Dangerous minds: ‘Public’ political science or ‘punk’ political science?
The end of another academic year and my mind is tired. But tired minds are often dangerous minds. Just as alcohol can loosen the tongue (in vino veritas) for the non-drinkers of this world fatigue can have a similar effect (lassitudine veritas liberabit). Professional pretensions are far harder to sustain when one is work weary but I can’t help wondering if the study of politics has lost its way… heretical to hear or music to the ears of the disenchanted?
What is the core role of a professional political scientist in the twenty-first century? Where do our social and professional responsibilities lie within and beyond the discipline? How does political science differ, if at all, from the broader social sciences in terms of defining principles and values? On what criteria should we judge success and failure? How is the external context in which political science operates changing and what role is the discipline playing in terms of shaping or informing that context? These are the questions that have concerned me for some years and that I have engaged with in my writing on the concept of ‘engaged scholarship’. But Jeffrey C. Isaac’s recent editorial ‘For a More Public Political Science’ in Perspectives in Politics—in my opinion possibly the best political science journal in the world—jolted me out of my end-of-semester weariness.
Read the full article ‘For a More Public Political Science’ in Perspectives in Politics at Cambridge Journals.