The aim of this volume is to address a range of key challenges for political science in the twenty-first century and to identify ways in which the discipline – broadly construed to include the study of both domestic and global politics – might respond to these. Such questions about the relationship between what we study, how we study it and the conclusions we draw seem, on the face of it, both crucially important and yet disarmingly simple. But, in practice, they are rarely discussed – not least because they turn out to rather more difficult to answer than they are to pose. How have politics and political science evolved, and what limits do the former place upon the latter? To what extent are ‘real world’ developments drivers of the substantive content and the analytical and theoretical preoccupations of contemporary political science? Or, to put this in a slightly different way, how – and, indeed, how well – has political science, as a discipline, responded to the challenges posed by ‘real world’ developments?
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