that the political and academic fields are engaged in a process
of ‘reciprocal legitimation’, we divided the period of analysis into two phases
and research subsamples. The first encompasses articles published in the
period 1964-1989, while the second covers articles published in the period
1990-2013. Content analysis reveals that during the first phase comparative
politics articles were weakly represented in the journal. The few articles that
belong to the field were mostly written from a Marxist perspective, and occasionally
from the perspective of old normative institutionalism. Overall they
were methodologically unreflective, descriptive and configurative. The most
frequent topics were self-managing democracy, communist and revolutionary
parties, anti-imperial movements and conflicts in Third World countries.
The time period after 1990 is characterised by a strengthening of the field of
comparative politics. First of all, there is a notable increase in the number of
articles dedicated to elections, electoral systems, political parties and party
systems, legislatures and governments, constitutionalism and the judiciary,
political culture, nationalism, as well as European institutions and processes.
Secondly, theoretical approaches are more diversified, ranging from new institutionalism,
behavioralism and pluralism to rational choice theory and cultural
theory. Though case studies and focused studies with a small-N are the
most frequent empirical strategies, overall methodology remains the weakest
element of domestic academic production in comparative politics, while explicitly
methodological discussions remain extremely rare.

Comparative Politics; Marxism; Theoretical Pluralism; Weak Methodology; Content Analysis