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Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics - Ian Shapiro

Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics

By: Ian Shapiro (Editor), Rogers M. Smith (Editor), Tarek E. Masoud (Editor)

Paperback Published: 22nd December 2004
ISBN: 9780521539432
Number Of Pages: 432

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The study of politics seems endlessly beset by debates about method. At the core of these debates is a single unifying concern: should political scientists view themselves primarily as scientists, developing ever more sophisticated tools and studying only those phenomena to which such tools may fruitfully be applied? Or should they instead try to illuminate the large, complicated, untidy problems thrown up in the world, even if the chance to offer definitive explanations is low? Is there necessarily a tension between these two endeavours? Are some domains of political inquiry more amenable to the building up of reliable, scientific knowledge than others, and if so, how should we deploy our efforts? In this book, some of the world's most prominent students of politics offer original discussions of these pressing questions, eschewing narrow methodological diatribes to explore what political science is and how political scientists should aspire to do their work.

'... a positive contribution to this ongoing debate.' Political Studies Review
"Theorists and empiricists concerned about the future direction of political science will find this book extremely informative. Highly recommended." CHOICE

Introduction: problems and methods in the study of politics
Description, Explanation, and Agency
Problems, methods and theories in the study of politics, or: What's wrong with political science and what to do about it
Of problems and methods: identities, interests, and the tasks of political science in the 21st century
Political science as a vocation
The politics of policy science
The study of black politics and the practice of black politics: their historical relation and evolution
External and internal explanation
Redeeming Rational Choice Theory?
Lies, damned lies, and rational choice analyses
On problems and methods
An analytic narrative approach to puzzles and problems
The methodical study of politics
Possibilities for Pluralism and Convergence
The illusion of learning from observational research
Concepts and commitments in the study of democracy
Problems chasing methods or methods chasing problems, research communities, constrained pluralism, and the role of eclecticism
Method, problem, faith
Provisionalism in the study of politics
What have we learned?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521539432
ISBN-10: 0521539439
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 22nd December 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.64