Political Science in Theory and Practice: The Politics' Model

Political Science in Theory and Practice: The Politics' Model

Political Science in Theory and Practice: The Politics' Model

Political Science in Theory and Practice: The Politics' Model

Synopsis

This text demonstrates that there is a politics model that unifies the discipline and structures its relationship to the other social sciences. It shows how this model underlies important works of applied research in all the main political science subfields.

Excerpt

A common reaction in the outside world to the admission that one is a political scientist, or is studying to be a political scientist, is the charge that political science is an oxymoron--or, more colloquially, the rude question "What's politics got to do with science?" followed by a skeptical roar of laughter. The public feeling seems to be that if political scientists were in possession of anything even faintly resembling a science, they could tell the world something beyond what is in the daily news, could provide not just the known facts but general explanations that would make the political world more understandable. This goal has been elusive. Even when sophisticated statistics are brought to bear on politics, the numbers frequently only repeat facts that were obvious enough to uninformed observers without going to all that statistical trouble. Something more has been needed.

This book argues that political science has over recent decades begun to fulfill its promise of providing in-depth explanations of political events from community politics to political parties to national development to international politics to all the nooks and crannies in which political interaction occurs. A kind of unobtrusive consensus has emerged among leading political scientists who have pursued their independent inquiries, following the natural contours of political life. These political scientists have not sought 'grand' theories, nor made great 'methodological' claims, but have directed their attention to real political problems where opportunities for gain and possibilities for trouble are inextricably mixed in daily political events. In doing what 'came naturally,' these political scientists have in effect created a working model of political behavior, a model that explains how individuals and groups, with varying resources and opportunities, engage in the political interactions that create, maintain, or destroy the political institutions, both formal and informal, under which all human beings must live. Using this model allows political scientists and other observers to get a better grip on political realities--the dark . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.