Evaluation Principles, Conceptual Assumptions and Methodological Choices in the Empirical Study of Political Ideologies



Two major approaches describe the research field pertaining to the study of political ideologies. Similarly, two fundamental methodological styles provide the main epistemological coordinates in social sciences research. The first one, comprehensive, primarily historical and philosophical in character, seeks to highlight quantitatively imperceptible distinctions in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the ideological phenomenon. The second, rigorously explanatory, is less concerned with philosophical reflection. It's intention is to provide theories and empirical evidences based on directly measurable indicators.The perceptions on ideological factors are based, in traditional political analysis, on purely theoretical and on very general assessments, drown from the classical definition of political ideologies. One can argue that the empirical approach have at his core a specific theoretical corpus covering particular series of conceptual and methodological options, without which any assessment of the scientific value of the viewpoint to which we refer is possible. The present study aims to present the most important of them, having as point of departure the economic theory of democracy and its implications for the empirical study of political ideologies.


political ideologies; research methods; empirical study; evaluation, public policy


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