Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory


Author: Jason Glynos,David Howarth
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134138350
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 1592

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This book proposes a novel approach to practising social and political analysis based on the role of logics. The authors articulate a distinctive perspective on social science explanation that avoids the problems of scientism and subjectivism by steering a careful course between lawlike explanations and thick descriptions. Drawing upon hermeneutics, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and post-analytical philosophy, this new approach offers a particular set of logics – social, political and fantasmatic – with which to construct critical explanations of practices and regimes. While the first part of the book critically engages with lawlike, interpretivist and causal approaches to critical explanation, the second part elaborates an alternative grammar of concepts informed by an ontological stance rooted in poststructuralist theory. In developing this approach, a number of empirical cases are included to illustrate its basic concepts and logics, ranging from the apartheid regime in South Africa to recent changes in higher education. The book will be a valuable tool for scholars and researchers in a variety of related fields of study in the social sciences, especially the disciplines of political science and political theory, international relations, social theory, cultural studies, anthropology and philosophy.

Post-Politics in Context


Author: Ali Riza Taskale
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317282485
Category: Political Science
Page: 178
View: 777

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As disciplines, Politics and International Relations remain dominated by ideas drawn from traditions of liberal internationalism and political realism in which political imagination is preoccupied with command and order, rather than with disruption and emancipation. Yet, they have failed to offer adequate answers to why political action is foreclosed in contemporary times. Proposed through a historically informed engagement with seminal thinkers, including Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Michel Foucault, and examples from films and contemporary events, Ali Rıza Taşkale presents an original and much needed new perspective to interpret politics in our contemporary societies. He argues that post-politics is a counterrevolutionary logic which aims to create a society without conflict, struggle and radical systemic change. Post-Politics in Context serves as seminal intervention upon the debate over the depoliticised conditions of contemporary neoliberal society as well as functioning as an introduction to the core theoretical frameworks of alternative tradition of social and political thought in a manner that is lacking in current debates about Politics and International Relations.

Radicalism in French Culture

A Sociology of French Theory in the 1960s
Author: Niilo Kauppi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317071794
Category: Social Science
Page: 164
View: 5444

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An invisible pattern draws together most studies dealing with French cultural radicalism in the 1960s with intellectual creation reduced to individual creation and the role of semiotic and social factors that influence intellectual innovation minimized. Sociological approaches often see a more or less external link between social location and intellectual production but, because of their structural approach, they are incapable of taking into account unique historical circumstances, the crucial role of personal impulses, and more importantly the semiotic logic of ideas as conditions of innovative thinking. This ground-breaking book will further an internal sociological analysis of ideas and styles of thought. It will show that the defining but largely neglected feature of what has become "French theory" was a collective mind and style of thought, an explosive but fragile mixture of scientific and political radicalism that rather quickly watered down to academic orthodoxy. For some time, radical intellectuals succeeded in producing ideas that were perfectly in tune with the demands of the consumers, mostly the young university audience. Ideas were used as part of radical posture that was set in opposition to the establishment and "those in power". Ideas could not be too empirical or verifiable, and they had to shock. It is not surprising that a slew of new sciences and concepts were invented to indicate this radical posture. The central argument of this study is that ideas become "power-ideas" only if they succeed in uniting individual and collective psychic investment in powerful social networks with significant institutional and political backing. These conditions were met in the French context for a certain specific period of time. From roughly the mid-1960s to the beginning of the 1970s, radical intellectuals such as Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva developed a host of new ideas, concepts and theories, a number of which have subsequently been labelled as French theory.

Ethics and Experiments

Problems and Solutions for Social Scientists and Policy Professionals
Author: Scott Desposato
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317438663
Category: Political Science
Page: 336
View: 4950

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For most of political science's history, discussions about professional ethics had nothing to do with human subjects. Professional ethics involved integrity in the classroom, fair tenure and promotion rule, and the careful avoidance of plagiarism. As most research was observational, there was little need for attention to how scholarly activities might directly affect the subjects of our work. Times have changed. The dramatic growth in the use of experiments in social science, especially overseas, is generating unexpected ethical controversies. The purpose of this volume is to identify, debate, and propose practical solutions to the most critical of these new ethical issues. A leading team of internationally distinguished political science scholars presents the first examination of the practical and ethical challenges of research with human subjects in social science and policy studies. Part 1 examines contextual challenges provided by experiments conducted overseas - questions of culture, religion, security, and poverty. Part 2 examines questions of legal constraints on research, focusing on questions of foreign review of international experiments. Part 3 tackles the critical issues in field experiments, including deception and consent, impact on elections and careers, the boundaries of the public officials' exemption, and the use of partner organizations to avoid Institutional Review Body (IRB) review. Part 4 considers strategies for the future, including training and education, IRB reform, institutional changes, and norm development.

Negativity and Democracy

Marxism and the Critical Theory Tradition
Author: Vasilis Grollios
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317502213
Category: Political Science
Page: 280
View: 337

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The current political climate of uncompromising neoliberalism means that the need to study the logic of our culture—that is, the logic of the capitalist system—is compelling. Providing a rich philosophical analysis of democracy from a negative, non-identity, dialectical perspective, Vasilis Grollios encourages the reader not to think of democracy as a call for a more effective domination of the people or as a demand for the replacement of the elite that currently holds power. In doing so, he aspires to fill in a gap in the literature by offering an out-of-the-mainstream overview of the key concepts of totality, negativity, fetishization, contradiction, identity thinking, dialectics and corporeal materialism as they have been employed by the major thinkers of the critical theory tradition: Marx, Engels, Horkheimer, Lukacs, Adorno, Marcuse, Bloch and Holloway. Their thinking had the following common keywords: contradiction, fetishism as a process and the notion of spell and all its implications. The author makes an innovative attempt to bring these concepts to light in terms of their practical relevance for contemporary democratic theory.

Handbook of Critical Policy Studies


Author: Frank Fischer,Douglas Torgerson,Anna Durnová,Michael Orsini
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1783472359
Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE
Page: 544
View: 8380

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Critical policy studies, as illustrated in this Handbook, challenges the conventional approaches public policy inquiry. But it offers important innovations as well, in particular its focus on discursive politics, policy argumentation and deliberation, and interpretive modes of analysis.

State-Building

Theory and Practice
Author: Aidan Hehir,Neil Robinson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134160194
Category: Political Science
Page: 216
View: 9292

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This study brings together internationally renowned academics to provide a detailed insight into the theory and practice of state-building. State-building is one of the dominant themes in contemporary international relations. This text addresses both the theoretical logic behind state-building and key practical manifestations of this phenomenon. Unlike ‘how-to’ manuals that seek to identify best practice, this book interrogates the normative assumptions inherent in this practice and the manner in which state-building impacts on contemporary international relations. The logic of state-building is explored and analyzed providing insight into the historical context that catalyzed this process, the relationship between international law and the practice of international administration, and the political ramifications and implications of external governance. Case studies on Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor provide practical examples of key contradictions within the state-building process, highlighting the lack of accountability, democracy and vision manifest in these operations. Offering a coherent critical analysis of an increasingly important international issue, State-Building will appeal to students and scholars of international relations, comparative politics and political theory.

Conjectures and Refutations

The Growth of Scientific Knowledge
Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135971374
Category: Philosophy
Page: 608
View: 7626

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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences

A Pluralist Perspective
Author: Donatella Della Porta,Michael Keating
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139474596
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 5359

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A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.

Philosophy, Science, and History

A Guide and Reader
Author: Lydia Patton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136626891
Category: Philosophy
Page: 482
View: 3159

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Philosophy, Science, and History: A Guide and Reader is a compact overview of the history and philosophy of science that aims to introduce students to the groundwork of the field, and to stimulate innovative research. The general introduction focuses on scientific theory change, assessment, discovery, and pursuit. Part I of the Reader begins with classic texts in the history of logical empiricism, including Reichenbach’s discovery-justification distinction. With careful reference to Kuhn’s analysis of scientific revolutions, the section provides key texts analyzing the relationship of HOPOS to the history of science, including texts by Santayana, Rudwick, and Shapin and Schaffer. Part II provides texts illuminating central debates in the history of science and its philosophy. These include the history of natural philosophy (Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Hume, and du Châtelet in a new translation); induction and the logic of discovery (including the Mill-Whewell debate, Duhem, and Hanson); and catastrophism versus uniformitarianism in natural history (Playfair on Hutton and Lyell; de Buffon, Cuvier, and Darwin). The editor’s introductions to each section provide a broader perspective informed by contemporary research in each area, including related topics. Each introduction furnishes proposals, including thematic bibliographies, for innovative research questions and projects in the classroom and in the field.

Power

A New Social Analysis
Author: Bertrand Russell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135152543
Category: Philosophy
Page: 288
View: 3021

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The key to human nature that Marx found in wealth and Freud in sex, Bertrand Russell finds in power. Power, he argues, is man's ultimate goal, and is, in its many guises, the single most important element in the development of any society. Writting in the late 1930s when Europe was being torn apart by extremist ideologies and the world was on the brink of war, Russell set out to found a 'new science' to make sense of the traumatic events of the day and explain those that would follow. The result was Power, a remarkable book that Russell regarded as one of the most important of his long career. Countering the totalitarian desire to dominate, Russell shows how political enlightenment and human understanding can lead to peace - his book is a passionate call for independence of mind and a celebration of the instinctive joy of human life.

Voter Turnout

A Social Theory of Political Participation
Author: Meredith Rolfe
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107015413
Category: Philosophy
Page: 227
View: 9508

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Combines positive political theory, social network research and computational modeling, explaining why some people are more likely to vote than others.

Argument and Evidence

Critical Analysis for the Social Sciences
Author: Peter J. Phelan,Peter J. Reynolds
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134824009
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 9331

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Phelan and Reynolds' book is for anyone who needs to evaluate arguments and interpret evidence. It deals with the most fundamental aspects of academic study: * the ability to reason with ideas and evidence * to formulate arguments effectively * to appreciate the interplay between ideas and evidence in academic and media debate Argument and Evidence presents aspects of informal logic and statistical theory in a comprehensible way, enabling students to acquire skills in critical thinking which will outlast their undergraduate studies. Ideal as a companion for courses on methodology or study skills, Argument and Evidence will also be useful for other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.

Discourse Theory and Political Analysis

Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change
Author: Aletta J. Norval,Yannis Stavrakakis
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9780719056642
Category: Social Science
Page: 243
View: 1445

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Drawing inspiration from the works of those such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, the contributors address questions using a common theoretical language, and also assess the future directions of discourse theory in the social sciences.

The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations

Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics
Author: Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317551753
Category: Philosophy
Page: 288
View: 886

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The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations first edition was winner of the ISA-Northeast’s Yale H. Ferguson Award, and the ISA Theory Section’s Best Book of the Year award. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations provides an introduction to the philosophy of science issues and their implications for the study of global politics. The author draws attention to the problems caused by the misleading notion of a single unified scientific method, and proposes a framework that clarifies the variety of ways that IR scholars establish the authority and validity of their empirical claims. Jackson connects philosophical considerations with concrete issues of research design within neopositivist, critical realist, analyticist, and reflexive approaches to the study of world politics. Envisioning a pluralist science for a global IR field, this volume organizes the significant differences between methodological stances so as to promote internal consistency, public discussion, and worldly insight as the hallmarks of any scientific study of world politics. In this second edition, Jackson has centralised the philosophical history of the ‘science question’ into a single chapter, providing a clearer picture of the connections between contemporary concerns about the status of knowledge and classic philosophical debates about the relationship between human beings and the world they inhabit. The central chapters feature more detailed and pedagogically useful illustrations of the methodological positions discussed, making the book even better suited to clarify the philosophical distinctions with respect to which a scientific researcher must locate herself. The second edition will continue to be essential reading for all students and scholars of International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy of Science.

New Theories of Discourse

Laclau, Mouffe and Zizek
Author: Jacob Torfing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 9780631195580
Category: Social Science
Page: 356
View: 6222

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This book provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the new theories of discourse developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, while in particular drawing on central insights provided by Slavoj Zizek. The book accounts for intellectual development of the discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe from a Gramsci-inspired critique of structural Marxism over a neo-Gramscian theory of discourse to a new type of postmodern theorizing of great relevance for social, cultural and political theory. The central concepts of discourse, hegemony and social antagonism are carefully explained and discussed and the theoretical framework is applied both on a variety of theoretical problems and in a sample of empirical studies. The book concludes with a discussion of the implications of discourse theory for our political understanding of democracy, citizenship and ethics. New Theories of Discourse is written out of the basic conviction that postmodernity provides a great challenge to social, cultural and political theory and makes thinkable a whole range of new political projects of which the development of a radical plural democracy is one of the most promising and exciting.

The Craft of Political Research


Author: W. Phillips Shively
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1351979426
Category: Social Science
Page: 202
View: 2275

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The Craft of Political Research is a non-technical introduction to research design and analysis in political science, emphasizing the choices we make when we design a research project and analyze its results. The book’s approach centers on asking an interesting research question, and then designing inquiry into the question so as to eliminate as many alternative explanations as possible. How do we develop theory, and what constitutes a good research question? How do we develop measures and gather evidence to answer a question? How do we analyze our findings? Students will be introduced to such topics as multidimensional concepts, levels of measurement, validity, reliability, random and non-random measurement error, sampling, case selection, causality, experimental and quasi-experimental design, statistical inference, and regression and correlation analysis. Throughout, the emphasis is on understanding the "back story" of analysis — why do we measure in a particular way, why do we choose one design as against another, why do we conduct our analysis as we do. Emphasizing the internal logic of research methods and the collaborative nature of the research process, the greatest strength of the book is its clarity and the large range of political science examples it provides. It works at a conceptual level, seeking an understanding of the principles that underlie techniques and the reasons that we choose them. New to this edition: Updated and international examples from the US, UK, Latin America and China amongst others, and international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. New section, "Reading Political Science" reviews sources of published political research, with some broad principles for how to find good sources, and advises students on what to look for in reading a research report New section, "Gathering Accurate Information" reviews published sources of data, such as UNESCO, and offers advice about how to use such sources. It advises students on how to gather data in personal interviews and it acquaints them with publicly available data sets for secondary analysis. Online material featuring revised learning objectives for each chapter, and a new section offering projects and questions for each chapter.

Internet and Society

Social Theory in the Information Age
Author: Christian Fuchs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135898820
Category: Computers
Page: 816
View: 4379

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In this exceptional study, Christian Fuchs discusses how the internet has transformed the lives of human beings and social relationships in contemporary society. By outlining a social theory of the internet and the information society, he demonstrates how the ecological, economic, political, and cultural systems of contemporary society have been transformed by new ICTs. Fuchs highlights how new forms of cooperation and competition are advanced and supported by the internet in subsystems of society and also discusses opportunities and risks of the information society.

Cyber-Security and Threat Politics

US Efforts to Secure the Information Age
Author: Myriam Dunn Cavelty
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134086695
Category: Political Science
Page: 192
View: 4234

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This book explores the political process behind the construction of cyber-threats as one of the quintessential security threats of modern times in the US. Myriam Dunn Cavelty posits that cyber-threats are definable by their unsubstantiated nature. Despite this, they have been propelled to the forefront of the political agenda. Using an innovative theoretical approach, this book examines how, under what conditions, by whom, for what reasons, and with what impact cyber-threats have been moved on to the political agenda. In particular, it analyses how governments have used threat frames, specific interpretive schemata about what counts as a threat or risk and how to respond to this threat. By approaching this subject from a security studies angle, this book closes a gap between practical and theoretical academic approaches. It also contributes to the more general debate about changing practices of national security and their implications for the international community.

Re-Thinking International Relations Theory via Deconstruction


Author: Badredine Arfi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136462155
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
View: 9499

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International Relations (IR) theorists have ceaselessly sought to understand, explain, and transform the experienced reality of international politics. Running through all these attempts is a persistent, yet unquestioned, quest by theorists to develop strategies to eliminate or reduce the antinomies, contradictions, paradoxes, dilemmas, and inconsistencies dogging their approaches. A serious critical assessment of the logic behind these strategies is however lacking. This new work addresses this issue by seeking to reformulate IR theory in an original way. Arfi begins by providing a thorough critique of leading contemporary IR theories, including pragmatism, critical/scientific realism, rationalism, neo-liberal institutionalism and social-constructivism, and then moves on to strengthen and go beyond the valuable contributions of each approach by employing the logic of deconstruction pioneered by Derrida to explicate the consequences of taking into account the dilemmas and inconsistencies of these theories. The book demonstrates that the logic of deconstruction is resourceful and rigorous in its questioning of the presuppositions of prevailing IR approaches, and argues that relying on deconstruction leads to richer and more powerfully insightful pluralist IR theories and is an invaluable resource for taking IR theory beyond currently paralyzing ‘wars of paradigms’. Questioning universally accepted presuppositions in existing theories, this book provides an innovative and exciting contribution to the field, and will be of great interest to scholars of international relations theory, critical theory and international relations.