The standard unit of analysis in comparative politics is the state. It is by no means the only such option, because comparison can be made at any level from the local to the multinational, and can involve any political institution, process, problem, or phenomenon, but states are the most common point of reference for the comparative study of political systems. For this reason, we need to understand what states are, how they work, how they evolved, the varieties in which they can be found, and the current dynamic of the state system.
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- The State
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- Chapter 2