of contemporary politics, both formalists and interpretivists could, in this
way, reconceptualize their understandings of the nature and study of politics and embrace a collective and developmental paradigm; together they
could then construct a new science of politics more appropriate to understanding the new worlds which human learning creates across time.12 The
need for a new science of politics will become particularly evident should
the broad systemic changes of the late twentieth century activate a fundamental restructuring in American politics -- and thereby challenge the empirical and epistemological truths that dominate contemporary political
science ( Heclo, 1989; Maisel, 1990:307-323; Petracca, 1992:345-361; Rose, 1991).
I wish to thank those who provided critiques of earlier drafts of this chapter, including Leslie Anderson, Douglas Ashford, Frank Beer, Ron Brunner, Walter Dean
Burnham, Simone Chambers, Murray Edelman, Richard Fenno, Joan Fiore, Edward Greenberg, Richard Harris, Hugh Heclo, Ronald Inglehart, Bryan Jones, Cal
Jillson, Peter Katzenstein, Sean Kelley, Jeffrey Kopstein, Mark Lichbach, Robert
Lopez, Vince McGuire, John McIver, Sid Milkis, Carolyn Mohr-Hennefeld, T. J.
Pempel, Paul Quirk, James Rosenau, Catherine Rudder, James Scott, Teodor
Shanin, Michael Strine, James Thurber, and David Van Mill. I am also grateful to
the graduate students in my seminar on scope and methods and in my American
politics core seminar at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
See Alexis de Tocqueville ( 1945:12).
This effort reflects over a decade of attention on my part to building a theory
of American political change; most of that work centered on the Congress. For a
discussion of this theory-building process, see Dodd ( 1987, 1991). My initial theoretical effort came as a response to David Mayhew arguments in Congress: The
Electoral Connection ( 1974).
These cross-disciplinary theorists include Carl Jung ( 1963), Michael Lerner
( 1986), Thomas Kuhn ( 1970), and W. R. Ashby ( 1952). My numerous debts to fellow political scientists are evident in the citations throughout this essay.
Considered one of the leading scientific theorists of the twentieth century,lb />
though far better known in biology, ecological science, anthropology, psychiatry,
and the philosophy of science than in political science, Bateson was one of the pioneers in the creation and social application of cybernetics and systems theory,
game theory, and communications theory. It was out of the combination of these
fields that he created modern cybernetic learning theory, which he then applied
across a wide variety of phenomena, from the study of schizophrenia and family
dynamics to work on dolphins and biological communication to large-scale social
and ecological systems. See Bateson ( 1971, 1972, 1979), Bateson and
( 1987), and Donaldson ( 1991). The best overview of Bateson's life and work is contained in Lipset ( 1980). Bateson died in 1980 at the age of seventy-six.
Useful examples of political learning and resistance at an individual and
group level can be found in Fenno ( 1991, 1992) and Fenno ( 1973), pp. 281-291; see