Scholasticism in political science

Lawrence M. Mead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Criticism of trends in political science centers on specific methodologiesquantitative methods or rational choice. However, the more worrisome development is scholasticisma tendency for research to become overspecialized and ingrown. I define that trend more closely and document its growth through increases in numbers of journals, organized sections in the American Political Science Association, and divisions within the APSA conference. I also code articles published in the American Political Science Review to show a growth in scholastic features in recent decades. The changes affect all fields in political science. Scholasticism serves values of rigor. To restrain it will require reemphasizing relevance to real-world issues and audiences. To do this should also help restore morale among political scientists.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)453-464
    Number of pages12
    JournalPerspectives on Politics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations


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