• 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 ...

Functionalism and Its Legacy
Functionalism and its legacy
Timofey Agarin
Introduction

Functionalism is a methodological concept explaining social phenomena by specifying an asymmetrical relationship between the two objects under consideration. Functionalism in political science focusses on the process of interaction between political institutions (e.g. parties in electoral competition or during government formation), states (e.g. during regional integration) or international organisations (e.g. when negotiating economic policies), with particular attention to growing integration of the interacting elements into a politically and thus functionally consistent system. Functionalism rests on the assumption that phenomena can best be explained in terms of what they do and what their impact is on other phenomena: it considers systems of interaction among individuals and groups. A functional definition of functionalism ...

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