Letting Easton Be Easton – An Interpretivist
Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Fall 2017
8 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2018
Date Written: 2017
Until now, political science has lacked a clear, comprehensive methodological paradigm to offer as an alternative to the dominant positivistic approach, with its myth of “objectivity” and obsessions with quantification, replication, and verification. Former American Political Science Association president, David Easton, has bequeathed to the profession a complete statement of Interpretive Political Science, which gives empathy the central role as a research method, and acknowledges intersubjective agreement as the means for validating claims to knowledge. As John Gunnell, historian of the profession, has observed, Easton’s true approach has never been accurately portrayed. It has generally been lumped in with positivistic “behavioralism.” This essay sets Easton free, and can give a New, Specific direction for researching and understanding political science.
Keywords: Qualitative, Political Science, Method, David Easton
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