This book describes five paradigms of political explanation: rational choice theory, political psychology, community analysis, Marx, and Weber. It is a text for beginning students of political science and for more advanced students who want to reflect on modes of thought in political analysis.
1. The Point of Departure 2. Explaining Political Phenomena: The Case of Turnout in National Elections 3. Research Schools in Political Science 4. How Research Schools Structure Analysis and Produce Conflicting Visions of Politics 5. How We Know When We Know: Testing Claims to Knowledge in Political Science 6. What We Mean When We Call Political Science a Science: Ambiguity and Certainty in the Pursuit of Knowledge