Interpretive political science focuses on the meanings that shape actions and institutions, and the ways in which they do so. This Handbook explores the implications of interpretive theory for the study of politics. It provides the first definitive survey of the field edited by two of its pioneers. Written by leading scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, the Handbook’s 32 chapters are split into five parts which explore:

  • the contrast between interpretive theory and mainstream political science;
  • the main forms of interpretive theory and the theoretical concepts associated with interpretive political science;
  • the methods used by interpretive political scientists;
  • the insights provided by interpretive political science on empirical topics;
  • the implications of interpretive political science for professional practices such as policy analysis, planning, accountancy, and public health.

With an emphasis on the applications of interpretive political science to a range of topics and disciplines, this Handbook is an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and practitioners in the areas of international relations, comparative politics, political sociology, political psychology, and public administration.

part |27 pages


chapter |25 pages

Interpretive Political Science

Mapping the field
ByMark Bevir, R. A. W. Rhodes

part |125 pages


chapter |14 pages

Naturalism And Anti-Naturalism

ByMark Bevir, Jason Blakely

chapter |13 pages

Idealist Legacies

ByNaomi Choi

chapter |14 pages


ByJens Olesen

chapter |14 pages


ByRobert Lamb

chapter |13 pages

Pragmatist Interpretivism

ByChris Ansell

chapter |14 pages

Social Constructivism

ByColin Hay

chapter |13 pages

Cultural Studies

ByAlan Finlayson

chapter |15 pages


ByDavid Howarth

chapter |13 pages


ByThomas Biebricher

part |69 pages


chapter |14 pages

Quantitative Analysis As Narrative

ByDeborah Stone

chapter |15 pages


ByR. A. W. Rhodes

chapter |13 pages

Textual Analysis

ByNorman Fairclough, Isabela Fairclough

chapter |12 pages

Historical Methods

ByFritz Sager, Christian Rosser

chapter |13 pages


ByYiannis Gabriel

part |156 pages

Empirical disciplines

chapter |14 pages

International Relations

ByCecelia Lynch

chapter |15 pages

Comparative Politics

ByLorraine Bayard de Volo

chapter |12 pages

American Politics

ByJoseph Lowndes

chapter |14 pages

European Politics

ByThomas Diez

chapter |14 pages

Organizational Sociology

ByThomas Diez

chapter |13 pages

Political Sociology

ByEmmy Eklundh, Nick Turnbull

chapter |15 pages

Political Psychology

ByHelen Haste, Jennifer Jones, Kristen Monroe

chapter |14 pages

Public Law

ByMartin Loughlin, Samuel Tschorne

chapter |14 pages

Public Administration

ByCatherine Needham

chapter |15 pages

Gender And Politics

ByMary Hawkesworth

chapter |14 pages

Race And Politics

ByRonald Schmidt

part |84 pages

Professional practices

chapter |14 pages

Policy Analysis

ByHendrik Wagenaar

chapter |14 pages


ByPatsy Healey

chapter |14 pages

Management And Foucault

ByAlan McKinlay, Eric Pezet

chapter |15 pages


ByRobin Roslender

chapter |12 pages

Social Welfare

ByJanet Newman

chapter |13 pages

Public Health

ByDidier Fassin