Political science research and its political relevance

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science
EditorsJ.E. Keman, J.J. Woldendorp
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781784710811
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Research Methods and Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Political science research and its political relevance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this