Putting European political science back together again

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Political science is the product of modernity and the nation-state. A dominant tradition within it has striven for a positivistic and universal form of understanding, based on the individual actor. Developments in recent years have questioned our understanding of modernity, universalism, science, and the nation-state. Political science has responded in two ways: by reinforcing the positivist approach, or by adopting various forms of intepretivism. This has created an artificial division within the discipline. Political scientists can overcome this artificial divide by looking outside the discipline. There are promising developments in this direction but these are inhibited by trying to confine them within the dominant positivist mode. They have also responded by borrowing from neighbouring disciplines, but in doing so, they have too often appropriated concepts in simplified form or coined empty concepts. They need to take neighbouring disciplines more seriously and work across disciplinary boundaries. A pluralistic approach is possible, which neither seeks a grand synthesis of all the social sciences, nor sees them as independent and self-standing, but which encourages cross-fertilization and combinations of approaches. The existence of distinct European national and disciplinary traditions, far from being an obstacle to the development of the discipline, gives European political scientists an advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-316
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2009

Fingerprint

political science
political scientist
nation state
modernity
universalism
social science
science

Keywords

  • methods
  • political science
  • interpretive approaches
  • epistemiology

Cite this

Putting European political science back together again. / Keating, Michael.

In: European Political Science Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, 30.06.2009, p. 297-316.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{cca2a9000c1f44a8b35f7e965793f8c3,
title = "Putting European political science back together again",
abstract = "Political science is the product of modernity and the nation-state. A dominant tradition within it has striven for a positivistic and universal form of understanding, based on the individual actor. Developments in recent years have questioned our understanding of modernity, universalism, science, and the nation-state. Political science has responded in two ways: by reinforcing the positivist approach, or by adopting various forms of intepretivism. This has created an artificial division within the discipline. Political scientists can overcome this artificial divide by looking outside the discipline. There are promising developments in this direction but these are inhibited by trying to confine them within the dominant positivist mode. They have also responded by borrowing from neighbouring disciplines, but in doing so, they have too often appropriated concepts in simplified form or coined empty concepts. They need to take neighbouring disciplines more seriously and work across disciplinary boundaries. A pluralistic approach is possible, which neither seeks a grand synthesis of all the social sciences, nor sees them as independent and self-standing, but which encourages cross-fertilization and combinations of approaches. The existence of distinct European national and disciplinary traditions, far from being an obstacle to the development of the discipline, gives European political scientists an advantage.",
keywords = "methods, political science, interpretive approaches, epistemiology",
author = "Michael Keating",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1017/S1755773909990087",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "297--316",
journal = "European Political Science Review",
issn = "1755-7739",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Putting European political science back together again

AU - Keating, Michael

PY - 2009/6/30

Y1 - 2009/6/30

N2 - Political science is the product of modernity and the nation-state. A dominant tradition within it has striven for a positivistic and universal form of understanding, based on the individual actor. Developments in recent years have questioned our understanding of modernity, universalism, science, and the nation-state. Political science has responded in two ways: by reinforcing the positivist approach, or by adopting various forms of intepretivism. This has created an artificial division within the discipline. Political scientists can overcome this artificial divide by looking outside the discipline. There are promising developments in this direction but these are inhibited by trying to confine them within the dominant positivist mode. They have also responded by borrowing from neighbouring disciplines, but in doing so, they have too often appropriated concepts in simplified form or coined empty concepts. They need to take neighbouring disciplines more seriously and work across disciplinary boundaries. A pluralistic approach is possible, which neither seeks a grand synthesis of all the social sciences, nor sees them as independent and self-standing, but which encourages cross-fertilization and combinations of approaches. The existence of distinct European national and disciplinary traditions, far from being an obstacle to the development of the discipline, gives European political scientists an advantage.

AB - Political science is the product of modernity and the nation-state. A dominant tradition within it has striven for a positivistic and universal form of understanding, based on the individual actor. Developments in recent years have questioned our understanding of modernity, universalism, science, and the nation-state. Political science has responded in two ways: by reinforcing the positivist approach, or by adopting various forms of intepretivism. This has created an artificial division within the discipline. Political scientists can overcome this artificial divide by looking outside the discipline. There are promising developments in this direction but these are inhibited by trying to confine them within the dominant positivist mode. They have also responded by borrowing from neighbouring disciplines, but in doing so, they have too often appropriated concepts in simplified form or coined empty concepts. They need to take neighbouring disciplines more seriously and work across disciplinary boundaries. A pluralistic approach is possible, which neither seeks a grand synthesis of all the social sciences, nor sees them as independent and self-standing, but which encourages cross-fertilization and combinations of approaches. The existence of distinct European national and disciplinary traditions, far from being an obstacle to the development of the discipline, gives European political scientists an advantage.

KW - methods

KW - political science

KW - interpretive approaches

KW - epistemiology

U2 - 10.1017/S1755773909990087

DO - 10.1017/S1755773909990087

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 297

EP - 316

JO - European Political Science Review

JF - European Political Science Review

SN - 1755-7739

IS - 2

ER -