Informations and abstract
David Easton's effort in theory construction was motivated mainly by his critical assessment of historicism and empiricism - approaches which have dominated political science in the Fifties. This criticism which, at that time, he shared with other political scientists finally resulted in what came to be known as "behavioralism". Behavioralism stressed theory-led empiricism as well as empirically grounded theory formation. Easton himself developed a general theory of politics which was always related to and helpful for empirical research. He called this general theory also a framework which was suited to integrate partial theories of politics. The basic concept of Easton's systems analysis of politics is the political system. The political system is understood as a system of interaction through which authoritative allocations are made and implemented for the society. The point of reference of Easton's theory is the idea of the persistence of the political system. It is assumed that political systems want to persist. The issue of persistence can be regarded as the most inclusive and fundamental goal for any political system. In the context of his systems theory of political life David Easton developed concepts which in a very short time have become part and parcel of contemporary political science. They include concepts such as specific and diffuse support as well as demands which designate fundamental "input" categories of the political process and categories such as political community, political regime and political authorities which characterize the basic objects of a political system. There is no doubt about his monumental impact on the theoretical and empirical development of contemporary political science.