Because it is Normative, Stupid! On the Role of Political Theory in Political Science
Res Publica (2011, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 9-29)
General Subserie Research Paper No. 2016-11
22 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2012 Last revised: 20 Oct 2016
Date Written: 2011
This article presents a state-of-the-art description of political theory and analyses the role of political theory within the discipline of political science. It starts by describing two dominant approaches within the sub-discipline: conceptual political theory and normative political theory. Secondly it situates political theory as separated from political science in general and from actual political debates. Thirdly it analyses the role of methodology in normative political theory.
I argue that the most important contribution of political theory to political science in general is its emphasis on the fact that politics is first and foremost a normative endeavor and that any political-scientific analysis should always be aware of this normative character.
Note: Downloadable document is in Dutch.
Keywords: normative political theory, political science, methodology, Rawls, political philosophy
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