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Sociology and Political Arithmetic: Some Principles of a New Policy Science

Lauder, Hugh, Brown, Phillip ORCID: and Halsey, A. H. 2004. Sociology and Political Arithmetic: Some Principles of a New Policy Science. British Journal of Sociology 55 (1) , pp. 3-22. 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2004.00002.x

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This paper advances the position that sociology needs to develop an approach to research which focuses on fundamental social problems. In doing so it shares many of the intellectual values and goals of political arithmetic while seeking to move methodologically beyond it. Since such problems are complex they will require, typically, interdisciplinary input and a concomitant approach to the development and appraisal of theories. We are not, therefore, advocating the primacy of sociology but arguing that it has a distinctive part to play in addressing the fundamental problems of the twenty-first century. However, a policy-oriented sociology has also to take up the task, so clearly defined by the tradition of political arithmetic, which is to hold governments to account. Consequently a central principle of a new policy science is that it should contribute to democratic debate about policy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology; political arithmetic; theory; interdisciplinarity; policy and democracy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0007-1315
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:24

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