• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...

Ontologies, Epistemologies and the Methodological Awakening1
Ontologies, epistemologies and the methodological awakening
Jonathon Moses
Introduction

At the close of the last century, Alexander Wendt provided some sage advice to practitioners of international relations. For Wendt, ontology

is not something that most international relations (IR) scholars spend much time thinking about. Nor should they. The primary task of IR social science is to help to understand world politics, not to ruminate about issues more properly the concern of philosophers. Yet even the most empirically minded students of international politics must ‘do’ ontology, because in order to explain how the international system works they have to make metaphysical assumptions about what it is made of and how it is structured. (1999: 370)

Political scientists, more broadly, ...

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