This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to bring together scattered pieces of knowledge and offer social scientists a critical assessment of the theoretical and empirical issues raised by the ever-expanding social science literature on ideas and politics. Ranging across several fields of political science and sociology (American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political economy, political sociology, and public policy), the book documents central themes in the burgeoning literature on ideas and politics, while offering critical analyses to guide future social science research. It pays considerable attention to showing how ideas shape political behavior and outcomes and how focusing on ideas provides richer explanations of politics. The chapter then discusses the development of ideational research and presents an overview of the subsequent chapters.
Keywords: ideas; politics; social science; ideational research; political behavior
Chapter. 8418 words.
Subjects: Comparative Politics
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