The Limits of Behavioralism in Political Science: A Symposium Sponsored by the American Academy of Political and Social Science

The Limits of Behavioralism in Political Science: A Symposium Sponsored by the American Academy of Political and Social Science

The Limits of Behavioralism in Political Science: A Symposium Sponsored by the American Academy of Political and Social Science

The Limits of Behavioralism in Political Science: A Symposium Sponsored by the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Excerpt

Periodically, waves of concern pass over American political science as we contemplate the creature, called political behavior, to which we have given birth in the last two decades. The now not-so-young Turks who a decade ago were speaking in loud, strident, and sometimes rude voices about the dire need for scientific method in political research have begun to feel that they have finally acquired the garments of legitimacy. But, no sooner do they dare to comfort themselves with this thought than another panel at a professional meeting stirs up new and stormy conflict over the parentage of this latest offspring, its respectability, and its future. No sooner does the profession settle down and seem to accept it, as testified by the growing feeling that no department of political science is complete without at least one representative of this point of view, than a new book or article again challenges its assumptions, meaning, and intent. It may be, as a recent advocate has announced, that the battle for acceptance has really been won, but, if so, it is by no means over as yet and not everyone has been willing to give credence to the good news. There are some who would say that we are mistaking a series of continuous preliminary skirmishes for the main engagement.

The truth probably lies somewhere between these two points of view. But, regardless of where the discipline now finds itself

David Easton, Ph.D., Chicago, Illinois, is Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago. He is a member of the editorial board of Behavioral Science. He is author of The Political System (1953) and a contributor to professional and scholarly journals. He has served as a consultant to Brookings Institution; Mental Health Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan; and as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavorial Sciences, Stanford, California. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.