Humane Politics and Methods of Inquiry  book cover
1st Edition

Humane Politics and Methods of Inquiry

ISBN 9781412857093
Published December 30, 2015 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

Ithiel de Sola Pool was a distinguished scholar of the political process, and one of the most original thinkers in the development of an integrated social science. This volume focuses upon his contributions to the development of research methods that deepen our understanding of human behaviour.

The book is divided into five parts treating the analysis of communications, computer simulation, forecasting, network theory, and the social sciences in political contexts. The first part considers the problems and possibilities of analysis raised by the unprecedented quantity of data made available by widespread and improved communications technology; what should be counted and how should inferences be made. Part two explores computer simulation in the study of presidential election patterns and how it can provide in-depth analyses of crisis situations in history. Part three focuses on strategies for predicting the future of international politics and methods to forecast the impacts of new communications technologies, while part four offers a rigorous analysis of domestic and global contact networks and the so-called "small world" phenomenon.

Part five is concerned with external challenges to the use of social science to create more humane politics, including the question of value neutrality, ideology, "deconstructive" critical theory, and threats by government to the health of universities. In a concluding essay Lloyd Etheredge draws upon Pool's work to discuss several new ways in which the methods treated in this volume can be applied to contemporary social change.

Table of Contents




Part I: The Analysis of Communications

Editor's Introduction

1 Symbols, Meanings, and Social Science
2 Content Analysis and the Intelligence Function
3 Scratches on Social Science: Images, Symbols, and Stereotypes

Part II: Computer Simulation

Editor's Introduction

4 The Simulmatics Project
5 A Postscript on the 1964 Election
6 The Kaiser, the Tsar, and the Computer:
Information Processing in a Crisis

Part III: Forecasting

Editor's Introduction

7 The International System in the Next Half-Century
8 The Art of the Social Science Soothsayer
9 Foresight and Hindsight: The Case of the Telephone

Part IV: Network Theory

Editor's Introduction
10 Contacts and Influence

Part V: Social Science in Political Contexts

Editor's Introduction

11 Some Facts About Values
12 What Ferment?: A Challenge for Empirical Research
13 How Powerful Is Business?
14 Human Subjects Regulations on the Social Sciences
15 What's Next? The Intellectual Legacy of Ithiel de Sola Pool
Lloyd S. Etheredge


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