The Art of the Possible – Knowledge and Practice in Political Research

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 353

Special Issue Editors

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politics and International Relations; University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Interests: youth political engagement; political participation; research methods and methodology; theatre for social change; art

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Principal Lecturer in Politics and International Relations; Nottingham Trent University; Nottingham NG1 5LT, United Kingdom
Interests: continental philosophy; political theory; philosophy; art; emancipatory pedagogies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The dominant epistemological paradigm in political science has researchers employ social–scientific methodologies to better understand the political/social world. Dispassionate description, categorization and systematic analysis—i.e., the basic principles of a scientific method—authorise the production of an objective and generalisable form of knowledge, ideally with added social utility to secure (for instance) behavioural change. This basic model is increasingly regarded as ‘good practice’ for social and political research. Within other academic disciplines, however, the term ‘practice’ connotes otherwise. In areas such as literature, theatre, architecture, etc., practice is less about the systematic application of method to uncover a pre-existing world and more about the creative production of truth. Such ‘practice-based’ forms of research similarly give rise to new concepts and certainly generate impactful and original forms of knowledge, but they remain at best an adjunct, and at worst alien, to political science. This is especially intriguing given the continuing importance of core notions such as ‘agency’ and ‘praxis’ within these disciplines.

The proposed Special Issue is split into three sections. Section one will delineate, examine and articulate this epistemological divide, situating social–scientific practice in respect of other practices while avoiding simplistic reductions to social constructionist narratives. Section two will explore marginal areas within social/political research, where novel methodologies are already moving toward alternative productions of knowledge. Section three concludes with practitioners from ‘the Arts’ elaborating on the social/political knowledge produced by specific practices. Overall, the issue will ask what political science can learn from these alternative practices, what the form and status of the knowledge signifies and what epistemological/methodological challenges remain to its inclusion within the dominant paradigm.

Dr. Ana Isabel Nunes
Dr. Kevin Love
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • research methodology
  • research practice
  • alternative methodologies
  • practice based research
  • praxis
  • knowledge

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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