Meet Council Vice President, Ian Shapiro of Yale University

Ian Shapiro, Yale Universityian-shapiro

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he also serves as Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. He has written widely and influentially on democracy, justice, and the methods of social inquiry. A native of South Africa, he received his J.D. from the Yale Law School and his Ph.D from the Yale Political Science Department where he has taught since 1984 and served as chair from 1999 to 2004. Shapiro is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a past fellow of the Carnegie Corporation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Shapiro has held visiting appointments at the University of Cape Town, The University of Oslo, Sciences Po in Paris, Keio University in Tokyo, and Nuffield College, Oxford. Recently, his articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and elsewhere. His new book, Politics Against Domination, was published by Harvard University Press in 2016.  Shapiro’s current research concerns the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth.

Statement of Views
In my view political science is at its best when it starts with consequential problems in the political world and then deploys the best available scholarly methods to bear in addressing them. I have been critical of theory and method driven approaches to the subject.  Too often their proponents start with preferred models or methods, inverting the enterprise so as to produce scholarship that is either contrived or unimportant.  I believe that the APSA should foster and reward problem driven research and that its officers should represent the discipline to the outside world as a source of useful knowledge that has the potential to improve politics.

Learn more about Professor Sharpio.