Overcoming Methodological Differences: The Debate about Knowledge Politics in an Age of Uncertainty

Overcoming Methodological Differences:
The Debate about Knowledge Politics in an Age of Uncertainty

Gaman-Golutvina O.V.,

Dr. Sci. (Polit. Sci.), Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Comparative Political Science Department, MGIMO University; President of the Russian Association of Political Science; Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Comparative Politics”; member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Public Council under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ogaman@mgimo.ru

elibrary_id: 250180 | ORCID: 0000-0002-2660-481X | RESEARCHER_ID: E-4046-2012

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.05.03

For citation:

Gaman-Golutvina O.V. Overcoming Methodological Differences: The Debate about Knowledge Politics in an Age of Uncertainty. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 5. P. 19-42. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.05.03

The article was prepared in the framework of RFBR project № 17-03-00746a.


In connection with some assessments about the state of crisis in which modern political science finds itself, the author considers the development of one key area of the discipline – political comparative studies, including its methodological dimensions and methodological tools. In order to make a reasonable assessment of the state of this subdiscipline, the author reconsiders its methodological measurements and its methodological tools. This analysis, as undertaken in the article, of the evolution of these comparative studies shows that the current stage is characterized as ‘multiparadigm pluralism’, but unlike the period of the beginning of the 21st century (which was regarded as a sign of crisis for this subdiscipline), this pluralism is productive. The author does not consider the current state of comparative studies to be a state of crisis, but characterizes it as requiring substantial updating; further, they suggest considering it, rather, as a phase of ‘normal science’ (according to Kuhn’s terms thereof). The key problem seems to be finding a methodological algorithm of comparative studies that is adequate to the post-non-classical dynamics of politics. An examination of the currently-used comparative methods shows that the key task in this area is to refine the effective algorithm for using quantitative methods, in connection with the simplified procedures for their application that have become widespread. This determines the relevance of the ‘comparative’ version of the Great Debates for structuring the subject field, as well as updating the methodology and methods of this subdiscipline.

political science, political comparative studies, methodology, method, quantitative and qualitative research.


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Content No. 5, 2019

See also:

Address of political scientists of INION RAS. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No2

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Thirty Three Angles of Political Reality. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No3

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