In this article I focus on those aspects of Keith Dowding’s book that are most concerned with interpretive approaches to the study of politics. I argue that, in ways not adequately captured by Dowding’s descriptions, the historical study of political concepts tells us something about their historical political effects and for this reason has a distinct value for how we think about and study politics. Furthermore, I argue, concepts of and about politics, including the concepts of political science, cannot be fully separated from the political contexts of which they are a part. Concepts which function as generalisable explanations at one point in time can shape the thinking and behaviour of political actors and thus be very particular causes. A philosophy or method of political science unaware of or inattentive to this dimension of politics and political science is incomplete.
- Political Science Methods