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By Andrew Heywood

The absolutely revised and up to date fourth version of this hugely profitable textual content deals a very finished advent to the research of politics, written from a world perspective

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Karl Popper (1902–94), however, suggested that science can only falsify hypotheses, since ‘facts’ may always be disproved by later experiments. establishment of a classless communist society. This, in turn, will eventually lead to the ‘withering away’ of the state, also bringing politics in the conventional sense to an end. STUDYING POLITICS Approaches to the study of politics Disagreement about the nature of political activity is matched by controversy about the nature of politics as an academic discipline.

These major theoretical tools of political analysis are those that address the issues of power and the role of the state: pluralism (see p. 100), elitism (see p. 102), class analysis and so on. These theories are examined in Chapters 4 and 5. At a still deeper level, however, many of these macrotheories reflect the assumptions and beliefs of one or other of the major ideological traditions. These traditions operate in a similar way to the ‘paradigms’ to which Thomas Kuhn refers in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).

Apart from anything else, this can help to explain why institutions are often difficult to reform, transform or replace. Finally, rather than viewing institutions as independent entities, in which case they exist almost outside of time and space, new institutionalists emphasize that institutions are ‘embedded’ in a particular 16 POLITICS CONCEPT Constructivism Constructivism (or social constructivism) is an approach to analysis that is based on the belief that there is no objective social or political reality independent of our understanding of it.

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