A Perestroikan straw man answers back: David Laitin and phronetic political science

Flyvbjerg, Bent (2006) A Perestroikan straw man answers back: David Laitin and phronetic political science. In: Schram, Sanford and Caterino, Brian, (eds.) Making Political Science Matter: Debating Knowledge, Research, and Method. New York University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0814740323

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Abstract

This article addresses three main issues. First, it argues that David Laitin, in a misguided critique of Bent Flyvbjerg’s book, "Making Social Science Matter," for being a surrogate manifesto for Perestroika, misrepresents the book in the extreme. Second, the article argues that Laitin’s claim that political science may become normal, predictive science in the natural science sense is unfounded; the claim is a dead end that perestroikans try to get beyond. Finally, the article proposes that political scientists substitute phronesis for episteme and, thereby, avoid the trap of emulating natural science. By doing so, political scientists may arrive at social science that is strong where natural science is weak: in the reflexive analysis and discussion of values and interests aimed at praxis, which is the prerequisite for an enlightened political, economic, and cultural development in any society.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Political science; philosophy ; research; methodology
Subject(s): Project management
Operations management
Centre: BT Centre for Major Programme Management
Faculty of Operations Management
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2012 16:52
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/2367

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