This paper addresses the issue of how a researcher might evaluate the accuracy of theoretical predictions in the social sciences. Using theories of coalition systems as an example of specific and apparently easily testable models, the paper argues that judgment of the absolute accuracy of a prediction remains a value judgment. In addition, a strict value judgment can potentially lead to the rejection of a theory and its underlying assumptions even when those assumptions may have, at the very least, considerable heuristic value. While most models in the social sciences would benefit from greater specificity in their predictions, the general thrust of specific coalition models would benefit from greater attention. Combining a general conceptual structure with a set of specific, falsifiable predictions makes for excellent theory and potentially greater research progress.
- coalition theory
- decider subsystem
- supranational system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)