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Understanding Politics

Theory, Procedures, Narratives


Tadeusz Klementewicz

This book analyses how contemporary political science can develop as a structure of knowledge gathered by the individual sub-disciplines of political studies, as well as the remaining disciplines of social sciences. It helps to get a fuller understanding of political phenomena and to reconstruct the process of emergence of the global civilisation. The author reflects about the current state of research conducted by political scientists. The research is conducted within a few major research paradigms. This work presents a strategy of integrating knowledge about man and society.

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Chapter 7: Types of Statements in Political Science: Political Theory as the Heuristic Structure of Research


Chapter 7

Types of Statements in Political Science: Political Theory as the Heuristic Structure of Research

7.1. Laws of Science and Historical Generalisations in the Research on Politics

Many political scientists still consider their discipline to be at the early stages of its development. At such a time, the fact that there is no theory of one’s own discipline entails low efficiency of research, its dispersed nature, lack of sound cognitive constructions as well as a sense of limited practical usefulness. Everything changes after the initiation, once a political scientist masters the theory of politics. Others believe that the theory of politics as a conceptualisation and heuristic structure in the research process is already a fact, even that it has been around for a long time. The second view will probably be rejected by those who think that theory is, roughly speaking, a set of statements systematised by the relationship of logical inference, those who understand the theory in the classical way, as the general methodology. This understanding of scientific theory is, however, completely useless for the purpose of methodological reflection in the social sciences. This is so because the theories – predominantly physical ones – examined by methodologists are artificial constructs created solely for the purposes of analyses. Consequently, political scientists find the proper source of inspiration in the methodological reflections of social scientists.

The object of research in the social sciences is peculiar, also theoretical knowledge exists in a peculiar form. In...

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