If the study of politics is to be rewarding both intellectually and
practically it must. by definition. concern itself with the great
issues which arise in the real world and with the fundamental
arguments which occur about their nature and the possible solutions
to them. Abstract political philosophy which is not informed by the
experi- ence of practice will become sterile. A study of
constitutions and the machinery of government can become
dry-as-dust and hence boring unless the underlying principles are
analysed and grasped. But theo- ries of political change divorced
from an understanding of consti- tutions and institutions will
degenerate into mere phrase-mongering. Attempts to apply the
techniques of the natural sciences to politics will lead to model
building for its own sake and thence to arid and barren
intellectualism unless it is understood that it is impossible to
quantify the intangible. Indeed. anyone-sided approach to politics
and consequent failure to grasp the essential wholeness of the sub-
ject is bound to end in disaster. The study of politics is a study
of changing human relationships in dynamic societies. Thus it
involves. since the present and hence the future are shaped in part
by the past. an appreciation of history.
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