Shifting Standards for Political Methodologists? Historical Trends in the Society for Political Methodology
by: Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, University of Iowa and Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University
Mitchell and Achen argue that the Political Methodology Society needs a broader and more diverse membership. Focusing in particular on women political scientists, they show that women continue to be underrepresented at summer Methods Meetings. They review the various efforts that have been made to increase women’s presence, and they assess the strengths and weaknesses of those efforts.
Mitchell and Achen also show how the choices made in the early years of the Society have substantially shaped its current character. They make the case that much of political methodology has become too narrowly defined. Large subject areas that everyone agrees are methodological topics continue to get too little attention from political methodologists, they say. In their view, expanding the intellectual range of the Society will improve both its professional sophistication and its appeal to a broader range of political scientists.