Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges since 1880

Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges since 1880

Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges since 1880

Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges since 1880


Since emerging in the late nineteenth century, political science has undergone a radical shift--from constructing grand narratives of national political development to producing empirical studies of individual political phenomena. What caused this change? Modern Political Science --the first authoritative history of Anglophone political science--argues that the field's transformation shouldn't be mistaken for a case of simple progress and increasing scientific precision. On the contrary, the book shows that political science is deeply historically contingent, driven both by its own inherited ideas and by the wider history in which it has developed.

Focusing on the United States and the United Kingdom, and the exchanges between them, Modern Political Science contains contributions from leading political scientists, political theorists, and intellectual historians from both sides of the Atlantic. Together they provide a compelling account of the development of political science, its relation to other disciplines, the problems it currently faces, and possible solutions to these problems.

Building on a growing interest in the history of political science, Modern Political Science is necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand how political science got to be what it is today--or what it might look like tomorrow.


Robert Adcock, Mark Bevir, and Shannon C. Stimson

British and American political scientists recently have shown an unusual degree of interest in the history of their discipline. the dawn of a new millennium prompted leading figures in the British study of politics to reflect on their past and to situate themselves in relation to it. in America, work on the history of political science has appeared off and on for some time, but the last decade has witnessed a positive flourishing of such studies. These studies include some in which luminaries in the discipline look back on their teachers and predecessors. They also include a distinct subgenre of historical studies written from within the discipline, but by scholars outside its limelight. the past of political science has attracted further attention recently from intellectual historians outside of the discipline in both Britain and America. Modern Political Science

Jack Hayward, Brian Barry, and Archie Brown, eds., The British Study of Politics in
the Twentieth Century
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

For example, see Ira Katznelson, Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge
after Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust
(New York: Columbia University
Press, 2003).

James Farr and Raymond Seidelman, eds., Discipline and History: Political Science in
the United States
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993); John G. Gunnell, The
Descent of Political Theory: the Genealogy of an American Vocation
(Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1993); James Farr, John S. Dryzek, and Stephen T. Leonard, eds., Political
Science in History: Research Programs and Political Traditions
(New York: Cambridge Uni
versity Press, 1995); Brian Schmidt, The Political Discourse of Anarchy: a Disciplinary
History of International Relations
(Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998); Ido
Oren, Our Enemies and US: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science (Ithaca,
NY: Cornell University Press, 2003); John G. Gunnell, Imagining the American Polity: Polit
ical Science and the Discourse of Democracy
(University Park: Pennsylvania State University
Press, 2004).

Dorothy Ross, The Origins of American Social Science (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer
sity Press, 1991); Mark C. Smith, Social Science in the Crucible: the American Debate over
Objectivity and Purpose, 1918–1941
(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994); Julia
Stapleton, Political Intellectuals and Public Identities in Britain since 1850 (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 2001); S. M. Amadae, Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy:
The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press . . .

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