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Political Paradigms

An Introduction to Politics and Social Science



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Political Paradigms by Eric Liggett
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We may hazard the statement that, in general, a pupil will feel that he or she is receiving hard knowledge: the student, by contrast, quickly encounters materials involving degrees of uncertainty. What have we here? Politics, Economics, or Psychology, Definition or Concept, Knowledge or Conjecture, Theory or Hypothesis? There is the jocular academic greeting: 'How's the conceptual framework?' Can we ever achieve finality in understanding the Social Sciences? Without aframe-of-reference we are lost: with a chosen frame we are each guilty of a degree of subjectivity, some narrowing of our awareness. With this volume a new attempt is made to examine the various divisions of Political Studies and the place of such studies in the context of Social Science.What is offered is a conspectus - favoured divisions of the field, vocabularies, a bibliography, and an extended index to facilitate access to the text.The table-of-contents reveals a progression. In the first main section, after short references to 'History' and 'Politics', a number of case studies are outlined. This 'Description', the telling of stories, may be seen as a useful way of approaching our discipline - useful but not necessarily easy. Think of the story of Britain's acquisition of nuclear weaponry, the evolution of our administration in dealing with the European Union. These descriptive sections are presented in a manner to prefigure and to correlate with materials in later chapters. Further sections, 'Analysis' and 'Synthesis', present more of a challenge to the new student.. How much geometry does a bricklayer need? As with his earlier book (What is a University? Gressingham Press) the author seeks to validate the assertion - 'Know the whole, better to understand the parts'. The book need not be devoured in the first few weeks' studies! Students are right to be concerned with relevance. While not seeking to compete with the journalists, the 'Values and Action' section presents a review of the ultimate concerns of today's political life.'Addendum' gives a short account of the development of teaching of politics - i.e. 'Politics' with a capital letter.
Release date NZ
June 19th, 2009
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
black & white illustrations
Humming Earth
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