From the award-winning team behind the International Encyclopaedia of Political Science... Moving beyond mainstream “traditional” approaches to bring you a new advanced-level introduction to political science. A perfect introduction for postgraduates who are new to political science, as well as upper-level undergraduates looking to broaden and deepen their understanding of core topics, this progressive account: • Guides you through all key areas of political science: origins, methodological foundations, key topics, and current issues • Takes an international and pluralist perspective with all issues explored in a comparative way related to different cultural and historical contexts • Includes pulled-out descriptions of major concepts, further reading and self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter.

Relationship with neighbouring disciplines

Relationship with neighbouring disciplines

Key terms

  • Epistemology
  • Functionalism
  • Holism
  • Interactionism
  • Liberalism
  • Paradigm
  • Secularization
  • Structuralism
  • Systems analysis
  • Teleological


Political science has gained its identity and autonomy through a long process of secularization. This development has occurred in varying degrees when we consider different historical situations where politics was first conceived as a part of theology. Varying from one cultural area to another, this dependence on theology is still strong today in Islam or in Judaism, at least in their mainstreams, but can be found also in Christianity, particularly in its fundamentalist and messianic variants. Theology is then conceived as an explanatory science, as it pretends to provide the final explanation of political structures and processes. Such an epistemology can clearly be found in the politics of Alghazali (Persian philosopher, 1058–1111), Ibn Taymyya (Arab ...

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