September 17, 2012- Approaches to studying politics.docx
Jonathan W Rose
Approaches to studying politics
Politics: definition cannot be defined clearly; it is open to interpretation and
Politics can be thought of as the way things are or the way things should be.
Which of the competing approaches best explains the world.
o Normative Questions interested in how things should be.
o Dates back to Aristotle or Plato, who were interested in the
o Very broad, discussion about how resources should be
o Assumptions that underlie our decisions.
o Suggests that what politics is about is a continual conversation;
answering the question what is the good life.
o No right or wrong answers on normative questions.
o Might be being ignorant of facts.
o Experience is basis of knowledge
o Interested in how things are; how the world works.
o Need data and research to prove ideas.
o Useful for questions related to voting intentions, trade offs, economic