Training manual prepared in accordance with the state standard of higher professional education. It examines conceptual and methodological problems of political analysis and forecasting, many of the specific analytical and forecasting techniques based on their applications. The publication is aimed at students enrolled in the specialty "political Science". Many of his materials are of interest also to receive vocational training on specialities "International relations", "public relations", "Sociology".
Political analysis and forecasting as a scientific discipline in Russia is making only first steps: this applies to the sphere of teaching, and areas of theoretical and applied developments. Far from the final formation of a unified approach to the definition of the model of a specialist in political analysis, in an extremely wide range range of assessment subject fields of this discipline.
The position of the author of this tutorial, if you omit some of the nuances, you can determine a few points:
- Political analysis and forecasting is a scientific discipline. These properties of scientific knowledge, the validity, the ability to be confirmed or refuted, the aspiration for understanding and explanation, equally inherent in both theoretical and applied areas of political analysis and forecasting. The answer to the question "How?" must be preceded by the answer to the question "Why?". This fundamentally distinguishes a political analyst from the political process engineer: the latter can act, based on model strategies of behaviour in typical situations and not to ponder the question "Why?".
- Political analysis and forecasting — multi-level discipline, focused on solving both cognitive and practical tasks. Its levels are closely linked primarily by common methodological approaches and methodological tools. Science and practice in policy analysis and forecasting there are many points of interpenetration and co-development.
- Both theory and practice of political analysis and forecasting have a support in the form of empirically observable facts, processes of reality. Any theory, any practical advice not just tested for logical consistency, but compliance with the realities of political processes (in particular, entirely insufficient argument is the reference to the existing, albeit authoritative, opinion) . Any knowledge or derived from facts, or checked their "strength". This is the fundamental difference specialist in political analysis and forecasting from a political philosopher or a publicist.
Thus, the subject field of political analysis, a set of applied research techniques are very about work. Political reality, differing extremely high complexity, is affected by all other areas of public life and, in turn, influences them. Hence a large Arsenal of paradigms, methods and specific techniques of analysis and forecasting of political developments.
In fact, "the work" political analyst from the analytical strategies paradigmatic level to methods of processing data — is in this book a priority. Such tools will be useful in solving problems such as cognitive and practical.
Of course, the author did not intend to describe all the approaches and methods used for analysis and forecasting of political processes and situations. His first task was to show multi-color palette of possibilities — the diversity of approaches and methods used in this scientific discipline. Political analysis and forecasting can operate in both deductive and inductive logic; capable of processing both quantitative and qualitative information; uses fundamentally different methods such as artificial neural networks and expert assessment of creative.
The second task (but not least) was to teach the basics of practical work if not with all, with most described methods, as well as to demonstrate their application in applied and theoretical policy analysis. Therefore, in the textbook almost every position is illustrated with specific examples.
Finally, the third objective of the author was to impress upon the readers understanding of the political analysis and forecasting as a specific style of scientific thinking. Perhaps this is the most important task, although in the book she is not dedicated to individual chapters or paragraphs. The author hopes that this understanding will come to the reader upon study of all the material represented here.
Publisher: Gardariki, 2006.
ISBN 5-8297-0292-4 (TRANS.)
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