World Politics

Research Article

A Developmental Approach to Political Systems

Gabriel A. Almonda1

a1 Stanford University

During the past decade two tendencies have come to dominate the field of comparative politics. One of these is the concern for theoretical explication and methodological rigor, and the second is the emphasis on field studies of the “emerging,” “new,” and “non-Western” nations. The theoretical tendency has largely taken the form of applications of "systems" theory to the study of politics, and the chief criticism of this approach has been that it is a static theory, not suitable for the analysis and explanation of political change.

Gabriel A. Almond is Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His recent publications include The Politics of the Developing Areas, which he and James S. Coleman edited in i960, and, with his co-author Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations (1963).