A Liberal Polity: Ideological Homogeneity in Political Science

A Liberal Polity: Ideological Homogeneity in Political Science

by Mark Carl Rom, Georgetown University

“Democratic professors vastly outnumber Republicans in political science in American higher education. Does this create problems for teaching, service, and scholarship? Yes, the authors in this symposium agree, as they also differ on the nature, size, and scope of the problems.

It is difficult to measure the extent of political bias in higher education, and most professors undoubtedly do their best to conduct their research and educate their students in ways that reflect the best traditions of open inquiry and scholarly neutrality. Still, in the polity of the academy political scientists act as executives, legislators, judges, and citizens who are likely to identify as Democrats. Not surprisingly, those identifying with Republicans view their concerns as likely to be marginalized.

Here’s the paradox. Conservatives have generally opposed programs to increase diversity, but more ideological diversity is needed if conservatives are to be duly represented. Liberals typically support efforts to increase diversity, but one doubts they would agree to seek hire more conservatives.

All the contributors to this symposium ask you to read their articles with an open mind, and to respond to them thoughtfully. We encourage civil debate, even when we passionately disagree.”