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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

Combining Theoretical Approaches

Combining Theoretical Approaches

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 16 Combining Theoretical Approaches
Source:
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation
Author(s):

Raj Kollmorgen

Wolfgang Merkel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829911.003.0016

What theoretical paradigms, approaches, and research designs are best suited for adequately explaining (disruptive) system change is a question that has been pondered by many scholars in the field of transformation research. The span of theories on offer ranges from systems theories through structuralist or institutionalist approaches to actor and action theories. Although some scholars still insist that a single paradigm can adequately describe and explain all the essential aspects of social transformation, theoretical pluralism is now accepted by the vast majority of researchers. The real challenge accordingly lies in clarifying mutual connections between paradigms and theoretical approaches, and, more specifically, in establishing and operationalizing the combination of theories in research on social, economic, and political change. Facing such a situation, this chapter outlines the landscape of transformation theories in the social sciences before presenting a proposal on theory combination linking systems and action in a political science theory of transformation.

Keywords:   transformation theory, transition theory, theory generation, paradigm, theoretical pluralism, theory combination, systems theory, action theory

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