F. Engelmann – “The Legitimacy of Power as an Object of Political Science” – Recension du Nouveau manuel de science politique

27 août 2011

The Legitimacy of Power as an Object of Political Science

Fabiano Engelmann
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

(Cohen, Antonin, Bernard Lacroix, and Philippe Riutort. 2009. Nouveau manuel de Science Politique. Paris: Éditions La Découverte)

One of the main challenges to be met by Political Science manuals is to attain some balance between the presentation of numerous schools and subject-matters on the one hand, and reasonable analytical thoroughness on the other. Frequently, this issue is not dealt with successfully, which results in disconnections and excessive simplification, typical of this sort of publication.  This edition of Nouveau manuel de Science Politique manages to escape from the aforesaid difficulty. This collective piece of work brings together 74 authors in 786 pages and 12 chapters, and has the merit of introducing fundamental reflections paving the way towards a deeper comprehension of political phenomena on the basis of empirical studies not restricted to France, but including Europe as a whole, China, India, the Middle East and Africa. The text also contributes to further reflection upon the epistemological status of Political Science and the conditions for discussion of various socio-political phenomena.

The book is constructed by concatenating topics on the basis of general discussions as revealed by empirical research situated in its historicity, having the complex legitimization of the various forms of political power as the theoretical horizon. This successful approach outdoes even classical French Political Science and Sociology manuals published and republished over the last three decades, such as Leca and Grawitz (1985), Lagroye (1997) and Braud (2006).

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