Leveraging Diversity in Political Science for Institutional and Disciplinary Change

Virtual Issue: Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Inequality

The APSA Presidential Task Force Report ‘Political Science in the 21st Century report’, now just over five years old, offered a number of recommendations to the discipline including several related to political science research on diversity and racial, ethnic, and gendered marginalization. After reading APSA journals articles published in the years prior to and following the taskforce report, Dianne Pinderhughes and Maryann Kwakwa, both of the University of Notre Dame, argue that, while there have been important steps toward increasing multicultural diversity in political science research and teaching, the barriers that contributed to its marginalization in the past continue to exist. The following article is included in the virtual review issue.

Leveraging Diversity in Political Science for Institutional and Disciplinary Change

by Valeria Sinclair-ChapmanPurdue University

How are we to grow as a discipline and leverage diversity in political science? Doing so is imperative if the discipline is to remain socially and intellectually relevant in rapidly changing, increasingly diverse national and global contexts. In an era in which students and other “knowledge consumers” will more frequently be able to select their instructors from amongst a handful of scholars in a handful of disciplines via online courses of upwards of 25,000 students, 1 representation of a variety of experiences, perspectives, and expertise becomes a necessary and valuable commodity in the marketplace of ideas. If political science is to remain relevant in contexts where women and people of color are growing in number, demanding equitable power-sharing, and flexing political muscle through state-sanctioned and unsanctioned means, the discipline must definitively address its own lingering problems with race and gender diversity. Enlarging the ranks of women and faculty of color, in particular, women faculty of color, is instrumental to ensuring a dynamic and relevant political science in the twenty-first century. Not only is increasing faculty diversity important, but also recognizing how to leverage diversity institutionally is crucial.

PS: Political Science & PoliticsVolume 48Issue   July 2015 , pp. 454-458