Theoretical and Methodological Challenges
Edited by Dietmar Braun and Martino Maggetti
The problem of interdependence between units of observation in comparative politics is one of the most serious challenges in the conduct of comparative research. It defies the use of taking the unit of analysis as the condition of policy choices. As this chapter shows, the issue was not treated seriously for a long time. Only in the last decade has interdependence been considered adequately as an explanatory aspect. The reasons for this development can mainly be found in the evolution of the field of spatial econometrics. Our aim is to portray the most influential interpretations as well as the analytical and methodical advancements, which have been offered in the context of diffusion research, to solve the problem of interdependence. Even if many questions were answered in the last millennium, our conclusion shows that many points have yet to be addressed in order to integrate interdependence more effectively into comparative analysis.
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