Thomas S. Harrington, “Catalonia and the Art of Differential Diagnosis

As in the sound practice of medicine, the key to generating useful political analysis lies in the art of differential diagnosis. This is especially true in times of apparent epidemics. When seemingly similar symptoms arise in numerous patients, or in the case of politics, in numerous sites of social action, there is an enormous temptation to describe the problem at hand in terms of overarching patterns of “infection”.

How can we combat this very understandable, if ultimately counterproductive,   tendency?


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