Political concepts are used generally in Political science and related disciplines to describe phenomenon. They are also useful disciplines to describephenomenon. They are also useful in the analysis of Political situations and expectations.
Political concepts are universal description words which scientists formulate or develop so as to usefully describe the range of phenomena that are of interest to the scientist. Reflecting on the meaning of concepts, Frolov (1984) and Anikpo (1986) see it as essentially link-up words. It aids the determination of the exact meaning of words so as to use them or operate within them in the scientist’s process of thought.
Taking cognisance of the foregoing, it makes sense to see Political concepts as definite words, terms or vocabularies that give specific meanings to tangible ideas. They are employed in the definition, determination, linking-up, description or explanation of political phenomenon. In this, obviously composite sense, concepts are very useful in assigning and in the explanations of specific phenomena in politics.
Hypothesis as a propositional statement
A hypothesis is a specific but tentative idea. It is characteristically a propositional statement that is subject to test or validation, and suggests a possible way of explaining a situation or reality. Being at least an informed guess or hunch, a hypothesis requires further prove and validation.
The implication of the foregoing is that hypothesis is defined as a specific declarative, tentative and predictive statement or proposition that is subject to verification before confirmation. The purpose of the verification is usually to use investigation to validate or invalidate, confirm or disconfirm the claim made by the hypothesis. The import of this is that the idea of ‘hypothesis’ hinges on the need to explain phenomenon or relationship between two or more constructs or variables.
There are essentially two types of hypothesis;
- Research hypothesis, and
- Statistical hypothesis.
While research hypothesis rely largely on logical analysis and are characteristically qualitative; Statistical hypothesis as the name suggests, are numeric and tend to rely on profound statistical calculations in order to confirm or disconfirm given hypothetical statements. The two types of hypothesis are very useful in the conduct of both Political analysis and Political inquiry.
Generalization as a process of describing relationship
Generalization is related to concepts and is indicative of the existence of reasoned or logical process. It is helpful in expressing relationships between concepts. A major characteristic of generalization is that it emphasizes transition, usually from particular to the universal. It enables an analyst to make statements of facts based on information gathered from a subset or fraction of the population. The importance of generalization in Political analysis hinges on a number of factors.
Let me identify this three factors below
Provides broad based sophisticated description
- Generalizations provide Political analysts with broad based sophisticated description. Differently stated generalizations are important because through it, it is possible to attain more sophisticated and yet wide ranging description of Political phenomenon.
Aligns with the nature of scientific explanation
- Secondly, generalization follows, support or aligns with the nature of scientific explanation and prediction. Very importantly, it subscribes to the fact that for prediction to be meaningful it needs to be preceded by understanding and explanations.
Offers sound description
- In the third place, generalizations offer exact or better description of Political phenomenon. Sound, exact or better descriptions of phenomenon are necessary in Political analysis largely because without such, it would be impossible for sound Political analysis to be conducted.
In a nutshell, generalization is a key element not only in Political analysis but also in Political theorization. In the generation of explanations and predictions; both Political theories and analysis in Political science rely on the effective application of generalization.