Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Paperback | December 10, 2010

EditorDaniel Beland, Robert Henry Cox

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Writing about ideas, John Maynard Keynes noted that they are "more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else." One would expect, therefore, that political science - a discipline that focuses specifically on the nature of power - would have a healthy respectfor the role of ideas. However, for a variety of reasons - not least of which is the influence of rational choice theory, which presumes that individuals are self-maximizing rational actors - this is not the case, and the literature on the topic is fairly thin. As the stellar cast of contributorsto this volume show, ideas are in fact powerful shapers of political and social life. In Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research, Daniel Beland and Robert Henry Cox have gathered leading scholars from a variety of subdisciplines in political science and sociology to provide a general overview of the theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues raised by social scienceresearch on ideas and politics. Throughout, they hone in on three central questions. What is the theoretical basis for studying ideas in politics? What are the best methods? What sort of empirical puzzles can be solved by examining ideas and related phenomena such as discourse, policy paradigms,and framing processes? In sum, this is a state-of-the-art academic work on both the role of ideas in politics and the analytical utility that derives from studying them.

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Writing about ideas, John Maynard Keynes noted that they are "more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else." One would expect, therefore, that political science - a discipline that focuses specifically on the nature of power - would have a healthy respectfor the role of ideas. However, for a varie...

Daniel Beland is Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Professor at the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan campus. Robert Henry Cox is Professor of European Studies and Political Science and Co-Director of the European Union Center at the University of Oklahoma.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199736871

ISBN - 13:9780199736874

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Table of Contents

Daniel Beland and Robert Henry Cox: Introduction: Ideas and PoliticsPart One: Theory1. Jal Mehta: The Varied Roles of Ideas in Politics: From "Whether" to "How"2. Vivien A. Schmidt: Reconciling Ideas and Institutions Through Discursive Institutionalism3. Colin Hay: Ideas and the Construction of Interests4. Mark Blyth: Ideas, Uncertainty and EvolutionPart Two: Analysis5. Sheri Berman: Ideology, History and Politics6. Craig Parsons: Ideas, Position, and Supranationality7. Daniel Wincott: Ideas, Policy Change and the Welfare State8. John Campbell and Ove K. Pedersen: Knowledge Regimes and Comparative Political Economy9. Andrew Rich: Ideas, Expertise and Think Tanks10. Robert C. Liberman: Ideas and Institutions in Race Politics