Chapter

Political Theory: Empirical Political Theory

Klaus von Beyme

in A New Handbook of Political Science

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294719
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599361 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294719.003.0022
 Political Theory: Empirical Political Theory

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Provides a chronology of shifting paradigms, tracing a shift from ‘grand ideas’ to empirical studies. These changes are not universal, seen in the ‘geography of paradigm shifts’ of France, Germany, Britain, and the USA. Methodological approaches are situated within a framework of comparisons of the micro or the macro, and systems or actors. A minimal consensus is developing, in the theme of communitarianism. Empirical political theory reflects the revival of old positions in new formats, unlike the Kuhnian paradigmatic revolutions of the natural sciences.

Keywords: Britain; communitarianism; empiricism; France; Germany; Marxism; paradigms; positivism; USA

Chapter.  4313 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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