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EVALUATING POLITICAL GOODS AND PRODUCTIVITY

By Gabriel A. Almond and G. Bingham Powell

Abstract

Because political evaluation is both inescapable and desirable, it is too important to be left to partial and unexamined criteria. Even the most self-conscious studies of political performance have tended to rely on a limited and incomplete range of standards. We are arguing here for a more comprehensive typology of "political goods, " with which both the standards and the performance of specific regimes and ideologies can be compared. Although we cannot, of course, deal with every cultural and structural nuance that may itself be valued, we can attempt to consider explicitly classes of goods that are associated with each of the different levels of analysis of the political system. Political evaluation is inescapable. Although descriptions and analyses in political science may avoid such terms as &dquo;good&dquo; and &dquo;bad,&dquo; the very focus on one structure or set of problems over another involves implicit value choices. Moreover, the language of politics is saturated with values, purposes, and objectives. We cannot study politics without responding to these. Political evaluation is desirable as well as inescapable. Ordinary citizens and professional social scientists alik

Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.941.2630
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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