Causation, Not Correlation, in Interpretive Political Science

15 August 2023, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Using David Easton’s theory of the political system as my interpretive framework, I will offer a non-mechanistic theory of how human political behavior can be “caused.” I will argue that, for Interpretive Political Science, reasons can be causes of political behavior. Indeed, respect for the subject matter – human political behavior – requires this causal theory. After all, people are not machines. “Reasons” will be understood as units of meaning in the minds of people. I will offer examples of such causal relations in the operations of two political systems, China and Peru.


Theories of causation
political systems
Interpretive Political Science
Comparative Studies


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Comment number 1, William Kelleher: Sep 05, 2023, 23:26

Now this essay is part of the Conclusion to my new book, Normative Political Science. Lrn more at,