By Graham Crow
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Extra resources for Comparative Sociology and Social Theory: Beyond the Three Worlds
The Theory and Practice of Comparative Sociology 23 are working to 'render problematic what has long been regarded as the basic subject matter for sociology: society, conceived almost exclusively as the bounded nation-state' (Featherstone, 1990, p. 2) gives too little recognition to the depth of the classical sociologists' work and their awareness of the crucial debates in comparative sociology. The legacy of the classical sociologists has a bearing on other debates in comparative sociology besides those relating to the questions of what is being compared and the appropriate methods of comparison.
Looking in a very different way at the similarities and differences of processes of modernization in many of the same countries studied by Moore, Skocpol arrives at quite distinct groupings: France, Russia and China 'serve as three positive cases of successful social revolution', while in contrast England, Japan and Germany 'were comparable countries that underwent non-revolutionary political crises and transformations in broadly similar times and circumstances' (19 79, p. 3 7). England and France may have reached the same outcome, namely bourgeois democracy, but according to Skocpol it is inappropriate to say that they arrived there by the same route.
114), but it also reflects a broad move away from models in which primacy is given to economic factors. The rejection of the idea that economic forces somehow determine social development has had profound implications not only for liberal convergence and modernization theories, but also for varieties of Marxism which rely on similarly deterministic notions. Recognition that economic forces do not dictate patterns of development has focused greater attention on the significance of political relations for patterns of social development.