Social networks in comparative perspective
In a sense, the study of comparative politics is the study of the role that context plays in structuring behavior. Institutional contexts, such as the nature of the electoral system or the existence of an independent judiciary, drive differences in electoral outcomes or human rights across nations. Individual-level contextual factors such as norms, culture, or ethnic or religious identity can be determinative in understanding when social movements will likely flourish and which cleavages will lead to political parties or ethnic strife. Variation in context leads to variation in political outcomes and behavior across both peoples and nations, and provides comparative politics with its richness. © Copyright American Political Science Association 2011.
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