Book Reviews : The Foundations of Political Analysis: Empirical and Normative. By EUGENE J. MEEHAN. (Homewood: The Dorsey Press, 1971. Pp. 274. $7.50.)

Date01 December 1971
Published date01 December 1971
Subject MatterArticles
virtues of a non-doctrinal, two-party system; the complex nature of representa-
tion, access and accountability; and the benefits of a &dquo;living constitution.&dquo; He
describes the necessary existence of government, the unavoidable need for leaders,
the non-conspiratorial nature of special interests and the beneficial effects of com-
promise in a sensible and disarming manner. The essays are designed to deflate
&dquo;our expectations concerning the processes of democracy without simultaneously
deflating the appeal that the highest democratic goals have long had for the minds
of men.&dquo; This is done by presenting the massive characteristics of the democratic
experience in terms of peaceful evolution, hard work, and a healthy recognition of
political limits rather than violent revolution, instant success, and a utopian vision
of supra political expectations. Fluno offers good reasons why the nature of that
democratic experience should not be altered now. How persuasive these reasons will
be is another question, for the answer turns, in part, on whether the crisis is one
of political practice or means, as Fluno thinks it is, or one of political theory or
University of Redlands
The Foundations of Political Analysis: Empirical and Normative. By EUGENE J.
MEEHAN. (Homewood: The Dorsey Press, 1971. Pp. 274. $7.50.)
In The Foundations of Political Analysis: Empirical and Normative, Meehan,
a thoughtful critic of social science methodology, seeks a pragmatic reorientation
of research away from its present &dquo;scholasticism&dquo; toward a live concern with the
effectuation of social change. To Meehan, methodology is a tool serving the basic
human need to anticipate and control environmental events through reasoned
evaluative choice between alternative outcomes. Given this activistic stance, dis-
tinctions between fact, value and logic fall before the pragmatist justification of
knowledge through efficacy in promoting desired social changes....

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