Methods of Political Science

The study of politics begins with the search for facts or the collection of data and the analysis of the information thus collected. Method means the way facts or data are collected and analysed and conclusion or inference drawn. Because there are ambiguities and confusions about the terms or concepts used in political theory and practice, it becomes necessary to approach the data critically, so that irrelevant or false information may not become the basis for the formulation of a conclusion or theory.

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Moreover, as the sources of information and knowledge are many, the political scientist has to rely on other disciplines for his study, which provide him their own methods. Keeping in view the complexity of the problems and approaches to the study of Political Science, we may define method as the way of acquiring the knowledge of reality or truth of politics. As there are many methods of doing so, we may divide them as follows:

(i) Speculative or Philosophical methods: Deductive Methods;

(ii) Logical Methods: Analytical or Inductive-Deductive methods,

(iii) Practical Methods: Observational, Experimental or Empirical Methods,

(iv) Disciplinary Method: Historical,’ Psychological. Sociological, Juridical, Economical; etc.

Statistical Methods: Quantitative-Qualitative Methods;

 

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