How Much Eclectic and Opportunistic Is Modern Political Science?

18 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013

Date Written: April 30, 2013


Largely inspired by Max Weber’s instrumental vision of social science, the modern political science likes to see itself as an enterprise where researchers choose freely among different methods for the only sake of advancement of knowledge. Adam Przeworski, for example, a name in comparative politics and in democratization studies, calls his methodology eclectic and opportunistic. This presentation challenges the understanding of modern political science as an eclectic and opportunistic methodological enterprise. My conclusions are based on the analysis of the writings of a few authors in the discipline, including Przeworski. I will show that despite the full academic freedom to choose among different research techniques and methods of interpretation, most scholars prefer to stick with limited number of similar instruments. I will investigate the reason(s) why these authors, including Przeworski himself, do not answer the call for eclectics and opportunism.

Keywords: political science, methodology, theory, discipline, Przeworski

Suggested Citation

Mitropolitski, Simeon, How Much Eclectic and Opportunistic Is Modern Political Science? (April 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Simeon Mitropolitski (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

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