Empirical Political Theory: A Template for a Research Design and a Qualified Defense

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Developments in contemporary analytic political theory have called for political theory to situate itself near political science, to pay attention to political institutions, to follow the research output of the social sciences, and to present sensitivity to method. This empirical and methodological turn has brought about a debate regarding the form and desirability of such empirically grounded political theory. We aim, first, to clarify what the empirical turn in political theory implies for research in political theory. We shall situate such empirically grounded political theory in contemporary analytic political theory, in contemporary analytic political theory’s descriptive and prescriptive steps, and also examine how this turn complements contemporary analytic political theory’s evaluative step. Second, to suggest a defense of this empirical development, as if properly understood, it would assist empirically grounded contemporary analytic political theory to achieve its own stated goals. Third, to provide a template for a research design in empirical contemporary analytic political theory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • empirics
  • methodology
  • research design
  • research methods
  • template

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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