To where will the Political Science? I do not know (…)
I am asked to make a historian of my own present.
I’ll try, but not before without Haber put his hands to the fire.
I comfort UN: I have been asked the impossible.
Dove is the Scienza Policy, 1984.
By Victor Hugo López Llanos *
Summary: The aim of this short paper is to reflect on the methodological and lexical history of contemporary political science and clarify its heuristic value in relation to the new social subjects, arising from the process of globalization. Reviewed by Giovanni Sartori be addressed; the excessive use of quantification political phenomenon by American political scientists, as well as from private universities, in addition to the need to discuss new conceptual references to the new political reality is studied. It concludes by proposing a political science community mental break new locks to interpret the new subjects of politics, not only with numerical methods, but to gradually building a new discipline, increasingly sensitive to the protagonists of political phenomena.
Keywords: Science, Lexicon, Methodology, Quantification, Globalization, Politics.
Man since its emergence as a thinking was always worried about the future and investigate their environment. Standing primarily to natural events that accompany it during its existence. The individual, although it is characterized as a complex object for study, creates scientific methodologies that explain their attitude and behavior towards society.
Political science is one of the most complex disciplines that exist in the panorama of knowledge. Since not only studies the conflict that emerges from power as an essential unit of the human nature, but also dares to justify and interpret power as a symbol of submission to social and economic organization, through the creation of State and Civil Society.
However, nowadays, political science goes through a transformation process that often impossible, in detail, explaining the political phenomenon.
This document comes from several investigations of political scientists that put into question the methodology used by political science in recent decades. Such is the case of the most popular Italian political scientist in the world, Giovanni Sartori, a prolific author who has seen our discipline as a science walking with feet of clay, due to the inability on the part of political science, to generate new knowledge and important.
The in previous years had only focused on the question of the public state, as scholars of politics, political phenomenon regarded politics as those joints that looked just placed in the context of the state, produced and played by himself through its cause and effect.
This caused that political science in particular create a particular kind of language to explain these phenomena. Such as: government, bureaucracy, civil society, forms of government, the party system.
It is not until the decades of the 80s of the twentieth century that the terminology is undergoing a kind of transformation in their meanings, other important elements also appear, such as: Globalization, technocracy, sustainability.
While it is true that political science, as commonly understood today, was born in Western Europe in the early 50’s, from the last third of the nineteenth century until World War II, had considered him as a captive science dominated by historical studies and legal approaches.
As political science, had a new beginning after the war, becoming a research field in its own right.
Among its founders authors are Giovanni Sartori, Stein Rokkan, Juan Linz, Matter Dogan. However, we must not ignore the classical thinkers for the study of politics. From Aristotle to Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Montesquieu, to the early Enlightenment, Kant, Hegel, Tocqueville, Weber, Mosca, among many others who have contributed their contributions, understand and reflect the political phenomenon.
Since the early 50‘s, the British generally have resisted calling this discipline as political science. They prefer to call politicians or government studies.
According to Giovanni Sartori, the bone of contention that caused the study of politics as a weak discipline, was the mistake of thinking this discipline with the character of positivism, logical and deductive, using as methodological transverse axis, quantification of politics .
In the 50‘s modernist political scientists, advocated faithfully, that politics should be governed based strict methodological systems, mathematical and logical–deductive should be adopted and improved in order to contribute to a real explanation of political phenomena, without boarding, or adjectives or subjectivations.
Under this premise, British philosophy on matters of politics in the first half of the twentieth century, no call to political science as a science because it does not use a specialized language, in addition to their studies requires a methodology ad hoc. That is, political science does not generate a native methodology to reflect and explain the political reality, which becomes itself a copier dominant paradigms, mainly from the doctrines of the natural sciences.
Therefore, Sartori raises a central question What kind of science can and must be the political science?
The big criticism that has been made to political science comes in the wake of the way how to obtain and creates his own knowledge. Since the methodological model of this discipline is analogous to the methodology of economics. “The Economists have an easier task than others. Economic behavior conforms to a criterion (utility maximization interest of profit, income, deficit, inflation. “While political behavior does not. Because the politician expresses a variety of motivations and emotions second. “Economists working with real numbers (monetary amounts) enrolled in the behavior of economic animal.”
Economic science is developed in a context in which science needed accurate and stable definition with basic terminology, creating a kind of data containers that allow the cumulative flow of information.
While the Anglo-Saxon political science, quickly met Khun paradigms and scientific revolutions and joyfully entered the exciting but insubstantial way revolutionized itself, roughly every 15 year search for new paradigms, models, approaches.
As political science should be separated from the dominant methodology, since its aberration to explain the political phenomenon of quantum way, is leading a battle that is failing, producing a kind of resignation of his own essence.
Books whose titles are methodology of the social sciences, but these works are simply trying on research techniques and statistical processing (…) As we have a dismal science that lacks logical method and, in fact, ignores pure logic and simple.
Sartori, characterizes the political science of our day, three substantial thesis:
a) unconstitutional and, in the same sense, behavioral;
b) progressively as quantitative and statistical as possible; and
c) Due to favor the path of theoretical research at the expense nexus between theory and practice.
From these assumptions. Political science in factum maintains a constant interaction between behavior and institutions.
The predominance of the quantitative‘re confusing us, but above all, is creating students in this discipline, a modernization of the political schemes, in which political knowledge is increasingly prone to irrelevance, since not achieve confront the relationship between theory and practice, political science, is becoming a kind of useless science. ¿Knowledge, for what? “From the point of view of the practice, largely useless, because it provides knowledge that can be used.”
It is therefore appropriate that restores and political science to delve back into the field characterizations of their linguistic and methodological components. Going through a process of modernizing its specialized language, as well as to find, or rather to return closer to the dominant actors in the public / private setting.
But, what about the language used by political science today? The lexicon of political and social sciences in general, is suffering a kind of reconfiguration of meanings, due to globalization, because although this is a result of the global economic conversions, certainly brings impact on the political, socio-cultural sphere.
That is why, I believe that political science must redefine both its methodology and its language.
While it is true that, with globalization, the policy is now closer to citizens and society in general is also true that their concepts employees become more mainstream, everyday use, a clear example is the use of various lexicons used in the media to describe various kinds news related to politics.
However, there are few who have decided to delve into the true meaning and history in terms of modernity, democracy, citizenship, tolerance, authoritarianism, just to name a few of the vast universe.
Some philosophers like Aristotle defined man as political animals and some others, such as René Descartes as essentially linguistic animals. This has led several scholars and political philosophers conduct studies between the use of language and its connection with politics.
Although the study of language never occupied a central place among academic disciplines related to politics, occasionally some philosophers and intellectuals concerned about political science showed that they are aware of the problem.
In the disciplines with language worth noting that among the Greek and Roman writers, considered the study of rhetoric (the art of verbal persuasion) as a kind of “political science“. In Greek polis and the Roman Empire, the rhetorical tradition was part of the entertainment speakers who met with prominent public functions, including political functions, and in a way, provided an apparatus for critical observation of critical verbal behavior.
Therefore in the late twentieth century, there were various print and electronic media, which meant that persons were exposed to various verbal messages. But above all academic disciplines suffered following the birth of globalization, a mutation in the interpretation of their own language and therefore its own reality. Leading to further discussions to achieve reach a consensus and make a new lexicon for politics.
Traditionally, the meaning of words has brought problems and has caused concern both philosophy and political science. Concepts like Democracy, Civil Society, State and Governance, have been discussed over and over again. In the past it was assumed that they were true meanings, so this trend continued during most of the last century.
This led many scholars of political science, under the influence of logical positivism; wanted to eliminate confusion and ambiguity of rhetoric and political language. Emerging in the last third of the twentieth silgo a relativistic approach.
Sartori proposes a more flexible approach, while the notion that political concepts, would be related to the language of political organization and therefore would be subject to discussion and reflection.
Political science, according to the new reality presented by globalization, force create both a new methodology for the explanation of political phenomena, as well as the formation of a new lexicon for communication, but especially to explain and reflect their object of study. Because the world is very different and we knew only a quarter of a century. The way to understand it too.
This changing reality allows us to explore the approaches and definitive explanations. With globalization have broken paradigms we thought immovable. “If there is an element that characterizes globalization is that it allows us to create new explanatory models, because the rapid changes make what we would begin to consider long-standing processes are changing.”
In short I do not intend to argue that political science has exhausted its methods, or that their usefulness and have handles, but, on the contrary, I affirm the urgency of introducing new ways of thinking out of the mess, and continue development political analysis. For this it is necessary to consider the crisis with political science living today and try new perspectives from within.
Hanna Arendt showed us in his works that politics has no specific meaning, ie there is nothing that define or determine before hand. However, points out that politics can be understood as action, where conflict, voices, criteria, interests, ideologies, discourses are staged.
So that action and speech immersed in public spaces people are the categories and means to comprehend and understand the policy beyond a simple numerical description has usually developed political science in recent years.
The new Latin American political scientists, we must sensitize and head into the interpretation of the New Subjects of Politics. Not only designing numerical methodologies, but also reflective demand that both the world of politics and its related fields. This will allow us to open new mental locks to rethink the political and go beyond the platitudes in explaining the facts and political phenomena.
Giovanni Sartori, Where the policy is science ?, Debate, Mexico, 2004.
Ruslan Posadas Velázquez, liquid Realities, zombies concepts: The Lexicon of political globalization, Alfert, Mexico, 2010.
Teun A. Van Dijk, Discourse as social interaction. Studies on discourse II. A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Gedisa, Barcelona, 2000.