Interpretation and Social Explanation

Finlayson, Alan (2017) Interpretation and Social Explanation. Political Studies Review, 15 (2). pp. 210-216. ISSN 1478-9299

PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (147kB) | Preview


In this article I focus on those aspects of Keith Dowding’s book that are most concerned with interpretive approaches to the study of politics. I argue that, in ways not adequately captured by Dowding’s descriptions, the historical study of political concepts tells us something about their historical political effects and for this reason has a distinct value for how we think about and study politics. Furthermore, I argue, concepts of and about politics, including the concepts of political science, cannot be fully separated from the political contexts of which they are a part. Concepts which function as generalisable explanations at one point in time can shape the thinking and behaviour of political actors and thus be very particular causes. A philosophy or method of political science unaware of or inattentive to this dimension of politics and political science is incomplete.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: interpretivism,political science methods,dowding
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 00:02
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2021 00:50
DOI: 10.1177/1478929917693644

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item