Because it is Normative, Stupid! On the Role of Political Theory in Political Science

Res Publica (2011, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 9-29)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-56

General Subserie Research Paper No. 2016-11

22 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2012 Last revised: 20 Oct 2016

Roland Pierik

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

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.

Notes: Downloadable document is in Dutch.

Keywords: normative political theory, political science, methodology, Rawls, political philosophy

Suggested Citation

Pierik, Roland, Because it is Normative, Stupid! On the Role of Political Theory in Political Science (2011). Res Publica (2011, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 9-29); Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-56; General Subserie Research Paper No. 2016-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2035820

Roland Pierik (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
Amsterdam, 1012 CN
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rolandpierik.nl/theory

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