A New Handbook of Political Science

A New Handbook of Political Science

A New Handbook of Political Science

A New Handbook of Political Science

Synopsis

This work is an authoritative survey of developments in the discipline compiled by 42 of the best political scientists worldwide, analyzing progress over the past twenty years and assessing this in the context of historical trends in the field. International in its scope, systematic in its coverage, A New Handbook of Political Science will be the reference book for political scientists, and those tracking their work, into the next century.

Excerpt

The New Handbook, by its very title, pays explicit homage to the truly Herculean efforts of our predecessors, Fred Greenstein and Nelson Polsby, in compiling the original Handbook of Political Science (1975). Though that eight-volume work is now two decades old, it remains a landmark in the discipline and an essential reference. We have set our task as the examination of what has happened in the discipline in the twenty years since publication of the Greenstein-Polsby original. Inevitably, some contributors have needed to go slightly beyond those bounds to tell a coherent story (the story of contemporary political theory, for example, dearly starts with the publication of Rawls Theory of Justice, four years before the Greenstein-Polsby Handbook). Basically, however, the first three contributors to each section have been held to that remit, with the fourth ("Old and New") being invited explicitly to reflect upon how these newer developments articulate with older traditions within each subdiscipline.

The New Handbook is conspicuously more international than the old, with just under half of our 42 contributors having non-North American affiliations. That is due in some small part to its origins in a meeting of the International Political Science Association (see our Acknowledgments, immediately following). But it is due in much larger part to genuine internationalization of the discipline over the past two decades. American political science undoubtedly remains primus inter pares--but it now has many equals, most of whom actually see themselves as collaborators in some shared enterprise. These and various other new voices make political science a richer discourse today than twenty years ago, albeit a discourse which is clearly continuous with that earlier one.

The New Handbook is also conspicuously organized around subdisciplines in a way that the old was not. Some such subdisciplinary affliations are, and virtually always have been, the principal points of allegiance of most members of our discipline. The particular subdisciplines around which we have organized the New Handbook represent what seem to us to . . .

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