The Mismeasure of Political Man

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Abstract

Recent advances in the philosophy of science and political discourse analysis make possible a critical scrutiny of the most popular instrument in the scientific study of politics, the opinion survey. Despite its utility when put to other uses, this instrument can yield only flawed accounts of human political attributes and capabilities. Its findings should therefore be treated with caution in attempts to theorize about democratic politics. Moreover, widespread use of the instrument unwittingly reinforces an established political order of limited democracy, and obstructs more participatory and discursive alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-725
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Politics
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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