The key issue that any political scientist reflecting on the political relevance of her or his research confronts is the exact relation between the research and value positions. This chapter offers an overview of the different ways in which this relation can be conceived. It departs from a Weberian position that holds that the interference of values in scientific research can be prevented by the strict delineation of the scientific domain and by compliance with well-defined methodological principles. It then moves on to identify three strategies that can be adopted once one admits the inevitability of values interfering in social scientific practice: a declaratory, a conformatory, and a justificatory strategy. Finally, the chapter considers the suggestion by Richard Rorty that the relevance of social science ultimately lies in its ability to imagine opportunities for change rather than in the dominant focus on the identification of social regularities.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science|
|Editors||J.E. Keman, J.J. Woldendorp|
|Place of Publication||Cheltenham|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Name||Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications|