So far in Theories and Methods the focus has been on judging political science according to factors that are vital but internal to the discipline. What are the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to political science? What are the best methods to use when studying politics? In this chapter we want to turn the focus to a more outward-looking criterion. We ask whether political science has anything of relevance to say to key concerns confronting today’s society. Can political science give answers to important real-world problems and, in particular, can it make significant analytical observations that contribute to the identification of solutions to such social problems? As an academic discipline, with a lively practice in universities for about a hundred years, what contributions does political science have to offer in addressing key political problems and issues? The rationale of this chapter is to test the discipline, not against ‘insider’ criteria about coherence and sophistication of research approach, but to ask whether political science has anything relevant to say. After millions of published words in books and articles, underwritten by major research spending, can political science tell us anything valuable about a range of the major issues confronting global society today?
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- The Relevance of Political Science
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 16