The Study of Politics: A Short Survey of Core Approaches
The Study of Politics explores and addresses the implications of committing to specific principles and methodologies in political science research, while offering balanced assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of each method. Pyrcz also considers the assumptions regarding human agency inherent to each approach and attends more generally to the state of political science as a discipline.
Readers will gain a strong foundation in theoretical work and a greater appreciation for its practical value. The Study of Politics both challenges and enables students of politics and government to conduct research with a deeper awareness of the intellectual traditions underlying their work.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 224 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
ReviewsGreg Pyrcz's The Study of Politics is a lucid and intelligent overview of major contemporary approaches in political science. It deftly examines the presuppositions and conceptual apparatus of approaches, offers judicious assessments of their possibilities and weaknesses, and shows not only where they are incompatible but also where they might be complementary. A valuable guide for students of the discipline, Pyrcz's book also provides more seasoned researchers with insights into alternative methods that might enrich their own work.
Douglas Moggach, University of Ottawa
In this brief book, Greg Pyrcz successfully presents core approaches from rational choice to critical ecology. His writing is clear without oversimplifying the material or ignoring the nuances of theories. He is particularly adept at identifying the fundamental features, assumptions, and philosophical premises of each appraoch. The Study of Politics is a very useful text for second- or third-year courses in methods and approaches to political science and is also accessible enough to be assigned in an introductory course.
G. Grant Amyot, Queen's University
Author InformationGreg Pyrcz is a Professor of Political Science at Acadia University.
Table of contentsAcknowledgments
1. Introduction to the Study of Politics
The Origins of the Discipline
The Language of Politics: Power, Influence, Legitimacy, and Authority
Folk Theories of Political Agency
Sources of Political Conduct
Five Modes of Inquiry
The Normative in Political Studies
A Taxonomy of Core Approaches
2. Three Traditional Approaches
Analytical Political Studies
3. The Science of Political Studies
Rational Choice Theory
4. Interpretive Political Studies
(Political) Cultural Studies
5. Critical Political Studies
Critical Psychoanalysis: The Frankfurt School and Existentialist Psychology
Critical Race Theory
6. A Short Conclusion
Multidisciplinarity and Interdisciplinarity
Narrowing the Discipline
Other Lines of Response
A Little More Pedagogy
Subjects and Courses