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forty years of european political science Luı´s de Sousa, Jonathon Moses, Jacqui Briggs and Martin Bull

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his Special Issue on ‘Forty Years of European Political Science’ is part of the celebrations of the ECPR’s 40th anniversary in 2010. Founded in 1970, the ECPR is now the largest and most important political science association in Europe, and, in terms of size, is rivalled worldwide probably only by its American counterpart, the American Political Science Association (APSA). However, the two associations are markedly different in genesis and nature, the ECPR standing out as the only institution-based (instead of individual-based) political science association. With approximately 350 member institutions, the ECPR touches on the lives of thousands of individual political scientists, and the Consortium is forever striving to improve and expand its services to its members. One element of this service is the provision of a network of publications, including book series, journals and its own Press. European Political Science (EPS) is part of this publishing network. Founded in 2001 (out of the old ECPR News), EPS has become one of the main vehicles for reflection, and discussion about the discipline of political science in all its aspects: research, teaching and training, professional issues and so on. It is not a conventional journal and has never attempted to be one, and it has tapped into a wealth of evident demand on the part of political scientists to discuss and write about their discipline. Consequently, it seemed natural and proper for

an international journal devoted to publishing contributions by and for the political science community to celebrate the ECPR’s 40th Anniversary with a Special Issue on the development of the discipline over the last forty years. Indeed, it was too important an opportunity to miss.1 We are not, of course, just commemorating the ECPR and its founders. The ECPR has undeniably played a key role in the upbringing, professionalization and internationalization of Political Science in Europe. This historical overview has already been dealt with in depth elsewhere (Newton and Boncourt, 2010), and in any case, besides the need to reflect briefly on this institutional experience, there is much else also to ‘celebrate’ in European political science since 1970. We believe that the evolution and development of political science in Europe can best be seen through three dimensions, which generally shape the contributions to this issue: first, the way in which the subject area has been defined; second, how it has been institutionalized; and third, the way its professional community has taken shape.

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INTRODUCTION

A RICH AND CONTESTED CONCEPT Notwithstanding the fact that political theory and reflections about the art of politics are as old as democracy itself, the scientific knowledge of political phenomena is a recent discipline. Political science was born at the crossroads of various european political science: 9 2010

(S1 – S10) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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‘science’, moving from moral reflection and institutional description to analysis and prescription. At the same time, comparativists were taking political science beyond national jurisdictions and trying to explain similarities and differences between countries using common concepts. Political institutions were no longer studied as static arrangements of rules and procedures but dynamic systems through which the allocation of resources and values to society occurred. A new systemic perspective of politics consequently took shape. Over the past twenty years, innovation has come in the form of a reformulation of existing – rather than creation of new – approaches and methodologies. With the end of the Cold War, the globalization of financial markets and economies and the proliferation of democracies worldwide, the word crisis has become commonplace: the crisis of democracy, the crisis of ideology, the crisis of parties and party systems, the crisis of the Welfare State, the crisis of world financial institutions and so on. Such introspective reflection on the qualities of political systems has led to a reformulation of concepts, theories and methodologies. Not surprisingly, most approaches have been preceded by the designation ‘post’ or ‘neo’. The net result of this conceptual evolution is a distinctive science engaged in revealing and understanding the relationships underlying political events and conditions in order to construct general principles about the way political societies are organized and work. As Klingemann (2008: 374) has argued, the richness and contested nature of political science as a discipline has not prevented European academics from finding a common basis of agreement: ‘Today, there is rather widespread agreement in Europe that the following subfields are the core components of the political science curriculum:

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subject areas. It has received contributions from history, sociology, economics, public law, psychology, etc. For that reason, political science is both a no man’s land, in terms of cutting across disciplines, and a hub of knowledge about how contemporary society is politically organized and how it works. The term ‘political science’ is often used to encompass a series of subfields: comparative politics, political economy, international relations, public administration, political theory, European studies and related disciplines. In this sense, political science has always been the richest of social sciences. Its object of study is a mixture of different disciplinary perspectives and methodologies. This has added complexity to the discipline, but it has also raised vagueness about its definition. There have been intense debates about what political science is and what its future will hold over the past forty years. The first two decades were important in clarifying its object of study and scientific scope. The post-World War II political conjuncture offered fertile ground for the (re)founding of the social sciences. The political world, as it was known and ‘governed’ for three centuries, had changed radically: the inter-state system became a complex bipolar balance of power based on nuclear deterrence; the number of independent countries grew as a result of decolonization; the social, economic and political reconstruction of Europe was embarking on new forms of cooperation characterized by the pooling of national sovereignty to supranational bodies; and new forms of economic governance were giving birth to a new state primarily focused on promoting and safeguarding the well-being of citizens. The growing complexity and fast pace of these macro changes led to a profound change in the nature and scope of the social sciences. Political science was no exception to this change. During the 1960s, behaviourists tried to raise political science to the status of a

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Introduction

 Political theory and the history of political ideas;


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Among the various socialization, organizational, financial and policy factors that have contributed to this normalization of political science, the Bologna process has undoubtedly had an important impact in streamlining university political science curricula and recommending minimum requirements for BA degrees across Europe. The balance of this ongoing conceptual debate has been extraordinarily positive. Over the past forty years, political science has broadened its scope of analysis, appropriated many methods originating in social research (comparative analysis, historical documentary analysis, survey analysis, statistical analysis, case studies, model building, etc.) and diversified its approaches (behaviouralism, systems’ analysis, positivism, interpretivism, rational choice theory, structuralism, realism, institutionalism, functionalism, etc.). As Klingemann (2008: 374) has put it, ‘Today’s research products reveal a broad definition of political science’.

teachers trained as social scientists. Most universities had no department of government or political science. There were, however, different patterns of institutionalization. The various contributions to this issue tend to agree with Yves Me ´ny’s (2010) observation that when the ECPR was founded in 1970, ‘Great Britain was the only large country where political science was well developed and rooted. The Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Germany were starting to develop it quite rapidly. Italy had only three or four famous names to flag the new discipline’. The gap between American-led and European political science was substantial. Political science in Europe was effectively reduced to the study of regimes, institutions, parties, elections and political behaviour. A few brilliant minds began to create space for the introduction of the ‘new’ discipline in European university curricula; others were leaving the Old Continent for America where they would make their names and important contributions to the discipline. As Hans Daalder mentions in his contribution, one cannot understand the way political science evolved in Europe without taking into account the very special relationship between European and American academe. Americans financed most of the research in political science in Europe in the post-World War II period. The ECPR was, in fact, created thanks to a generous grant from the Ford Foundation. This special transatlantic relationship also had its impact on the way political science was to be taught in European universities. Should political science remain a generalist reflection about political societies or become a scientific behaviourist discipline? This was one of the fundamental dilemmas to solve that the founders of European political science set themselves. The answer was to be found in the very diversified nature of Europe.

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 Political system of one’s own country and of the European Union;  Public administration and policy analysis;  Political economy and political sociology;  Comparative politics;  International relations; and,  Methodology (including statistics)’.

DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS The growth of political science was very rapid during the second half of the twentieth century, but as Blondel and Vennesson (2010) point out, that growth was geographically uneven. Between the 1950s and 1970s very little research was carried out on political science in Europe. Professional training was only just beginning to be developed. Political science was in the process of being gradually introduced in the curricula of various Western European universities, but there were very few

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who, after studying abroad, seek university positions and academic careers in their home countries. The resources and opportunities for political scientists across Europe vary widely. A large number of political scientists in Central and Eastern Europe are struggling with salaries as low as 200 euros a month. They have to compensate their low wages with a heavy teaching workload and by seeking alternative revenues in private think tanks and policy centres. If, on the one hand, this preference of the private over the public greatly diminishes the departments’ capacity to develop their own research endeavours, on the other hand, it is creating a market for private universities and research units to emerge. As Klingemann (2008: 37) has rightly observed, private universities or independent research institutes such as the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB), the Juan March Institute in Madrid, or the Swedish Institute for Social Research ‘are playing an increasingly important role in Central and Eastern Europe, too’ (2008: 375). Notwithstanding these variations in capacities, the balance of the institutionalization of political science is overall positive. Political science has become a consolidated discipline across Europe. According to Klingemann (2008; see also 2007, and Klingemann et al, 2002), around the year 2005, there were approximately 575 universities with 698 political science units and a total of 10,000 academic staff (professors and associate professors only). In what concerns students, the author estimates that at least 300,000 students across Europe were taking at least some courses on political science around the same year. Even though these are conservative approximations and more research is needed to arrive at more solid estimates (see Bull, 2007), the figures

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A more dynamic group of academics, trained in the US and UK, were gradually carving a niche for European political science: the peculiarity of Europe was that within it were concentrated a variety of political systems with specific political cultures and institutional arrangements. Comparative politics became central to the emancipation of political science in Europe. Gradually, small countries were put on the political science map of research, something that American political science had not achieved. It took a while for small countries to find a place on the research scene and they managed to do so by compromising their native languages, that is, by publishing their case studies in English. Today, the situation is not so substantially different. National cleavages in the institutionalization and progression of political science across Europe are still remarkable and these can be explained by different capacities and trajectories of institutional building. Despite the ECPR’s best efforts, Eastern Europe and even Southern Europe have not as yet been able to achieve the number, size and professionalization of departments that has occurred in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. In Central and Eastern Europe, higher education reforms are often impeded by lack of funding, ineffective education policies, poor planning and management, and reliance on traditional curricula. Poor institutional capacity partly explains the increasing dropouts which some of these young political science departments have been facing in recent years. Poor working and pay conditions have also deprived these new political science departments of a large number of young scholars who seek a better future elsewhere, including outside Europe. Some organizations, like the Open Society Institute, have been active in combating this ‘brain drain’ in the social sciences and humanities in the region by supporting talented scholars

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The discipline in Europe has been the object of an intense process of professionalization over the past forty years. The ECPR has played an important role in this through the organization of large scientific diffusion events (such as the Joint Sessions of Workshops, the General Conference, the Ljubljana summer school in methods and techniques, etc.) and the promotion of research excellence (via its various journals, publications and prizes). Today, the ECPR has nearly 350 European institutional members and associate members in over forty countries, from Europe and beyond. This not only places an enormous responsibility on the organization to serve its members, maintaining excellence and innovation while avoiding bureaucratization, but it also forces the ECPR to take into account different capacities, institutional arrangements and the plurality of national political science schools of thought. The professionalization of political science has also had its costs. One of the negative consequences is that professionalization has left little room for the more general normative reflections about politics. There is a tendency to exclude normative analysis, since it is considered ‘unscientific’. However, it is precisely the discussion of norms in the public arena that is dictating the global political agenda. Have political scientists become too obsessed about methodological tidiness to the point that they have overlooked political facts and reality along the way? How much politics are we teaching our students today? To what extent are we providing them with adequate tools to interpret and explain the

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THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONALIZATION

relationships underlying political events and conditions? Another consequence of professionalization is the increased depth of knowledge about certain specific topics combined with insufficient general reflections about the nature and functioning of political systems as a whole. One inevitable consequence is the proliferation of partial or minor theories or the reproduction/reformulation of old ones (the ‘neo-neo syndrome’). In short, ‘grand theories’ of politics are losing out. A tendency towards linguistic monopoly or monotony is also a negative outcome of professionalization: whereas the infant European political science of the 1950s and 1960s was driven by a curiosity of learning, the political science of the last two decades has been driven increasingly by the necessity to publish. Students of political science are increasingly required to publish to make progress in their professional careers (the ‘publish or perish’ rule). Most leading journals in the field are in English. Citation indexes are now commonly used as a criterion to measure productivity and these reinforce this linguistic monotony.

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denote a remarkable institutionalization process of the discipline in the past forty years.

FUTURE CHALLENGES For years, political science has been focusing on the study of actors that nobody loves, processes that nobody understands and institutions that nobody trusts: is political science therefore missing the point? According to Blondel and Vennesson (2010), there is an evident erosion of interest in ‘public politics’ by ordinary citizens in western developed democracies, which is proportional to an increasing concern for ‘private politics’. However, contrary to economics, where the micro- dimension of analysis is central to the discipline, in political science, very few efforts have been made to introduce ‘micro-politics’ into university curricula. Introduction

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THIS SPECIAL ISSUE

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The benefit of reviewing forty years of European political science is that it offers us a wonderful perch not only from which to survey the state of our discipline, but also to project about where European political science might (and should) go in the future. Each of the contributors to this Special Issue is able to project in both directions, and some do explicitly. Still, there are some who have concentrated their gaze on past developments and how these developments have informed the nature of political science in Europe today, while others have taken these developments as a point of departure, to describe how they see our discipline developing and growing in the future. In this collection we learn of a discipline that proudly embraces the diversity of contemporary political science in Europe, while recognizing the sometimes arduous path that has brought us here. Some of the contributors were present at the genesis of European political science, others conducted extensive interviews with its founders, and there remains disagreement about the state of political science research prior to the formation of the ECPR in 1970. Starting from a reflection on his own professional career, Yves Me ´ny (2010) discusses the professionalization of political science by trying to answer three interrelated questions: first, does the comparative advantage of some countries (or the gap between leaders and followers) still exist?; second, has the discipline become more structured, more organized, better rooted in the teaching and research structures of the European universities?; and third, is political science more European and more international to the point that the professional dimension has become more important than cultural/national peculiarities? In this personalized history, we learn of the contrast between a nascent French

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If political science in Europe is in urgent need of ‘micro-politics’, elsewhere there is still considerable interest in the more established themes, such as democratic transition, party politics, institutional design and reforms, regional integration, etc. Not surprisingly, the Politburo of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China has been inviting Western academics, on a regular basis, to learn about the nature and intensity of these macro-processes with a clear desire to domesticate and control their dynamics and outcomes. Today the world is facing one of the worst economic crises ever lived, whose impacts and disclosure are as yet unforeseen. Economists are doing their best to explain how it all happened, but it is true to say that few if any of them had anticipated it coming. If there is a lesson to be learnt it is that the governance of the global economy cannot rely on regulatory assumptions of invisible hands and automatic balances that ignore the value of political intervention. Important political decisions will be made during this period, some of which will radically change our way of life and the way our political societies are organized. In Europe, the integration process has arrived at deadlock. Some fear the breakdown of the European project through the revival of protectionism and the renationalization of monetary/ economic policies; others, more optimistically talk of refondation. At the same time, the world’s political map is changing and new emerging powers are contesting their place in the hierarchy of states. All of this suggests that the role and relevance of political science in the coming period will be as great as it has been in the past, and it will be the task of journals such as EPS to chart the debates about the discipline and profession which will result. This brings us specifically to the contents of this Special Issue.

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of the early discipline, we can clearly see an important institutional and scientific void into which the new ECPR flowed, and which subsequently encouraged crossnational contacts and collaboration. Newton’s co-author in the abovementioned history of the ECPR, Thibaud Boncourt (2010), contributes to this Special Issue with a complementary piece that describes the establishment of several new but rather different international professional organizations, based on different principles. Here the development of the ECPR is contrasted against the earlier development of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), and we learn about how the motivation behind each organization reflected different concerns at the time of their creation: the earlier organization (IPSA) being more political; the latter (ECPR) more scientific in orientation. This sort of scientific and professional orientation is still evident today, in our concern about the quality and scope of venues available for publishing our work, and in the opportunities and challenges that face us as teachers. It is to these sorts of concerns that two additional contributions take their cue. The first of these, by Calise et al (2010) review the major – even transformational – changes that are occurring in electronic publishing and (especially) its open access venues, and how these changes affect the way that European political scientists are increasingly spreading news of their research findings, and the positive and negative aspects embodied in this. Likewise, Chris and Mike Goldsmith (2010) review the way in which political science has been taught in Europe and consider some of the opportunities and challenges being offered by recent developments on several pedagogic fronts (e.g., cross-national joint programmes, technologically-enhanced learning, placement learning, etc.). They highlight the key historical developments in the teach-

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political science community, institutionally anchored in the study of law, and the role that the ECPR played in helping nascent national political science communities, like the one in France, become more international, comparative, and professional in outlook. Given the diversity of early European political science that Me ´ny describes, we can celebrate how far we have managed to come in creating a common sense of community among different national approaches to the study of politics. But in doing so we should not belittle the many challenges that we still face. Hans Daalder’s (2010) contribution questions whether European political science, prior to the ECPR, was as narrow and parochial as is commonly thought. His own recollection of events suggests that the very nature of post-war European society – a host of communities in close proximity to one another with increasingly porous frontiers – helped to create the international contacts and outlooks that facilitated the rise of the ECPR. In short, Daalder describes a nascent community of European political scientists who were actively interacting with Americans (and one another) to show the importance of international collaboration and experience in creating the foundation upon which the ECPR’s eventual success rested. Indeed, it would seem that the biographical reflections and experiences of political scientists like Daalder, Stein Rokkan and Jean Blondel (among others), lend credence to this argument. This story is partly at odds with a recent history of the ECPR (Newton and Boncourt, 2010) where we see how little political science there was in the 1950s and 1960s (at least as we would recognize it today): people were working on political issues from the perspective of law, public administration, history or international relations, but there was remarkably little work that was comparative in scope, or that extended beyond national boundaries. In this conventional depiction

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of Politics and IR, Savigny shows how they both draw on different and unique histories, but developed in parallel (albeit unevenly). This parallel history reveals how challenges to mainstream scholarship came much earlier in the field of IR, facilitating a greater acceptance of methodological pluralism in contemporary IR (at least in Europe) than can be found in the study of Politics. This theme of methodological pluralism is also embraced in the contribution from Michael Keating and Donatella della Porta (2010). These authors draw on their popular methodological anthology (della Porta and Keating, 2008) to suggest that European political science has found it easier to embrace than try and overcome methodological pluralism, given the very plurality of its approaches, its distinct national intellectual traditions and the difficulty of any one approach to dominate at any time or in any particular institution in Europe. ‘As with the European project itself’, they note, ‘different perspectives and expectations must live together in greater or lesser harmony without a shared telos’. This theme is continued in the contribution by Colin Hay (2010), which argues that European political science is particularly well equipped, especially in contrast to American political science, to respond to the contemporary challenges that real-world politics present. Whether because of luck or by design, Hay finds a strong and synergistic relationship between real-world developments and the analytical traditions in political science that prevail in Europe. In particular, European political science is seen to be more sensitive to issues of interdependence, while Americans are more predisposed to see the world in terms of dependence. To the extent that the world is changing in ways that are more characterized by interdependence (than dependence), Hay argues that European political science is destined to play an

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ing and learning of political science in Europe before proceeding to analyse more recent developments. As a contribution to pedagogical debates it will interest all those who are involved in the teaching and learning of political science, and it furnishes ideas which even the most traditional of political science tutors will find hard to dismiss. Clearly, European political science faces a number of serious challenges as it lurches into the future. Among these is the need to remain relevant. Gerry Stoker’s (2010) contribution reminds us of how difficult it is for our discipline to remain relevant – or even if relevance is something that we, collectively, can agree is important. Stoker outlines four important roadblocks to making political science more relevant: two that are associated with issues concerning power and politics, and two that result from intellectual weakness and underdevelopment. Until our discipline can develop a ‘design arm’, Stoker concludes that we will be unable to tackle the novel intellectual challenges involved, thereby remaining largely irrelevant. Our discipline’s capacity to adjust can be seen in Drude Dahlerup’s (2010) description of the birth and maturing of gender issues in European political science. Beginning with an ECPR workshop on Women in Politics in 1977, Dahlerup describes the discipline’s long journey from its origins as a young ‘gender-blind’ discipline in the 1950s and 1960s, to the development of a research field that can boast a vibrant and growing community of researchers, publication venues and influence. Dahlerup’s account of the quest to gain a foothold and acceptance for women’s studies provides a fascinating insight into the struggle for recognition of a serious new research field. Similarly, Heather Savigny (2010) reminds us of the large gulf that has often separated the work being carried out in the fields of International Relations (IR) and European Political Science. In mapping the disciplinary developments

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more self-confident and professional community of European political scientists. As is exemplified in several contributions, European political science still needs to compare its achievements with those of our more established counterparts in North America. But we now seem capable of celebrating our diversity and recognizing that it may allow us to overcome the methodological, normative and ideological rigidities that often characterize American political science. Yet, these contributions also remind us that our common project is far from finished. As the political world changes, so too do the demands on our discipline. As several of the contributors point out, the key to maintaining our legitimacy, influence and authenticity is to embrace the plurality of approaches that is European political science, to be cognizant of the need to address difficult and common issues, and to work together, in a spirit of critical exchange in order to develop more robust approaches to the study of political phenomena. We hope this Special Issue makes a modest contribution on each of these fronts.

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even more significant role in the future development of the discipline. Finally, Jean Blondel and Pascal Vennesson (2010) discuss the fragilities of political science, both in terms of the vagueness of its definition and the lack of a ‘general theory’ of politics. In doing so, they identify ‘three sets of pressing problems which the discipline needs to tackle if it is to increase its visibility in the world while retaining its authenticity’. First, it needs to develop a more micro-level approach to the study of politics, so that it becomes more useful to the common (wo)man on the street. Second, it needs to build stronger bridges to better link political science with policy analysis. Third, Blondel and Vennesson argue for the need to be more conscious and explicit about the role of ideology and norms/values in scientific analyses. As the authors note, this is no small order – but by placing these challenges on the table, they hope to encourage further discussion about our need to adjust to the demands of the future. In summary, we note that the past forty years have seen the development of a

About the Authors

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Luı ´s de Sousa got his Ph.D. in Political Sciences at the European University Institute, Italy in 2002. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal. He has published regularly on corruption control and political financing. Jonathon Moses is a professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. His recent publications include Ways of Knowing: Competing Methodologies in Social and Political Research (Palgrave, 2007, co-authored with T. Knutsen) and International Migration: Globalization’s Last Frontier (Zed, 2006). Jacqueline Briggs is Principal Lecturer in Politics at the University of Lincoln. In addition, she is an elected member of the Political Studies Association UK’s Executive Committee, having chaired their Sub-Committee on Teaching and Learning Politics (from 2005 until 2009). Amongst other teaching and learning activities, Jacqui co-edited the Political Studies Association’s Study Politics guide. In addition, Jacqui is an active member of Higher Education Academy’s subject centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) Politics Discipline Interest Group. Martin Bull is Professor of Politics at the University of Salford and Academic Director of the European consortium of Political Research. He publishes on Italian and comparative politics.

Note 1 An opportunity made possible by the support of both Palgrave and the ECPR Publications Board, whom we acknowledge and thank here. We also thank the ECPR and the United Kingdom’s Political Studies Introduction

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Association for promoting the Special Issue and allowing first drafts to be presented and discussed at two Roundtables, one held at the ECPR’s Joint Sessions of Workshops, Muenster, 22–27 March 2010, and the other at the PSA’s 60th Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 29 March – 1 April 2010.

References

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Blondel, J. and Vennesson, P. (2010) ‘The Future of Political Science’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S22–S29. Boncourt, T. (2010) ‘Why European Political Science Organisations? A Diachronic, Comparative and Fairly Short Explanation’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S38–S49. Bull, M.J. (2007) ‘Is there a European political science and if so what are the challenges facing it?’ European Political Science 6(4): 427–438. Calise, M., De Rosa, R. and Ferna ´ndez i Marı´n, X. (2010) ‘Electronic Publishing, Knowledge Sharing and Open Access: A New Environment for Political Science’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S50–S60. Daalder, H. (2010) ‘Political Science in Europe and the ECPR: Looking Back and Looking On’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S30–S37. Dahlerup, D. (2010) ‘The Development of Gender and Politics as a New Research Field within the Framework of the ECPR’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S85–S98. della Porta, D. and Keating, M. (eds.) (2008) Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences. A Pluralist Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Goldsmith, M. and Goldsmith, C. (2010) ‘Teaching Political Science in Europe’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S61–S71. Hay, C. (2010) ‘The Changing Nature of European Political Science: the Discipline in an Age of Acknowledged Interdependence’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S121–S131. Keating, M. and della Porta, D. (2010) ‘In Defence of Pluralism in the Social Sciences’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S111–S120. Klingemann, H.-D. (ed.) (2007) The State of Political Science, Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers. Klingemann, H.-D. (2008) ‘Capacities: political science in Europe’, West European Politics 31(1–2): 370–396. Klingemann, H.-D., Kulesza, E. and Legutke, A. (eds.) (2002) The State of Political Science in Central and Eastern Europe, Berlin: Edition Sigma. Me ´ny, Y. (2010) ‘Political Science as a Profession’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S11–S21. Newton, K. and Boncourt, T. (2010) The ECPR’s First Forty Years 1970–2010, Essex: ECPR. Savigny, H. (2010) ‘Looking Back to Move Forward: Historicising the Construction of Disciplinary Narratives in European Political Science and International Relations’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S99–S110. Stoker, G. (2010) ‘Blockages on the Road to Relevance: Why has Political Science Failed to Deliver?’, in J. Briggs, M. Bull, J. Moses and L. de Sousa (eds.) Forty Years of European Political Science, Special Issue, European Political Science, Supplement: S72–S84. doi:10.1057/eps.2010.46

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political science as a profession yves me´ny Former President of the European University Institute, Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini 9, I-50014, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Italy.

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.36

Abstract

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professionalisation; standards; training; mobility

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Keywords

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A discipline cannot pretend to be such if political borders are reflected in its organisation, methodologies or practices. While pluralistic approaches are highly desirable, it is crucial for any discipline worthy of the name to professionalise itself. This article argues that in spite of imperfections, drawbacks and differentiated development, huge progress has been made towards this goal through the setting up of common standards, improved Ph.D. and post-doctoral training and international mobility. Cross-national organisations or pan-European programmes have played a major role in this (incomplete) transformation.

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hile preparing this article, I realised that thinking about forty years of political science developments and achievements meant also a reflection on my own professional career, which started in 1972 after the completion of my Ph.D. Hence, the analysis of the professionalisation of the discipline that I will address in this article is based on my own experience as a student and Professor in France, as a Fellow in the USA, as Chair of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Executive Committee between 1999 and 2003, and as a member and President of the European University Institute from 1993 to 2009. My considerations have greatly benefited from the well-documented national reports prepared within the framework of European or international

conferences (Goldsmith, 2005; Deloye and Mayer, 2008), and of the extremely rich set of materials and data collected and analysed by H.-D. Klingemann et al (2002), Klingemann (2007, 2008). But my perspective is different. Beyond the hard facts and figures, this essay is an attempt to provide a personal overview of the trends that have characterised our discipline over the past forty years. This analysis might be perceived as subjective, but it stems from a conscious choice that aims to promote future debate. Let me start from the state of political science in France back in 1972. Political science was a quasi-monopoly of the Instituts d’Etudes Politiques (IEPs), in particular that of Paris. The Fondation nationale des Sciences Politiques was, in fact, serving mainly Paris IEP activities. european political science: 9 2010

(S11 – S21) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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‘Is the comparative advantage of some countries, or, to put it differently, the gap between leaders and followers, still there’?

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rarely present in the university system. There were, however, a few places where active young researchers, led by transfugees from other disciplines were starting to professionalise what had previously been considered the mere expansion of law, history or sociology into a separate and distinct domain of knowledge. Obviously, when comparing the situation of political science in France in the early 1970s to that of the present day, one cannot but notice the progress made. However, one might also wonder if this progress has been sufficient in speed and depth, and more importantly, if it has experienced a similar evolution across other European university systems during this time-span. At that time, the European counterparts were very few: Great Britain was the only large country where political science was well developed and rooted. The Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Germany were starting to develop it quite rapidly. Italy had only three or four famous names to flag up the new discipline. Is the comparative advantage of some countries, or, to put it differently, the gap between leaders and followers, still there? Has the discipline become more structured, more organised, better rooted in the teaching and research structures of European universities? Is political science more European and more international to the point that the professional dimension has become more important than cultural/national peculiarities?

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A few additional political scientists could also be found at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Most of the sub-disciplines of political science at the university level were taught by nonpolitical scientists. International relations, history of ideas, political sociology, political institutions and electoral behaviour etc. were taught by lawyers, historians and geographers. The few senior professors, such as Maurice Duverger, had been trained as lawyers. There was no proper system of recruitment of political scientists. Most universities, if not all, had no department of government or political science. The study of institutions, parties, elections and political behaviour was left to the Law departments, which had taken advantage of an enlightened reform at the end of the fifties promoted by Vedel and Duverger. Social sciences were introduced in the curricula of law students, but there were very few teachers trained as social scientists. Needless to say, comparative studies were a black hole, and very few centres (in practice the IEPs) joined the ECPR when it was founded in 1970. One French scholar, Jean Blondel, was among the founders but he was part of the British university system. My own Law faculty was, like the others, a faculty where political science courses were taught by lawyers. It meant that training in political science was not on offer. Becoming a political scientist was a matter of personal leaning and choice, and of a lot of ‘do it yourself’, if you happened to come from a provincial university. These structural deficiencies became evident when reading the (few) European and (many) American masters in the field. In fact, the only area where French political science back then could compare well with its European counterparts was in electoral studies, with a long and well-established tradition at Sciences-Po in Paris. So, at the time, political science was barely a nascent discipline in France and

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that group are more important and stronger than other elements of differentiation. If this definition is accepted, how can we apply it to political science as a discipline in Europe? I will try to address this question by considering a series of factors considered as crucial for the construction of a profession: I will examine first the question of standards-setting, which implies that the profession might be divided in leaders, followers and laggards; I will then consider the issue of training in the profession; I will finally proceed with the circulation of researchers and the creation of a European space in spite of the segmentation of the university market along national lines.

STANDARD SETTING There is no profession without a common understanding of practices, methods and rules. The process of segmentation of science through the construction of new disciplines or sub-disciplines is justified by the need to tackle some issues with more refined or better-adjusted instruments in relation to the expansion and improvement of knowledge. Law or Philosophy, for instance, have been the matrix of many modern disciplines once it was perceived that their ambition to encompass most of the understanding of the world was more limited than expected. But once new ways of doing are identified, it is necessary to legitimise the differentiation. In that process, some are standard-setters while others adjust later on. In political science, for many years, the obvious leader was the USA, and it still is today if we consider for instance the international rankings or the recipients of the Johan Skytte prize (the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in our discipline). American academia is still out front. In Europe there is no doubt that the leading community is Great Britain for many reasons that will be enunciated

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The main question is indeed whether political science in Europe has become more professionalised during that period. Thirty years after the successful launching and development of ECPR, its Executive Committee in 2000 implicitly answered ‘yes’ to this question by deciding to launch a new journal – European Political Science (EPS) – emulating its homologue, Political Science and Politics (PS). The first issue of EPS was published the following year, in 2001. There was something of a gamble in taking this initiative. On the one hand, we had the feeling that time had come to provide European political science teachers, researchers and actors with a channel for comparing their experiences, reflections and proposals related to the discipline. On the other hand, we knew that we were referring to a reality in the making rather than to a well-established profession, perceived as such not only by the political science community, but also by the rest of academia. The fact that EPS not only managed to take off, but has successfully flown now for almost ten years is a posteriori confirmation that there was a need for such a journal and that indeed the profession does exist in spite of the historical, institutional, linguistic and cultural differences that characterise our Continent. In that light, what do I mean by professionalisation? For me professionalisation refers to a set of values, rules, standards and practices that a social group acquires and imposes through recognition by others. Its obvious counterpart is ‘amateurism’, which defines loose practices borrowed or copied from another group or profession. Professionalisation can be considered as mature when parochial peculiarities and modes of thinking and doing become less important than the rules and practices commonly accepted by the community. It does not mean that all differences are erased but that commonalities within

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‘In Europe there is no doubt that the leading community is Great Britain’

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practices), but without being able to transfer its full content. Doctoral schools in Italy for instance are, with very few remarkable exceptions, loose constructions very far away from the tradition of mentorship and supervision that is at the core of the British model. Continental Europe has also had a hard time in applying a system of thorough evaluation and performance assessment that contradicts radically the traditional principle that ‘all are equals’ so powerful not only in theory, but also in daily practices. Variations can also stem from the subjective or objective situation of the various countries vis ` a vis the leading runner. Some have resisted and are still resisting to an alleged imperialistic process of anglo-saxonisation. This attitude finds many illustrations, from the culture of ‘national uniqueness’ traceable in many studies (not only in terms of political leaning but also in relation to methodological or epistemological issues), to the reluctance to be part of ‘Anglo-dominated’ institutions such as the ECPR. In 2008, only twelve French university institutions were ECPR members, compared with fifty-four members from the UK, thirty-eight from Germany, twenty-two from Italy and eighteen from Spain. It would be erroneous to draw the conclusion that political science in France is two or three times weaker than in Italy or five times weaker than in Germany only by looking at ECPR membership. Nevertheless, this indicator shows that there is little appetite in France for a professional organisation where the English tradition permeates every pore of the institution.

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further and which include: the proximity and the intensity of exchanges with the USA; the prestige, strength and sheer number of political science departments; the relative weakness of competing disciplines such as Law or Sociology (by contrast with the situation found in continental Europe); the use of English as the lingua franca of the profession; and the strong commitment of central administrations, local universities and individuals to the idea and ideal of being ‘professional’. ‘Professionalisation’, as a necessary objective to be attained in order to be credible, is a diffused value in all sectors of activity in Great Britain, not just academe. This is nothing specific to political science. It is a feature that permeates the entire society. This is obviously a very subjective judgement from an outsider, but one which is supported by a set of telling illustrations: the standards in terms of publication, assessment, review, teaching practices and Ph.D. supervision have been, for most of the time, developed further in Great Britain than elsewhere in continental Europe. This does not mean that continental countries have not developed their own methodology and practices in regard to these issues. It simply means that British universities have gone further, quicker and deeper than most other European counterparts, combining in the past twenty-five years the best of tradition and excellence in a radical and seachanging range of reforms. Inevitably, therefore, discrepancies and disparities pop up. The ‘British model’, so-to-speak, has been emulated everywhere, but the European landscape looks like a leopard skin. Some countries like the Scandinavian, the Netherlands or even Spain have done their best to catch up. In some other cases, university reforms have borrowed the concepts from the British model (such as, for instance, the idea of graduate or doctoral schools or the introduction of assessment

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often the infrastructures are poor, material incentives inexistent while the attraction of well-paid positions in good or excellent foreign universities might drain the best young brains out of their country. Paradoxically, the stronger the professionalisation of the discipline – something desirable in itself – the worse will be the situation of these centres/ faculties/departments, unable to compete with their better-off counterparts. This factor could considerably slowdown the process of adaptation and adjustment of political science in these countries. The more serious risk, which in my view is difficult to be assessed, would be that the old guard (which has no exit option, i.e. no alternative than to stay) takes or keeps control of the field, contributing further to its backwardness and isolation. On a personal note, when I was chair of the ECPR executive committee in 1999–2003, my colleagues and I were rather disappointed to observe that, in spite of generous incentives and favourable financial conditions, very few eastern and central universities/departments joined the network during that period. Probably, we would have been less surprised if we had considered the structural impediments to a more intensive collaboration with the ‘west’: linguistic difficulties, institutional pesanteur, lack of local resources to face the high costs that entail travelling in countries with hard currencies such as the Pound or the Euro, etc. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and six years after the accession of the other half of Europe to the European Union, the gap is still large and it might take at least one generation or even more to integrate fully the eastern universities in mainstream political science. Given this European diversity, divergent patterns of development and the huge variation in resources as well as in ‘social capital’, it is no surprise that the application of common standards is very

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This long-standing cultural self-restraint vis ` a vis British-inspired institutions is not necessarily found in other continental political science communities, as we can observe by the enthusiastic participation of the newly democratised countries (Portugal, Spain and Greece), although the situation is rather different with regard to the new member states after the fall of communism. In the former socialist regimes, political science was a non-existent discipline or, when tolerated, as in Yugoslavia or Poland, was under tight control of the regime. Some International Political Association congresses, where socialist apparatchiks were sent as missi dominici to celebrate the virtues of the socialist democracies, were telling, and this situation has certainly not been a fertile ground for the reconstruction of the discipline according to western universities’ standards. In fact, in Eastern Germany, for instance, social sciences were re-established from scratch. In most of these new democracies, political science has to be fully rebuilt out of fragile elements: the contribution of academics set aside by the regime, the input of academics in exile, and fortunately the growing contribution of a new generation who have been trained as Ph.D. students everywhere in the world, from Britain to Germany, from the Central European University to America or to the European University Institute. The gap is still huge, but as in Spain or Italy, a new generation of well-trained political scientists, fully aware of the advancement of the discipline and well integrated in international networks could soon make a rather radical change in their own university systems. Obviously, the landscape is not uniform. Some centres or universities might start to run in the leading group. Many will remain laggards as academic changes might require one or several generations before taking full effect. Furthermore, the risks are heightened by the fact that too

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‘y it might take at least one generation or even more to integrate fully the eastern universities in mainstream political science’.

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universities? It would simply be absurd. A Ph.D. student needs, first of all, a solid and stable environment where he/she can benefit from a dedicated supervisor. This does not prohibit a visit or two to other universities for short periods of time. The Erasmus Mundus programme seems to be the wrong translation of a good idea, that is offering the rest of the world the possibility of getting a Ph.D. in Europe.

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difficult, if not impossible. At one extreme, we have the case of British academe, which has developed clear and strong standards framed under the 2009 ESRC guidelines for the accreditation of doctoral training centres and doctoral training units. The British universities know that their fulfilment is a crucial pre-condition for obtaining the resources needed. At the other extreme, a handful of political scientists isolated in tiny departments or under resourced universities try with courage and a lot of energy to survive and to keep pace with the leading departments in Europe. To conclude, the standard-setting process is slow as there is no central impulse or steering capacity. The only central structure is the European Union (EU), which has no decisive competences in the field of teaching and research, but can only offer additional contributions to the national schemes. This subsidiarity principle is not the only impediment to the steering capacity of the EU. Many recommendations or policies are strongly affected by the need to compromise between conflicting views and by the bias of EU available instruments. For instance, the focus on mobility, transnational cooperation, and network building are, in principle, excellent ideas, but sometimes the means become more important than the ends and transform good ideas into wrong practices. Such is, in my view, the insistence that doctoral students invited to Europe through the Erasmus Mundus Programme should divide their time between several universities during their doctoral studies. While mobility is an important and crucial feature, too much mobility entails huge costs of transaction, especially when a foreign student lands in a relatively unknown and very diverse environment to their own. What would we say if the Fulbright grants programme required European students to do their Ph.D.s in two or three different American

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PROFESSIONALISATION: GETTING THE RIGHT TRAINING

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Over the past ten to fifteen years a revolution has taken place at the doctoral level in Europe. Up until recently (and in many cases still today), the distinctive feature of the European doctorate vis ´ a vis its American counterpart was the absence of training. The doctorate was a matter of research, and in many disciplines, including political science, there was no teaching. Training, if needed, was a matter of apprenticeship through the more or less exclusive and bilateral relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee. The concept of a postgraduate school was foreign to most of the European national traditions, if not all. Even today when the concept has been accepted or borrowed nearly everywhere, its translation varies considerably. In some countries, the school is just a bureaucratic entity or a convenient label to fulfil ministerial requirements or to get public funding. In my previous function at

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‘A Ph.D. student needs strong intellectual as well as psychological support’.

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within countries there are still huge gaps. For some time the Juan March Institute in Madrid was an exception in the Spanish university system, and in Italy very few doctoral schools were worthy of the name, given their extremely loose organisation and requirements (Siena was for a long time a small but remarkable exception). In different ways, the same disparities could be observed in Germany, where the strongest training was for instance offered at the Cologne Max Planck Institute and in France, where the IEPs were better equipped than most of the universities to offer some kind of systematic training/ supervision programme. Again, the political science scene in the field of doctoral training is extremely heterogeneous in Europe. But this is also the case in a more advanced system such as the American one. What has changed in a rather positive and dramatic way is the dominant consensus about doctoral studies. There is a large agreement about the need to produce better trained doctoral students by putting in place a structure (a school) offering a specialised curriculum (teaching and methodology, epistemology, languages, techniques, etc.), securing material and psychological support, guaranteeing individual supervision combined with collective discussion and assessment and, last but not least, taking care of the placement and career of their alumni. Some schools run the gamut of requirements; some only a few; some have consolidated practices and traditions; some are just starting to proceed in new directions; some have been granted adequate means by their funding authorities;

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the European University Institute I have often hijacked the famous Gertrud Stein motto ‘A rose is a rose is a rose’ by insisting that ‘A school is a school is a school’. By that I meant that in order to be worthy of the name a school should be strongly institutionalised and not just be a matter of a name and a logo; that the teaching staff should be strongly dedicated to monitoring and supervision; that students should get good working conditions in terms of library access, computing equipment, working spaces; that students should be present as much as possible and not travel around most of the time; that a teaching and research programme with precise targets and deadlines should be put in place. Obviously, this is an ideal for which one has to struggle all the time. But forging a strong community of junior and senior scholars seems to me the indispensable prerequisite to any successful enterprise in the field of Ph.D. programmes. A Ph.D. student needs strong intellectual as well as psychological support. He/she is used to running 100 yards. He/she now has to run a marathon over a period of four years, delivering an original piece of research. This issue is not specific to political science but political science needs to address the issue as much as other disciplines. Political science is not a front-runner but also not a laggard in this process of change. Hard sciences and economics have done better than our discipline. But political science is ahead of other disciplines such as History or Law. Obviously, there are also huge variations from one country to the other. Transnational institutions, such as the European University Institute or Central European University, have taken the lead together with a few national institutions that have opted for comparable models. European associations and informal ‘regulation’ through information have also helped to disseminate successful experiences. But

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students the generic transferable skills the general labour market is likely to search, notwithstanding the fact that there may well also be a market for more professionally orientated doctoral programmes.

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As Peter Mair (2009: 143) put it in a recent paper published by EPS: ‘That’s the way we work now’ emphasising that it is now almost impossible to conceive of preparing a Ph.D. without a training programme. The incompleteness of this strategy should not however prevent us from looking beyond and to look at what I personally consider to be a crucial development of universities in general and our discipline in particular: the setting up of post-doctoral programmes. Let me start from the following premises: teaching and research in political science are more and more professionalised but the process is still very incomplete and uneven; internationalisation is growing but again its benefits are not equally distributed. Catching up by offering everybody the benefits of professionalisation and internationalisation often requires resources that many countries simply cannot afford. Often the financial costs are high, but even more important the human resources to face these challenges/opportunities are simply not available. The easiest and most efficient short cut is to offer to the best Ph.D. students the possibility of getting access to what they might have missed in their previous training, through the opportunity of a post-doctoral fellowship. Spending a year or more in a stimulating and frontierresearch environment is an investment that brings much return for the individual as well as for the institution. The American universities understood a long time ago the benefit they could get from attracting bright and promising young academics from all over the world, in particular in the hard sciences. And reciprocally, the

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some unfortunately have to compensate for the lack of resources through an admirable and total dedication to the new goals. Professionalisation of doctoral education is still at its very beginning, is incomplete and imperfect, but an important step forward has been accomplished: I do believe that there is a consensus within our discipline about these needs and objectives. I might be proven wrong, but I think that the time when some European universities were defending their distinctiveness against any ‘Americaninspired’ reform of doctoral programmes has gone. What was a convenient fig leaf to protect the rather too comfortable relationship between baron and supervisee has at least disappeared. What remains to be done is the fulfilment of a programme that has still to be implemented in many parts of Europe. Michael Goldsmith (2005) has summed up the situation very well in his report:

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We have already noted that there is a general over-supply of suitably qualified doctoral candidates to fill academic posts in the discipline in many countries. As far as the doctoral labour market is concerned, how far do doctoral programmes in political science provide the kind of transferable research skills (generic and specific) which meet the labour market needs of government, the media, the voluntary sector as well as industry and commerce also raises concerns about what is expected of the doctoral student in terms of output and training. Political science needs to concentrate attention on what sort of training it is providing at the doctoral level. Given there is not the space to develop arguments fully here, suffice it to say that in the authors’ view only the best training is suitable for entry to the profession. And in providing such training, the profession is likely also to give

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a growing trend towards integration. Political science has been at the forefront of this phenomenon, benefiting not only from the political and economic unification of the continent, but also from its own initiatives. I will just mention here the most decisive move, the creation of the ECPR in 1970. The launching and the subsequent development of the ECPR has been crucial for the growing professionalisation of political science in Europe. The establishment of the consortium in a British University, according to the British law applicable to Charities, the appointment of a British Academic Director, the use of English as the lingua franca, have been resented sometimes as a kind of British take-over of the organisation. Obviously these feelings are sometimes difficult to eradicate, but let us face it: the most professionalised and strongest component of political science in Europe was Britain. It is thanks to this professional culture that the workshops, the journals, the publications, the Summer schools and other activities have been able to develop and emulate the best international practices. Political science was much more developed in the USA than in any other place, and Britain helped to bridge the gap between frontrunners and laggards. One of the ECPR founders was Jean Blondel, a kind of eccentric figure at the time: a French man teaching in Great Britain. The measure of change achieved can be assessed by the fact that the Jean Blondels of today are hundreds in Britain but also in many continental countries. Most political science departments in Britain are a mix of nationalities and the same is beginning to develop in every country. Obviously, the intensity varies considerably, Britain taking the lead; but non-nationals are many in the Netherlands, France and Germany. The EUI estimates that about 30 per cent of its former Ph.D. students teach in a country different from their country of

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most dynamic and open-minded Ph.D. students know how valuable such a post-doc experience in an institution of international repute can be for brushing up their training and preparing them better for their future profession. This process has finally started in Europe, even if it is still on a modest scale and sometimes by mixing post-doc fellowship programmes with recruitment policies. I have been able to observe from a privileged position the value of such programmes at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, where such offers have been put in place since the end of the 1980s and more intensively during the last ten years. Many of the fellows selected from all over the world have immensely benefited from that experience as their careers have subsequently testified. Many of these fellows, and in particular in political science, are now involved in the editing of European academic journals, in the running of international associations and often in pre-eminent positions in their countries of origin or elsewhere, since these new political scientists are prepared to cross borders. Again, much more could and should be done along the lines of, for instance, the EU Marie Curie programme. Some preconditions have to be fulfilled, however. The excellence of candidates, the quality of host institutions, the integration of these young academics into the larger community are crucial variables for the success of the enterprise. Mobility is necessary but not sufficient. The progress that has been made, however, is permitting the slow emergence of an international/European market of the discipline.

A PROFESSIONAL EUROPEAN SPACE FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE? In every field, Europe is torn between its historical/cultural/linguistic divisions and

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‘y the Jean Blondels of today are hundreds in Britain but also in many continental countries’.

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I do not believe that national associations have played a major role in building up the pre-requisites of a professional profile across Europe. It might rather be the opposite as, by definition, their orientation is to lean more towards national than on transnational matters. National associations are both legitimate and necessary. However, the best they can do – if they wish to do it – is to act as disseminators of the best national or international practices. With the risk of sounding unfair, I tend to believe that this kind of attitude has been more the exception than the rule. Again, there is a kind of embedded contradiction between national organisations and professionalisation in the wider sense if these national entities prefer to cultivate their differences rather than to converge on crossnational solutions and best practises. This process of relative isolation or culture of differences (some are legitimate, many are not) might be further exacerbated by the internal fights or divisions that too often affect these organisations or by the control that senior members of the profession try to maintain over institutions for reasons of prestige or power, thus reminding us of Henry Kissinger’s famous words: ‘the reason why conflicts are so fierce in academia is that the stakes are so low’. This phenomenon is particularly tangible when, following radical political change, social, academic, cultural institutions struggle in order to find a new equilibrium between the old and the new. National organisations are often split between infighting groups that divide themselves on disciplinary or methodological issues, but these differences and divisions too often are a mere

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origin. This ‘professional circulation’ requires many elements that are still often missing: a harmonisation of working conditions, pensions, salaries across Europe; an elimination of artificial barriers in recruitment procedures; a common language and a sufficient integration of the profession in order to overcome the many barriers of the past. Without being too optimistic, I believe that the trend is clear even if the phenomenon still affects only a small minority of the profession. But at least a nascent market is in the making. Not everything, of course, is positive in this development. Indeed, professional mobility is not only caused by the search for the best positions or the best universities in a competitive environment. In many instances, mobility is motivated by the closure of national systems (in Italy, for instance) or by the very poor conditions offered in many academes. It is difficult for a talented young person from Central and Eastern Europe to resist an attractive offer from a good/excellent university in a wealthier country. The salary might be five or ten times what could be earned at home. These negative drawbacks should not however distract us from observing a very positive trend towards the construction of a professional space in Europe and beyond. It is a slow but continuing process where several elements have combined and been decisive: a growing circulation of students; the creation of the ECPR as a pan-European umbrella for departments and universities where political science is taught; euro-sponsored research programmes and networks; and the opening of recruitment procedures in some countries combined with an over-production of young bright candidates to academia in some others. The change in the nature of some problems is illustrative. For example, an academic couple experiencing problems in getting two positions in the same country.

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of political scientists themselves individually and collectively. No profession can emerge and develop if parochial peculiarities are considered more important than cross-cultural and cross-national standards.

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Fabian Breuer and Breivik for their help in preparing paper, and to Dorothee Bohle for insights on the situation in Central Eastern Europe.

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fig leaf for conflicts between individuals or generations. In short, the continued development towards a professional European space for political science requires European, cross-national associations, policies and practices. Some countries have already gone a long way on this road, but the path of change is often too slow in many others. The capacity to adjust, compete and be part of a global community of scholars is in the hands not only of individual countries or universities but also rests in the willingness and efforts

References

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About the Author

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Deloye, Y. and Mayer, N. (2008) ‘French political science at a turning point’, French Politics 6: 280–331. Goldsmith, M. (ed.) (2005) ‘Doctoral Studies in Political Science – A European Comparison’, epsnet Report no 10, Paris: epsNet/University of Rome Tor Vergata/Sciences-Po. Klingemann, H.-D. (ed.) (2007) The State of Political Science, Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers. Klingemann, H.-D. (2008) ‘Capacities: Political science in Europe’, West European Politics 31(1–2): 370–396. Klingemann, H.-D., Kulesza, E. and Legutke, A. (eds.) (2002) The State of Political Science in Central and Eastern Europe, Berlin: Edition Sigma. Mair, P. (2009) ‘The way we work now’, European Political Science 8(2): 143–150.

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Yves Me´ny, Former President of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, is the author of La corruption de la Re ´publique, Paris, Fayard (1992), co-author (with Daniele Caramani) of Challenges to Consensual Politics. Democracy, Identity, and Populist Protest in the Alpine Region, Brussels, P.I.E. Peter Lang (2005) and together with Yves Surel of Democracies and The Populist Challenge (co-edited with Y. Surel), London, Palgrave (2002).

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the future of political science jean blondel* and pascal vennesson European University of Institute, Badia Fiesolana Via dei Roccettini, 9, Florence 50014, Italy *Corresponding author.

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.44

Abstract

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micro-politics; policy analysis; ideology

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Keywords

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Political science has developed rapidly in the last half-century, but this has posed at least three serious problems. First, almost no attention has been given to political activity in private bodies: the scope of political analysis is narrowed as a result. Second, the connection between political science and ‘policy analysis’ is wholly unclear, which raises the danger that political science may want to cover too much or too little! Third, political science has always been concerned with norms, yet aims to be a science: this is no easy relationship.

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he growth of political science has been very rapid during the second half of the twentieth century, although that growth has been geographically uneven. The American lead was very marked from the start: it has remained substantial. In contrast, advances in Africa and the Middle East have been limited. Advances in Latin America and Asia, East, Southeast and South, are somewhere in between, while, in Europe, determined efforts have been made to rise to the top, with mixed results, however: despite the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR), not just Eastern Europe, but even Southern Europe has not as yet followed the quick pace at which the number, size and professionalisation of departments occurred in Britain and Scandinavia. Political science therefore needs to become truly universal: this is likely to

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occur gradually, however, and almost automatically, while the discipline remains fragile in two respects that ostensibly affect its core development and perhaps its overall legitimacy. It is fragile in the sense that ‘what is political’ still needs a robust definition: that which was provided by the Oxford Handbook of Political Science of 2009 marks a return to past notions about the centrality of ‘power’, which do not summarise the characteristics of the political domain.1 The discipline is also fragile since its search for a ‘general theory’ has been as inconclusive as it was in the early 1950s, when David Easton made a plea, in The Political System (1953: 53–55), for such a theory: no fundamental set of relationships among political phenomena has been found which can help to account for the dynamics of politics.

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‘y the discipline should cease to be concerned exclusively with politics in public bodies and in particular in the state: it must also devote itself to politics at the level of the “man in the street” ’.

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investigated. Policy analysis, which may be defined in broad terms as the systematic search for ‘best practices’ in policymaking, has come to be highly sophisticated in the elaboration of these practices: but the specific domain of political science has also become very unclear. Third, the growth of political science has taken place largely outside the realm of ideology and generally of values. It seems to be widely assumed that, if democracy becomes ‘the only game in town’, at the state level at any rate, such questions cease to be truly relevant. This is not so. Democracy is a value that not all those who preach it do practice while those who do not preach it are not always marginalised. Values are embedded in the fabric of the discipline inextricably. A modus vivendi has to be found to ensure that values continue to play a key part in the analysis of politics and are not relegated to being remnants of earlier epochs. This agenda is a tall order. It is not one that can be elaborated in detail in a paper of a few pages; nor is such a paper the place where solutions to these problems can be proposed, let alone elaborated. All that can be done here is to make the case with respect to the three problematic areas that have just been outlined and to hope that this case will raise enough interest to become part of an ongoing conversation about the future of political science.

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The existence of a general theory may not be a requirement to enable us to examine widely ‘what is political’; the absence of a truly satisfactory definition is more of a handicap.2 Yet the difficulties of political science in both respects seem to have resulted not in a genuine search for the solution of what are truly serious problems that the discipline must confront, but in what can be described as a mere search for reassurance by means of a single methodology, as if methodology was the most serious hurdle that the discipline has to overcome to become a ‘genuine’ science. As a matter of fact, a wide variety of methods enriches the discipline while it is simply presumptuous to claim that we know already the way in which human beings, in all their complexity, think and act politically.

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THREE TYPES OF TASKS FOR THE FUTURE

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There are indeed three sets of fundamental problems that the discipline needs to tackle if it is to increase its visibility in the world while retaining its authenticity. First, the discipline should cease to be concerned exclusively with politics in public bodies and in particular in the state: it must also devote itself to politics at the level of the ‘man in the street’. The importance given to politics in public bodies has stemmed from the justified desire to domesticate these bodies and the state in particular; but this has been at the expense of inquiring into ‘private politics’, as Merriam used to call it (1944). While public politics is typically remote from the preoccupations of ordinary citizens, ‘private’ politics is much more obvious to all. The parallel here is with ‘micro-economics’ that occupies such an important place in economic analysis. Second, a sound basis for political science is unlikely to be established so long as the relationship between political science and policy analysis is not carefully

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most difficult level of analysis: no wonder that the drive towards a general theory has so far been wholly inconclusive. The question of the definition of political science plays a key role in this respect. As was noted in the introduction, Robert Goodin in the 2009 Oxford Handbook returns to the old notion of (social) power as the crucial and defining factor. It is, of course, debatable whether this is as overwhelmingly the case as is suggested by the definition. What is more important is that such a definition is concerned with what is at most an instrument, not with what politics is about. Politics is not ‘about’ power: it is about taking collective decisions in all the groups that exist, whether public or private, whether large or small. While economics is about the exchange of goods among two or more persons who come together only for the purpose of such an exchange, politics is about finding solutions to problems that concern communities. The determinant factor is that a decision has to be taken; it must also be noted that such a decision has to be applied to all those who come within the purview of the relevant organisation, whether it is public or private. This definition is close to the one that Easton gave, in 1953, in The Political System, as being ‘the authoritative allocation of values’ (1953: 133–135): that is the political goal, a goal that may be – and indeed is – achieved by means other than social power but by consensus, and a goal that is not achieved unless a collective decision-making process has taken place. When one thinks in terms of collective

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Political science ignores ‘private politics’ despite the fact that, in ordinary language, the existence of politics in private organisations is widely referred to in groups of all kinds, from the family to the local environment, to the firm and to voluntary bodies. The refusal to consider ‘micro-politics’ can only be accounted for on the grounds that such matters are regarded as less important: yet this is not likely to be the case for most people. The contrast with what takes place in economics is striking: at any rate in ‘developed’ countries, most adults have some idea of the way in which economic matters impinge on their daily lives, in terms of prices, jobs and therefore livelihood. On the other hand, because ‘micropolitics’ is not examined at all, most people are made to believe that the only politics ‘which counts’ occurs at the top: but what occurs at the top is rather esoteric to them and often regarded as unpleasant if not plainly morally wrong. To counter this view, the domain of the discipline has to be enlarged in such a way that it becomes clear that politics is a universal activity, neither better nor worse intrinsically than any other, and, for instance, that ‘curious’ deals do occur in both micro- and macroeconomic activities as well as in ‘micro-’ and ‘macro-’ politics! Yet it is not just that the image of politics would be different if everyone was made aware of the fact that political behaviour occurs at all levels of society: our understanding of the processes and dynamics of political activity would improve, since the characteristics of ‘private politics’ are appreciably simpler than those of the state, in the same way as the characteristics of micro-economics are appreciably easier to fathom than those of macro-economics. By limiting themselves to the study of the state, political scientists constrain themselves to the

‘By limiting themselves to the study of the state, political scientists constrain themselves to the most difficult level of analysis y’

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THE NEED FOR ‘MICRO-POLITICS’

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‘The relationship between policy analysis and political science is therefore truly special’.

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social inquiry. That branch of inquiry originated from the need, especially in the context of the state, but it also originated from the needs of other bodies, public or private, and of the largest ones in particular, to be systematic in the search for the best solutions to the problems they face. Naturally, policy studies refer to all the social sciences that are relevant to the problem at hand: they are inherently cross-disciplinary and they do not have to worry about or depend on academic idiosyncrasies. As a result, the relationship between policy studies and political science has scarcely been raised, let alone been clarified: the standard answer given at that point is probably that policy analysis is cross-disciplinary and therefore relates to politics as it does to sociology, economics and all other social sciences. The matter is not as simple, however. On the one hand, policy analysis is concerned substantively with matters social, economic and, why not, political. Policy analysts reflect upon the way in which these aspects need to be brought together in order to arrive at what would be a sensible comprehensive policy. On the other hand, the relationship between policy analysis and political science is also concerned with the policies that are ‘offered’, so to speak, to those in charge of decision making, that is to say the politicians. While the substance of policy analysis is cross-disciplinary, the final stage of the process consists in a relationship between policy analysts and decision makers, that is to say persons concerned with political decision making. This means that policy analysts themselves may insidiously become decision makers as they

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decision making, the general ‘domain’ of what is ‘political’ begins to emerge, whether in public or in private bodies. It may be argued that matters are different when one leaves public bodies to look at other organisations; only the former has the ‘right’ to oblige people to obey. However, this distinction is not valid in practice. States that find it difficult to implement their decisions are numerous; private groups that manage to force their members (however associated) are also legion. Thus the question of the implementation of collective decisions by states and other organisations is a matter of degree, along a dimension, not a consequence of the legal powers of states. It is therefore both academically imperative and practically very advantageous for political science to open itself to ‘micro-politics’. Micro-politics does not concern elections to which all citizens of democratic states are enjoined to be involved, but, along the lines of microeconomics, it concerns what citizens do everyday in the bodies to which they belong. Opening political science along these lines would of course mean a major shift in the way in which politics is taught in universities and colleges. The resistance from vested interests may therefore be substantial: but the future of political science as a discipline depends on such a shift taking place, even if it takes place gradually. This is the way in which political science can become not just a popular subject of study and research, but one that will follow (indeed anticipate) the way reflections on society in general are taking place in the twentyfirst century.

POLICY STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE Meanwhile, policy studies have grown so rapidly in the last decades of the twentieth century that they have probably become the most relevant domain of

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science has a crucial part to play in determining the nature of the relationship between policy analysts and politicians at this point; otherwise, the question would arise as to whether politics is being taken over by policy analysts and comes to be conducted by ‘philosopher-kings’ or by ‘technocrats’.4 Yet an exercise of the same kind should also be undertaken during the earlier phases, when decision makers’ reactions are being anticipated by policy analysts. The relationship between policy analysis and political science is therefore truly special. It is not concerned merely with the type of information required, as might be the case with respect to the other social sciences: it is concerned with the way the decision process is shaped and, by anticipation, with the way in which the preparation of that process occurs. Given the continuous growth and everincreasing complexity of policy analysis, the question of the relationship between what is political and what politicians might or might not do will gradually also become more problematic. The boundary between the two domains will not only need to be systematically examined: it must also be re-assessed periodically (Genieys and Smyrl, 2008: 43).

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‘propose’ particular ways of handling problems to the ‘regular politicians’. This is not the crux of the matter, however. The key point is that policy analysis comes to merge with politics; the study of the processes that then take place is clearly part of the domain of political science. Here again, the question of the definition of political science is obviously central. The limitations of the definition proposed by Robert Goodin in the 2009 Oxford Handbook appear even more clearly, as what is at stake here is obviously not the instrument that is being used (whether it is power or not), but the goal that is being sought. The determinant factor is that a decision has to be taken by those who are defined as the ‘decision makers’, a decision that will be applicable to those who come within the purview of the relevant organisation, public or private. It is up to the decision makers to elaborate, as Easton said, the ‘authoritative allocation of values’. The relationship between policy analysis and political science is therefore peculiar. As a matter of fact, its peculiarity extends markedly backwards in that it colours the process of elaboration of policies by policy analysts, retrospectively, so to speak, when they come to be concerned with ‘political matters’. This occurs retrospectively because it has an impact on this elaboration well before the moment that policy is presented to the ‘regular’ decision makers, that is to say the ‘politicians’ in the case of the state. When policy analysts determine what are regarded as ‘types of policy-relevant information’, for instance, they naturally consider what is likely to be ‘possible’ politically.3 The relationship between policy analysis and political science needs therefore to be clarified. This clarification has to take place with respect to the decision moment, when, as was suggested earlier, policy analysts may be regarded as being part of the political process itself. Political

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THE VALUES IMPERATIVE All of the social sciences are concerned with the values held by those who propose policies, but political science is special in that the whole discipline is embedded in ideology and values. Collective decisions require that all those involved share some underlying values. Yet, the very fact that values are embedded in political decision making seems to mean that political matters cannot be studied in a ‘scientific’ manner, as one cannot clearly distinguish facts from values. Naturally enough, political scientists have attempted to circumvent the problem by assuming it away: if

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‘y political science is far from immune to a confrontation with the problems posed by the clash of values’.

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such an ‘adventure’, but anthropology is concerned primarily with the ‘unusual’, not with the ‘mainstream’. Meanwhile, however, if ‘mainstream’ policy analysts seldom mix with anthropologists, they are likely to be in frequent contact with political scientists for the reasons that we examined earlier. Admittedly, the cases in which an open ‘clash of values’ emerges tend not to be ‘mainstream’, but ‘mainstream’ political scientists are likely to have been in contact with situations in which there is an echo, perhaps only faint, to be sure, of such a clash of values. On occasion, clashes do break to the surface, as occurred before the collapse of communism in Europe: what was then described (momentarily) as the ‘end of history’ in 1989 was in reality the (apparent) end of a major ‘clash of values’. As a whole, political science is far from immune to a confrontation with the problems posed by the clash of values. As there is often a temptation to avoid the problem, the more radical ‘mainstream’ members of the profession endeavour to reject altogether the notion that values are to have a key place in the discipline. The assumption of universal ‘rationality’ is one of the most prevalent ways of denying any need to give values such a place in their own right. However idiosyncratic values may be, the problems are assumed away by stipulating that all human beings are motivated by a common drive to pursue their interest. That interest is indeed defined in a rather restricted manner or includes just about any kind of maximisation so long as there is enough consistency among the preferences (Simon, 1985).

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people come together to make a decision, the question of the values is indeed solved as far as that decision is concerned; alternatively, where values are an overriding obstacle, no decision is taken; there is no longer politics between the parties that have in effect ‘seceded’.5 One might conclude that the existence of a ‘political system’, to use Easton’s expression, implies that there will be no ‘system’ unless there is fundamental value agreement. While such a conclusion may be drawn in a given context, or perhaps even in a given political system, political science – as a whole – cannot arrive at this end. Political science has to contend with the fact that there is a lack of understanding between potential participants in many cases. Comparative government is full of examples of political systems based on different values. As a result, no progress seems possible in that branch of political science unless one accepts that values profoundly shape the character of political systems. Indeed, a value-based approach was adopted in traditional approaches to comparative government. It came under increasing pressure, however, as it seemed to render ‘scientific’ comparisons impossible. To say that the citizens of a given country refuse a certain type of decision on the grounds that their values prevent them from agreeing to that decision means that one lacks a common framework with which to assess, let alone measure what occurs. This seems to render political science fundamentally different from the other social sciences. Admittedly, this predicament of political science – and in particular of its comparative government ‘branch’ – is due to the fact that the discipline is more ‘adventurous’ than are the other social science disciplines in going beyond the boundaries of what is typically regarded as the ‘mainstream social science world’. Only anthropology appears concerned with

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many of which were taking place as a result of the ‘revolutions’ in values – or the ‘evolutions’ of values – which occurred since the eighteenth century. Political science then experienced rapid growth from the 1960s and 1970s: many of its leading scholars began to face the problem of the discipline ‘having’ to become ‘truly’ scientific, following the example of other social sciences, especially economics. Yet political science will only thrive if it remains true to its characteristics while adapting to the new environment in which it operates. The three key problems that it has to face are symbolic of the necessary mix between past experience and new developments. Political science must be prepared to go deeper down into society than it has done so far – and this will be achieved if micro-politics is taken seriously. It must be in tune with developments occurring alongside its own bailiwick, among policy analysts in particular, but it must keep its character – that of being the discipline concerned with collective decision making. It must remain true to the fact that it was born to put forward new values and to defend their right to exist: it must continue to do so while ensuring that this does not render impossible the achievement of a ‘scientific mission’, which it also has to fulfil.

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The truth is that there is no way out of the problem. What seems to be ‘the end of ideology’ at one point in time has the knack of being replaced by a new clash of ideologies at another point in time. Thus, rather than deny the existence of values (in an attempt to make the discipline appear more ‘scientific’ and ostensibly more like the other social sciences), political science has to keep one foot in ‘mainstream’ analysis and another foot in more ‘unusual’ cases, where value differences play a large part. Political science must find a way of adjusting to the predicament. In the doing, it can show other disciplines how to deal with the challenges of values that lie just outside the ‘mainstream’. How political science will handle that matter will demonstrate whether it is truly able to deal with the ‘political’ in its integral complexity. Political science cannot continue to develop as it has in the past. At the beginning of the twentieth century, political science was a small discipline, alive mostly in a single country, the United States. It grew in an ‘unscientific’ manner, as a matter of fact, by being linked to history, law or philosophy, in the various countries, mostly European, where it began to make its mark. That growth was pushed in large part by curiosity: curiosity about political developments,

Notes 1 (Goodin, 2009: 5). The expression adopted in 2009 is that ‘politics is the constrained use of social power’. The 1996 formula was the same except that it was preceded by the expression that politics ‘might best be characterised’ in that way (Goodin and Klingemann, 1996: 8). 2 The point here is not to claim that there should be an intangible definition, but merely a broad notion as to ‘what political phenomena’ are about. See Favre (1995). 3 See for instance Dunn (1994, Chapter 1, especially at 12–13). 4 The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy (2006) is rather disappointing in this respect, in that it takes unashamedly the position of political scientists rather than examining the point of view of ‘technocrats’ or for that matter ‘philosopher-kings’. In the introduction of the work, this standpoint is shown by the fact that the expression ‘technocratic hubris’ (p. 3) is used to refer to the approaches of ‘high modernists’; a contrario, the Handbook is said to be concerned with what are described as ‘new, modest modes’ (p. 4). That approach is echoed in the conclusion (‘Reflections on Policy Analysis: Putting it Together Again’ ) in which R. Klein and T.R. Marmor define public policy as ‘what governments do and neglect to do’

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(p. 892): one could not be clearer about stating that policy analysis is about what the policymakers do, which means that it is therefore squarely within political science. This approach does not seem to tally with many of the works of those who engage in Public Policy Analysis, such as that of W.N. Dunn quoted in the previous note. 5 There is clearly politics among all the parties concerned, up to the point when secession takes place, and there is – of course – politics within each of the parties afterwards.

References

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Dunn, W.N. (1994) Public Policy Analysis, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Easton, D. (1953) The Political System, New York: Knopf. Favre, P. (1995) ‘Retour a la question de l’objet’, Politix 29: 141–157. Genieys, W. and Smyrl, M. (2008) Elites, Ideas and the Evolution of Public Policy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Goodin, R. (ed.) (2009) The Oxford Handbook of Political Science, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goodin, R. and Klingemann, H.D. (eds.) (1996) A New Handbook of Political Science, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Merriam, C.E. (1944) Private and Public Government, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Moran, M., Rein, M. and Goodin, R.E. (eds.) (2006) Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Simon, H.A. (1985) ‘Human nature in politics: The dialogue of psychology with political science’, American Political Science Review 79: 293–304.

About the authors

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Jean Blondel was educated in Paris and Oxford. He was the first Professor of Government at the University of Essex (1963–1984) and the first Executive Director of the European Consortium of Political Research (1970–1978). He was Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence (1985–1993) and is now Professorial Fellow at the EUI as well as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Essex and Siena. He is the author of numerous books and articles on comparative politics.

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Pascal Vennesson is Professor of Political Science, Chair ‘Security in Europe’, at the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies. His research interest is international security, foreign and defence policy, and the external relations of the European Union. He recently published War without the People in H. Strachan (ed.) The Changing Character of War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, forthcoming; ‘Competing visions for the European Union grand strategy’, European Foreign Affairs Review 15 (2010): 57–75; and ‘Military strategy in the global village’, New Global Studies 3(3), Article 1 (2009): 43.

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political science in europe and the ECPR: looking back and looking on hans daalder

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Leiden University, Van Tedingerbrouckstraat 28, 2596 PC, Den Haag, The Netherlands E-mail: h.daalder@umail.leidenuniv.nl

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.42

Abstract

IPSA; ECPR; cross-Atlantic and European research

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Keywords

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This article argues that political science was far less narrow and parochial before the founding of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in 1970 than is often thought. It emphasizes the importance of the interaction between younger European scholars and American political scientists in the 1950s and 1960s. It singles out the substantial American contribution to the establishment of the ECPR and stresses some vital choices made at its inception. On the basis of a statement of the author as outgoing Chairman of the ECPR in 1979, it probes the extent to which problems then foreseen were resolved or not, and raises some new ones.

THE ORIGINS OF ECPR

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he European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR) first Chairman, Stein Rokkan, used to describe the role of the new Consortium in terms of a building consisting of different floors. On the ground floor there was the Essex Summer School that promoted the international training of aspiring political scientists and helped to socialize them in the discipline. Once they had begun their own research, they would be welcomed to the next floor as equal partners in the workshops where actual work (done or in progress) was a condition for admission,

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thus differing from panels at so many national and international organizations where few performed and others listened, with more or less interest. And then, hopefully, on the next floor there would be collaborative research projects, ranging from ‘paired comparisons’, through projects based on a larger number of European countries, to more universalistic projects, in cooperation with scholars from other continents. All this was to be aided by a general newsletter, the European Journal of Political Research as a high-class medium of communication, the European Data Information Newsletter to alert scholars anywhere of data

european political science: 9 2010 (S30 – S37) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/


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it led Blondel to a ‘paired comparison’, contrasting Britain and France, and forced me to re-think Dutch politics in English terms for a 1955 article in Political Studies as part of a series on smaller European democracies (Daalder, 1955). Ever since, I have felt that one cannot begin to fully understand even one’s own country, unless one knows at least one other about as intimately. This is a strong argument among others to make an intensive stay in another country a requirement for any political science degree. 3. A drastic re-orientation away from ‘mere’ legalistic, philosophic and historical approaches was going on long before the arrival of the ECPR, as the rise of totalitarian systems brought into political studies important theories and insights from sociology, psychology, the study of mass movements, terror, propaganda, etc. This also fostered both diachronic and synchronic comparative studies, not least because there was the need to explain why democracy survived in the 1930s in some countries and not in others. Not to speak of new work on persisting authoritarian systems (e.g. Franco’s Spain), as later the rise of new states was powerfully to affect the comparative study of political development. 4. One should not forget or belittle the importance, before the ECPR, of earlier international efforts, notably those of UNESCO. Shortly after its establishment UNESCO sponsored a comparative study of democracy (directed by the

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HOW PAROCHIAL WAS POLITICAL SCIENCE IN EUROPE BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ECPR

‘ y one cannot begin to fully understand even one’s own country, unless one knows at least one other about as intimately’.

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available for comparative analysis and new ventures in data collection, and in the beginning, the Computer Applications Group to assist member institutions in acquiring new skills in data analysis, long before the arrival of the personal computer. Rokkan, one of the great organizers of international comparative research, died prematurely in 1979 at the age of 58. Had he lived longer, even he would have been astounded by the present ECPR, which has expanded beyond the wildest imagination of its original founders. Yet, this contribution is not meant merely to praise and sit back, but to offer comments at its 40th anniversary, from someone looking back and looking on.

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There was life in European political studies1 before the ECPR was established, which was not so ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish y’ in the 1950s and 1960s as is often alleged. Five points can be made to provide a more balanced picture: 1. If that had been the case, how could the arrival in the American academic community of European exiles during the 1930s have exerted such a powerful influence, in many ways ending the parochialism on the other side of the Atlantic, which is assumed to have existed so much later on this side of the Atlantic? 2. The opening up of frontiers in Europe since 1945 led to international contacts within Europe almost 25 years before the ECPR was established. How otherwise could people like Jean Blondel, or I myself, for that matter, have come to Britain, which changed our lives and outlook, even though initially

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‘y for a time the study of comparative politics threatened to be overwhelmed by the attraction of area and development studies’.

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institutions and beliefs. On the one hand this stimulated those younger Europeans to apply new theories and techniques in analyses of the politics of their own countries, but on the other hand they also felt that some prevalent American models did not fit. It led them to a desire to bring these countries onto the international scholarly map. This provided valuable material for comparative analysis and contextual information for a more correct interpretation of data collected in countries too little known, for example to zealous numerologists in the rapidly increasing field of international survey research. At the same time parallel reactions by Europeans to their American experience were to encourage important intra-European contacts. On the basis of my own experience, I would emphasize the seminal importance of specific collaborative ventures of American and European scholars in the 1950s and 1960s:

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Norwegian philosopher Arne Naes, who was to bring the young Rokkan into the world of international scholarship as early as the late 1940s). UNESCO was a strong catalyst in the creation of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the International Political Science Association (IPSA)2 and the International Sociological Association (ISA), not to speak of the important, less formal Committee on Political Sociology (CPS), which was a star-studied international group under the auspices of both the IPSA and ISA. 5. And then, in a number of fields, potentially comparative studies began to blossom, for example on elite studies, party systems, electoral systems, elections and voting, comparative policy studies under the influence of bodies like the OECD, and, not unrelated to the new rise of Marxist approaches in the 1960s, a new concern with (neo)corporatism and the welfare state.

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CROSS-ATLANTIC CONTACTS AND INITIATIVES

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Since the late 1940s, American initiatives – notably fellowship programmes on the part of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund as well as the Fulbright programme – brought a growing group of younger European political scientists to America where the overwhelming size and variety of the discipline coupled with its optimistic research climate, powerfully affected them. In turn, American scholars moved to Europe, even though for a time the study of comparative politics threatened to be overwhelmed by the attraction of area and development studies. Developments in the USA gave rise to increasingly sophisticated theories and universalistic models, yet were not always free of a bias in favour of American democratic

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1. The Committee of Comparative Politics of the American Social Science Research Council, chaired by Gabriel Almond, drew leading Europeans into the field of comparative analyses. Of particular value to European scholarship was its volume on Political Parties and Political Development (1966). 2. The ISSC promoted an impressive series of ventures, including the publications of guides to electoral data, the merits of surveys in comparative research and the importance of data archives (see Rokkan and Meyriat,

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France, Britain, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland,3 but also promoted multilateral ventures (as in the so-called Political Representation project in which elites and crosssections of the electorate were interviewed at national and local levels).

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Of all these ventures, the latter proved the more influential and durable. And they were to become directly relevant to the establishment of the ECPR. The Michigan Summer School was the inspiration and became to some extent the patron of the Essex Summer School, which later became the first really successful ECPR activity. And it was the great Michigan organizer Warren Miller who, as the influential consultant of the Ford Foundation, spurred Peter de Janosi on to his vital reconnaissance tour of people and centres in Europe. This took place in close contact with Blondel and Rokkan who both found themselves in the USA at the time and who jointly with Serge Hurtig (a former secretary-general of IPSA and then secretary-general of Sciences Po) had earlier sent a letter to a number of European colleagues expressing the need for closer European cooperation.4 From those five came the initiative that led to the founding of the ECPR by the original eight institutions in 1970 with massive backing from the Ford Foundation.

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1969; Rokkan, 1966; Merritt and Rokkan, 1966; Rokkan et al, 1968; Rokkan et al, 1969; Eisenstadt and Rokkan, 1973). The Committee on Political Sociology, with S.M. Lipset as its chairman and Stein Rokkan as its secretary and driving force, brought together leading scholars in a number of workshops, which led to the publication of seminal volumes such as Party Systems and Voter Alignments. CrossNational Perspectives (1967), Quantitative Ecological Analysis (1969) and Mass Politics. Studies in Political Sociology (1970). The Committee also provided a stimulus for Richard Rose (who followed Rokkan as Secretary to the Committee in 1970) to undertake his project on the social bases of electoral choice, which resulted in Electoral Behaviour: A Comparative Handbook (Rose, 1974). The role of the Political oppositions volume, was masterfully edited by Robert A. Dahl (1966). The follow-up on the Almond–Verba Civic Culture project with such studies as Political Participation and Equality. A Seven Nation Study, which was in its field stage in the year ECPR was established and within which, it should be noted, the SPSS programme was developed in the early 1970s when Norman Nie spent a year on this side of the Atlantic and was free to burn a great deal of time at the Leiden computer. The role of election studies, which, initially in different European countries, were imitations of earlier studies by Berelson, Lazarsfeld and their like (The People’s Choice, 1948 and Voting 1954), but increasingly came to be dominated by the Michigan model since the publication of The American Voter (1960). Michigan scholars engaged in collaborative studies in European countries in

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VITAL CHOICES IN THE EARLY DAYS OF ECPR Early on, the ECPR Executive made some important choices: 1. The generous grant of the Ford Foundation was undoubtedly motivated by a desire to support specific centres of research at a time when European universities were undergoing strong political pressures and conflicts. The founders could have decided to reserve the facilities for their own hans daalder

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from French institutions to allow French as well was refused (although it was later decided to support the Grenoble Summer School, not least because of didactic difficulties inherent in the terms used in arithmetic in different countries). Serge Hurtig, Secretary-General of Sciences Po, unfortunately lost his place on the Executive when ECPR ‘went democratic’ in 1973. Although the decision was to force French scholars, and those from other Latin countries to improve their English and to use it as the language of communication, it has meant that the ECPR did not fully profit from French participation, and to a lesser extent particpation from other Latin countries. And all this, when ‘Paris’ has contributed in important ways to international scholarship, for instance by the publication of the International Political Science Abstracts and the UNESCO related ventures mentioned earlier.

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institutions, research and teaching projects. They did not. For all the American support the ECPR enjoyed, the Executive Committee decided not to admit American departments as full members, even though they had important Centres of European Studies. The reason was not to be overwhelmed by the massive size of the American academic community, not least by eager young Americans involved in a rat-race for tenure. This did not prevent collaborative ventures, such as twinned workshops.5 Also, individual American scholars were welcome to ECPR workshops on the basis of a modest numerus clausus, or when they were working on joint projects as guests of ECPR membership institutions. For obvious reasons, the Executive decided to admit only departments that lived in a world of free scholarship, which excluded European countries east of the Iron Curtain. It saved the new organization from cold war power play, a noticeable problem at the time in the case of IPSA. There was some division in the first Executive Committee on the degree to which the ECPR should concentrate on behavioural approaches, or also on more specific political phenomena. There was strong opposition from some when Stein Rokkan proposed to organize more subject-oriented summer schools in addition to the Essex one. He had to get support from other organizations when he was refused ECPR funds.6 But later, the workshops, followed by the formation of standing groups (e.g. in political theory or international relations), were to cover all manner of approaches and subjects, which meant that the ECPR was not restricted to behaviouralists or later dominant approaches. The ECPR deliberately made English its only official language. The wish coming

european political science: 9 2010

PROGRESS IN WHAT In a statement as outgoing Chairman of the ECPR in 1979,7 less than 10 years after the ECPR was established, I emphasized the massive internationalization that had taken place in our discipline both before and after 1970. In a later section, I pointed to possible fundamental problems. What were these, have they proved to be a false alarm and, if so, to what extent?

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‘y many think of themselves as advanced political scientists, yet often know less and less of the variety of the discipline and politics in general’.

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own public and jargon. This could mean, and I think it does mean, that many think of themselves as advanced political scientists, yet often know less and less of the variety of the discipline and politics in general. The ECPR may well have contributed to this process of fragmentation in the name of professionalization. But has it done sufficiently to counteract its negative results? One might rightly answer that we have highly valuable overviews of the entire discipline in encyclopaedic works such as the relatively recent ten-volume Oxford Handbooks on Political Science and earlier, still valuable predecessors. But to what extent are these, or is even the one volume distillation by Robert Goodin, actually read and truly absorbed in the present state of education and training? This means that we may fall victim to fashionable statements rarely written by political scientists, but rather by daring publicists who come to dominate political debate. That the latter fashions may fall as often as they rise, may be of some consolation. Yet, as an older man I sometimes hark back to earlier generalists who often had a better education and knowledge of politics than the average political scientist today, yet would be regarded by younger scholars as insufficiently professional. Assuming, that is, that they at least read them, which is not certain given the lack of incentives and allotted time.

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One was the fear that we would remain stuck with one-to-one relationships in a dialogue from a given country to the US. I called it a paradox that Americans had done rather more in promoting multilateral research on Europe than Europeans themselves. This, I suggest, the ECPR has largely helped to remedy. I pointed to the tendency that large countries tended to show and keep to parochial approaches more than scholars from smaller countries, given the selfsufficient size of the political science community in the major states. I extrapolated from this the suggestion that the same inward-looking tendency might also occur in smaller countries, as their local communities grew in size to that of Britain at the time the ECPR was established. Some of this seems to have happened, but this has been largely offset by the enhanced interaction brought about notably by the ECPR. One might even argue that the dominance of English as the lingua franca has led scholars in many countries, not least in the smaller ones, to give priority to publications in English as these ‘count’ more in assessments than those in native languages. This has meant that the work of political scientists has tended to become less visible to their fellow-citizens in nonEnglish speaking countries than they might and should be. And also: as some parts of the discipline by their very nature ‘travel’ more easily across frontiers than others, this may lead to skewed incentives and rewards irrespective of the inherent importance and value of work done. Already in 1979 it was clear that increased international contacts and collaboration also led to a splintering of the discipline. Rapidly growing numbers provided a critical mass for all kinds of approaches and technical exercises, with little communication even between nearby specializations, each with their

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Notes

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1 The English word ‘science’ has a restrictive connotation, coloured by the ‘natural sciences’ and therefore raising the banner of systematic theorizing and quantitative testing as the true criterion for an advanced discipline. This is not true for the German word Wissenschaft and equivalents in other European languages, which allow words like Geisteswissenschaften and Sozialwissenschaften when Anglo-Saxons prefer terms like Humanities or if they want a more general term in the case of our discipline political studies or a plural such as the French Sciences Po. 2 IPSA held its first larger Congress in 1952 in The Hague, where I saw an array of prominent scholars at work, pioneers of IPSA like Quincy Wright, Raymond Aron, Maurice Duverger, Denis Brogan, William Robson, Jean Meynaud, other leading comparatists like Karl Loewenstein, Carl Friedrich and many more. Robson, the second IPSA President who was my supervisor during a year at LSE, took me to an IPSA Round Table on Comparative Government and Politics in Florence in 1954. It brought together a highly representative group of European and American scholars who debated the challenge to older forms of comparative government studies by the members of the so-called Evanston Seminar, who called for a complete overhaul of theories and approaches. See Macridis and Cox (1953) and Heckscher (1957). I was asked to organize a panel on Recent Research Typologies of Political Regimes and Political Developments at the Brussels Congress in 1967, where Jean Blondel, Gerhard Lehmbruch, Arend Lijphart, Stein Rokkan and Giovanni Sartori subjected existing typologies to a critical assessment, Robert Dahl, David Apter, Rajni Kothari, Lucian Pye and Carl Rosberg did the same on typologies of political development, while others treated typologies based on quantitative approaches. Among other merits of the panel, it paved the way to the development of what in the hands of Lijphart and Lehmbruch was to become the consociational democracy model, illustrating the value of theory-driven single country studies. 3 One might note the role of the four authors of The American Voter collaborating with European scholars, for example Donald Stokes on Britain, Phil Converse on France, Angus Campell (as earlier Paul Lazarsfeld) on Norway and Warren Miller (on Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland). 4 See the first two pages of Newton and Boncourt (2010). For further details see the biographical chapters on Rokkan and Wildenmann and the autobiographical narratives by Blondel, Daalder and Lijphart in Daalder (1997). 5 Jean Blondel, who always advocated a global comparative politics in his own work, pleaded early for twinned arrangements also with Japan. 6 Although I followed Rokkan as ECPR Chairman from 1976–1979, I sought other funds when I directed organized Summer Schools on Comparative European Politics between 1979 and 1982 at the new European University Institute (EUI) directed to junior lecturers, which combined intensive analyses by leading experts on particular countries with review seminars on important comparative theories and themes. The EUI provided material facilities, but for the first school outside funds had to be sought from the European Cultural Foundation. The later summer schools were financed by the EUI, but then dwindled. 7 This statement was later published as ‘The Internationalization of Political Science: Promises and Problems’ in Kavanagh and Peele (1984).

References Allardt, E. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1955) Mass Politics. Studies in Political Sociology. New York: Free Press, 1970. Daalder, H. (1955) ‘Parties and politics in the Netherlands’, Political Studies 3(1): 1–16. Daalder, H. (1997) Comparative European Politics. The Story of a Profession, London: Pinter. Dogan, M. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1969) Quantitative Ecological Analysis, Massachusetts: MIT Press. Eisenstadt, S. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1973) Building States and Nations, Beverly Hills, CA and London: Sage. Heckscher, G. (1957) The Study of Comparative Government and Politics, London: Allen & Unwin. Kavanagh, D. and Peele, G. (eds.) (1984) Comparative Government and Politics. Essays in Honour of S.E. Finer, London: Heinemann, pp. 159–168. LaPalombara, J. and Weiner, M. (1966) Political Parties and Political Development, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lipset, S.M. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1967) Party Systems and Voter Alignments. Cross-national Perspectives, New York: Free Press.

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Macridis, R.C. and Cox, R. (1953) ‘Research in comparative politics’, Report of the SSRC Interuniversity Research Seminar, Evanston 1952 American Political Science Review 47: 641–645. Merritt, R. and Rokkan, S. (eds.) (1966) Comparing Nations: The Use of Quantitative Data in CrossNational Research, New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press. Newton, K. and Boncourt, T. (2010) The ECPR’s First Forty Years 1970–2010, Colchester: ECPR. Rokkan, S. (ed.) (1966) Data Archives for the Social Sciences, Paris: Mouton. Rokkan, S. and Meyriat, J. (1969) The International Guide to Electoral Statistics, The Hague: Mouton. Rokkan, S., Verba, S., Viet, J. and Almasy, E. (1968) Comparative Research across Cultures and Nations, Paris and The Hague: Mouton. Rokkan, S., Verba, S., Viet, J. and Almasy, E. (1969) Comparative Survey Research, Paris: Mouton. Rose, R. (1974) Electoral Behaviour: A Comparative Handbook, New York and London: The Free Press. Verba, S., Nie, N.H. and Kim, J. (1978) Political Participation and Equality. A Seven Nation Study, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

About the author

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Hans Daalder (1928) studied political and social sciences at the University of Amsterdam and the London School of Economics. His dissertation treated developments and reform proposals of the British Cabinet since 1914 (English translation Cabinet Reform in Britain 1914–1963, Stanford and Oxford University Press, 1963/1964). He taught at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (1958–1963, with one year on leave as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in 1960–1961 at Harvard and Berkeley). He held the Chair of Politics at Leiden University from 1963–1993. He followed Stein Rokkan as Chairman of the ECPR from 1976 to1979, during which period he was also the first Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. After his retirement he edited a volume of four biographical chapters on and twenty-three autobiographical chapters by prominent scholars in the field of comparative politics, published as Comparative European Politics. The Story of a Profession (London 1997; revised edition 1999). Since his retirement he has worked on a multi-volume political biography of the socialist Willem Drees (1886–1988), who was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1948–1958.

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why european political science organisations? a diachronic, comparative and fairly short explanation

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thibaud boncourt

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Universite ´ de Bordeaux, Sciences Po Bordeaux, CNRS, SPIRIT Science Politique, Relations Internationales, Territoire, 11 alle ´e Ausone, Pessac 33600, France E-mail: thib.boncourt@free.fr

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.43

Abstract

Keywords

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The early 1950s and the late 1960s saw the setting up of many European political science organisations. The first wave was that of the foundation of an International Political Science Association and several national associations. The second was that of the creation of a Pan-European organisation: the European Consortium for Political Research. The rationale behind these two waves was different: it was very political in the 1950s and based on more properly scientific considerations in the 1960s.

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European political science; International Political Science Association; European Consortium for Political Research

INTRODUCTION

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nder the impulse of some of its professional associations, the field of European political science has been the subject of much research in recent years. The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the French Political Science Association (AFSP) and the UK’s Political Studies Association (PSA) have, for example, taken the opportunity of celebrating a landmark anniversary to commission studies of their own history (Boncourt and Newton, 2010;

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Deloye, 2009; Grant, 2010). A growing body of research is thus dedicated to a subject which few people would have ventured to address even a mere decade ago (Adcock et al, 2007: 1; Blondiaux, 2002). In spite of this growth, the histories of these multiple associations are seldom linked to one another. In particular, the interplay between the national and the international level is often ignored. National developments tend to be investigated in great detail, but little interest is paid to the way national undertakings

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development of the IPSA (Serge Hurtig, John Trent) and the ECPR (Jean Blondel, Peter de Janosi, Hans Daalder, Ian Budge, Ken Newton). Some details about these interviews are put together in the appendix to this paper. In the case of the IPSA, archives were explored at the Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) and the Fondation Nationale de Sciences Politiques (FNSP) (Paris, France). Investigations about the ECPR were conducted at the University of Essex (UK) and the Ford Foundation (New York).

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relate to one another either in terms of common points or differences. Thus the fact that different national developments may be caused by similar factors or that national entrepreneurs may come together to trigger international dynamics remains, to a great extent, an unexplored possibility. This article aims at making a modest contribution to filling this gap by placing the emphasis on the development of international political science associations. It focuses on what this development reveals about the structure of European political science and what it changes about it. By comparing the creation of two organisations – the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and the ECPR – it shows that international joint initiatives may be triggered by different sets of causes. It argues that these dynamics can be linked to events both internal and external to the ‘scientific field’ (Bourdieu, 1976, 2001: 95–96, 102–103; Leca, 1991: 147) of political science and that the respective weight of internal and external causes depends on the degree of autonomy of political science from other social spheres. This analytical emphasis has as many upsides as downsides: on the one hand, some often neglected aspects of the development of political science are highlighted; on the other hand, other dimensions remain a blind spot for the sake of coherence and brevity. It then should be borne in mind that this analysis only scratches the surface of complex evolutions: the argument is exploratory and to a great extent only a preliminary look at the material. None of this, in other words, should be read as iron-clad conclusions.

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After the Second World War, political science was still very much underdeveloped in organisational terms. Over the first half of the twentieth century, professional associations had only been created in the United States (1903), Canada (1913), India (1938), China (1942) and Japan (1948). The only such organisation to be located in a European country was the Finnish one, founded in 1935 (Trent and Coakley, 2000: 11). The sudden proliferation of comparable structures observed across Europe – and the rest of the world – in the 1950s and the early 1960s was thus a huge change, as no less than fifteen European associations were created at the time. This phenomenon can be explained by going back a few years to the foundation of a political organisation that played a major part in the development of political science: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Among UNESCO’s original objectives was to help ‘cultivate the science of human relations’ for the sake of civilisation, and political science was a pioneering part of this project as it was

METHODS AND DATA The article is based on qualitative data gathered by means of interviews and archive studies. Interviews were conducted with actors and witnesses of the

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(1950), Austria and Greece (1951). In some of these cases – such as that of the UK – the IPSA was merely a pretext to formalise what was already happening informally, as associations were ‘superimposed on existing network[s]’ (Grant, 2010). Similar conclusions cannot be reached in all cases however, for lack of information available. UNESCO thus played a part in the setting up of European national associations before and shortly after the IPSA’s actual birth. Once founded, the IPSA itself also initiated similar dynamics. After taking over from Franc¸ois Goguel as Executive Secretary of the IPSA in February 1950, Jean Meynaud indeed set out to contact political scientists from various countries to try and expand the IPSA’s membership by stimulating the foundation of national associations across Europe (and the wider world). He wrote a standard letter that he sent to various European countries from March to May 1950:

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the large and expanding sphere of government activity in all countries, and the emotions and interests which are aroused by politics, make it highly desirable that both political ideas and political practice should receive disinterested study. It is the aim and purpose of political science to provide such study. It is legitimate to believe that by this means the political insight and discrimination of the people may be increased, a more informed public opinion brought to bear on political problems, and the work of government improved at all levels. (UNESCO, 1949a)

‘If political scientists were to contribute to the building of a new world order, they had to be given the means to do so’.

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perceived as the one science whose mission was to study a political realm that was held responsible for the collapse of the world order. As the UNESCO and political scientists of the time believed:

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If political scientists were to contribute to the building of a new world order, they had to be given the means to do so. After a series of meetings (Boncourt, 2009: 11–15), a conference was organised in September 1949 to help strengthen the links between political scientists by formalising them into an IPSA. As this IPSA was meant to be a federation of national associations, some political scientists involved in its creation tried to trigger the creation of national associations in their respective countries so that they would be able to play a part and have weight in the future international organisation. The fastest move was made by French political scientists, who first aired the idea of an AFSP in early November 1948. At the instigation of Raymond Aron, who had coordinated the work of the IPSA preparatory committee, a first meeting of the few Frenchmen who studied the political was organised and eventually led to the creation of an Association in July 1949 (Deloye, 2009). Similar moves then followed closely the actual creation of the IPSA: associations were founded in Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden

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(1) In your country, is there a National Association or simply groups representing specialists in political science? I would like to make it clear that the term should be understood rather broadly and, in principle, should be considered to apply to professors of Public Law and Government as well. In the event that such a group exists, would it be possible for you to send me its address and the name of the people in charge? (2) Is it possible to obtain a list of the specialists in political

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This wholesale canvassing bore fruit: political science communities all set out to organise themselves in Belgium (1951), Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia (1952), Holland (1953), Norway (1956), Spain (1958), Switzerland (1959), Denmark (1961) and, sometime later, in Eastern Europe – in Czechoslovakia (1964), Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania (1968). The IPSA should not, of course, be held as the only factor responsible for the creation of all these national associations. It is, to be fair, very difficult to prove unequivocally whether it had any influence at all: while a couple of studies of political science in some countries provide some grounding for doing so (Philippart, 1982: 95), too many studies of other national communities remain so silent about the history of professional associations and particularly about their creation (e.g. Von Beyme, 1982: 173; Bibic, 1982: 403; Hoogerwerf, 1982; Kuhnle, 1982: 266–267; Wemegah, 1982: 329–330) that the interplay between national and international factors is impossible to describe. At this stage, political science in Europe had acquired the basics of its organisational structure. But there was another side to the coin: the content of Meynaud’s letter shows that in spite of this apparent strength, political science was still defined along loose intellectual lines. At a preliminary founding meeting of the IPSA in 1948, a very large and inclusive definition of political studies had been adopted: participants had made concessions to different factions of political science by acknowledging the influence of philosophers, jurists, international relations scholars and the fledging behaviourist school in their definition of the field. The idea was that ‘the aim of international cooperation (y) [was] not to substitute a uniform treatment of the subject for the prevailing diversity of topics and

methods’ as ‘the juridical, historical, philosophical, sociological (y), psychological and statistical methods [had] all been successfully used in the study of political ideas and institutions’ (UNESCO, 1949a). The point here is not to argue that this definition would be more or less valid than any of the numerous others (Favre, 1995: 143). Rather, our idea is that this very loose definition is a clue that political scientists of the time did not have a very clear idea of what their discipline was or ought to be. The fact that this definition was not only adopted by an international assembly but also used at the national level in some countries (Deloye, 2009; Grant, 2010) tends to prove that uncertainties were widespread. This intellectual uncertainty paved the way for neighbouring disciplines such as philosophy, history or law to retain some influence upon the development of political science. These influences took different shapes in different countries – British political science was, for example, strongly under the influence of the history of ideas while its French counterpart struggled to break free from law (Boncourt, 2007: 281) – but they all eventually gave rise to tensions, most notably because all these disciplines were in contention for the same financial, organisational or human resources. It was, in many ways, an organisational struggle that took on the tones of an intellectual one. The case of the IPSA is again emblematic in that respect. A dispute took place at its founding conference between socalled ‘Moderns’ promoting a political science that would be completely autonomous from other social sciences and humanities, and ‘Ancients’ who had reservations about the new techniques of ‘positive observation’. This struggle for autonomy was more than a purely intellectual issue in the sense that it often had potential organisational implications: why

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science and public law in your country? (IPSA, 1950)

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indeed bother with the founding of an IPSA when the International Institute of Administrative Sciences already served a similar purpose?

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The tensions between political science and neighbouring disciplines did not disappear with the IPSA’s actual creation, and they even tended to heat up again every time new resources for social sciences were there for the taking. In 1952, at a time when UNESCO’s limited financial resources were the main source of funding for all of the social sciences, it is little wonder that the foundation of its International Social Science Council (ISSC) – a body responsible for the management of UNESCO’s relations with the international social science associations it had contributed to found – should fan the flames:

Competition for funding opportunities allowed UNESCO to set standards for applications. Priority themes were defined and studies were commissioned so that the IPSA struggled to retain control over its scientific agenda (IPSA, 1952a, b). This had implications at the national level, as some national associations used their limited resources to follow the IPSA’s agenda. Political science associations were thus not completely free of setting their own scientific priorities, as both other areas of knowledge and UNESCO played a part in the process. The influence of political factors actually extended beyond the definition of scientific agendas. On several occasions, purely political factors also generated tensions between political science associations. For example, the issue of German admission to the IPSA in 1952 provoked an angry outcry from the Israeli Association, which had been a member since 1950. The IPSA too voiced some reservations and refused to admit the German Association without assurances that it would not admit any ‘personality involved in Nazism’ (IPSA, 1951b). The admission process lasted nearly two years and required the presentation of various supporting documents by the German Association and a visit to Germany by the Executive Secretary of the IPSA. Only then did the International Association admit the Germans as a collective member. Another example of such political tensions is the case of the Soviet Association, which aroused tensions even before a formal application was made. In late

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It would be fatal to the future of political science to establish over-close relations with an Institute of Administrative Sciences. Such an institute [is] mainly concerned with administrative technique, that is to say, with problems of method, output and practice. The aim of the present Association [differs] in that it [proposes] to define sociological laws. Such a difference [is] the same as that between medicine, which [is] an art, and biology, which [is] a science, the latter enabling progress to be made in the former. (UNESCO, 1949b)

political science or economics. LevyStrauss belongs to those who do not consider political science a real science. Without any doubt, the political aspects of the contemporary world would be neglected by the council if he were appointed to this position. (IPSA, 1951a, translation)

the appointment of Levy-Strauss [as Secretary General of the ISSC] would be absolutely disastrous. (y) LevyStrauss is a philosopher. His training was the agre ´gation of philosophy, which in France is considered one of the main handicaps to the development of social sciences. He then turned to anthropology and has written a most remarkable book which I believe is on the elementary structures of family relationships. All this does not make him capable of promoting efficiently

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‘political interventions paved the way for European political science to seek autonomy from the political sphere’

1954, the Executive Secretary of the IPSA Jean Meynaud took it upon himself to invite representatives of the USSR to the following year’s World Congress in Stockholm. The initiative was immediately criticised by the then President, W.A. Robson:

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led to the creation of a pan-European organisation were to a great extent internal to the field of political science.

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I do not think we ought to invite participants to the Stockholm Congress from the USSR and other countries behind the iron curtain without the agreement of the Executive Committee of the IPSA. To invite representatives of the USSR for the first time raises a question of policy on which very strong opinions may be held both by member associations and by members of the Executive Committee. It is therefore necessary, in my opinion, that our colleagues should be given an opportunity to express their views before any action is taken. Not to consult them may provoke violent reactions and criticism from our colleagues and their associations. Moreover, some political scientists may be unable to attend a Congress if official spokesmen of the USSR are present. (IPSA, 1954)

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The scientific ideas that presided over the creation of the ECPR tend to show that, by the end of the 1960s, European political science was set on a path to autonomy from political influences. While the IPSA had been created under the impulse of UNESCO, the ECPR was the brainchild of political scientists themselves. While the rationale behind the foundation of the IPSA had been very political, the rationale behind the creation of a European-wide organisation was linked to a perceived scientific imbalance between Europe and the United States. The emergence of a project of cooperation between European political scientists indeed branched out of the opinion that European political science was behind its American counterpart. This feeling was shared by several political scientists at the time. The chairman of the University of Essex Government Department Jean Blondel (Blondel, 2009: interview; ECPR, 1969d, e), Serge Hurtig of the French Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Hurtig, 2008: interview) and Stein Rokkan of Bergen were among these. Even though they had followed different

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Even though the Soviet Association was eventually admitted as a collective member, this case was only the first in a series of problems that arose in relation to the special political circumstances of Eastern Europe and it was also one of the most serious in that it eventually led to Jean Meynaud resigning as Executive Secretary of the IPSA. It is UNESCO and its political agenda, then, that should be, to a certain extent, held responsible for the creation and development of the IPSA in the 1950s. This move considerably accelerated the development of professional associations across Europe. Rather paradoxically then, political interventions paved the way for European political science to seek autonomy from the political sphere by providing it with a firm institutional basis. This partly explains why the dynamics that later

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‘a project of cooperation between European political scientists indeed branched out of the opinion that European political science was behind its American counterpart’.

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dilemmas,3 the first one of which was of an organisational nature and led two sides to confront each other: one was led by Gerard Lehmbruch of Tu ¨bingen and to a certain extent Rokkan, and was in favour of defining a series of research topics before setting out to recruit individual members; the other, led by Blondel, was of the view that the constitution of a firm base of institutional members had to come before worrying about the organisation’s scientific agenda. The other dilemma was an intellectual one, with one side in favour of making the promotion of quantitative methods a priority task for the new organisation, and the other arguing that there were far too few political scientists interested in these methods for them to be given so central a role in the development of European political science (ECPR, 1969b). Those who were in favour of the development of quantitative methods also tended to make a case for the recruitment of institutional members: statistics required computers, and computers could only be afforded with the kind of money only institutions could provide. There was much more at stake than a purely rhetorical argument here: there was an institutional and an intellectual dimension to it. At the intellectual level, two conceptions of political science confronted each other as some participants were in favour of openly and forcibly promoting ‘American’ standards while others were willing to adopt a more cautious approach.

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career patterns and occupied different positions within their respective national fields, they all had at some point been in contact with American political science and believed that the weaknesses of European political studies came from scientists being too scattered around the continent to produce cumulative knowledge (Hurtig, 2008: interview). On the basis of the idea that ‘our relations with American colleagues and centres are often easier and more intimate than within Europe’ (ECPR, 1969a), Blondel and Hurtig came together1 to work on a project of a European Group for Comparative Political Research. This group was to imitate the American InterUniversity Consortium for Political Research (ICPR) in that it was supposed to federate political science institutions rather than individuals. With the help of Stein Rokkan, they called a meeting to discuss the project. Very much aware that their project was bold and might encounter more than a little opposition, they were cautious to invite only ‘a few people whom we know’ and the wording of their invitation was chosen carefully:

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From talks with colleagues over the years, several European political scientists concluded that ‘at some time’ it ‘might be useful’ to ‘try’ and set up ‘some kind of very informal’ network linking the institutions and centres really interested in comparative research and contacts (y). We feel that this must be a ‘very modest’ start. (ECPR, 1969a, emphasis added) Twelve political scientists thus met at the FNSP in June 1969. Among these were of course Blondel, Hurtig and Rokkan as well as representatives from the Fondation, Nuffield College and the universities of Bologna, Tu ¨bingen and Leiden. The positions which these forceful personalities2 occupied in their respective field and discipline led them to defend different ideas. They were faced with two

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‘The Consortium would be a large-scale organisation which would have as its distinctive features an institutional membership and a wide range of activities’.

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to create a European Consortium naturally drew them together: both sides were concerned with strengthening connections between the two sides of the Atlantic and encouraging the development of European social sciences. Though the Consortium did not lose control over its scientific agenda in the process, this shows the extent to which European political science still had to rely on politically driven support, as the ECPR would probably have grown at a much slower rate without the considerable grant it got from the Foundation. The second element of interest is that the organisation that this long process eventually led to was, in some ways, the first of its kind as its scope was neither national nor global. Its ambition was indeed to contribute to the creation of a community – in the Mertonian sense (Zuckerman, 1989: 515–516) – of European political scientists. This would be done by openly copying and importing what was perceived as the strengths of American political science and, particularly, of the ICPR (ECPR, 1969c). The Consortium would be a large-scale organisation which would have as its distinctive features an institutional membership and a wide range of activities: ‘an annual summer school’, ‘one or several seminars on substantial topics’, ‘a journal’, ‘a survey of scientists and researches’, as well as a ‘data bank’ whose mission would be to centralise and standardise all the data that had been and were being produced around Europe (ECPR, 1969c). Though

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At the institutional level, old rivalries between – notably British – universities had an impact on the discussion: new universities such as Essex openly showed their resentment towards well-established institutions such as Oxford’s Nuffield College or the FNSP in Paris, these rivalries being exacerbated by the fact that the future European Group was seen as ‘a federal organisation of a rather particular type in that certain tasks would be delegated to certain [member] institutions if not permanently, at least for a lengthy period of time’ (ECPR, 1969c). Each of the European Group’s potential activities was thus a pretext for more rivalries (ECPR, 1969e). The project of a European Group for Comparative Political Research was thus marred by conflicts that led to the participants striking an a minima compromise. It took a number of extra steps and the intervention of the American Ford Foundation for a more ambitious project to return to the agenda and obtain sufficient funding to see the light of day. Though these steps are interesting in many ways, space does not permit a detailed look here. However, for the sake of our argument, two things should be noted. The first is that even though the process that eventually led to the foundation of the ECPR was driven by a scientific debate far from political considerations, the decisive intervention of the Ford Foundation was based on a political rationale. At the time the Foundation, which had been created in the 1930s with the ambition of enforcing peace and democracy around the world, was encouraging the development of social and particularly political sciences, as strong social sciences were seen as a good vector for democracy (De Janosi, 2010: interview; Sutton, 1998: 21–67). In other words social sciences were, in the Foundation’s eyes, one of the many battlegrounds of the Cold War. The similarities between the Foundation’s agenda and some political scientists’ will

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By comparing the creations of the IPSA and the ECPR, this article focuses on two phases of the development of political science in Europe: the early 1950s and the late 1960s. The study shows that these periods saw the setting up of many European political science organisations. The first phase was that of the foundation of an IPSA and several national associations in Western Europe. The second was that of the creation of a Pan-European organisation. The rationale behind these two waves of institutional undertakings was not the same: it was very politically driven in the 1950s and based on more properly scientific considerations in the late 1960s. This is, in our view, a hint that the degree of autonomy of a scientific field plays a part in its structural evolution. It also shows that this influence can go both ways: more autonomy does not necessarily mean more institutional changes, and the other way around. Though these two phases were crucial to the institutionalisation of European political science, it does not imply that nothing else has happened over the last forty years. On the contrary, the landscape of European political science organisations has changed tremendously as several new associations were created. In the aftermath of the Cold War, for

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CONCLUSION: WHAT ABOUT THE LAST FORTY YEARS THEN?

example, associations were born in Croatia, Slovenia (1992), Lithuania and Slovakia (1994) (Trent and Coakley, 2000: 45). There was also an attempt to start another pan-European organisation: the Thematic Network of Political Science, which later became the European Political Science Network (EpsNet), was founded in 1996 under the Thematic Networks action of the European Union’s Socrates Programme. Though it acted for a while as a rival to the ECPR (Bull, 2007: 431), it is now being incorporated as a network inside the ECPR. Another more recent institutional development is the attempt to coordinate the actions of national political science associations. This attempt took on various shapes and names (‘European Conference of National Political Science Associations’, ‘European Confederation of Political Science Associations’) and is still too young for its impact to be assessed (Furlong, 2007). Indeed much has happened since the 1970s. But the point of focusing on the 1950s and 1960s is to emphasise the fact that ‘senior’ organisations played a great role in these later changes. As they expanded their membership and activities, they provided a firm basis for other developments. When Eastern Europe opened up following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the IPSA, the ECPR and various national associations all actively encouraged the development of political science in these countries. Nowadays, the European political science community is bigger, more diverse and more active. But the fundamentals of its organisational structure date back to key decisions and developments of the 1950s and 1960s.

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these multiple activities did not all prove successful, the ECPR managed to establish itself as a long-lasting, high-profile political science organisation.

Notes 1 Blondel and Hurtig had known each other for a long time (Hurtig, 2008: interview) and were seeing each other on a regular basis as Blondel was teaching British politics at the FNSP (ECPR, 1967). It was thus natural for them to exchange views about the state of political science: ‘after all, the first time we discussed this was in your rue Saint-Guillaume office!’ (ECPR, 1969f, translation).

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2 It is the presence of so many forceful personalities that explains the strained atmosphere that surrounded the Consortium from its prehistory onwards (De Janosi, 2010: interview). Indeed, it resulted in a series of heated arguments, notably between Blondel and Hurtig in July 1969 (see, e.g., Ford Foundation, 1969) and between Blondel and Rokkan, for example, in 1971 and 1976 (ECPR, 1971; Ford Foundation, 1976a, b. 3 The notion of dilemma comes from Adcok, Bevir and Stimson: ‘a dilemma arises when a new idea stands in opposition to existing beliefs and so forces a reconsideration of them leading to at least somewhat new beliefs, and so typically inspiring at least slightly different actions and practices’ (Adcock et al, 2007: 5).

References

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Adcock, R., Bevir, M. and Stimson, S.C. (2007) ‘A History of Political Science: How? What? Why?’, in R. Adcock, M. Bevir and S.C. Stimson (eds.) Modern Political Science: Anglo-American Exchanges Since 1880, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, pp. 1–17. Bibic, A. (1982) ‘Yugoslavia’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 383–412. Blondiaux, L. (2002) ‘Pour une histoire sociale de la science politique’, in Y. Deloye and B. Voutat (eds.) Faire de la science politique, Paris: Belin, pp. 45–63. Boncourt, T. (2007) ‘The evolution of political science in France and in Britain: a comparative study of two political science journals’, European Political Science 6(3): 276–294. Boncourt, T. (2009) Une histoire de l’Association Internationale de Science Politique, Montre ´al: Association Internationale de Science Politique. Boncourt, T. and Newton, K. (2010) A History of the European Consortium for Political Research, Wivenhoe: ECPR Press. Bourdieu, P. (1976) ‘Le champ scientifique’, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales 2(2–3): 88–104. Bourdieu, P. (2001) Science de la science et re ´flexivite ´, cours du colle `ge de France, Paris: Raisons d’Agir. Bull, M. (2007) ‘Is there a European political science and, if so, what are the challenges facing it?’ European Political Science 6(4): 427–438. Deloye, Y. (2009) ‘AFSP 1949–2009 60 ans d’histoire disciplinaire’, 10th AFSP Congress, 7–9 September 2009, Grenoble, France. ECPR. (1967) ‘Letter from Serge Hurtig to Jean Blondel’, 10 March 1967. ECPR. (1969a) ‘Letter from Serge Hurtig to Jean Blondel, Norman Chester, Hans Daalder, Gerard Lehmbruch, Nicola Matteucci, Stein Rokkan, Rudolf Wildenmann and Jorgen Westerstahl’, 8 May 1969. ECPR. (1969b) ‘Re ´union “europe ´enne” du 16 juin 1969’, 16 June 1969. ECPR. (1969c) ‘Letter from Jean Blondel to Jean Touchard’, 20 June 1969. ECPR. (1969d) ‘Letter from Jean Blondel to Serge Hurtig’, 4 July 1969. ECPR. (1969e) ‘Letter from Jean Blondel to Peter de Janosi’, 11 September 1969. ECPR. (1969f) ‘Letter from Jean Blondel to Serge Hurtig’, 18 December 1969. ECPR. (1971) ‘Consortium Europe ´en de recherche politique: re ´union du Comite ´ exe ´cutif. Bruges’, 24–25 September 1971. Favre, P. (1995) ‘Retour ` a la question de l’objet ou faut-il disqualifier la notion de discipline?’ Politix 10(29): 141–157. Ford Foundation. (1969) ‘Ford foundation inter-office memorandum by W.L. Kohl’, 9 December 1969. Ford Foundation. (1976a) ‘Letter from Peter de Janosi to Stein Rokkan’, 26 February 1976. Ford Foundation. (1976b) ‘Letter from Stein Rokkan to Jean Blondel’, 16 February 1976. Furlong, P. (2007) ‘The European Conference of National Political Science Associations: Problems and Possibilities of Cooperation’, in H.-D. Klingemann (ed.) The State of Political Science in Western Europe, Opladen and Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich Publishers, pp. 401–407. Grant, W. (2010) The Development of a Discipline: The History of the Political Studies Association, London: Wiley-Blackwell. Hoogerwerf, A. (1982) ‘The Netherlands’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 227–245. IPSA. (1950) ‘Letter from Jean Meynaud’, 16 March 1950. IPSA. (1951a) ‘Letter from Jean Meynaud to Francesco Vito’, 16 January 1951. IPSA. (1951b) ‘Letter from Jean Meynaud to Harold Zink’, 4 February 1951. IPSA. (1952a) ‘Letter from Jean Meynaud’, 4 February 1952. IPSA. (1952b) ‘Letter from Jean Meynaud to Kazimierz Szczerba-Likiernik’, 4 September 1952. thibaud boncourt

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About the Author

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IPSA. (1954) ‘Letter from William A. Robson to Jean Meynaud’, 24 December 1954. Kuhnle, S. (1982) ‘Norway’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 256–274. Leca, J. (1991) ‘French Political Science and Its “Subfields”; Some Reflexions on the Intellectual Organisation of the Discipline in Relation to its Historical and Social Situation’, in D. Easton, J. Gunnell and L. Graziano (eds.) The Development of Political Science: A Comparative Survey, London: Routledge, pp. 147–186. Philippart, A. (1982) ‘Belgium’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 93–99. Sutton, F.X. (1998) ‘The Ford Foundation and Europe: Ambitions and Ambivalences’, in G. Gemelli (ed.) The Ford Foundation and Europe (1950’s–1970’s). Cross-Fertilization of Learning in Social Science and Management, Brussels: European Interuniversity Press, pp. 21–67. Trent, J.E. and Coakley, J. (2000) History of the International Political Science Association 1949–1999, Dublin: International Political Science Association. UNESCO. (1949a) ‘International conference on: Methods in political science, 13 September 1948–16 September 1948. Statement issued by the members of the conference, 16 September 1948’, 28 April 1949. UNESCO. (1949b) ‘International political science conference. Summary record of the second meeting, held at UNESCO house, 19 Avenue Kle ´ber, Paris 16e on Monday, 12 September 1949 at 2.30 p.m.’, 25 October 1949. Von Beyme, K. (1982) ‘Federal Republic of Germany’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 169–176. Wemegah, M. (1982) ‘Switzerland’, in W.G. Andrews (ed.) International Handbook of Political Science, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 327–335. Zuckerman, H. (1989) ‘The Sociology of Science’, in N.J. Smelser (ed.) Handbook of Sociology, London: Sage Publications, pp. 511–574.

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Thibaud Boncourt is working on a Ph.D. dissertation on the internationalisation of French and British political science at the SPIRIT research centre in Bordeaux. He has recently published A History of the International Political Science Association (IPSA, 2009) and The ECPR’s First Forty Years (with Ken Newton, ECPR Press, 2010).

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Essex Summer School Founder Executive Director of the ECPR 1979–1982

Division of Higher Education and Research, Ford Foundation

Fouding member of the ECPR

Secretary General of the IPSA 1960–1967 Fouding member of the ECPR

Executive Director of the ECPR 1991–1999 Secretary General of the IPSA 1976–1988

Budge Ian

De Janosi Peter

Daalder Hans

Hurtig Serge

Newton Ken Trent John

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First Executive Director of the ECPR 1970–1979

Blondel Jean

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Table A1: Table of interviews

See Table A1.

APPENDIX

University of Essex, UK Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

FNSP, Paris

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University of Mu ¨nster, Germany

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University of Essex, UK

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electronic publishing, knowledge sharing and open access: a new environment for political science mauro calise a,*, rosanna de rosaa and xavier ferna´ndez i marı´nb a

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Department of Sociology, University of Naples II, Vico Monte di Pieta ` 1, Naples 84100, Italy E-mails: calise@unina.it; rderosa@unina.it; Website: www.maurocalise.it b Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Ramon Trias Fargas 25–27, Barcelona 08005, Spain E-mail: xavier.fernandez@upf.edu

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*Corresponding author.

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.35

Abstract

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In this article, we present an overview of the major changes occurring in electronic publishing, with a focus on open access. We shall argue that the notion itself of publication is undergoing a deep transformation, as it is no longer the monopoly of a limited number of specialised companies and institutions, but, through the web, it has become an option available to an infinite number of collective and individual actors.

Keywords access

e-research; electronic publishing; digital environment; open

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enturing into the cyberspace is always a mind-boggling experience. As we are moving into unchartered waters, a few preliminary bookmarks may be helpful for the navigation through the new electronic publishing environment. First, we are only at the onset of a cultural revolution that is deeply altering established scholarly habits. Regardless of the data and insights one may collect at the moment, we must be prepared for more, and deep, changes in the near future. Second, changes are affecting

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the Science, Technical and Medical (STM) domain much faster, and to a larger extent, than the Humanities and the Social Sciences. From a self-centred perspective, this may sound good news, as it leaves us with a bit more time to understand and, possibly, steer changes. Unfortunately, it also means that, as social scientists, we are at the periphery of a watershed that we urgently need to interpret. Third, most academic practitioners, though deeply involved in all sorts of innovations, are hardly aware of the driving forces in the new electronic

european political science: 9 2010 (S50 – S60) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/


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space constraints. The latter trait is the one most people are aware of, as we all can access documents – whatever their native, more or less bulky, format – regardless of their location, and from any desktop, laptop or smartphone anywhere in the world. Yet, a no less important factor for the spread of electronic publishing is that the original publication date tends to become less relevant. For traditional books, the date was important since, after a certain time, books would all be out of print and could only become available once again either through a new edition or in a specialised location, such as a private or public library. Electronic books are timeless, a quality that applies to both born-digital material and digitised sources. Once a document is electronically accessible, it will be so forever. Or, at least, this is how it could be on strictly technical grounds. Economic conditions may dictate a different story. One of the main problems with the process of oligopolistic control over electronic journals is the rising cost of subscription fees (Ware, 2009b; Ithaka Report, 2007), with the unpleasant consequence that, once a subscription is discontinued due to financial constraints, readers will often lose access to all back issues. And, the larger the time span of the collection, the deeper the black hole. This, of course, cannot happen whenever a digital collection is in the public domain, as is, fortunately, the case with a massive part of cyber culture. A major divide in electronic publishing thus concerns the public versus private ownership of digital repositories. Much more than in the past, however, this is currently a moving and uncertain boundary. Through several centuries, we have grown accustomed to the idea that national libraries, though different in scope and policies, would be a bastion of free access, only limited by space constraints – the library’s location, no open stacks, storage room, etc. Today Google,

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environment (APE, 2009: 11). In order to find a clear picture of what is happening, and why, one needs to refer to the expertise of librarians, consulting agencies and web technicians, who are at the forefront of studying, collecting and disseminating digital contents, as well as envisioning forthcoming scenarios. The combination of these three factors – or, if you prefer, the bottom line – is that we, as political scientists, are lagging far behind, and much in the dark, in the e-gold rush that is opening up a new frontier for learning, researching and teaching (King, 2009). In this article, we shall first present a (very) rough overview of the major changes occurring in electronic publishing, with a focus on open access and mainly addressing cyberspace neophytes. One aim of this article is to popularise facts and concepts that are still confined to a small cyber-elite. Browsing through a sample of the vast variety of scholarly sources now freely accessible online, we shall argue that the notion itself of publication is undergoing a deep transformation, as it is no more the monopoly of a limited number of specialised companies or institutions, but, through the web, has become an option available to an infinite number of collective and individual actors. In the second part of our article, we shall see in more detail how these changes in electronic publishing are having an impact on a critical professional juncture, the Pandora e-box of open access. In both sections, whenever possible, we shall make a reference to European developments, though it must be borne in mind that the very nature of the web environment strongly calls for bypassing national and linguistic barriers, a point to which we shall return in our concluding remarks.

NO SENSE OF SPACE (AND TIME) One first distinctive character of electronic publishing is the absence of time and

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‘A major divide in electronic publishing thus concerns the public versus private ownership of digital repositories. Much more than in the past, however, this is nowadays a moving and uncertain boundary’.

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of new and fast expanding resources (PEER Behavioural Research Report, 2009; Harley et al, 2010). It is only through authoritative portals that it becomes possible to fully appreciate the full range of opportunities offered by the web environment. Though with a different perspective and methodology, both IpsaPortal (www.ipsaportal.net) and Intute (www.intute.ac.uk) offer such a guidance, through a user-friendly interface and completely free of charge. In a recent article (Calise and De Rosa, 2008), we present an in-depth overview of the e-research universe, from major libraries to data banks, from thematic networks to e-government websites. A glimpse of this fascinating knowledge galaxy can be captured through a few European landmarks, such as The European Library1 – the flagship project of the Conference of European National Librarians, now grouping almost fifty national libraries, providing unified access to all catalogues – a great chance to experience both the beauty and the thorns of multiculturalism. While Europeana2 is funded by the European Commission and the member states to provide access to over 6 millions of digital items, Gallica3 is a digitised selection of the French national library. It is a fast-growing online repository that offers free access to over one million documents, among them more than 160,000 books,

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a privately owned company, is the largest single access point to an infinite variety of electronic collections, mostly at no direct charge for the user, but regulated through a set of commercial agreements far beyond the reach of individual citizens. By traditional standards, control remains in private hands and free access could be discontinued at any moment, should the company decide to pursue a different business model– or, as it was recently the case with closing Google’s website in China, in light of political considerations. Yet, millions of Internet users every day take for granted that Google is a public space, and that it will remain so indefinitely. Digital publishing, in a growing number of trendsetting cases, can thus be seen as a combination of a timeless dimension and a quasi-public status. This is the picture arising from a cursory overview of a sample of the giant digital hubs now available for cultural use in the Internet. With a focus on political science, and Europe, let us take a closer look at some of the new electronic libraries.

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LIBRARIES WITHOUT WALLS To enjoy the complexity of the web’s scholarly environment, one can find guidance in two social science specialised portals: Ipsaportal and Intute, which are long-standing institutional initiatives to help finalise queries for individual research agendas. From here, one can move easily throughout electronic stacks and catalogues, or browse institutional repositories, national and data archives all over the world. Indeed, one major problem with the immense wealth and variety of e-resources is that they are not easy to select. Searching within one’s own disciplinary repositories may look a simpler task, and yet most scholars tend to stick to a small number of familiar websites, and remain largely unaware

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to 6.3 per cent in only three years, between 2006 and 2008’ (Wischenbart, 2010: 22), the professional sector has become the main driver of technological and economic change.7 Commercial publishers are expanding their role in two main directions. One is the concentration of ownership and distribution in a small number of large conglomerates, which mainly sell their contents in pre-set bundles to institutional infomediaries that then make them available to individual users: ‘the five largest journal publishers now account for over half of total market revenues’ (Abelson, 2008: 11). Commercial publishers, today, publish ‘over 60 per cent of all peer-reviewed journals, owning 45 per cent outright and publishing another 17 per cent on behalf of nonprofit organizations’ (Crow, 2006). The challenge of concentration, with the rising fees of journal subscriptions, is triggering a violent reaction from many academic institutions.8 The second direction of expansion consists of the direct sale of digitised material to individual buyers through the publisher’s website. Direct distribution is enhanced by the growing opportunities of modifying the original content, thanks to its electronic format. Journal articles or book chapters can be sold as stand-alone units (as part of the so-called journalisation process), or the text of a book can be enriched through links to other sources or material available on the web, as is the case with the new wave of e-textbooks made available on mobile devices, such as the iPhone or the iPad. Through direct marketing, publishers tend to present themselves as a – commercial – electronic library, competing with the domain of established institutions. Springer’s electronic platform was launched in 2006 with 10,000 titles; a year later, there were 30,000, and over 5,000 are being added annually. In 2008, there were 130 million combined journal and e-book full-text downloads (Ware, 2009b: 17).

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and 121,000 images, providing a rare collection of French and francophone works, special dossiers and journals on different subjects (history, law, economics, political science, philosophy and literature) from the fourteenth to the twentieth century, with e-books freely downloadable in multiple formats. The Cairn project,4 launched in 2001 by a group of French publishers and supported by the Bibliothe `que Nationale de France, is a dissemination service for French scientific journals covering the social sciences and humanities. The Council of European Social Science Data Archive5 is a network of more than twenty organisations across Europe to improve access to data from surveys, election studies and census data. The Inter-Parliamentary Union,6 with its main three databases, provides documentation on national parliaments, electoral systems, constitutional law, history and political science, parliamentary law, and legislative elections throughout the world, covering 7,000 or more books and studies, as well as 30,000 articles from 160 periodicals. Much as all these digital hubs have changed the format of their cultural contents, they have kept one key character of their physical ancestors: a huge size and an institutional ownership. In several of the largest e-libraries, the number of records easily exceeds hundreds of millions, most of them available at a finger click. Institutional ownership can vary from private corporations to governmental agencies or the mixed type of foundations and consortia. However, in their organisation and mission, large e-hubs strongly resemble their paper predecessors, and, with a few notable exceptions, are their direct offspring or subsidiary. A different phenomenon is represented by the new role of commercial publishers in the web environment. While trade publishing, or plain books, is experiencing ‘a steady decline in revenues, amounting

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‘A major breakthrough in the world of web-publishing is represented by the spread of individual and self-regulated scholars disseminating their product directly from their own desktop to the cybersphere’.

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spective, the more so in the light of the decline in sales of scholarly monographs, once the university presses’ bastion and a profitable undertaking, which have today fallen to less than a quarter of what they were in the 1970s (Thompson, 2005: 93–94) – a factor that is contributing to the search by individual scholars of alternative publication tracks. A major breakthrough in the world of web publishing is represented by the spread of individual and self-regulated scholars disseminating their product directly from their own desktop to the cybersphere (Ware, 2009a). Wikis, personal web pages, social networks, blogs and other online tools are becoming a relevant part of the new ecosystem of research and scientific communication, in some cases leading to a distinction ‘between formal communication, which is long-lasting and addressed to a wider audience, and informal communication, which is more ephemeral and between a more restricted audience’ (Meyer and Schroeder, 2009: 2). However, especially in the STM domain, the practice of selfarchiving and open-access repositories – both aimed at enhancing knowledge sharing and free circulation of socially relevant information – is becoming an authoritative alternative, when not a substitute, for traditional journal publications (Jankowski, 2009). Take the case of

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Elsevier’s numbers amount to 2,500 peer-reviewed journals, 11,000 books and 9.5 million downloadable articles and/or book chapters, with half a million new items being added every year.9 Along both these directions, commercial publishers present a harsh challenge to institutional infomediaries and notfor-profits traditional presses. Smaller, academic or prevalently book-oriented publishers have tried to react to the invasion of big journal-based conglomerates. Palgrave Connect, the online portal of Palgrave Macmillan, gives access to over 4,000 e-books, with 600 new additions each year and over 1,050 titles currently available in the Politics and International Studies section. Cambridge University Press features its own Cambridge Books Online platform, with over 6,000 e-books, and 1,041 of them indexed in the political science field.10 Oxford Scholarship Online is a crosssearchable library managed by the Oxford University Press. This site provides access to the complete text of over 3,700 carefully selected books, with at least 200 new and recently published books added each year, and hundreds of Political Science original work across many key areas of the discipline, from Comparative Politics to Political Theory, and from International Relations to European Union Studies. Yet, in spite of generous efforts, most university presses are facing a difficult dilemma. Press directors may ‘have a sense of what needs to be done to jumpstart their new enterprises, but lack the financial capital, technical staff, and technological skills to pursue this kind of agenda’ (Ithaka Report, 2007: 5). An attempt to bridge this gap has been made by the Mellon Foundation funding, a 2009–2010 planning grant to several US University Presses to develop a consortium to deliver e-books to public libraries on a shared platform.11 This remains, however, a difficult and uncertain per-

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prietary computer operating systems. It has then evolved into a widespread practice for promoting free access to all sorts of knowledge materials (Willinsky, 2006). A standard typology of open access is based on the combination of both time and monetary factors (Harnad, 2008). The so-called ‘Gold Route’ provides for the immediate publication of an article’s final version. In order to be sustainable, this type of open access needs to be subsidised either by the publisher, and/ or a funding institution, and/or the authors themselves. On the opposite pole of the spectrum, with no business model at all, there is the ‘Green route’ to open access, based on self-archiving made on a voluntary individual basis, or through some form of mandatory institutional regulation, as it is the case with Harvard’s recently enacted publication policies for all university members.14 In between, there are numerous attempts to reconcile open access with traditional subscription practices, mainly by offering delayed free access to journal articles.15 The overall number of OA publications today ranges between estimates of 3,400 to 4,300, on a total of over 25,000 peerreviewed journals. In consideration of the fact that, usually, OA publications are smaller in size, their overall percentage among published articles is below the 10 per cent threshold, with ‘about 2 per cent of the articles published in full open access journals, another 5 per cent in journals offering delayed open access within 12 months, and under 1 per cent under the optional (hybrid) model’ (Ware, 2009b: 7). There are no comparable data available subdivided for macro-areas (STM versus Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), nor individual disciplines (Waltham, 2009). A few trends do, however, emerge from the listing of political science OA journals on the OAJ world directory. More than a half of a total of 123 journals are based in

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SLAC, a community organiser for the 20,000–30,000 researchers in High Energy Physics who tend more and more to bypass journal publication as it is too slow. Stanford Public Information Retrieval System (SPIRES) where SLAC is located is a one-stop shop attracting 25,000 searches a day.12 In a joint project with CERN, ‘SLAC is migrating SPIRES to INSPIRE, a service that will remove boundaries between search fields, repositories and the researchers and curators. At this intersection a future for scholarly communication is being forged’ (APE, 2009: 4). This new intersection is also spearheaded by real-time merging between research output and online teaching platforms. The progressive digitalisation of scholarly content is leading to a new weblearning paradigm where each lesson becomes a hub for scientific resources and hyper-textual materials.13 In these environments, a particular mash-up of content is the creation of ‘open books’, a product continuously in progress, composed of chapters, journal articles, online sources, cross-references, data and multimedia – which can be automatically updated, or integrated by the readers’ interactive contribution (Nentwich, 2008; Calise and Lowi, 2010). In most cases, ‘the publishing model for open books is hybrid: the basic online edition is free, whereas the printed edition is sold’ (APE, 2009: 12). In order to better understand the multiple intersections created by new collective and individual forms of e-publishing, we need to give a closer look at the juncture where they all tend to meet: the paradigm of open access.

PANDORA’S E-BOX In the Internet environment, the open access idea originates from the open source movement, aiming at freeing web users from the constraints of pro-

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of databases scattered across Europe. Created and developed by the German Bielefeld University Library, BASE is an example of such a multi-disciplinary search engine. BASE can browse and index more than 23 million documents from 1,400 sources/OA repositories, including almost 35,000 documents classified in the political science field, including full-text books.21 The model of self-archiving is also growing at the level of individual institutions: LSE Research Online is a repository of research materials produced by the London School of Economics, with over 10,000 articles, working papers, book chapters, conference papers and more.22 The one segment, however, which seems to be fastest growing is that of the socalled grey literature, comprising conference proceedings and Ph.D. dissertations. Political Research Online23 is an international archive of proceedings, conference papers and pre-print, including content from American Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association and other US-based political science organisations, as well as from the British Political Studies Association. IPSA hosts on its website free access to its World Congress virtual paper room, as well as to proceedings from other conferences. Ethos24 is a British Library project that collects and publishes theses and dissertations, with over 25,000 records and over 8,000 works in the field of political science. Since its launch in January 2009, Ethos has received requests for 100,000 downloads from over 27,000 registered users. Powered by a partnership of research libraries and library consortia in fifteen European countries, DARTEurope25 is a repository maintained by the University College London, created with the objective of improving and increasing access to European research activity. With the endorsement of the Ligue des Bibliothe `ques Europe ´ennes de Recherche, DART-Europe is the European

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Europe (sixty-five), with only less than a fifth (twenty-three) in North America. Brazil (thirteen) and Spain (eleven) are second and third after the US (seventeen) in absolute numbers, but emerge well ahead in percentage estimates. The present picture seems to be one where nonEnglish countries are more active in exploiting the new opportunities from publishing open access journals, a trend that is confirmed by a number of authoritative national initiatives, often with direct governmental funding. In France, free access to journals in Humanities and Social Sciences is possible through the portal Perse ´e,16 created by the Ministry of Education. This repository – based on the ‘moving wall’ system – includes the Revue franc¸aise de science politique issues from 1951 to 2003,17 while the journal Pouvoirs18 grants open access to all its issues from 1994 to 2006. In Germany, the Bo ¨rsenverein der Deutschen Buchha ¨ndler, an organisation of publishers, wholesalers and retailers, has sponsored Libreka,19 an online fulltext books search service, launched to protect the German cultural and linguistic heritage and to counteract the power of Google Book Search. The universe of open access materials becomes all the richer as we move from journals to institutional repositories, which often present a European vision and mandate, as well as EU funding (Sparc Report, 2010). The Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (Driver)20 is an initiative aimed at implementing an ‘e-Infrastructure’, that is, a new research environment in which people can share and exchange information, methodologies, materials, data and instruments without any barrier: items from thirty-three countries enable access to more than 2,500,000 scientific publications, including almost 4,000 items related to political science. Such large repositories require powerful search engines to sift through a multitude

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Quite to the contrary, the new web environment is creating ‘a seeming limitless range of opportunities for a faculty member to distribute his or her work (y) [T]hese forms of informal publication have become pervasive in the university and college environment. As scholars increasingly rely on these channels to share and find information, the boundaries between formal and informal publication will blur’ (Ithaka Report, 2007: 3). The future of open access can thus be best understood through a holistic approach, taking into account the new trends in disseminating research materials no less than the new habits in locating them (Borgman, 2007). After all, the moral incentive to publish through an open access channel largely stems from our awareness that we can now get most of our research materials for free. Other, no less important, boundaries are rapidly being redefined. One of the main aims of scientific communication has always been to overcome national and linguistic boundaries. Prior to the advent of the Internet and electronic publishing, English had already become the lingua franca for a large majority of scholars (Laponce, 2004). The web has strengthened this trend. This, however, has not led to outright dominance by American scientific output. Quite to the

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The notion of publication arising from this overview of the main changes of institutional, commercial and individual actors shows a radically different picture from only ten years ago (Kaase, 2000). Access to scholarly sources of all types has enormously grown by size, speed and openness. Institutions have turned themselves into major publishers in their own right, by making their century-old collections available online to everyone in every part of the world, and mostly eliminating the time factor, as all type of classics and rare materials are ‘born again’ to an electronic life. Commercial publishers have reacted by invading the institutional territory through direct distribution and oligopolistic control of current electronic publications, starting with journals and now moving into the book domain, especially with the new multimedia formats. On their side, individual scholars are discovering the advantages of self-archiving and self-publication, promoting reputational channels that partly bypass the traditional peer-review-based systems. While we have presented these three actors in their different, emerging traits, they are by no means separate entities.

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‘Commercial publishers have reacted by invading the institutional territory through direct distribution and oligopolistic control of current electronic publications, starting with journals and now moving into the book domain’.

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branch of the Working Group of the Networked Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations.26 With over 120,000 items, DART-Europe appears to be a useful instrument for the scientific community, but also as a powerful tool for dissemination of research items that would otherwise remain unknown. On a smaller scale, Cadmus27 is a repository of articles, working papers, chapters and theses based at the European University Institute, with thousands of full-text documents available. In France, Tel28 is a similar service developed by the Centre pour la Communication Scientifique, with access to over 16,000 full-text theses.

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proliferate, and the librarian’s ideal of ‘universal bibliographic control’ slips even further away’ (Borgman, 2007: 9). When combined with the more general trend to globalisation and delocalisation inherent in all digital content, the result is that scholarly communication is redefining its traditional geopolitical boundaries. On a number of important indicators, European political science has shown to be in very good health (Klingemann, 2008). In the top-ten list of political science journals with the highest impact factor, five journals are published in Europe.29 These results have been achieved also thanks to an inter-national and inter-cultural, universalising approach – stressing the nature of political science as a ‘global enterprise’ (Keating, 2009: 312). Yet, when it comes to the digital frontier and its immense potential for knowledge sharing and dissemination, we are far from giving this topic the attention it deserves. This is all the more surprising as we, ‘as political scientists, should be at the forefront of these debates and developments, not watching from the sidelines’ (May, 2005: 15). We should all become more aware that the universe of scientific communication is undergoing a revolution, the stakes of which are very high. The risk is that we may end up resembling the dinosaurs, ‘(y) looking up at the sky at the approaching asteroid and wondering whether it has an implication for our future’.30

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contrary, the last decade has witnessed a faster growth in the EU, which has overtaken the US in the number of articles catalogued in Thomson Reuters’ ISI WEB of knowledge. With a much more dramatic change represented by China’s output, growing at a 17 per cent annual rate, compared to 0.6 per cent for the US and 1.8 per cent for the EU (Ware, 2009b: 21). There is no study of the direct impact and correlation between the advent of the new web environment of electronic libraries without walls and the surge in scientific output all over the East Asia region. Several relevant social and economic changes have contributed to such a momentous watershed. However, only twenty years ago, it was essential for young European scholars to flock to a few prominent libraries in the US in order to be able to delve into journals and books necessary for their research work. Today, a ten-century-old accumulation of Western academic knowledge can be accessed online, with almost no limitation, from every corner of the world. With the advent of digital content, established pillars of academic culture are losing ground and control: ‘Authors, libraries, universities, and publishers are wrestling with the trade-off between traditional forms of publisher-controlled dissemination and author – or institutional controlled forms. (y) While these battles are under way, variant forms of documents

Notes 1 www.theeuropeanlibrary.org. 2 http://europeana.eu/portal/. 3 http://gallica.bnf.fr/. 4 http://www.cairn.info/. 5 http://www.cessda.org/. 6 http://www.ipu.org/english/home.htm. 7 The book industry has ‘completely changed its face within just a few years when it comes to “professional information” (which includes science, technical and medical, or STM, learned journals, but also legal and other professional information). Today, this wealth of information is predominantly born digital, distributed digitally, and not available anymore by the item – or – volume – in a book store near you’ (Wischenbart, 2010: 22).

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8 Harvard has been a trendsetter in adopting a publication policy requiring that all its members deposit a copy of their new publications at Harvard’s institutional repository, with a ‘nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, (y) The Dean or the Dean’s designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member’ (Sparc, 2008). 9 http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/intro.cws_home/ataglance?navopenmenu ¼ 3. 10 Palgrave Connect, Cambridge Books Online and Oxford Scholarship Online allow remote institutional access only, while Wiley allows also pay-per-view individual access. 11 See the Association of American University Presses: http://www.aaupnet.org/resources/ collaborative.html. 12 http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/. 13 Federica, the web-learning platform of the University of Naples Federico II, hosts over 300 courses and 5,000 lessons, completely open access, with enhanced interactions to a wide array of selected electronic sources (http://www.federica.unina.it/il-progetto-federica/spot-eng/). 14 See above, note 8. For an updated review of similar initiatives, see Suber (2010). 15 See the Sherpa-Romeo’s website: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/. 16 http://www.persee.fr/. 17 http://www.afsp.msh-paris.fr/publi/rfsp/rfsp.html. In France, Hyper Article en Ligne – Sciences de l’Homme et de la Socie ´te ´ (L0 archive ouverte HAL-SHS ) is another digital library featuring Arts and Humanites research works: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/. 18 http://revue-pouvoirs.fr/. 19 http://www.libreka.de/. 20 http://www.driver-community.eu/. 21 http://base.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/en/index.php. 22 British Library Press Room, 2 November 2009: Transitions in Scholarly Communications – a portfolio of research projects: http://www.bl.uk/news/2009/pressrelease20091102b.html. 23 http://archive.allacademic.com/one/prol/prol01/. 24 http://ethos.bl.uk/Home.do. 25 http://www.dart-europe.eu/. 26 Almost one million items are available, with full-text and open access options, thanks to Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (http://www.ndltd.org/), launched by UNESCO to promote and distribute electronic research material. 27 http://cadmus.eui.eu/dspace/index.jsp. 28 http://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/index.php. 29 2008 JCR Social Science Edition: http://thomsonreuters.com/. 30 Frank Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University, quoted in Duderstadt (2001: 55).

References

Abelson, A. (2008) ‘Open access publishing: the future of scholarly journal publishing’, MIT Faculty Newsletter 21(2): 10–11. APE, Academy Publishing in Europe. (2009) ‘The impact of publishing’, A short conference Report, 20–21 January, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science. Borgman, C.L. (2007) Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Calise, M. and De Rosa, R. (2008) ‘E-Research: An introduction to on-line political science sources for beginners (and skeptics)’, International Political Science Review 5: 595–618. Calise, M. and Lowi, T.J. (2010) Hyperpolitics: An Interactive Dictionary of Political Science Concepts, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, available at www.hyperpolitics.net. Crow, R. (2006) ‘Publishing cooperatives: An alternative for non-profit publishers’, FirstMonday 11: 9 available at http://firstmonday.org/. Duderstadt, J.J. (2001) ‘The future of the university in the digital age’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 145: 54–72. Harley, D., Acord, S., Earl-Novell, S., Lawrence, S. and King, C.J. (2010) Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines, UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education, available at http://escholarship.org/uc/cshe_fsc. Harnad, S. (2008) ‘The access/impact problem and the green and gold roads to open access: An update’, Serial Review 34: 36–40. mauro calise et al

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Ithaka Report, by Brown, L., Griffths, R. and Rascoff, M. (2007) ‘University Publishing in a Digital Age’, available at http://www.ithaka.org/. Jankowski, N.W. (ed.) (2009) ‘The Contours and Challenges of e-Research’, E-Research: Transformations in Scholarly Practice, Introduction, New York: Routledge, pp. 3–34. Kaase, M. (2000) ‘Political science and the internet’, International Political Science Review/Revue internationale de science politique 21(3): 265–282. Keating, M. (2009) ‘Putting European political science back together again’, European Political Science Review 1(2): 297–316. King, G. (2009) ‘The Changing Evidence Base of Social Science Research’, in G. King, K. Schlozman and N. Nie (eds.) The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, New York: Routledge, available at http://gking.harvard.edu/files/evbase.pdf. Klingemann, H.-D. (2008) ‘Capacities: Political science in Europe’, West European Politics 31(1–2): 370–396. Laponce, J.A. (2004) ‘Minority languages and globalization’, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10(1): 15–24. May, C. (2005) ‘The academy’s new electronic order? Open source journals and publishing political science’, European Political Science 4: 14–24. Meyer, E., and Schroeder, R. (2009) ‘Sifting through the online web of knowledge’, Scientific Publication 3.0, available at interdisciplines.org/liquidpub/papers/4. Nentwich, M. (2008) ‘Political science on the web: Prospects and challenges’, European Political Science 7: 220–229. PEER Behavioural Research Report. (2009) ‘Authors and users vis-a `-vis journals and repositories baseline report’, available at www.peerproject.eu. Sparc. (2008) ‘Open doors and open minds: what faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution’, Science Commons White Paper, available at http://www.arl.org/sparc/ publications/opendoors_v1.shtml. Sparc. (2010) ‘Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Comments’, available at Sparc website http://www.arl.org/sparc/openaccess/. Suber, P. (2010) ‘SPARC Open Access Newsletter’, January 2010 issue 141, available at http:// www.earlham.edu/Bpeters/fos/newsletter/01-02-10.htm. Thompson, J.B. (2005) Books in the Digital Age, Cambridge: Polity Press. Waltham, M. (2009) ‘The future of scholarly journals publishing among social science and humanities associations’, HSS Journals Publishing Report, available at www.nhalliance.org/bmBdoc/hssreport.pdf. Ware, M. (2009a) ‘Web 2.0 scholarly communication’, Mark Ware Consulting, April, available at http://mrkwr.wordpress.com/articles/. Ware, M. (2009b) ‘The STM Report, an overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing’, Mark Ware Consulting, STM publishers, September. Willinsky, J. (2006) The Access Principle. The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wischenbart, R. (2010) ‘Ranking of global publishing industry 2009’, Publishing Research Quarterly 26(1): 16–23.

About the Authors Mauro Calise is Professor of Political Science, University of Naples Federico II, and the President of the Societa ` Italiana di Scienza Politica (2008-2010). He is the Editor and Director of the International Political Science Association Web Portal for Electronic Sources. He is the author, with Theodore J. Lowi, of Hyperpolitics. An Interactive Dictionary of Political Science Concepts, University of Chicago Press, 2010 (www.hyperpolitics.net). Rosanna De Rosa is Assistant Professor at the University of Naples Federico II. Her publications are mainly aimed at analysing the impact of new technologies on politics. With Mauro Calise, she has published E-Research: An Introduction to On-line Political Science Sources For Beginners (And Skeptics), IPSR, 4, 2008. Xavier Ferna´ndez i Marı´n is Postdoctoral Researcher at Institut Barcelona d0 Estudis Internacionals. He received his Ph.D. from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in 2008, with a dissertation in Technology and Public Policy. He is also a postgraduate in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection by the University of Essex.

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teaching political science in europe mike goldsmith and chris goldsmith* Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK *Corresponding author.

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.38

Abstract

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This article first reviews the history of political science teaching in Europe before going on to consider a range of recent developments in the teaching of political science, including cross-national joint programmes; technologically enhanced learning; placement learning and problem-based learning. The last section considers a range of issues facing political science teachers, including financial pressures; EU and national government policies; Bologna and quality assurance. The article concludes by suggesting that particular attention needs to be paid to what is taught at master’s and doctoral levels.

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politics teaching; developments; issues

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hile politics has been taught since the time of Aristotle and Plato, political science teaching has a much shorter history. This article first examines briefly the history of teaching political science in Europe, discusses some recent teaching developments and finally reviews some issues facing political science teaching in Europe today.

TEACHING POLITICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE – A BRIEF HISTORY National and international stocktaking of political science as a discipline has been an activity in which professional political scientists have occasionally engaged

over the last 40 years.1 But reviewing its teaching has only attracted attention more recently, for two reasons. Within the discipline, teaching has always been seen as ‘less glamorous’ than research, albeit that most professional political scientists teach more than they research. Externally, the discipline has faced similar pressures to those facing higher education (HE) as a whole. Political science now competes for students globally. Dependence on public funding for universities means governments want universities to achieve certain policy objectives, whatever they may be. Therefore, political science and political scientists are subject to the same pressures of benchmarking the discipline, european political science: 9 2010

(S61 – S71) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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‘y teaching has always been seen as “less glamorous” than research, albeit that most professional political scientists teach more than they research’.

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It is much more difficult to provide an accurate picture of the spread of political science teaching in Central and Eastern Europe following the break-up of communism. While some politics was taught in most of the Central and East European countries before 1989, it was dominated by Marxist-Leninist thought and by the communist regimes in place. Following the break-up of communism, the influence of George Soros and his Open Society movement undoubtedly helped the spread of new political science teaching, both by providing opportunities for western scholars to teach in Central and East European institutions and for graduate students to receive their training outside the former communist bloc.2 The discipline’s growth in these countries has been steady over the last 20 years, though we have only estimated figures for the number of political science teachers and students. For example, Klingermann et al (2002: 17) report some 160,000 students in the then ten EU accession countries alone, and Klingermann (2008: 376) further estimates 168 universities in Central and Eastern Europe teaching political science with some 4,000 academic staff.

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assessing research performance and increasing international cooperation as are other disciplines. And in the European context, the EU has brought other pressures, either as a result of the Bologna agreement, or increasing efficiency within the European and international market, or whatever. The teaching of political science is largely a late twentieth century development. It was really only in the late nineteenth century that the discipline was established, following the creation of the first schools of political science in New York, London and Paris. Even then, it was largely politics and not political science that was taught, mainly alongside philosophy or law. Such courses were designed to train public servants rather than to foster a separate science – the emphasis being on national constitutions, institutions and practices, and on political philosophy. It was not until after the Second World War that the teaching of politics and political science in Europe really blossomed. By 2005, Klingermann estimated there were more than 300 universities teaching politics to more than 150,000 students (Klingermann, 2007: 23). The creation of national professional bodies and of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) underpins the development and spread of political science teaching in Europe, together with the expansion of student numbers in HE. In addition, the determined efforts of a few individuals in establishing the discipline cannot be underrated. For example, in the UK, the discipline owed much to the efforts of people like Norman Chester, and Bill Mackenzie; in France, Maurice Duverger and George Veddel were important in ‘giving the discipline institution recognition’ (De ´loye and Mayer, 2008: 3); and in Italy, the establishment and development of politics teaching owed much to people like Giovanni Sartori, Georgio Freddi and others.

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INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING POLITICAL SCIENCE Until recently, European political science has depended on two key teaching

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should have a higher profile within the European profession. At the national level, some professional associations have set up Teaching and Learning Specialist Groups. Furthermore, the availability of national and European seed funding has facilitated the development of a wide range of approaches to teaching politics. Here we focus on four broad areas of innovation: joint programmes, technology-enhanced learning, placement learning and problem-based learning.

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JOINT PROGRAMMES

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Joint cross-national programmes are increasing in number. Examples include a long-established jointly recognised cooperative programme between Bordeaux and Stuttgart at all levels. MUNDUSMAPP is a consortium of universities in Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom offering a joint master’s programme in Public Policy.3 At doctoral level, the GEM doctoral school brings together nine HE institutions to encourage research on the European Union and global governance, the collaboration being built on the foundation developed in establishing the GARNET network of research excellence.4 The limited opportunities offered to doctoral students as part of the EU’s Framework research initiatives have been important in providing excellent training at that level. But again dissemination of good practice is relatively slow across the discipline as a whole, despite the increasing opportunities for students to study abroad.

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methods: the lecture and the seminar or tutorial. Lectures have been a staple of university teaching since the fourteenth century and remain the dominant method for teaching large groups of students. In Britain, lectures are usually supported by seminars or tutorials on a weekly or fortnightly basis where smaller groups of students can discuss readings or ideas raised in the lecture. Yet, in the rest of Europe such a clear distinction may not exist: a seminar may be a course of lectures assessed by a written paper rather than an examination. With such differences in basic teaching methods, it is no surprise that innovations in teaching practice within the discipline are not uniformly distributed across the continent. However, the forces driving change affect all institutions within the European Higher Education Area equally. These include the challenge of maintaining the quality of provision in the face of growing student numbers; the demand on universities to address not only the academic needs of students, but also to prepare them for the labour market; and, finally, the necessity to adapt pedagogy to new developments in information and communication technology. Political scientists are well-placed to respond to these pressures with a critical eye. Certainly, some level of resistance to these pressures is a healthy sign of academic freedom and continued commitment to education as a good in itself. However, the profession has begun to address teaching and learning more effectively. As is often the case, the American Political Science Association has been at the forefront of developments, its annual Teaching and Learning Conference bringing together teachers of political science from across the world and providing a venue for developing and disseminating innovative practice. This model has been replicated to a limited extent in Europe by EpsNet (now part of ECPR), although teaching and learning

TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED LEARNING The development of the internet has fundamentally and radically expanded the amount of data available to students and scholars alike. Current students are more likely to be used to reading on screen than reading a book: the mastery

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part of nearly every undergraduate programme throughout Europe. One response has been the development of projects to share resources. The PARLE6 project, for example, has developed a state-of-the-art research methods course for postgraduate students, allowing students to access a series of tutorials that enable them to learn about both practical research methods like discourse or quantitative analysis, together with the epistemological and ethical issues involved in their use. Initially available as a DVD, it is now a web-based project. A similar approach has been taken by another consortium based at the University of Southampton (POLIS) with a focus on the teaching of citizenship issues. Another example is the International Relations and Security Network, based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which provides both a portal for international relations news as well as e-learning materials on intelligence and security issues. With the encouragement of the European Union, such consortia have rapidly spread across Europe, sharing teaching expertise and developing shared resources. The e-LERU project,7 for example, brings together the universities of Geneva, Heidelberg, Helsinki, Zurich, Leuven, Strasbourg and the Stockholm Karolinska Institute together in a virtual campus, where students can take online modules at bachelor, master’s and doctoral levels developed by lecturers at the participating institutions. Participating students effectively undertake ‘virtual mobility’, developing experience of working with different academic systems while remaining in their home institutions. Another approach can be seen in the work of the NewSecEU consortium of Technical University Dresden, Charles University Prague, University of Wroclaw and Leicester’s De Montfort University. Here partners have developed a shared module examining issues in European Security,

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of library and bibliographic skills that served their tutors so well is often seen as redundant. Today’s students may see little point in listening to a lecture on development issues in Africa when they can watch a YouTube video posted by aid workers on the ground. Furthermore, mobile technology developments mean that the screen is often in the student’s pocket. These changes result in the role of teachers and universities evolving: we now guide students through the mass of voices and information available and provide them with the skills to discern good information from bad, rather than being the primary providers of information. Most obviously, technology has been used to enhance the teaching of political science through the provision of virtual learning environments (VLE).5 These allow tutors to provide students with supporting materials, exercises and discussion forums in order to structure their independent learning experience more effectively. In reality the VLE becomes an extension of the classroom, allowing lecturers to continue the lesson outside formal teaching time. Teaching can thus be undertaken at a distance, and accessed at any time – lessons offered in class can then be reinforced at home. Yet, making information too readily available may reduce students’ opportunities to develop important skills in evaluating information resources and become independent learners. While this is a concern, as technology transforms our access to information, the skills necessary to study political science are changing as well. VLEs are basically a convenient and dynamic tool for delivering course materials to students. They are normally closed systems only accessible to students enrolled at a particular institution. One consequence is considerable replication of effort, as core topics of the political science curriculum such as Introduction to Politics, Political Analysis and Research Methods are taught as

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research process, while also developing insights in the discipline’s core subject matter. But there are many challenges for teaching teams to overcome in organising placements within the undergraduate curriculum, including practical issues about placement organisation (health and safety training, travel costs, management of partners) and pedagogical issues such as where to fit placements in a three-year undergraduate programme; whether to assess the practical experience, or to make the placement part of a piece of research. Nevertheless, the undoubted popularity of these opportunities and their considerable potential for academic learning and self-improvement makes them a growing feature of the politics curriculum for the foreseeable future.

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PLACEMENT LEARNING – THE DRIVE FOR EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS

‘As Europe drives towards a knowledge economy, universities have a key role in providing students with the skills necessary to contribute’.

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including energy security, the European Neighbourhood policy and asylum and migration policy. However, the project’s main goal is to make use of Web 2.0 collaboration and communication tools to develop student skills in collaborative research. Using discussion forums, wikis and other communication tools, students are involved in writing research papers in multinational teams, eventually presented publicly in Prague in April 2010. Again technology enhances the student learning experience, providing them with content, specialist teaching and experience of international collaboration, something not accessible using traditional teaching methods.

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As Europe drives towards a knowledge economy, universities have a key role in providing students with the skills necessary to contribute. Work placements are one way of developing these skills. Placement learning has a long tradition within European universities. Some courses include an extra year during which the student may act as an intern for a legislative member, work in sub-national government or a quasiautonomous non-governmental organisation (QUANGO). Often not formally assessed, this work experience has frequently been focussed on the skills students can acquire and the networks they can build rather than the subject matter of political science. However, recent scholarship8 has argued that political science educators should think about placements in a different way. Work placements can provide an opportunity for students to investigate the relationship between political theory and practice. By structuring placements as part of other modules, students can experience real-world involvement in the

PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING: CASES AND SIMULATIONS There are other methods by which students can develop their learning in a work relevant way, while deepening their disciplinary knowledge. We may label this approach problem-based learning, an approach to teaching that has a long history in business, law and medical education. Small groups of students are presented with problems drawn from real-world experience and asked to analyse the issues and draw conclusions about them. The goal is to produce students who are ‘independent, enterprising problem solvers’ rather than passive consumers of knowledge.

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teacher’s role is also altered: s/he acts as a facilitator of learning rather than a provider of knowledge, prompting discussion with questions, clarifying issues in which there is confusion and directing students to potential solutions.

ISSUES IN TEACHING

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Several issues impact on the teaching of political science. First, there are the continuing activities of national/regional governments in relation to HE as a whole. The phrase ‘do more for less’ generally sums up the attitude of most governments and such an attitude is unlikely to change radically in future. Nor is the subject’s popularity among students likely to decline drastically. These features, together with studies suggesting that there is an overproduction of doctoral students for the academic labour market in the subject (Goldsmith, 2005), mean there will be continuing pressure on staff–student ratios. Consequently, there is a continuing need for innovation in teaching methods and for the crossnational dissemination of good teaching practice. Other government policies also impact on political science teaching. Increasingly, HE institutions are encouraged to diversify funding streams; to produce market-oriented innovations; and also to develop students with the ‘right mix’ (whatever that may be) of skills for employment. This ‘right mix’ of skills means that students need more and more professional qualifications beyond a simple first degree. At one level, the Bologna developments recognise this trend, even if they are also concerned with securing comparability in the time taken for students to reach certain levels of attainment.10 Within Europe, given the generally longer time period required to reach doctoral level in most countries outside the UK, Bologna may lead to a situation in which it is the master’s degree

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Problem-based learning can be introduced into the politics classroom through the use of the case method. Tutors prepare a number of scenarios based on cases drawn from real life, perhaps based on stories drawn from interviews with former and current politicians and civil servants – or simply the result of the teacher’s creative thinking. Whatever the source, such cases should be relatively brief and not require too much prior knowledge, so that students can debate them relatively quickly. In general, cases are best suited to discussion over 1 or 2-hour long classes. They provide an easy way into discussions of complex theoretical and philosophical questions. For example, the University of York offers case studies on issues as broad as what is democracy, the place of the security services in a democratic society and the future of feminism.9 A grander version of this approach is the simulation game, which requires a much deeper level of preparation and engagement. Students participate in a recreation of a typical real-world situation and have to react to the scenario according to their allocated role. In political science, simulations tend to focus around either crisis management or negotiation scenarios. Several institutions ask their students to participate in Model United Nations or in simulated European Council negotiations, representing the interests of different countries. Case studies and simulations require both teachers and students to change from their ordinary roles in the classroom. Greater involvement is demanded of the student, who takes an active part in the creation and interpretation of knowledge rather than passively receiving it. Students must learn facts and remember them, while processing information and manipulating it on a deeper level. Furthermore, such learning is not dependent on the tutor: it can be independent, or collaborative with other students. The

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‘y there is a continuing need for innovation in teaching methods and for the cross-national dissemination of good teaching practice’.

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programmes should contain all elements,11 as suggested by the European Conference of National Political Science Associations in 2003.12 In our view, at first degree level, such issues are not a problem, especially if the first degree is regarded as a general rather than specialist qualification, provided the quality and standards of such degrees are broadly comparable. A wide choice of subjects in an undergraduate degree is not a problem for US political science, or for those European students who spend time in the United States, provided that the level of attainment and standards reached on courses outside the institution or home degree programme is comparable with the standards set within the home institution. European political science teachers now have wide experience of comparing student attainment, given the long history of Erasmus exchanges. But again this experience is likely to be individually or institutionally specific rather than widely shared.13 Student mobility is a central plank of the Bologna process, with 20 per cent mobility the aim by 2020. Some programmes, such as that at Sciences-Po in Paris, already require their students to spend a year abroad and to follow courses in two foreign languages during their programme, but recognise that it is difficult to evaluate the year abroad. Other countries offer part or all of their courses in English (especially at master’s level) in the hope of attracting Englishspeaking students and of increasing their

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that becomes the job market entry level qualification – which also fits well with the market pressures for the ‘right mix’ of skills. Increasingly, students stay on to master’s level: we can expect their numbers to increase, and for them to demand for more specialist (relevant) courses at this level. But Bologna is not just about shortening the time students spend in HE. It, and other initiatives emanating from Brussels, has been concerned with matters of curriculum, with portability of qualifications and with student mobility. All have had an impact on political science teaching and we have illustrated some developments above. Some cross-national cooperation has led to a debate about the nature of the curriculum (for example, through the activities of Epsnet and the European Conference of Political Science Associations); others have led to new innovations in teaching methods and in course development. Nowadays most students can spend at least one semester studying outside their own country. An increasing number of institutions offer some or all or their teaching in English, especially at the master’s level (European Universities Association (EUA), 2007). EUA (2007: 33) also reports that around 60 per cent of HE institutions now have joint programmes at one of the three Bologna cycles. Teachers are increasingly involved in European wide networks, often funded by the EU, but their work is not well publicised or disseminated, so that the benefits of this work are not widely shared. In curriculum development matters, one result is that teachers are forever running the danger of re-inventing the wheel. Should there be a core curriculum for political science? Some agreement exists on what constitutes the core elements a political science first degree should cover, though little on the topics to be covered in each element, and whether or not all

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‘y the “student experience” may well be more than simply what is followed in the classroom y what a student learns in a Manchester bar is as valuable as that learnt in an Amsterdam cafe ´’

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the kind of training the profession deems necessary to gain a post in a HE institution.17 The issue of quality and standards has been widely recognised by the European Union and national governments. There are two related issues here. First, at national level, there is the question of how detailed the assessment of quality and standards of teaching and programmes should be: a light touch regime (in which responsibility fairly and squarely lies with the institution) or more detailed and possible heavy-handed (in which some national body undertakes the assessment and produces a public report on each programme). The former may well leave some underperforming institutions undiscovered, while the latter may take on a bureaucratic nature in which ‘ticking the boxes’ becomes as important as the actual teaching performance in the classroom.18 Striking the balance between the two is desirable, but difficult to attain. This problem becomes even more acute at the European level, as discussions undertaken within the formal Bologna process since 1999 illustrate.19 Largely concerned with creating national frameworks within a European framework, there has been pressure on member countries to adopt a national assessment body along the lines of those found in the

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students’ marketability on graduation.14 Certainly, the opportunity to study abroad, and/or to gain some practical work experience may well be increasingly sought by would-be students.15 Such developments raise the issue of quality and standards. In an ever increasingly competitive market for students, the ‘customer’ has every right to expect the highest quality teaching, maintained wherever s/he studies. While at undergraduate level the ‘student experience’ may well be more than simply what is followed in the classroom, and that what a student learns in a Manchester bar is as valuable as that learnt in an Amsterdam cafe ´, it is important that what s/he receives in the classroom is of high quality. We suspect most political science teachers could tell of ‘horrific experiences’ of their students when studying abroad or from some work experience, yet little effort is taken to ensure that such experiences are avoided in future, beyond perhaps dropping the odd institution from the (ever growing) list of foreign and work placement partners. For us, the situation is more important at postgraduate level. Master’s level programmes are increasing, more are open to foreign students, more taught in English, and many developed in response to some perceived ‘gap’ in the market, possibly in collaboration with some other subject area.16 While many joint (crossnational) programmes are subject to the quality assurance programmes of the institutions concerned, doubts must remain about how effective such oversight can be in practice. Regular external peer review of such programmes is needed. Teachers need to develop the expertise necessary to undertake such review work. Some form of cross-national benchmarking activity against which such reviews can be judged is also desirable. Such a development is even more important at doctoral level, especially for those programmes designed to provide

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more important at the master’s level, with more students seeking to secure a master’s qualification. Such a pattern seems likely in many European countries other than the UK,20 since it would be closer to the general pre-Bologna practice of students taking up to 5 years (or more) to graduate. The last issue concerns the nature of the third or doctoral cycle. EUA (2007: 28) report a mixture of patterns generally for doctoral programmes, with 49 per cent using a mix of taught course plus individual supervision; 29 per cent with doctoral schools established and 22 per cent relying on individual supervision alone. EUA (2007: 29) further comments that ‘the speed of change in doctoral education y amount(s) to a mini-revolution’. One issue, relevant to political science, concerns the mobility of doctoral students (EUA notes inadequate funding for mobility), while another relates to the market for qualified doctoral candidates (and here EUA notes the rise of the ‘professional doctorate’). We have already noted that there is a general oversupply of suitably qualified doctoral candidates to fill academic posts in the discipline in many countries (Goldsmith, 2005: 65). As far as the doctoral labour market is concerned, how far do doctoral programmes in political science provide the kind of transferable research skills (generic and specific) that meet the labour market needs of government, the media, the voluntary sector as well as industry and commerce? Goldsmith (2005: 66) also raises concerns about what is expected of the doctoral student in terms of output and training. Political science needs to concentrate attention on what sort of training it is providing at the doctoral level. Given there is not the space to develop arguments fully here,21 suffice it to say that in the authors’ view only the best training is suitable for entry to the profession. And in providing such training, the

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UK, the Netherlands and Denmark. The (in)famous 3 þ 2 þ 3 three-cycle degree pattern has been widely adopted, with the EUA estimating some 82 per cent of institutions having adopted it, meaning a shift generally from a pattern of education based on the German system to one closer to that found in the UK or the USA. First and master’s levels are defined in terms of the number of credits required (180 for a B.A., 120 for a master’s). An increasing number of institutions have adopted the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation (ECTS) credit system. EUA (2007: 37–38) reports 75 per cent of institutions using it, and 66 per cent use ECTIS solely as the basis for assessing progress on courses and awarding degrees, though some countries (e.g., the UK, Spain, Sweden, Greece and Russia) do not use the system in this way. Designed to suggest that a top qualification from university A is equivalent to that from university B, or that graduates from both universities, who may well have taken courses at universities D, E and F in three other countries, are qualified for doctoral work at university C in yet another country! These changes result in increased pressure on those responsible for student admissions to ensure that the qualifications are adequate, and that the product does what it says on the package. This issue is made more difficult by the fact that implementation of the Bologna process is something that ‘appears to be a single European process (which) is thus altered by the variety of national contexts in which it takes place’ (EUA, 2007: 22). At stake here is not only the problem of maintaining the standards and quality of political science teachers and researchers as a whole, but also the reputation of graduates in political science in the wider job market. Here the concern is with the specific and generic skills that political science graduates have at each of the three levels. Perhaps the issue is

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profession is likely also to give students the generic transferable skills the general labour market is likely to search, notwith-

standing the fact that there may well also be a market for more professionally orientated doctoral programmes.

Notes

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1 For details see inter alia UNESCO (1950); Anckar and Berndtson (1987); Newton and Valles (1991); Quermonne (1996); Klingermann (2007). The IPSA Montreal conference in 2008 also contains a number of relevant papers see http://www.eleru.leru.org. 2 Again note the input of European countries into this development, especially that of the Nordic area, though the impact of the United States was probably greatest. 3 For further information see http://www.mundusmapp.org. See also the M.Sc. European Masters in Global Studies (http://www.uni-leipzig.de/gesi/emgs) offered by the Universities of Leipzig, Vienna, Wroc"aw and the London School of Economics or that in Human Rights and Democratisation (http:// www.emahumanrights.org/). 4 GEM stands for Globalisation, the European Union and Multilateralism. See http://www.erasmusmundusgem .eu/home.asp for further information. For more on GARNET, see http://www.garnet-eu.org/. 5 There is a wide range of VLEs available, some proprietary commercial software, such as Blackboard or WebCT, others provided on an Open Source basis like the University of Zurich’s OLAT system. 6 PARLE stands for Politics Active Research Learning Environment. 7 For further information, see http//eleru.leru.org. 8 See Curtis and Blair (2010) for an overview of the issues surrounding placement learning. 9 For further information, see http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/poli/current/ug/casestudy.html. 10 Even this objective can be seen as linked to a government policy aimed at reducing the cost to the state of higher education overall. 11 The agreed elements are generally political theory/history of ideas; methodology (including statistics); political system of native country and of the EU; comparative politics; international relations; public administration and policy analysis; and political economy/political sociology. 12 Some details are provided by Furlong (2007). 13 Again the UK provides an interesting case. Its concern with standards and assessment, as evidenced by its quality assurance and teaching assessment programmes, revealed some examples of institutions and departments involved in some poor practice. Political science, however, emerged relatively unscathed from these exercises. 14 Weakness in foreign language training was one weakness identified in a recent international review of political science in the UK (BISA/PSA, 2007). 15 However, EUA (2007) reports mixed evidence on student mobility and suggests that shortening degree programmes may well mean fewer opportunities for student mobility, while improving conditions and standards in universities in Eastern Europe (currently major exporters of students under EU mobility schemes) may further reduce student mobility. 16 Journalism and management (mainly for the public sector) provide two examples of this kind of development. 17 But again the oversupply of qualified doctoral students remains a problem. For whom the profession is training doctoral students remains an unanswered question – see Goldsmith (2005). 18 Both authors have been described as excellent teachers from time to time. However, one would dismally fail most of the expectations of assessing bodies, while the other would no doubt be complimented on the presentation of his well-organised and documented work! 19 Education ministers have met every 2 years since 1999: Prague (2001); Berlin (2003); Bergen (2005); London (2007); Leuven (2009). Between times, work is undertaken on issues by the Bologna Follow Up Group, better known as BFUG. Tracking and understanding the ins and outs of the Bologna process is difficult and time consuming, if only because of the number of actors involved and because the detailed work is largely undertaken by BFUG. For an account see Reinalda and Kulesza (2006). 20 It is the Master’s level that poses problems for the UK system under the Bologna agreement. BA degrees have traditionally been 3-year programmes (up to four if a year abroad or a work placement is involved) and Master’s degrees have generally been of 1 year’s duration. 21 See the contribution by Yves Meny below for a fuller discussion.

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References

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Anckar, D. and Berndtson, E. (eds.) (1987) ‘Introduction: Towards a study of the evolution of political science’, International Political Science Review, The Evolution of Political Science 8(Special Issue): 5–7. BISA/PSA. (2007) ‘International benchmarking review of UK political and international studies’, available at www.psa.ac.uk. Curtis, S. and Blair, A. (2010) (eds.) The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics, Birmingham: C-SAP, pp. 5–7. De ´loye, Y. and Mayer, N. (2008) ‘French political science at a turning point’, Paper presented to IPSA Congress: ‘International Political Science: New Theoretical and Regional Perspectives’, Montreal, 30 April – 2 May 2008. European Universities Association (EUA). (2007) Trends V: Universities Shaping the European Higher Education Area, Brussels: EUA, (accessible via BFUG website). Furlong, P. (2007) ‘The European Conference of National Political Science Associations: Problems and Possibilities of Co-operation’, in H.-D. Klingermann (ed.) The State of Political Science in Western Europe, Opladen’Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich, pp. 401–407. Goldsmith, M. (ed.) (2005) Doctoral Studies in Political Science – A European Comparison, Budapest: epsNet. Klingermann, H.-D. (ed.) (2007) The State of Political Science in Western Europe, Opladen and Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich. Klingermann, H.-D. (2008) ‘Capacities: Political science in Europe’, West European Politics 31(1–2): 370–396. Klingermann, H.-D., Kulesza, E. and Legulke, A. (eds.) (2002) The State of Political Science in Central and Eastern Europe, Berlin: Edition Sigma. Newton, K. and Valles, J. (eds.) (1991) ‘Political science in Western Europe, 1960–1990’, European Journal of Political Research 20(Special Issue): 227. Quermonne, J.-L. (ed.) (1996) ‘La Science Politique en Europe: Formations, Cooperation, Perspectives’, Final Report of a project supported by the European Commission, DG 12, Paris: Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Reinalda, R. and Kulesza, E. (2006) The Bologna Process: Harmonizing Europe’s Higher Education, Opladen: Barbara Budrich. UNESCO. (1950) Contemporary Political Science, Paris: UNESCO.

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About the Authors

Mike Goldsmith, ACSS, is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Salford University and Visiting Professorial Fellow at De Montfort University, UK. He has written and published extensively in the field of comparative local government and urban politics. His most recent publication, edited with Ed Page, is Changing Intergovernmental Relations, Routledge, 2010. Chris Goldsmith is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at De Montfort University, having also taught in Tyumen State University in Siberia. His research interests and publications concern British foreign policy at the time of Suez. He has also published on teaching matters and is currently is a member of the NewSECEU Consortium and works with the UK body CSAP on politics teaching issues.

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blockages on the road to relevance: why has political science failed to deliver? gerry stoker

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.37

Abstract

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relevance; design; problem-oriented; applied

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Keywords

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This paper explores what makes relevance difficult to deliver. Researchers can be victims of the play of politics in policy settings and organizational blockages limit the numbers of academics that seek to achieve relevance. In addition the scholarly arguments for relevance are underdeveloped leaving scope for sustained doubts about the project. Crucially political science lacks a design arm and as a result it is deficient in the intellectual foundations needed to proffer solutions to political problems.

n October 2009, after a senator had threatened to cut research funding to political studies in the United States, the New York Times thought it appropriate to ask: just how relevant is political science? The answers that the newspaper got from those political scientists interviewed were pretty unconvincing, in that, although the importance of being relevant was recognized, there was a strong sense that it had not been in any way a major focus of attention for the profession. The editor of Perspectives on Politics, Jeffrey C. Isaac, claimed that much research done by political scientists was of high quality but added: ‘we’re kidding ourselves if we think this research typically has

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the obvious public benefit we claim for it y . We political scientists can and should do a better job of making the public relevance of our work clearer and of doing more relevant work’ (quoted in Cohen, 2009). So what’s stopping us? What are the reasons why relevance seems hard to demonstrate and achieve? The idea that political or social science should be relevant is not a new one. In some countries it has been given a sharper focus as part of a target-driven, management culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2000). For example, in the UK measuring the impact of research in terms of its wider utility, as part of a

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‘The idea that political or social science should be relevant is not a new one’.

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at the very heart of its foundation (Brown and Ainley, 2005) – to grapple with issues of sustaining peace between nations – but a substantial and growing gap has been identified as characterizing the relationship between theory and practice for several decades (Walt, 2005). The idea of relevance may have drifted down the profession’s agenda but it has not lacked powerful advocates. Within the social sciences there has always been a strong stream of promoters for the idea that social science ‘ought to provide useful answers to useful questions’ (Gerring, 2001: 247). Most famously in political science, Harold Lasswell in 1956 (Lasswell, 1956; see also Lerner and Lasswell, 1951) used his presidential address to the American Political Science Association to advocate that political scientists turn their knowledge much more explicitly and effectively to address issues of practice, although his advocacy of ‘a policy science of democracy’ met a largely sceptical reception (Farr et al, 2006). Robert Putnam (2003) used his presidential address to call to attention the public role of political science, drawing on his own substantive contribution around issues of social capital and political disengagement. In the case of IR, Alexander George (1993) stands out as one among a number of advocates for a stronger connection between theory and practice (Walt, 2005). Joseph Nye (2009: 252) uses his contribution to 100 perspectives on the Future of Political Science to suggest that political scientists ‘should devote more attention to unanswered questions about how our work relates to the policy world we are in’ (see also in the same volume Prewitt, 2009).

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system for deciding how to allocate public funds to Universities, has caused a storm of discussion since its proposal in 2009 (O’Gorman, 2009). Many of the objections raised relate to the difficulties involved in fairly and effectively measuring impact but there are also concerns about the threat to ‘blue skies’ research and the restriction of the research agenda of academics. Yet the idea of utility has for long been connected to debate about the social sciences. You might defend the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’ or a commitment to ‘blue skies’ research for the natural sciences but Gerring (2001: 250–251) suggests ‘no serious person y would adopt the thesis of social science for social science’s sake. Social science is science for society’s sake’ (emphasis as in original). Social science does not have to have immediate policy relevance but its subject matter is inherently connected to pressing issues of concern in our world. It is the study of society for society. Embodied in the emerging idea of social science throughout the twentieth century was a clear sense that research was going to be of benefit as a means to support social and economic reform (Featherman and Vinovskis, 2001). Assumptions about the importance of relevance to political science do appear, however, to have shifted over time. In the early decades of the journal American Political Science Review, articles dealing with issues of policy advocacy or criticism were by no means dominant but were not uncommon. But by the early 1960s, ‘prescription had almost entirely vanished from the Review. If “speaking truth to power” and contributing directly to public dialogue about the merits and demerits of various courses of action were still numbered among the functions of the profession, one would not have known it from leafing through its leading journal’ (Sigelman, 2006). In the case of international relations, the idea of relevance was

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‘The intellectual challenge in designing solutions is different to that involved in identifying a problem’.

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is different to that involved in identifying a problem. Design brings forth a particular set of intellectual puzzles and practices, which will require new thinking and a new orientation from the profession. The ultimate blockage on the road to relevance is that political scientists have failed to grasp and then tackle the novel intellectual challenge that is involved.

THE DYNAMICS OF THE POLICY PROCESS MAKE ACHIEVING RELEVANCE CHALLENGING

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In short, the idea that political studies and international relations should be relevant to citizens and policymakers to better understand the world, with an eye to changing it in a positive direction, is not novel and indeed provides the strongest leitmotif in widely accepted justifications for the social sciences in general (Gerring, 2001: 244–257). So why has relevance been difficult to deliver? This paper explores four possible explanations. Two can be labelled as issues of power and politics and two can be labelled as matters of intellectual weakness and underdevelopment. The first argument is that the use of research in the world of policy is prone to the play of politics and power and the windows of opportunity for political science to demonstrate its relevance may therefore be relatively narrow and infrequent. The second explanation focuses more on the lack of incentives and organizational blockages experienced by the profession of political science, which in turn limit the numbers of those academics that seek to make their work obviously and directly relevant. The third argument rests on the intellectual holes in the argument for relevance made by some advocates of relevance and reflects the difficult issues of untangling matters of fact and value and more generally questions over the status of what political scientists offer as evidence and advice. It is when it comes to the fourth and final argument that the paper turns to ground that is perhaps less familiar to those who have reflected on the issue of the relevance of political science. Here the argument is that political science lacks a design arm and as a result it lacks the intellectual foundations to design solutions to political problems. Coming to the table with an understanding of the problem is not enough to achieve relevance, as both policymaker and citizen are more interested in solutions. The intellectual challenge in designing solutions

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The heart of politics in the policy process is to decide in the context of conflict and disagreement what if anything should be done, and given time constraints and the limited attention that policymakers can devote to one among a multitude of potential issues, political scientists like other players have to find their ‘window of opportunity’ (Kingdon, 1995). Policy decisions as Weiss (1993: 93–94) argues ‘are not neutral, antiseptic, laboratory type entities. They emerged from the rough and tumble of political support, opposition, and bargaining’. When they go down the road of relevance, political scientists enter the world of politics, although it is surprising how sometimes they tend to forget the obvious characteristics of that world. The use of research is not directly in the control of researchers and it is naı¨ve not to recognize that research can become a weapon in an ongoing political battle. Studies can be misused by political interests, the media

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relevance by failing to produce results in a timely way, as the right ‘window of opportunity’ is open. As Carol Weiss (1979: 431) argued some three decades ago, ‘There has been much glib rhetoric about the vast benefits that social science can offer if only policy makers paid attention. Perhaps it is time for social scientists to pay attention to the imperatives of policy-making systems and to consider soberly what they can do, not necessarily to increase the use of research, but to improve the contribution that research makes to the wisdom of social policy’.

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INCENTIVE STRUCTURES AND RESTRICTED CHANNELS FOR TRANSFER LIMIT THE CAPACITY FOR RELEVANCE

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can over-simplify complex research and the political leaning of the researchers may inappropriately colour the findings of the research. Beyond these issues of politics and power the policy process has a temporal dynamic that means that research findings can find it difficult to find the right opening. As political scientists we would view as naı¨ve an understanding of the policy process driven by the rational decision-making model. The policy process does not follow the linear process of conceptualizing the problem, designing intervention, providing solutions and evaluating that intervention. As all the established policymaking models tell us, from the multiple streams framework to punctuated-equilibrium models (for a review see Sabatier, 2007), the policy process involves a complex set of elements that interact over time. Problems, solutions and political opportunities may all become prominent at different times. It is clear that researchers hardly ever find themselves in the position of problemsolving in which there is an agreed view of a challenge and a consensus that something should be done about it. Only rarely will the conditions emerge for a pure problem-solving model: a clear and shared definition of the problem, timely and appropriate research answers, political actors willing to listen and the absence of strong opposing forces. Much more often political scientists, like many other policy players, struggle to find the appropriate window of opportunity in which to make their impact. Policymaking and academic work, moreover, operate with different understandings of time constraints. As Walt (2005: 35) argues: ‘scholars want to make their work as accurate as possible, even if this takes longer, but policy makers rarely have the luxury of waiting’. Political science research operates with an elastic view of time but this may as a result find itself losing the battle for

It would appear that there are obstacles in the policy world that make it less than a hospitable world for academic research findings. Still, many academics seem to eschew relevance. As Stephen Walt argues, the incentive structure to engage in the world of politics and policy is conspicuously absent: The modest impact of contemporary IR theory on policy makers is no accident, because the creation of IR theory conforms to the norms and incentives of the academic profession rather than the needs of policy. IR scholarship is often impenetrable to outsiders, largely because it is not intended for their consumption; it is written primarily to appeal to other members of the profession y . This is not a new phenomenon; both scholars and policy makers have been complaining about it for decades y . It is a direct consequence of the professionalization of the academic world and the specific incentives that scholars within the academy have established for themselves. The gerry stoker

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What applies to IR applies to other parts of the enterprise, that is political science. New career scholars know that publishing in good quality journals is their ticket to a successful career. Making an effort to promote the relevance of their work would seem a potentially unproductive waste of time. General theory and ground-breaking work that heads off in novel directions is valued over applied theory. Empirical work is more likely to be assessed according to the virtuosity or novelty of its methodology, rather than the relevance of its topic or findings to external observers. ‘The discipline has tended to valorise highly specialized research (as opposed to teaching or public service) because that is what most members of the field want to do’(Walt, 2005: 38). There are not many academics that spend much time in the world of government or policy advice and the numbers that have taken up that role in recent years has probably declined. Even in the United States, where an extensive system of appointments gives greater scope for scholars to move from academia to government and vice versa, the tendency has been for the traffic to diminish. As Nye (2008: 594) comments: ‘The United States has a tradition of political appointments that is amenable to “in and out” circulation between government and academia. While a number of important American scholars such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski have entered high-level foreign policy positions in the past, that path has tended to become a one-way street. Not many top-ranked scholars are currently going into government, and even fewer return to

contribute to academic theory’. If you enter the world of government from the academy, chances are you will never find your way back. One reason why it is so difficult to work across the divide is that academic work is becoming increasingly specialized and it is difficult to keep up-to-date unless you are a full-time academic. In his review of 100 years of political science publishing and the evolution of the profession in the United States, Lee Sigelman (2006) points out the dominant leitmotif has been fragmentation, or perhaps more neutrally specialization, within the discipline. That specialization has brought some advances, it could be argued, and could in theory have better equipped academics to offer policy-relevant work, given the enhanced intensity and focus of their expertise. But, in practice, it has tended to widen the gap between policy and academics as the latter has become more specialized and less accessible in their knowledge production. The resultant growth and specialization of knowledge means that no one – least of all time-poor policymakers – can keep up with the subfields of political science (Nye, 2008). Specialization has also taken a hold on the very process of transferring knowledge from outside government to the inside. Think tanks, the media, public intellectuals, professional associations, nongovernmental organizations and other bodies now play a stronger role in linking to policymakers than universities or academics more generally. Universities are no longer at the fore in the transmission of ideas to the world of policy. They have been crowded-out and out-competed. As a result, the idea that has comforted some academics – that their ‘big ideas’ eventually drip down to the policy world, perhaps via their students – may not hold true. As Walt (2005: 40) comments:

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academic field of IR is a self-regulating enterprise, and success in the profession depends almost entirely on one’s reputation among one’s peers. There is therefore a large incentive to conform to the norms of the discipline and write primarily for other academics. (Walt, 2005: 38)

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This is a comforting view insofar as it places academic theorists at the

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live in. Moreover, what constitutes relevance is not fixed. It can vary according to time, circumstance and, indeed, the standpoint of the observer (Gerring, 2001). Expressed in this way it seems difficult to see how any academic could object to the idea of relevance or deny that they might be relevant. The rub comes not necessarily when the discussion moves on to policy relevance, but more when the focus moves generally to the question of ‘what to do’? Describing and explaining an issue, event or context may offer relatively comfortable territory for most academics. Even a more specific diagnosis of a problem or policy challenge might be acceptable terrain for many. But queasiness can begin to set in when it comes to the next stages in the potential exchange between academics and the world of relevance. Here the basis of the exchange is premised on prediction, prescription or evaluation (Walt, 2005). It is when moving towards these activities that doubts about the soundness of the intellectual case for relevance begin to surface and hold back engagement. For many academics it at these stages that they start to think they are glad to be irrelevant. Before looking at some of the intellectual challenges that have come to grip, let me consider one objection that I find less convincing. One proffered reason to object to relevance is that when political scientists have pursued relevance they have often ended up putting their research into the hands of established power holders and simply acted to provide so-called expert judgement to underwrite partisan policymaking (Norton, 2004; Piven, 2004). There is the kernel of a truth in this observation, as an engaged

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The trickle-down theory only holds good if it is assumed that there are channels for the ideas to travel down. But the evidence suggests that the world of policy advice has become crowded with actors that have the communication skills, a commitment to provide immediate expertise at a moment’s notice and a zeal for engagement that that is not observable in the academic world. ‘The problem is further compounded by the use of academic jargon and the lack of interest in communicating in plain language to a policy public’ (Nye, 2008: 599). Although the specialists in universities’ media departments do their best to overcome the resistance or disinterest of many academics, there can be little doubt that many disciplines – political science included – are simply not geared up to compete to make an impact in the crowded world of policy advocacy that has been established in most advanced democracies.

‘y an engaged political science is inherently connected to the play of power’.

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pinnacle of the status hierarchy, leaves scholars free to do whatever they want, and assumes that their efforts will eventually be of value. There is also much to be said for allowing scholars to pursue ideas that are not tied to specific policy problems, because wide-ranging inquiry sometimes yields unexpected payoffs. But there are also grounds for questioning whether the current division of labour is optimal.

DOUBTS ABOUT THE INTELLECTUAL CASE FOR RELEVANCE UNDERMINE ITS PRACTICE It is possible to make a general argument for the importance of relevance to social science. As noted earlier, and given its subject matter of the study of society, social science has an inbuilt connection to the challenges and problems of the world. In a broad sense, all social scientists have something to say about the societies they

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evaluations to move them beyond the status of simply being their opinion is likely to be vacuous and untenable. In political science’s reaction to Harold Lasswell’s advocacy of a science of democracy, you can observe all three of these elements in challenges from academics (Farr et al, 2006). ‘To scientific ears’, Heinz Eulau explained, the policy sciences sounded ‘tantalizingly ideological y serving the parochial values of democracy rather than y the values of science and knowledge which are presumably universal’ (quoted in Farr et al, 2006: 584). To others the problem was the claim to special expertise and status for political scientists. Many objected to the scientific pretensions of Lasswell’s vision and its elitist implications that debate would be led by expert political scientists. Others detected in Lasswell’s work a latent commitment to active citizenship and engaged politics that required a more explicit citizen involvement and education, and a stronger development of devices to support deliberation and public discussion – what might be called ‘a policy science of participatory democracy’ (Dryzek, 1989: 118). Finally, the unifying principle of the pursuit of ‘dignity’ that Lasswell proposed as a guiding value for the science of democracy was derided as vague and incapable of providing a strong basis for making choices between policy options. For these and other reasons, including the ‘quietism, resignation, and intellectual conservatism’ (Farr et al, 2006: 586) of the profession, Lasswell’s vision of a political science community committed to a science of democracy fell on stony ground. Lasswell predicted in 1963 that ‘political scientists whose advisory roles are negligible y would be as rare as unicorns’ but as Farr et al (2006: 584, 585) go on to comment ‘political scientists were not generally convinced; the unicorns multiplied’. There are other doubts that have been raised about the intellectual case for relevance. One objection to the pursuit of

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political science is inherently connected to the play of power. The political scientist in pursuit of relevance, however, does not need to be a technician of the state working for power and against the powerless. There are some cases in which political scientists have sided with power and some in which they have not. A careful and detailed empirical study by a variety of American academics (Macedo, 2005) into the failings of the political system of the United States – a study under the auspices of the American Political Science Association – has produced a set of reform measures that are sufficiently radical not to be seen as a defence of the status quo. There are difficulties and challenges that social scientists have dealing with power. Political scientists, in particular, should be sensitive to these issues but this objection to relevance is not one of the strongest. There are several difficulties confronting the intellectual case for relevance. The first is that the uneasy relationship between ‘facts and values’ comes more sharply into focus as you enter the world of prediction, prescription and evaluation. There are at least three types of objection that come to the fore. The first is to claim that the empirical and the normative need to be kept separate for effective science and any blurring of the boundaries in pursuit of relevance is undesirable. A second line of attack accepts that empirical and normative theorizing are intertwined to such an extent that they cannot be separated, so that when social scientists move into the world of relevance they should not seek any special status borne out of their expertise. At most, they can claim that their knowledge is only a particular organized form of opinion, as valid – but no more so – as others that might stem from direct experience, craft practice and so on. The third objection is that any guiding value or framework that academics might use to steer their predictions, prescriptions and

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political scientists are comfortable with the idea that their work could inform and enlighten; they are less comfortable when their role is pushed towards prediction, prescription and evaluation. Political scientists appear hesitant about how to manage the relationship between normative and empirical theorizing – indeed a common response is an ostrich-like refusal to confront the issue – and unclear about the quality and capacity of their theories and evidence to carry the burden of solution-seeking rather than, at best, diagnosis.

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relevance is that in many areas the evidence may not be clear enough to allow for clear and workable solutions to be identified. Claims to be able to establish causality that could in turn guide a claim to provide solutions should be treated with scepticism. Those who are inclined to see political science as an attempt to develop causal statements about general features of society may nevertheless hold the view that these statements at best can come in probabilistic form. As Walt (2005: 37) notes ‘a scholar might be delighted by a theory predicting that, on average, a 20% increase in X would produce a 25% decrease in Y, but a policy maker will ask whether the problem now occupying his inbox is an outlier or an exception to this general tendency’. One response might be to develop more contextual, middle-range theory (George, 1993). Although this approach can have advantages for the policymaker in that it is sensitive to his or her situation, it can also lead to a highly contingent form of advice: ‘if you do X, then Y will occur, assuming conditions a, b, c, and q all hold, and assuming you do X in just the right way’ (Walt, 2005: 36). Some policymakers might wonder about the value of such circumscribed advice. Advice might be easier to give in stable settings but it is more often asked for in situations of uncertainty and change in which making claims about the special knowledge of political science might be more problematic. Some social scientists, of course, hold that the pursuit of scientific-style knowledge is pointless. Piven (2004) argues that attempts to identify linear cause-and-effect dynamics when examining a problem leads to the attempt to build policy on fictitious grounds as realities are always more complex than any simple model can capture. There is a general argument that can be made for relevance of disciplines such as political science that look at particular aspects of the working of society. Most

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Dealing with the interface of normative and empirical theorizing is not made easier by the gap in the discipline between those that deal with normative theories and seek to argue about how political arrangements should be, and those that deal in empirical theory that try to account for how politics works in practice (Shapiro, 2003; Smith, 2009). The two sides of the discipline are often uninformed about each other’s positions and the result is doubly unfortunate ‘because speculation about what ought to be is likely to be more useful when informed by relevant knowledge and y because explanatory theory too easily becomes banal and method-driven when isolated from the pressing normative concerns’ (Shapiro, 2003: 2). One response has been to call for political science to move to a problemoriented focus in order to unify and share insights from various parts of the discipline, not least normative and empirical theorists. The argument is that there should be a relationship between the world of political analysis and the practice of politics in the world. Political gerry stoker

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‘y there should be a relationship between the world of political analysis and the practice of politics in the world’.

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to some of the most pressing problems faced by our political systems (Peters et al, 2010). This failure to address and score highly on the solution-oriented side of the relevance challenge is a reflection of a lack of design thinking within the discipline of political science. To meet the challenge of finding solutions, political science needs to develop a design arm. Designing solutions is more than simply applied political science; it is more than doing political science that makes a direct connection to policy and practise. It requires a shift in our discipline of thinking, as illustrated in Table 1. The crucial insight here is provided by Herbert Simon (1996), who argues that academics who examine the artificial, things that are created by human beings, have attempted to follow models of investigation suited to examining the natural rather than the artificial. Artificial things have functions, goals and the capacity for adaptation. They exist for a purpose, while natural things exist. The classic approaches of science are suited

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science should as part of its vocation seek not to pursue an agenda driven by its own theories or methods as if it was in a separate world, sealed off from the concern of its fellow citizens. As Shapiro (2004: 40) puts it, the problems addressed by the profession need to be ‘theoretically illuminating and convincingly intelligible to outsiders’. If the discipline was re-oriented in this manner it would enliven both normative and empirical theorizing by bringing into focus new and challenging agendas and also provide a more powerful claim to relevance on the part of the discipline (Walt, 2005; Nye, 2008, 2009; Prewitt, 2009). Many political scientists could accept, at a general level, the virtues of a more problem-oriented approach. A strong case could be made that a great deal of political science has a lot to say about the problems of our political systems, if properly communicated and synthesized. Yet, even if that intellectual battle was won there remains much more doubt about the capacity of the profession to deliver solutions. Many political scientists could be moved to answer the question: what’s wrong? But many fewer appear able to grapple successfully in depth – with institutional clarity and a clear sense of how to achieve delivery – with the question of what should be done. Even if the bar is lowered to identify appropriate trade-offs and options, political science fails to offer much in the way of solutions

Table 1: Two modes of thinking: science and design Attributes K K K

K K K

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Focus Mode of thinking Empirical-normative thought Form of rationality Key tool of reasoning Form of end statement

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Science K K K

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On the natural Analytical Kept separate-exclude the normative Comprehensive Categories Descriptive, causal: what is

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Design K K K

K K K

On the artificial Synthesizing Embraced-empirical pursuit of normative goal Bounded Placements Means to an end: how an objective could be achieved


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distinctiveness of design thinking. As Simon points out, the science of design is not a simple derivative of pure science, it is a neglected pathway. It is a different, equally valid, and demanding way of looking at the challenge of academic understanding. In hankering after academic respectability, political scientists and others have neglected the design dimension of their studies (Simon, 1996: 112). The designer needs to address the issue of the relationship between normative and empirical theory. While the classic response of the scientist is to separate and exclude the normative, the designer embraces normative thinking. In Simon’s vision, one finds a commitment to theorizing that is rigorous and empirically supported once the goal has been established; indeed the designer is not required to, or may not want to, endorse the goal in question. Whether such a distinction is possible to maintain is not clear in two senses. First, goals and the means to achieve those goals can contain normative elements in their definition and justification. Second, it appears unlikely that many political scientists would be happy to design means to ends that they thought were undesirable. Underlying Lasswell’s vision of a science of democracy (1956) or Dryzek’s (1989) call for a science of participatory democracy is a sense that the overarching framework for design in political science is set within a commitment to open democratic debate and the presence of a real politics of open deliberation and exchange. The designer is signing up to support that process of democratic politics rather than support every product of that process. Design thinking proceeds with a modified form of rationality to the one that tends to dominate in scientific exchange. To make an inference in scientific debate is to make a claim about a cause of an event that comprehensively excludes rival explanations to the one being offered. The procedure of the scientist is

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to exploring the world of nature and arguably to some extent the world of the social. Leaving aside the wider debates about the appositeness of the natural science approach to the study of society, the key point to be emphasized here is that when you enter the world of solutionseeking you are entering the world of design. As Simon (1996: 111) puts it: ‘everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into the preferred ones’. The classic focus of science is on existing arrangements, although not necessarily stable situations. The classic focus of design thinking is on intentional change. Science tends to proceed by analytical division, but design rests on bringing a range of knowledge together to achieve a purpose. As Simon (1996: 4) writes, ‘We speak of engineering as concerned with “synthesis” whereas science is concerned with “analysis”. Synthetic or artificial objects – and more specifically prospective artificial objects having desired properties – are the central objective of engineering activity and skill. The engineer, and more generally the designer, is concerned with how things ought to be – how they ought to be to attain goals and to function’. We, as political scientists, have too often asked ourselves questions as if we were studying a natural world rather than an artificial one. One road leads to an attempt to establish mechanisms and causes and the other (while not neglecting those concerns) starts by asking about goals and purposes and how they could be achieved. The first road is generally viewed to be the more lauded and its practice is referred to as primary research. The latter, if practiced at all, is often described in semipejorative language, as applied social science. Clearly, our political systems are artificial human creations. We need to recognize the implications of that when approaching their study. We need to recognize the importance and

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While relatively fixed categories are central to classic scientific thinking, the designer’s key tools of thinking have to have a more flexible character. As Buchanan (1992: 13–14) argues:

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Understanding the difference between a category and a placement is essential if design thinking is to be regarded as more than a series of creative accidents. Categories have fixed meanings that are accepted within the framework of a theory or a philosophy, and serve as the basis for analyzing what already exists. Placements have boundaries to shape and constrain meaning, but are not rigidly fixed and determinate. The boundary of a placement gives a context or orientation to thinking, but the application to a specific situation can generate a new perception of that situation and, hence, a new possibility to be tested. Therefore, placements are sources of new ideas and possibilities when applied to problems in concrete circumstances.

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in theory at least one of comprehensive rationality: define the situation; identify all possible explanations; test to find the key cause or causes and exclude all others; continue until all options are exhausted; and then express your findings in a general and parsimonious manner. The procedure of the designer reflects much more the processes of bounded rationality. A first stage involves establishing some representation of the design problem that is not ‘correct’ but one that can be ‘understood by all participants and that will facilitate action rather than paralyze it’ (Simon, 1996: 143). The process is one in which the designer interacts with the participants in a process of reflection. This may involve offering quantitative or qualitative research but in the end ‘numbers are not the name of this game but rather representational structures that permit functional reasoning’ (Simon, 1996: 146). Decisionmaking is conditioned by the cognitive limitations of the human mind. Designers reason, but they do not do so in the heroic style of classical science. When faced with a decision, designers do not think about every available option; they think in terms of rules of thumb. Moreover, the process of design feedback is key for the designer. Building in feedback or learning mechanisms is central to design thinking (Stoker and John, 2009). This feature is vital because although the nature of the challenges faced by designers – especially those from political science – is that the problems they confront are likely to be ‘wicked’ in nature. Wicked problems are often initially ill-formulated, information about them can be missing or contradictory, those that want change tend to hold opposing views about what they want and what to do, and the ramifications of any one change may be difficult to judge. As such there is ‘a fundamental indeterminacy in all but the most trivial design problems’ (Buchanan, 1992: 15–16).

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A scientist is not allowed to change the category of something and is actively encouraged to avoid concept stretching (Sartori, 1991). If you observe a cat and a dog you are not allowed to invent a new category of a ‘cat-dog’ but rather you are required to move up the ladder of abstraction to the category of animal. But the designer actively engages in concept stretching to see if a solution that it understood to work in one setting can be made to fit a problem in another setting. Placement offers a way of responding to a design challenge – a solution – but the exact meaning and import of that response is adjusted to the situation at hand. The end goal of the designer is to offer a solution. The end goal of the scientist is to offer an explanation. The designer can only rest when a solution has been offered and that which is offered appears to work. The contrast offered here between design

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The blockages to achieving relevance for political science are considerable. Can the obstacles be overcome? In terms of engagement with the policy process, it would seem that political science could create windows of opportunity. In the doing, political science could play a greater role, although it cannot of course overturn – nor should it want to (Dryzek, 1989) – the essentially political nature of that process. Our expertise should be at the service of democracy, not above it. The inward-looking orientation of agenda-setting within the academic profession may prove a harder obstacle to overcome. As Nye (2009: 253) advises younger scholars not to ‘hold their breath’ when waiting for a re-orientation towards a stronger focus on questions of relevance; ‘the trends in academic life appear to be headed in the

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opposite direction’. However, changing context may have an impact. First, the internet lowers the barriers to engagement (Gibson, 2009) not only to citizens but also to academics. Second, an internal focus might have seemed appropriate and easier to defend under the relatively benign conditions for advanced liberal democracies in the second half of the twentieth century. Given the threats to democracy, the challenges of globalization and the scale of environmental and climate change that are emerging in the twenty-first century, a more compelling case can be made for reorganization towards an external focus. The intellectual doubts about an enterprise of relevance can be addressed, especially if the challenges of a design approach are embraced. This paper has provided but a sketch of what a design arm to political science might look like, future work will need to challenge and develop that vision. We need all elements in the discipline to ask: have we got something relevant to say to the political challenges of today? To be sure, we will disagree about the nature of those challenges but we will have taken a step down the road to meeting the challenge of relevance. We might then be in a position to start tackling those blockages that remain in our path. The concluding suggestion of this paper is that ‘what many people call impossible may actually only be a limitation of imagination that can be overcome by better design thinking’ (Buchanan, 1992: 21).

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thinking and scientific thinking should not be exaggerated. In practice, they are two forms of rational thought – more closely related than the ideal type depiction suggested above would allow. It should be possible for many political scientists to shift their orientation towards design mode without a great deal of difficulty. The key point to be made here is that if relevance is going to become a stronger focus for political science, we need more than a re-orientation towards a problemoriented approach. We need to take on the challenges of design thinking.

References Brown, C. and Ainley, K (2005) Understanding International Relations, 3rd revised edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Buchanan, R. (1992) ‘Wicked problems in design thinking’, Design Issues 8(2): 5–21. Cohen, P. (2009) ‘Field study: Just how relevant is political science?’ New York Times, 20 October. Available at NYTimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/books/20poli.html?partner ¼, accessed 15 December 2009. Dryzek, J.S. (1989) ‘Policy sciences of democracy’, Polity 22(Autumn): 97–118. Farr, J., Hacker, J.S. and Kazee, N. (2006) ‘The policy scientist of democracy: The discipline of Harold D Lasswell’, American Political Science Review 100(4): 579–587. gerry stoker

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Featherman, D.L. and Vinovskis, M.A. (2001) Social Science and Policy-making. A Search for Relevance in the Twentieth Century, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. George, A.L. (1993) Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy, Washington, DC: U.S. Inst. Peace Press. Gerring, J. (2001) Social Science Methodology. A Criterial Framework, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gibson, R. (2009) ‘New media and the revitalisation of political’, Representation 45(3): 289–299. Kingdon, J. (1995) Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies, 2nd edn. New York: HarperCollins. Lasswell, H.D. (1956) ‘The political science of science: An inquiry into the possible reconciliation of mastery and freedom’, American Political Science Review 50(December): 961–979. Lerner, D. and Lasswell, H. (eds.) (1951) The Policy Sciences, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Macedo, S. et al (2005) Democracy at Risk. How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation and What We Can Do About It, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Norton, A. (2004) ‘Political Science as a Vocation’, in I. Shapiro, R. M. Smith and T. E. Masoud (eds.) Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 67–82. Nye, J.S. (2008) ‘Bridging the gap between theory and policy’, Political Psychology 29(4): 593–603. Nye, J.S. (2009) ‘The Question of Relevance’, in G. King, K. Schlozman Lehman and N. H. Nie (eds.) The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, New York: Routledge, pp. 252–254. O’Gorman, F. (2009) ‘Goodbye to blue skies research’, The Guardian, 19 December. Available at http:// www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/19/research-excellence-framework-academic/print, accessed 22 January 2010. Peters, G., Pierre, J. and Stoker, G. (2010) ‘The Relevance of Political Science’, in D. Marsh and G. Stoker (eds.) Theories and Methods in Political Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 325–342. Piven, F.F. (2004) ‘The Politics of Policy Science’, in I. Shapiro, R. M. Smith and T. E. Masoud (eds.) Problems and Methods in the Study of Political Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 83–105. Pollitt, C. and Bouckaert, G. (2000) Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Prewitt, K. (2009) ‘Can (Should) Political Science Be a Policy Science?’, in G. King, K. Schlozman Lehman and N. H. Nie (eds.) The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, New York: Routledge, pp. 255–257. Putnam, R. (2003) ‘APSA presidential address: The public role of political science’, Perspectives on Politics 1(2): 249–255. Sabatier, P. (ed.) (2007) Theories of the Policy Process, Vol. 2, Boulder, CO: Westview. Sartori, G. (1991) ‘Comparing and miscomparing’, Journal of Theoretical Politics 3: 243–257. Shapiro, I. (2003) The State of Democratic Theory, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Shapiro, I. (2004) ‘Problems, Methods, and Theories, or: What’s Wrong with Political Science and What to do About It’, in I. Shapiro, R. M. Smith and T. E. Masoud (eds.) Problems and Methods in the Study of Political Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 9–41. Sigelman, L. (2006) ‘The coevolution of American political science and the American political science review’, American Political Science Review 100(4): 463–478. Simon, H. (1996) The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd edn. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Smith, G. (2009) Democratic Innovations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stoker, G. and John, P. (2009) ‘Design experiments: Engaging policy makers in the search for evidence about what works’, Political Studies 57: 356–373. Walt, S. (2005) ‘The relationship between theory and policy in international relations’, Annual Review of Political Science 8: 23–48. Weiss, C. (1979) ‘The many meanings of research utilization’, Public Administration Review 39(5): 426–431. Weiss, C. (1993) ‘Where politics and evaluation research meet’, American Journal of Evaluation 14: 93–106.

About the Authors Gerry Stoker, Professor of Politics at the University of Southampton, UK whose research deals with governance, political disenchantment, citizen empowerment and strategies for encouraging civic behaviour among citizens. His book, Why Politics Matters won the 2006 political book of the year award from the Political Studies Association of the UK.

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drude dahlerup Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm 10691, Sweden E-mail: drude.dahlerup@statsvet.su.se

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.45

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Starting from the first ‘Women in Politics’ workshop, Berlin 1977, the article looks at the development of this new research field within the framework of the ECPR. From a young gender blind political science in the 1950–1970s until today’s situation, where papers applying a gender perspective are presented in almost every ECPR workshop, and as many as 300 scholars participated in the First European Conference on Gender and Politics’, organised by the ECPR Standing Group on ‘Women/Gender and Politics’. The article scrutinises the discussion about ‘the male oligarchs of the ECPR’ and the accusation of ‘separatism’.

Keywords

women; gender; political science; gender studies

BERLIN 1977

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et me begin by taking you back to the ECPR joint sessions of workshops in Berlin in 1977. Among the workshops of that year, one could find the very first ECPR workshop with a gender perspective, entitled simply ‘Women in Politics’. This was also my very first international conference, at least outside of Scandinavia, and I was both excited and nervous at the prospect of meeting other political scientists who, like me, worked within this new research field:

Women’s Studies. The convenor was the Finnish sociologist Elina Haavio-Mannila. The programme of this workshop reflects the characteristic themes of the first period of women’s studies within political science, as well as the concerns about gaining a foothold within the universities. Women’s participation and representation in local, national and international political and other organisations will be compared with that of men. Historical and cross-national perspectives are included in the analysis of the european political science: 9 2010

(S85 – S98) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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From the very start, the argument was made in ECPR circles that the feminist scholars were ‘separatists’, since so many female political scientists were gathered in one place and went out dining together. In fact, three male scholars presented papers at this very first ECPR workshop on women in politics. During the following three decades, women’s studies, later to be renamed gender studies, gradually expanded. Today, the research area Politics and Gender is an internationally recognised discipline with its own scientific journals, a large and increasing number of dissertations and numerous international conferences and seminars. Thus, the development of women’s studies in political science is an integral part of the history of political science. In this article, I will analyse how this research field developed within the framework of the ECPR during the subsequent three decades. The article will look at both the organisational and the scientific development of the field.

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Elina Haavio-Mannilla was a leading scholar within the ‘sex role’ debate which had started in the 1960s, a critical research perspective that focused on the widespread socialisation into gendered stereotypes and the consequence for, among other things, sex segregation in education and in the labour market. Several papers at the Berlin workshop were written within this research approach. However, other researchers criticised the sex roles perspective for lacking a power perspective. The list of participants from the Berlin workshop contains many of those that were to become leading scholars within the new research field. The programme also reflects one of the hot issues of the day: Should women organise within established structures, such as political parties and trade unions, or in independent women’s movements? The emergence of the new radical and leftist independent women’s movement at the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s no doubt changed the research agenda in many ways. According to Elina Haavio-Mannila’s recollection, the problem was not with men in the ECPR. Leading Nordic scholars had supported the idea of a workshop on women in politics: Olof Ruin as chair of the programme committee was the initiator, and Erik Allardt was the one that contacted Elina Haavio-Mannila. Rather, the tension was between the many tough new feminists and established researchers.1

‘ y the development of women’s studies in political science is an integral part of the history of political science’.

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relationship between sex roles in politics and other political and social factors. Sex differences in political attitudes can be examined. Of special interest are women’s independent organisations in political parties, trade unions, and the women’s movement. Experiences and difficulties in introducing women’s studies in political science research and teaching will be compared. (Workshop programme, 1977).

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A YOUNG GENDER-BLIND POLITICAL SCIENCE Gender was simply not an issue in the young political science of the 1950s and 1960s. Students of today will probably find it difficult to imagine how it felt to be a young female student in a field that had absolutely no gender perspective at all, in which all of the teachers were male and in which the word ‘women’ could hardly be uttered without giving rise to giggles.

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‘The new women’s studies in political science argued, like historians, sociologists and many other feminist scholars at that time, that the category “women” cannot just be added – “add women and stir!” ’.

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the eternal feminine (Bourque and Grossholtz, 1974). It was a central argument for us that this critique not be seen as merely a moral plea based on the unfairness of excluding women, but rather as a critique of how prejudice hinders a proper scientific approach and a full understanding of society (Dahlerup, 1974). How was it possible, to take another example, to study the demand and supply of labour without paying any attention to the strong sex segregation in the labour market? Jane S. Jaquette asked the question y whether politics transcends sex, or merely ignores women (1997: vi). The new women’s studies in political science argued, like historians, sociologists and many other feminist scholars at that time, that the category ‘women’ cannot just be added – add women and stir! Different and broader approaches were needed, for instance, in the science of history (moving from the history of kings and wars to social history) or in political science (arguing for a broader definition of the political as formulated in the slogan of the contemporary, radical feminist movement: the private is political). How was it possible to break the male hegemony of the universities? Many of us gathered the necessary strength to challenge ‘the establishment’ from being part of the contemporary new women’s

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When I started studying political science in 1963, the University of Aarhus was the only Danish university that offered degrees within this new field. My mother and my grandfather had both been members of the Danish Parliament. Consequently, political science seemed an obvious choice for me, even though it was considered at that time to be an odd field of study for a young woman, only 10 per cent of the students of political science being women. It can be interesting to look retrospectively at how the subject of political science was constructed by the first professors of the subject, they themselves not having been political scientists by education. At the University of Aarhus, a department of political science was started in 1958. Of my first two professors, one was a historian, the other came from the discipline of law. Later, a third professor of international relations joined the institute, having a background in literature and journalism. In ‘comparative politics’, David Easton with his system analysis was the leading figure, and in the subject of ‘public administration’ Herbert A. Simon was no doubt the hero. No gender perspective was to be found in the teaching. If ‘women’, or more often ‘Woman’, were mentioned at all, the perspective was totally unscientific. Women belonged to the category of nature, unchangeable and not political relevant. As an example, our teacher saw no discrepancy between teaching us, on the one hand, that the most fundamental political preferences are formed during childhood and adolescence and, on the other hand, that married women tend to follow the political preferences of their husbands. Obviously, women have no childhood. The very first contributions from the nascent women’s studies within political science criticised the assumptions of the male as the norm for political behaviour, of male dominance and of

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In the years following the initial workshop in Berlin in 1977, a workshop on Women and Politics was organised almost every year at the joint sessions of the ECPR. During the Grenoble Joint sessions in 1978, a workshop entitled Women as Political Actors was directed by Helga Hernes at which eighteen papers were presented, many of which dealt with the historical development of women’s political representation in individual countries. In addition, the first papers on the new women’s movement were presented. Several book projects emerged from these the first ECPR workshops on women in politics. The Berlin workshop in 1977 inspired cross-national Nordic research on women in politics, resulting in the book Det uferdige demokratiet. Kvinner i nordisk politik, Nordic Council of Ministers 1983, published in English in 1985 as Unfinished Democracy. Women in Nordic Politics (Pergamon Press). Of the ten editors of this book, lead by Elina Haavio-Mannila,

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AFTER BERLIN

at least five were present at the Berlin meeting. Several European cross-national research projects were initiated on the basis of ECPR workshops, in line with one of the main ideas of the ECPR. Two edited volumes emerged from the Freiburg workshop in 1983 and the Salzburg workshop in 1984: The New Women’s Movement. Feminism and Political Power in Europe and the USA, edited by Drude Dahlerup (1986) and The New Politics of Abortion, edited by Joni Lovenduski and Joyce Outshoorn (1986). Since then, many other books have been published following ECPR workshops and research sessions. At individual political science departments, many young scholars were advised against specialising in women’s studies, and many of the first scholars worked year in and year out on the basis of temporary appointments and limited research grants. Many women’s study communities that flourished in the 1970s and early 1980s soon faded away, since few of these young female researchers received permanent positions and, consequently, left the university. It was during this early period that one of my own colleagues at Aarhus University suggested that I begin working on something general instead of women’s studies. I am glad that I did not follow his advice.

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movement, as it was called at that time – in contrast to the more established women’s organisations. Soon, women’s studies centres, usually interdisciplinary at first, popped up at most Western universities.2 The development into a comprehensive scientific discipline had begun, however this ‘long march into the institutions’ inevitably created tensions between Women’s Studies, on the one hand, and the activist feminist movement, on the other. For women’s studies in European political science, the ECPR gradually became more and more important, offering researchers, who were often working alone in the field within their departments, an institutional framework for meeting. The equalitarian workshop format of the joint sessions suited the feminist scholars well.

RESISTANCE TO OVERCOME Joni Lovnduski reports that at the Salzburg Joint Sessions in 1984, one vociferous ECPR Executive Committee member spoke for some others when he proclaimed in Saltzburg that the subject had now been dealt with, there was no more of interest to be learned and more workshops on the topic would lead participants to repeat themselves (Lovenduski, 2010: 32). For the record, I will mention two kinds of resistance that one could meet as a

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World Congress of IPSA in Chile in 2009, we celebrated the first 30 years of work of RC 19, which is now called Gender, Politics and Policy. On the European level a more permanent structure was needed as well.

THE GOTHENBURG SESSIONS IN 1986

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During the Joint Sessions in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1986, a meeting called by Diane Sainsbury resulted in the formation of the Standing Group on Women and Politics, in 2007 renamed Standing Group on Gender and Politics.3 Today, this is one of the oldest ECPR standing groups and also one of those growing most rapidly, although it has experienced its ups and downs since 1986.

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young female scholar. Sexist remarks target all women as sexual beings. It was a shock when my colleagues and I heard that the first women’s studies library at the University of Aarhus, of which we were so proud, was labelled by some male colleagues the menstruation room. Another example: When I at one point over lunch at the Department of Political Science happily reported that access to our Women’s Study Centre, which I had chaired for some time, would now be spread to other faculties in addition to humanities and social science, one of my colleagues, later to become a cabinet minister in a Social Democratic government, remarked with a grin that he also liked women when they spread them. Another type of hinder, difficult to cope with, was a lack of academic response. It was annoying to meet colleagues who, instead of giving an academic response to your paper or talk, would tell you about their divorce or how they ‘help’ their wives at home. Even today you can meet colleagues who are unable to discuss, for instance, gender quotas in an academic way but prefer to talk at length about why they are personally against gender quotas. Electoral gender quotas are a recent phenomenon that have been adopted by more than fifty countries around the globe and that, as such, are of scientific interest whether some researchers personally like quotas or not (Dahlerup, 2006; www.quotaproject .org). In 1979, the Research Committee (RC) 19 on Sex Roles and Politics was founded under the International Political Science Association, IPSA, and many of us also became active in this new international research co-operation. At every subsequent IPSA congress, the RC 19 has organised numerous panels and precongress events, in this way opening new opportunities for global research co-operation in the discipline. At the

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‘STATE FEMINISM’ No less than two women and politics workshops were organised for the Gothenburg joint sessions in 1986. The themes of these workshops illustrate very well how the research field was broadened. Joni Lovenduski and Joyce Outshoorn convened a workshop entitled Women, the European Welfare State and Sex Equality. The papers dealt with public policy, especially social policy, labour market policy and the new public equality policy, which was now being established as a policy area all over the Western world. A new concept, ‘state feminism’, was now introduced. In the beginning, this concept, which, it seems, developed among Nordic scholars, indicated the ambivalence of the young feminists towards state intervention, even for the purpose of equality. During the 1970s, theories of the patriarchal state had developed in line with the denunciation of the capitalist state among the New Left in general. Helga Hernes’ concept of the women friendly Scandinavian drude dahlerup

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political science as well as the theories of the left:

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In contemporary political theory, liberal or Marxist, gender is not viewed as a basic organizational factor in society as a whole or in the political sphere. Sex-gender problems are interesting only when empirical differences around the sex variable are observed (y) The aim of this workshop should be to stimulate political scientists to formulate new gender-relevant questions and to reformulate old gender-blind (but maybe implicitly male-biased) ones within the complex field of power. (y) As a fact women, in the 1970s and 1980s, have increasingly formed themselves as a political grouping. This process implies that the sex-gender relationship has become visible as a power relationship in all the different spheres of society. (Workshop programme, 1986)

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welfare state was initially somewhat controversial (Hernes, 1987). Not least of all, the dismantling of the welfare state in Eastern and Central Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union changed the general attitude towards the state. Thus, the feminist movement and feminist research started ‘to come to terms with the state’, ‘learning to live with the state’ or ‘the long march into the institutions’ – typical phrases from this transitional period. Today, public equality policy has expanded enormously in nation-states as well as in international institutions, as has research on this development. The concept of state feminism, or institutionalised feminism, is today a mainstream notion and can be found on the cover of some of the many books that have been published on equality policy, gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting, equality policy institutions and ‘machineries’, from Dorothy McBride Stetson and Amy G. Mazur’s important book from 1995, Comparative State Feminism, to Joyce Outshoorn and Johanna Kantola’s Changing State Feminism, which came out in 2007 based on papers from the Granada Joint Sessions in 2004.

THEORISING GENDER AND POWER Returning to Gothenburg 1986, the other women’s studies workshop was entitled Political Theories of Gender and Power and was convened by Anna G. Jona ´sdo ´ttir and Gun Hedlund-Ruth, themselves from Gothenburg. This workshop programme is also illustrative of the new scientific debates. In line with Carol Pateman’s seminal works, the workshop moved the slogan of the new feminist movement the private is political into a theoretical discussion of the public–private divide. It challenged the ‘gender blindness’ of mainstream

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While the leftist-radical new women’s movement was losing strength as a grass root movement in the middle of the 1980s, women’s studies became one of the specialised feminist activities that derived from this social movement (Dahlerup, 1998). However, in line with the movement, women’s studies were very critical of the liberal idea of just including women in existing society. The political theory workshop in Gothenburg in 1986 stated: How can we conceptualise the complicated problem that women seek an equal share of political power while they at the same time criticise power relationships?

‘GENDER’ The programme cited above also reveals the emergence of the new concept of ‘gender’, meaning the culturally formed (power) relationships between women and men. The distinction between sex and gender was a revolt against the

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In 1988, the Standing Group on Women and Politics started to issue a newsletter. Younger colleagues may have difficulties imagining the trouble in running a SG before email became common, which was not until the first half of the 1990s. Subscriptions costed d6.50 or US$10 a year to be sent by cheques, bankers’ drafts, post cheques or money orders. The first newsletters tell about other initiatives under way, such as CREW, Centre for Research on European Women, an independent, self-financed centre set up in 1980, and European Association of Women Political Scientists, EAWPS, a professional network for all women engaged in research on politics, that is, not confined to scholars in gender research. The contact person was Gunnel Gustafsson from Umea ˚ University in Sweden.5 These initiatives have come and gone, so the SG on Women/Gender and Politics has continuously also worked for the enhancement of women’s position in general within political science

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dominant view, even in science, that women and the relationship between women and men was more or less predetermined by biology. In the poststructural era, the distinction between gender and sex is also deconstructed, as even biology is seen as socially constructed.4 The Standing Group that came out of the Gothenburg joint sessions was, however, named the SG on Women and Politics. Joni Lovenduski explains this choice of name: We called it the Women rather than Gender and Politics group (in 1986), not because we did not understand the difference, but because we were not sure that anyone else did (a worry that continues). We also wanted to signal two concerns – the development of good research into the political science of sex and gender and the position of women in European political science (Lovenduski, 2010: 32). Joni Lovenduski became the first convenor of the Standing Group (1986– 1992) – together with Helga Hernes. However, soon after, Helga left research in order to become vice foreign minister of Norway, and Joyce Outshoorn stepped in. Other standing group convenors during this period were Gun Hedlund – (Ruth) from Sweden, Celia Valiente from Spain and Beatrice Halsaa from Norway.

THE WORK OF THE STANDING GROUP ON WOMEN AND POLITICS In general, the standing groups have long been an important element in the ECPR structure, supported early on by the ECPR with a small annual grant. The Standing Group on Women and Politics organised one gender and politics workshop at almost every joint session, sometimes even two, in order to encourage research on gender and politics and as a response to the growing demand for conferences in the field.

THE OLIGARCHS OF THE ECPR AND WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION Women’s fragile position as a clear minority in the profession was discussed in the newsletter and acted upon by the SG.6 How can the old boys’ network in the departments at home and in the ECPR leadership be broken? Even other SGs complained over the lack of space at the joint sessions and lack of representation in various committees – just look at the constant complaints of marginalisation from International Relations (IR). Moreover, all new disciplines are born out of critique of existing science, which implies conflicts with the mainstream. However, the emergence of women’s studies and the demand for more women in leadership positions was probably met with particular resistance and even anger, since it represented an attack on the fundamental self-perception drude dahlerup

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‘ y without the backing of the strong new feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, it would not have been possible to break through the walls of male tradition in political science and in other social sciences’.

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exactly this link to the radical feminist movement and its activism that lead many colleagues to see this new research field as a threat, as ‘separatism’ or ‘politicisation’.

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of academia as being free from any bias and being strictly based on merit as its selection criteria. The university seems to be the last institution in society to recognise that gender is a structuring factor in all institutions, even in academia. Giorgio Freddi, who served on the Executive Committee from 1982 to 1994, observes that in the first 15 years or so the ECPR had been governed in the old classic style of elite professors who ran their departments like feudal Barons and were not notably open to critical dialogue and collective decision making. In other words, the ECPR was run by a small group of oligarchs (Freddi, 2010: 41). Long into the 1980s, political science and, consequently, even the ECPR meetings were characterised by what Joyce Outshoorn identifies as a masculine political culture.7 The Standing Group was involved in promoting women to ECPR leadership positions. Monique Leyenaar, Nejmegen, was the first to run for the Executive on a feminist ticket, and she was elected in 1994 (and again in 1997) after strategic lobbying on the part of the SG, not least from Pippa Norris. Thanks to the chair, Mogens Pedersen, Odense, Monique was nominated as chair of the workshop committee. Later, in 1997, Joni Lovenduski became a member of the Executive Committee and served from 2000 to 2003 as vice-chair. The ‘oligarchs’, who had done a tremendously important job in getting the ECPR started and developing it into an important institution, naturally did not all welcome the attempts to democratise the ECPR, a demand that was made by many groups. As a scholar of social movements, it is my interpretation that without the backing of the strong new feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, it would not have been possible to break through the walls of male tradition in political science and in other social sciences. However, it was

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FROM 34 TO 300 RESEARCHERS

According to the first newsletter from November 1986 (Vol. 1, No. 1), the standing group had registered thirty-four names; by 1989 it had expanded to a 40page document with forty-two scholars from eighteen countries. Joni Lovenduski’s many letters of invitation to join the network – found in the archive – shows her importance for the SG during the first decade. Today, more than 300 scholars are on the mailing list of the SG (Newton and Boncourt, 2010: 35). The entire time, the ECPR Central Service has been helpful and has provided invaluable assistance to the work of the standing group. A website for the Women and Politics Standing Group, which included an electronic research register of scholars working on women and politics in Europe (www.ecprnet.eu/sg/ecppg)8 was created in 2003. The days of the typed registrations sent by snail mail were over.

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Of no less importance, papers written with gender perspectives were now to be found in almost every workshop of the ECPR, not just in those announced as workshops on gender and politics. This was a new development, which reflected the general strength of the gender perspective in world politics, not least after the UN Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing in 1995. In academia as well, gender research had moved from a predominant focus on women’s positions and agency to the study of all subjects from a gender perspective, be it war and peace, financial crises, terrorism, nationalism, citizenship, Europeanisation or the expansion of global institutions. At this point, an increasing number of large comparative research projects were initiated, many of which were based on workshops, panels or research sessions organised within the ECPR or IPSA. It is, of course, not possible to mention more than a few in this article. The anthology, edited by Joni Lovenduski and Pippa Norris, Gender and Party Politics (1993), grew out of the workshop at the Essex Joint Sessions in 1991. The RNGS project, directed by Amy Mazur and Dorothy McBride, was set up during a workshop under the Leiden sessions in 1993. It gathered thirty-eight researchers from

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The research field women/gender and politics continued to expand, both it its geographical outlook and in the selection of themes. The link between gender studies in North America and in Western Europe had always been strong, but after the fall of the Berlin Wall scholars from Eastern and Central Europe slowly began to join. The RC 19 under IPSA, later joined by an additional RC on women/gender and development proved to have a greater capacity to include scholars from the communist countries than the ECPR. But soon, the research field went from one with a Western focus to one with a global perspective. At the end of the 1990s, the Standing Group itself faded away to some extent and was at the point of dissolution when Judith Squires, who took over in 1999, injected new life into the SG. The group took advantage of the new opportunities when the ECPR added Ph.D. conferences and general conferences to the joint sessions. The general conferences, organised around numerous panels in line with congresses of the American Political Science Association, APSA, and of IPSA, meant that a substantial number of researchers were then able to gather. The ten section panels at the Marburg Conference in 2003, organised by Judith Squires, reveals the expansion of the field in terms of themes and an attempt to reach beyond (Western) Europe.

 Feminist Manifestos (Mieke Verloo, Nijmegen)  Women, Politics and the Media (Karen Ross, Coventry)  The Politics of Care (Hanne Marlene Dahl, Roskilde)  Sexual and Cultural Equality (Monica Mookherjee, Oxford)  International Institutions and Gender Equality (Mona Lena Krook, Columbia)  Globalisation and Democracy: Transnational, National and Local Politics (Birte Siim, Aalborg)  A round table on Gender Quotas in Central Europe (Drude Dahlerup, Stockholm)

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BROADENING THE SCOPE OF GENDER RESEARCH

 Reflecting on the Substantive Representation of Women (Karen Celis, Vrije University)  Translating Political Equality into Practice (Petra Meier, Vrije University)  Quotas in Comparative Perspective (Judith Squires, Bristol)  Restructuring the State (Birgit Sauer and Melissa Haussman (Vienna)

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(2003[1992]); Wendy Stokes, Women in Contemporary Politics (2005); and most recently Mona Lena Krook and Sarah Childs, Women, Gender, and Politics. A Reader (2010). Recently, an increasing number of master programmes and individual master courses have been established within the research field, following the general increase in master programmes all over Europe. Many non Anglo-Saxon departments are having lively debates over the choice of language for their master courses. Ph.D. courses within this research field are also expanding, and student exchanges are increasing at all levels. A Forum for Ph.D. students has recently been formed by the Standing Group. Today, 40–60 per cent of political science students at many universities are women, but the teachers are still overwhelmingly men (Akhtar et al, 2005).

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sixteen different countries and resulted in numerous books and articles, for example Comparative State Feminism, 1995, edited by McBridge Stetson and Mazur; and State Feminism and Political Representation, 2005, edited by Lovenduski. Current large EU-funded projects include many researchers with links to ECPR activities. FEMCIT: Gendered Citizenship in Multicultural Europe: The Impact of Contemporary Women’s Movements, which includes researchers from fifteen universities, has Beatrice Halsaa, Oslo, as its scientific leader. Mieko Verloo, Nejmegen, is the leader of the QUING and the MAGEEQ projects, both dealing with European gender equality policies. One would only wish that EU-funded research could be less bureaucratic, not requiring the endless writing of reports to younger bureaucrats in the Commission.

TEACHING

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

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In the teaching of political science, gender perspectives are now commonplace, in sharp contrast to when I started my university education. The specific courses on Gender and Politics now cover a broad range of topics. Teaching methodologies are developing (see Jansson et al, 2009).9 Unfortunately, international co-operation around curriculum development and teaching methods has been scarce thus far. However, the Standing Group on Gender and Politics has launched a ‘Syllabus archive’ on the website of the SG, and I encourage all teachers to report on their teaching. The number of textbooks is still limited, and more are needed. Among the recent textbooks published in English, but with an international outlook and, therefore, useful in other countries as well, one can mention Judith Squires’ two books, Gender in Political Theory (1999) and The New Politics of Gender Equality (2007); Valerie Bryson, Feminist Political Theory

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In 2007, the Standing Group changed its name from Women and Politics to Gender and Politics, after consultation with the members.10 The argument was that the new name is more inclusive and, thus, better reflects theoretical developments in the field, as it opens up for inclusion of masculinity studies as well as for studies of diversity and intersectionality.11 In 2007, Johanna Kantola (Helsinki/Bristol) and Karen Celis (Gent) took over, and, due to their exceptional organisational talent and hard work, the number of workshops and panels virtually exploded, which reflects the increased number of researchers in the field.12 Most remarkable was the large conference in Belfast in 2009, a historical landmark for this research field in Europe.13 The 1st European Conference on Gender and Politics was held in January 2009 at Queen’s University in Belfast, where Yvonne Galligan and the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics offered

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 1. Social Movements (Lee Ann Banaszak, Penn State)  2a. Political Parties and Quotas (Sarah Childs, Bristol)  2b. Political Representation (Joni Lovenduski, Birkbeck)  3. Sexuality and the Body (Joyce Outshoorn, Leiden)  4. Methods and Methodologies (Jacqui True, Auckland)  5. Violence, War and Security (Lene Hansen, Copenhagen)  6. Development and Democracy (Shirin Rai, Warwick)  7. States and Public Policies (Amy Mazur, Washington State)  8. Identity and Multiculturalism (Sawitri Saharso, Free University)  9. Citizenship (Birte Siim, Aalborg)  10. Feminism and the International (Christine Sylvester, Lancaster)

gender equality ombudsmen in order to create new institutions based on multiple, interacting grounds of discrimination. The growing, though not new, interest in methodologies was also reflected in papers presented at this conference. Perhaps learning from its strong interdisciplinary connections, gender research was among the first sub-disciplines within political science to – at least partly – take a discursive turn, however often in connection with empirical policy studies. It should be mentioned that a panel on research on men and masculinities, chaired by Terrell Carver, Bristol, was part of the programme under Section 4. The 2nd European Conference on Gender and Politics will take place at the Central European University in Budapest in 2011. Because of the extreme amount of work involved in organising this event, in the future it will only take place once every three years.

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to host the conference. A vast number of scholars, around 300, attended the conference, and more than 200 papers were presented. The conference was organised in ten sections, which illustrates developments in terms of scope, themes and approaches (see below). All in all, there were more than fifty panels and several round tables.

As can be seen, both old and new themes were represented at the conference. There are a growing number of research projects on multiculturalism, following the development of a multicultural Europe but also the growing xenophobia. The new term of the congress, gender þ, represents the increasing interest within feminist theory in perspectives of intersectionality, for example the interaction and interrelatedness of gender and other dimensions, foremost ethnicity and sexual preferences, though unfortunately, in my opinion, to a lesser extent class. The study of institutionalising intersectionality refers to the present tendency to close down public gender equality units or

WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY y It has been a long journey since the first ECPR workshop on ‘Women and Politics’ in Berlin in 1977. On this journey, the ECPR has undoubtedly been important in creating meeting places and in contributing to the legitimacy of the women’s studies/ gender research. The development of this research field may be summarised in the following way. This can also provide an answer to the distinguished colleague from the group of founding fathers who, to my surprise, said to me at a reception during the Mu ¨nster sessions in 2010: But it is a pity that women isolate themselves within the ECPR. Do we?

A FINAL OVERVIEW  Three hundred scholars participated in the First European Conference on Gender and Politics, Belfast 2009. drude dahlerup

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Europeanisation, political theory or public administration.  The participation of female scholars at ECPR sessions, summer schools, general conferences and graduate conferences has increased markedly since the start of the ECPR.  Gender balance has been attained at many universities in relation to undergraduate and graduate students in political science, though not among teachers and professors.  There is an enhanced demand for research on Gender and Politics on the part of state bureaucracies, local administrations, EU institutions and international organisations as well as on the part of the growing number of politicians working on gender issues and women’s organisations.

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 Interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals have been established in gender studies, both nationally and internationally, of which several deal with women in politics. Especially important is the journal Politics & Gender, which started in 2005.  An increasing number of academic books and articles are being published every year on Gender and Politics.  An increasing number of Ph.D. theses are being written within this research field.  ECPR Gender and Politics workshops and panels have always been open to male colleagues; a few have usually attended, among others scholars from the expanding field of masculinity studies.  Papers exploring subjects from a gender perspective can now be found in almost every workshop or panel, be it IR, party research, studies of

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1 Personal communication from Elina Haavio-Mannila, 9 May 2010. 2 Today, Centres for Gender Studies have been established at universities all over the world. There are very few countries today without a centre of this kind. 3 As early as the joint sessions in 1982 in Aarhus, Diane Sainsbury had called a meeting for women political scientists, and about twenty turned up (personal communication from D.S.). 4 The concept ‘constructed’ or ‘construction’, which is so dominant in today’s scientific language, was not yet in use in the 1980s. 5 Women and Politics Standing Group of the ECPR, Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 2, December 1987. 6 The ‘archive’ of the first decades of the standing group consists of just four big envelopes kindly sent to me by Celia Valiente. 7 Older men going for younger women was part of the masculine political science culture of the time, Joyce Outshoorn recollects (Celis and Kantola, 2009). In a typed essay, found in the archive, Jantine Oldersma ironises over the two groups of women present at the Grand Hotel: Women without badges – the wives of the leading scholars – and the younger female political scientists wearing badges but well in minority among the females present (must be Rimini, 1988). 8 ECPR Women and Politics Standing Group Report (2003: 5). 9 See also the Special Issue of EPS 3 (2) Spring 2004 from a symposium on feminist methodologies. 10 Most of the world’s numerous centres for women’s studies have similarly changed their names to centres for gender research or gender studies. 11 Minutes from the Business Meeting of the SG, 14 April 2008 (Rennes); Mail communication from Johanna Kantola, June 2010. 12 In 2009, Faith Armitage, Birkbeck, University of London succeeded Johanna Kantola as co-convenor of the standing group. 13 Unfortunately, many of the participants contracted the particular widespread flu of that January, including the author of this article, forcing them to cancel their participation in the Belfast conference.

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References

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Akhtar, P., Fawcett, P., Legrand, T., Marsh, D. and Taylor, C. (2005) ‘Women in the political science profession’, European Political Science 4(3): 242–255. Bourque, S.C. and Grossholtz, J. (1974) ‘Politics an unnatural practice: Political science looks at female participation’, Politics & Society, (Winter): 225–245. Bryson, V. (2003) Feminist Political Theory, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave/Macmillan. Celis, K. and Kantola, J. (2009) ‘When a Feminist Political Scientist Goes International’, in J. Oldersma, J. Swiebel and P. de Vries (eds.) Joyce weet je nog? Amsterdam: Academic Women’s Press, pp. 93–103. Dahlerup, D. (1974) ‘Betragtninger over de nye kvindestudiers baggrund, indhold og perspektiv’, (Reflections on the background of, the content and the perspective of the new Women’s Studies). Politica, 7. ˚ arg., nr. 2–3, ss. 2–53. Temanummer om kvindeforskning. Dahlerup, D. (ed.) (1986) The New Women’s Movement. Feminism and Political Power in Europe and the USA, London: Sage. Dahlerup, D. (1998) Rødstrømperne. Den danske Rødstrømpebevægelses udvikling, nytænkning og gennemslag 1970–85, (The Redstockings. The development, new thinking and impact of the Danish New Women’s Liberations Movement 1970–85). Bd.I-II. København: Gyldendal. Dahlerup, D. (ed.) (2006) Women, Quotas and Politics, New York/London: Routledge. ECPR. (2003) ECPR Women/Gender and Politics Standing Group’s Annual Reports, p. 5. Freddi, G. (2010) ‘The Art of Institutional Engineering: Three Organisational Changes’, in K. Newton and T. Boncourt (eds.) The ECPR’s First Forty Years 1970–2010, Colchester: ECPR, p. 41. Haavio-Manilla, E. (ed.) (1983) Det uferdige demokratiet, kvinner i nordisk politikk, Copenhagen: Nordic Councils of Ministers, In English 1985: Unfinished Democracy. Women in Nordic Politics. Oxford: Pergaon Press. Hernes, H.M. (1987) Welfare State and Women Power. Essays in State Feminism, Oslo: Norwegian University Press. Jansson, M., Wendt, M. and Åse, C. (2009) ‘Teaching political science through memory work’, Journal of Political Science Education 5(3): 179–197. Krook, M.L. and Childs, S. (2010) Women, Gender, and Politics. A Reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lovenduski, J. (ed.) (2005) State Feminism and Political Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lovenduski, J. (2010) ‘The ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics’, in K. Newton and T. Boncourt (eds.) The ECPR’s First Forty Years 1970–2010, Colchester: ECPR, pp. 32–33. Lovenduski, J. and Norris, P. (1993) Gender and Party Politics, London: Sage. Lovenduski, J. and Outshoorn, J. (1986) The New Politics of Abortion, London: Sage. McBride Stetson, D. and Mazur, A.G. (eds.) (1995) Comparative State Feminism, Thousand Oaks: Sage. Newton, K. and Boncourt, T. (2010) The ECPR’s First Forty Years 1970–2010, Colchester: ECPR. Outshoorn, J. and Kantola, J. (2007) Changing State Feminism, New York: Palgrave/Macmillan. Squires, J. (1999) Gender in Political Theory, Cambridge: Polity. Squires, J. (2007) The New Politics of Gender Equality, New York: Palgrave/Macmillan. Stokes, W. (2005) Women in Contemporary Politics, Cambridge: Polity.

Websites Website of the Standing Group on Gender and Politics, http://www.ecprnet.eu/sg/ecppg. Gendered Citizenship in Multicultural Europe. Research project funded by the European Commission, http://www.femcit.org. Policy frames and implementation problems. The case of gender mainstream. Research project funded by the European Commission, http://www.mageeq.net. Quality in gender+equality policies. Research project funded by the European Commission, http:// www.quing.eu. Website on electoral gender quotas worldwide, run by Stockholm University in co-operation with International IDEA and the Inter-parliamentary Union, IPU, http://www.quotaproject.org.

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About the author

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Drude Dahlerup graduated from Aarhus University, today she is a professor of Political Science at Stockholm University. Among her research fields are women’s political representation, the history of women’s movements and feminist theory. She is engaged in comparative research on the new global trend to adopt electoral gender quotas. She edited Women, Quotas and Politics, Routledge 2006, and is used as a consultant on quotas worldwide.

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looking back to move forward: historicising the construction of disciplinary narratives in european political science and international relations heather savigny

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School of Political Social and International Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7PN, UK E-mail: h.savigny@uea.ac.uk

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.39

Abstract

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Politics and International Relations (IR) tend to be discussed as separate disciplines. Rather than emphasising their shared divisions and methodological differences, dominant narratives separate the two, but these narratives also serve to reinforce and legitimate (to slightly differing degrees) the dominance of American positivism. As such, it is argued that if we are to understand the contemporary state of both disciplines, it is useful to reflect on their historical development. The aim of this article is (briefly) to map critically the development of Politics and IR as disciplines that, while having differing historical beginnings, have developed as parallel rather than integrated disciplines facing similar internal epistemological, methodological and cultural divisions. It is noted, however, that their parallel development is uneven, with challenges to the mainstream coming far earlier in IR than Politics, and as such opening the way for much greater acceptance of the notion of methodological pluralism in contemporary IR (outside the US) than in the study of Politics. Further, it is argued that the writing of histories of the disciplines thus far have served to legitimate and reinforce dominant Western conceptions of IR and Politics both descriptively and normatively.

Keywords

political science; international relations; disciplinary history; critical historiography

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article, but is done through a different mechanism. The argument presented here is that greater pluralism may be possible first, through having a critical understanding of the way in which disciplinary narratives have been constructed to privilege dominant perspectives. Second, that in understanding the way in which disciplines have developed, it is useful to reflect more broadly on both internal and external features that may exert influence over their respective trajectories. The former is concerned to give an historical overview of the histories of the disciplines, and to draw attention to the way in which these accounts function in reinforcing dominant narratives. This is done in conjunction with the secondary aim of providing a more critical history of the discipline. The main body of the article draws out the parallel trajectories, debates and divisions in both Politics and IR, and highlights some of their historical differences, which, it is suggested, have contributed to the differences in the contemporary status of debates. The article is underpinned by a critical historiographical approach, and therefore begins by discussing how this kind of approach enables a reflection on the histories of the current state of the disciplines. Underlying this is the assumption that to open up disciplines to greater plurality requires rendering explicit the dominant power relations that underpin them.

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o use the term European Political Science implies a distinct cultural variation of the analysis of politics, and clearly other articles in this special issue draw attention to this particular cultural variation of political science. This article begins with the view that in order to understand European Political Science, it is useful to situate it within the wider context of the discipline as a whole. When exploring this development, however, what is less commonly discussed, and indeed is absent from the existing academic literature, is reflection upon the relationship between the development of Political Science and its ‘sister’ discipline International Relations (IR). The aim of this article is to remedy that deficiency, and to highlight the similarities and subtle differences between the cultural and methodological developments in both. IR1 and Politics2 have developed as parallel and distinct disciplines, but have a striking number of similarities. In Europe and the US, they are often taught alongside each other, in departments of Political Science or Politics and International Relations; journals exist that include both disciplines in their titles. Similar questions underpin analyses in both disciplines (such as questions about power: who has it? how is it exercised? in whose interests?); both have had, and continue to have, similar debates about epistemology, methodology and approaches (see, e.g., Lijphart, 1997; Smith, 1987; Goodin and Klingemann, 1998; Bull, 2007). Some suggest that there is increasing methodological convergence between European and American political science (Moses et al, 2005; Rihoux et al, 2008). In contrast, downplaying cultural divisions, Keating (2009) argues that the rift between positivists and interpretivists continues within Political Science (sic) as a whole. For him, the way to resolution and, by extension, greater plurality is to look outside the discipline. This line of reasoning is built upon within this

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WRITING DISCIPLINARY HISTORIES Bell argues that ‘disciplinary mythologies perform various legitimating functions, classifying some positions as the product of intellectual progress, other as consigned for ever to the proverbial dustbin of history’ (2009: 5). This suggests that the writing of disciplinary histories in itself performs an ideological function,

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‘ythe writing of disciplinary histories in itself performs an ideological function reinforcing and legitimating dominant positions, which can be challenged through more critical reading’.

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the trajectories of the two disciplines. Moreover, what becomes apparent as this literature is compared, is that both sets of disciplinary histories and assessments of the discipline are Western-centric, arguably both reflecting and reinforcing Western dominance, not only in the actualities of politics as practice, but also as knowledge-based dominance through disciplinary analyses. Said’s (1978) classic text, Orientalism, draws attention to the importance of an awareness of culture in shaping the underlying assumptions that we make when carrying out political (and other forms of) analysis. He draws attention to the role of the Western construction of understandings of the Orient, and the logic of this argument is extended here to suggest that the way in which the disciplinary histories in Politics and IR have been constructed have served to legitimate and reinforce dominant Western conceptions of the way in which IR and Politics proceed. Indeed so embedded is this dominance that existing histories contain little reference to cultural variations in the histories of the discipline, which in turn serves to marginalise or exclude alternative viewpoints.3

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reinforcing and legitimating dominant positions, which can be challenged through more critical reading. For example, Bell identifies the existence of a progressive narrative in IR, as characteristic of much of the writing of IR history. It is this ‘progressive narrative’ that, he agues, ‘has served as a powerful legitimating device for certain substantive positions in post-war IR’ (Bell, 2009: 6). As noted below, the same can be said of disciplinary histories of Politics, and while there are exceptions the tendency is to reaffirm and reassert implied Western notions of progress and modernity. The writing of these histories also draws attention to the closed nature of the disciplinary boundaries. Histories tend to be either of Politics, or of IR, rather than integrating the two (despite their similarities). In Politics, histories and assessments of the discipline tend to be country specific: either in relation to the US (see Gunnell, 1993; Garand and Giles, 2003); the UK (Kenny, 2004) or comparative (Norris, 1997; Marsh and Savigny, 2004). King and Marian (2008) undertake a crossnational survey of the discipline of political science, including US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australasia, Asia and the Middle East; their analysis focuses on the concerns highlighted by Western histories of the disciplines – that is, debate over subject matter, method and future development – more fundamentally implying Western notions of progress and modernity. Disciplinary histories of IR also tend to focus attention on the American dominance in the discipline (which contribute to, and form part of, the larger notion of Western-centric approaches). While there are more critical accounts of the privileged positioning of US approaches within IR (Smith, 2000) and the origins and way in which the construction of histories have played a role in serving the interests of the dominant narratives (cf. Schmidt, 1998; Bell, 2009), there has been surprisingly little literature that compares

ORIGINS AND HISTORIES OF IR AND POLITICS Conventional narratives suggest that Politics as a discipline can be mapped heather savigny

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‘Yet despite the differing historical starting points, by mid-twentieth century both disciplines were looking to the natural sciences and psychology to inform their progress’.

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against those who adopted an historicist and interpretivist approach (Curtis and Koivisto, 2008). Notably, scholars in these fields were united in their agreement to disagree; indeed, they agreed that these two methodologies or approaches to the subject matter were incommensurate, yet as Curtis and Koivisto observe ‘science and history need each other’ (2008: 8). During this ‘second debate’, the English school associated with Hedley Bull led the counter-attack against ‘scientific approaches’ (Waever, 1998: 711), emphasising the importance of historicism, while American IR increasingly developed a commitment to quantitative empirical work, modelled on the idea of science, influenced by economics and ambitions to influence real-world events. In the UK, as within Europe, IR was seen as a field that drew upon many disciplines (sociology, history, law, political philosophy) (Waever, 1998), rather than the quantification of approach adopted by American IR scholars. In Germany, IR was a sub-discipline of political science, and although theoretical developments occurred within the field between the 1960s and 1980s, this was largely in the area of peace research (Waever, 1998: 705). In contrast to American IR (focused on US concerns), German IR theory has been aimed at international audiences. In France, IR did not develop as a separate discipline; and where it was studied, it is largely practical rather than theoretical, with a key focus on area studies. Despite this, as Smith

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back to development in the late nineteenth century4 as something that grew from other disciplines such as history, philosophy, and was largely characterised as political theory (Gunnell, 1993). In the UK, political studies were often taught in departments alongside these subjects, and it was not until the 1950s/1960s that Politics began to be taught as a discipline in its own right (Kenny, 2004). The dominant narrative of the history of IR suggests that it was first established as a distinct discipline in the 1920s, when universities in the UK and US set up departments and degree programmes (Milne, 2010: 62).5 Yet despite the differing historical starting points, by midtwentieth century, both disciplines were looking to the natural sciences and psychology to inform their progress. The influence of behaviouralism was in the ascendant (Dahl (1961) traces this back to the 1920s), as the disciplines sought to establish a ‘science’ of politics. Hoffman’s An American Social Science: International Relations (1977) and Crick’s The American Science of Politics (1959) both set the scene for, and describe debates about the desire for, and moves to a ‘science’ of Politics and IR. Bevir (2006) highlights how battles between historicists and those advocating an increasing move to find a ‘science’ of politics were played out in the US, ultimately with the latter coming to dominate. This route to ‘scientism’, for Crick (1959), became entrenched as a result of the behavioural ‘turn’, particularly as espoused by the Chicago school (however, see Bond, 2007). The behavioural ‘revolution’ provided a new set of methods and an emphasis on behaviour and processes, rather than institutions. In IR (and much later in Politics), challenges to these dominant definitions of the discipline were to emerge. The ‘second debate’ in IR of the 1960s juxtaposed an empiricist philosophy of science and a positivist methodology

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epistemological and methodological pluralism; dominant perspectives and ideas simply had less time to become embedded.

CONTEMPORARY POLITICS

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American political scientists have made claim to the existence of pluralism within the discipline (e.g. Garand and Giles, 2003). Garand (2005) suggests that there is a greater degree of integration than assumed in terms of agreement of scholars of the ranking of journals from across the discipline (and reflecting differing subfields and methodological approaches). This fragmentation is, for some, viewed as a positive phenomenon. The editorial in the centennial edition of APSR (2006) argues that the discipline is like a ‘jigsaw puzzleymade up of a large number of separate pieces’ (Sigelman, 2006a: v). For others however, rather than pluralism, there is fragmentation and an unhealthy disunity, where scholars sit at ‘separate tables’ unable to converse with each other (Almond, 1988). In a much discussed piece, Almond argues that the discipline could be mapped along two hard/soft dimensions: methodological and ideological, and that political scientists would be ‘seated’ at one of four different tables and unable to communicate with people on different ‘tables’ (soft left – e.g. critical theorists; hard left – e.g. social and dependency theorist; soft right – e.g. Straussian theorists and hard right – e.g. rational choice theorists). This hard-soft distinction arguably characterises much of the debate around the nature of the discipline, both explicitly and implicitly (e.g. Lowi, 1992; Garand and Giles, 2003). Yet, this pluralism is to some degree ontological rather than epistemological, and may be reflected in the plurality of topics that are studied, which include: power; policy; elections; voters; institutions

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(2000) observes, the dominant paradigm has been one that reflected (a) US policy concerns and (b) the US’s view that IR is a social science. This cultural and methodological difference in IR is mirrored in the study of Politics. US political science tends to dominate the discipline, both in terms of approach, and in reach – many of the ‘top’ journals are located in the US.6 While American Political Science has largely followed the ‘scientific’ route, the study of Politics in Britain and Europe can be characterised again as more widely influenced by disciplines such as history, philosophy, sociology, rather than the economics and psychology of the American variant. These cultural differences are still apparent in contemporary assessments of the discipline (see Norris, 1997; Marsh and Savigny, 2004). Behaviouralism and latterly rationalism came to dominate the discipline of Politics in the mid-twentieth century. Not until 2000 did challenges to the mainstream come in the form of the ‘Perestroika’ movement.7 This movement was directed against the ‘perceived hegemony of formal and quantitative approaches, in favour of methodological pluralism, qualitative inquiry and y an orientation to pressing public problems’ (Dryzek, 2006: 487), which similar to the English school in IR highlighted the importance of history, ideas and understanding (verstehen) and drew attention to alternate ways in which the discipline could proceed. However, as will be noted below, this challenge to the mainstream was relatively late in the day when compared to critiques of the mainstream, which had taken place in IR first in the 1960s (as noted above), and then more recently by the post-positivists c.1980 (in the ‘Third debate’). As such, the argument advanced here is that it may be that this historical development and contrast provides a starting point for understanding the ability of IR to move some way towards a greater degree of

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and theoretical development. In part, the theoretical development and growth in IR can be viewed as a consequence of its failure to ‘predict’ real-world events (such as the collapse of communism), and in part a consequence of challenges to mainstream understandings of IR as social science, which occurred much earlier than in Political Science. Notably, the US variants of rationalism and behaviouralism still dominate IR, but what is noticeable is that outside of the US there exists a greater degree of epistemological plurality (Smith, 2000). While post-positivist approaches have yet to achieve parity with their scientific counterparts, nonetheless there are greater moves towards this in IR than in the study of Politics. There are visible challenges to the mainstream coming in the form of feminism (Enloe, 2007)8 and constructivism (e.g. Adler, 1997),9 which have enabled a widening of the research agenda and provided the field with a wider number of analytical tools through which to address the problems that they seek to untangle. In this sense, one of the key differences between IR and Politics is the way in which theoretical developments have proceeded. In IR, outside of the dominant US variant, competing epistemologies and methodologies have begun to play a significant role in the development of the discipline. As Checkel observes, ‘constructivism has succeeded in broadening the theoretical contours of IR’ (1998: 325). Waever’s (1998) overview of the theoretical positions of articles published in top journals affirms this proposition, suggesting a far greater degree of epistemological pluralism in evidence in IR than in Politics. The rise of constructivism in IR as a challenge to the established core of the discipline is viewed by Guzzini (2000) as nothing short of success. Adler (1997) argues that constructivism has come to dominate the middle ground (although the existence of a middle

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of the state; culture; media; and comparative politics. Kaufman-Osborn comments, however, that the only unity is ‘the question of whether political science is or is not a discipline’ (2006: 42); this is taken by Sigelman (2006b) as representative of the pluralistic nature of political science. However, the way in which those who espouse alternate approaches are marginalised suggests that there is an unevenness to the debate around science, despite the efforts of the Perestroika movement and those who have sought to challenge this dominant view. While Farr et al suggest American political science is post-behavioural (1995: 1), it would seem that while there may be fragmentation and divisions within this view of the discipline, the privileged narrative remains one of positivism (Marsh and Savigny, 2004). While there has been talk of an ‘ideational turn’ in the study of politics (Blyth, 1997), as Gibbons (2006) observes, what the ‘evolution’ of mainstream political science has failed to reflect is the evolution of interpretive approaches, which privilege language and social practices in the study of politics.

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Following the deliberation as to whether IR should proceed as a social science and adopt scientific methods (as detailed above), the debate between the positivists and post-positivists (including constructivists, critical theorists and poststructuralists) really began to take hold around the 1980s. Whereas once IR was largely empirically focused, and outward facing, seeking to influence foreign policy (possible given the unique status of intellectuals influencing foreign policy in the US (see Milne, 2010)), it has grown to embrace a significant role for theorising

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thought (as discussed by Lutz, 1984), but what this suggests is that cultural variations in approach were in evidence prior to the formal construction of disciplinary boundaries. There is also debate as to the extent of cross-pollination of ideas between European and American scholars in political science (see Bellamy, 2006). What is implied, then, is that culture plays a role in shaping disciplines. Yet for those who seek plurality within the discipline, this cultural variable is one that is Western-centric, denying the importance of insights from other cultures. In writing these brief histories, one can see that there is an alignment between culture and perspectives about how the discipline should be approached and conducted: the dominant American variants of Politics and IR seek to adhere to approaches that aim to mirror the natural sciences, in contrast to the dominance of historicist approaches in Europe. As noted above, the dominant construction of disciplinary narratives in Politics and IR have focused attention on the ‘science’ debate, crudely put, juxtaposing empiricist positivism and historicist interpretivism. However, these debates largely negate the significance of culture as a defining feature. What has been suggested here is that the dominant approaches in Europe tend towards historicism, whereas in the US they tend

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In Consilience, Wilson argues in favour of ‘the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation’ (1998: 6). He implies that knowledge of the ‘real world’ (which he implicitly assumes is out there waiting to be discovered) is impeded by the imposition of disciplinary boundaries. For him, these divisions result in the generation of partial knowledge and discourses, and exclusive languages. While Wilson seeks to deconstruct these boundaries in order to unify the natural and social sciences, providing for a coherent framework that provides for universalism, a slightly different argument is developed here. It is suggested that the social construction of disciplinary boundaries has inhibited opportunities for knowledge development, and that a deconstruction of these boundaries may facilitate opportunities for greater plurality. Moreover, it may be useful to extend this argument to include, or at least acknowledge, the significance of culture as an influential variable. Historically, there has been debate about the degree of influence that European philosophers had over American political

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POLITICS AND IR: UNITED BY COMMON DIVISIONS?

‘yit may be that this historical development and contrast provides a starting point for understanding the ability of IR to move some way towards a greater degree of epistemological and methodological pluralismy’

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ground is contested by Patomaki and Wight, 2000). One of the by-products of this debate, however, is the opening of space for other forms of theoretical and methodological discussion. More recently, discussion has centred around the ‘historical turn’ (Bell, 2001), which encourages scholars to be aware of debates that draw attention to the attendant difficulties of establishing closed historical interpretation (Vaughan-Williams, 2005). This discussion of approaches opens up IR to an awareness of a plurality and diversity of approaches, one that enriches the field and continues the challenges to earlier disciplinary calls for a unified ‘science’.

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The dominant narrative in IR suggests that IR was largely a response to ‘realworld’ political issues, where scholars played a role in influencing policy. However, it is instructive perhaps to look beyond this and understand this as a consequence of the privileged access afforded scholars in the US, by the US political system (Milne, 2010). Indeed, it could be argued that this is a characteristic of American versions of IR, given the limited role of British and French intellectuals in policy development and given the very different approach of European IR and Politics, to that of their American counterparts.10 The appearance of purveyors of ideas in public life can be seen as significant in terms of opportunities to exert potential influence on realpolitik. Yet, this is not a one-way flow and the dominant political ideas of the day have clearly had considerable influence in shaping the contours of the disciplines. The rise and prominence of rational choice theory in the UK and US can arguably be understood, not simply as a consequence of academic influence into the ‘real world’ of politics – where it influenced the Thatcher and Reagan governments – but also as a response to the ideological climate of the time: which was marked by a shift towards neo-liberalism/ neo-conservatism and emphasised the desire for market-based solutions to problems. In this way, academics seeking to influence and shape the behaviour of

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WRITING HISTORY: EXTERNAL POLITICS

politicians sought to align themselves with the thinking of key political actors. Thus, it could be argued that one of the main reasons for the dominance and prominence of rational and public choice accounts of the political world during the 1980s in IR and Politics was both a response to the ideological climate of the governments of the day and an attempt to influence those governments. Similarly, the separation of academics from state influence, who disagreed with or were critical of government policy, seriously took hold in the UK during the 1980s. Successive governments have downplayed the status of academics, excluding from decision-making circles those who disagreed.11 (Although clearly the status of academics in the West differs from that of our Chinese counterparts, for example who faced arrest, placement on the governments ‘most wanted’ list and were targeted for ‘special treatment’ for their perceived part in events of 1989 (Petracca, 1990: 253)). However, it is suggested that real-world events influence the shaping of the discipline, and not only those that dominant narratives draw to our attention; that is, those problems that politicians face. Rather, the power plays of the relations between academia and government, and the role of academics according to government, have also played a role in shaping the way in which the disciplines have developed. For example, funding bodies that play an increasingly important role in establishing the boundaries for academic research in the UK, now determine which research areas are deemed important. This top-down approach alters the nature of disciplinary development. Rather than coming from within the discipline of IR or Politics, or from another academic discipline, topics for research are determined by quangos and bureaucracies. This in turn has the potential to influence Politics and IR (although this argument can be extended to many other disciplines

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towards positivism. This dominance is reinforced by the way in which understandings of the discipline are constructed. Yet failure to attend to the role of culture leads to a Western-centric narrative, which fails to address, or even engage with, approaches and methodologies from different cultures within our own disciplines.

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divisions and contradictions, it provides an opportunity to reflect upon the way in which disciplines are constructed and historicised. This is not simply about events internal to the discipline; but external and contextual factors such as culture, political systems and ideas also need to be recognised as playing a role in shaping disciplinary trajectories.

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In a way that dominant narratives of America of history argue that US history only begins at the mid-eighteenth century,12 dominant narratives of West European history suggest that English historical roots can be traced back to 1066,13 cultural social and political histories can also provide insights into the trajectory of the disciplines of both IR and Politics. In short, it is suggested that the dominant understandings of the social and political histories of Western Europe, Britain and North America, can be seen as both reflective and constitutive of the dominant understandings of the development of Politics and IR as disciplines in Western Europe, the UK and the US. The dominance in American Political Science and IR of empiricist quantitative ahistorical approaches reflects the dominant narrative of US history and the assumption that American political science is simply Political Science. This position is reflective of the US’s assertion (and social construction) of its role as a superpower on the world stage. While British politics and culture can be characterised as seeking to position themselves between the US and Europe, Britain’s attempt to ally itself with the US while retaining its European connections may account in part for both the quantification and rise of rational choice theory and the retention of a historical approach to studies. In contrast, Western European Politics, with its historicised approach, reflects its broader social and political history. While this is a crude categorisation, riven with internal

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DISCIPLINES AND EXTERNAL HISTORIES

‘Rather than coming from within the discipline of IR or Politics, or from another academic discipline, topics for research are determined by quangos and bureaucracies’.

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as well) for those disciplines engaged in critique are those whom the gatekeepers and shapers of the discipline (such as funding bodies, and politicians both of who shape the structural conditions within which research takes place) will continue to seek to exclude.

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CONCLUSION To understand the relationship of European Political Science to IR, it is necessary to locate European Political Science in the wider context of the discipline, and one of the aims of this article has been to highlight the importance of the construction of disciplinary history as a mechanism through which the current state of the disciplines of IR and Politics can be understood. The purpose has been to draw attention not only to the debates over methodology within both disciplines, but also to note the ways in which disciplinary identities are constructed and legitimated through the writing of disciplinary histories. It is argued that the contemporary position of both fields (Politics and IR) are characterised by similar debates over methodology and epistemology, but these have differing outcomes reflective of their historical origins, both within and outside of the disciplines. More recently, in a near reversal of roles, Politics as a discipline has been somewhat slower to respond to theoretical challenges and developments heather savigny

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than IR. However, neither discipline is characterised by equality among competing approaches, and maybe both need look to backwards, and critically evaluate their histories, in order to move forwards, towards greater plurality.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Lee Marsden, David Milne, John Street and Mick Temple for their insightful and constructive comments on earlier versions of this piece.

Notes

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1 Also referred to as International Politics or International Studies. 2 There is debate over the name of the discipline, Political Science being seen as allied to natural sciences, whereas Political Studies suggests an historical or institutional approach. The term Politics is used to refer to the discipline more widely, which includes historical and scientific approaches, whereas the term Political Science is used to refer to the ‘scientific’ variant. 3 For an example of this, see discussion of the exclusion of Asian Americans from the discipline provided by Aoki and Takeda (2004) – although notably they still assume that Political Science is American Political Science. 4 Although clearly the political philosophy that informed this has much greater historical lineage dating back, for example, to Aristotle’s Politics. 5 Although Schmidt (1998) contests this, arguing that IR can be identified as emerging much earlier and dates its emergence back to c.1880. 6 As evidenced, for example, through reference to the top journals in the field. While methodology for data collection and listings is disputed (see, e.g., Hix, 2004; Garand and Giles, 2003; McLean et al, 2009) these rankings tend to highlight the dominance of US-based journals. 7 Which began in October 2000 (Laitin, 2006, footnote p.54). For an overview of the aims, debates and methodologies of the movement, see Schram and Caterino (2006). 8 For debate surrounding the success of gender mainstreaming in IR, see Zalewski (2007, 2010); for Politics see Lovenduski (2005). 9 For internal debates surrounding the success of constructivism, see Kurki and Sinclair (2010) and Finnemore and Sikkink (2001). 10 For a fascinating comparison of the roles of intellectuals and their opportunities to influence foreign policy, see Milne (2010). 11 For example, in the UK the chief scientific adviser to the government Professor David Nutt was recently sacked, specifically, for disagreeing with the British government over drugs policy (BBC 30/10/09, www.bbc.co.uk). 12 A dominant white view of American history which negates the role of indigenous peoples who had settled there earlier. 13 As with the dominant narrative of US history, the historical origins of Western Europe are contested within the academic literature, with thanks to Steve Church for this point.

References Adler, E. (1997) ‘Seizing the middle ground: constructivism in world politics’, European Journal of International Relations 3(3): 319–363. Almond, G. (1988) ‘Separate tables: Schools and sects in political science’, Political Science and Politics 21(4): 828–842. Aoki, A. and Takeda, O. (2004) ‘Small spaces for different faces: Political science scholarship on Asian Pacific Americans’, PS: Political Science and Politics 37(3): 497–500. BBC. (2009) ‘Cannabis row drugs adviser sacked’, 30 October, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8334774.stm, accessed 25 January 2010. Bell, D. (2009) ‘Writing the world: disciplinary history and beyond’, International Affairs 85(1): 3–22. Bell, D.S.A. (2001) ‘International relations: The dawn of a historiographical turn?’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations 3(1): 115–126. Bellamy, R. (2006) ‘Symposium: The European origins of American political science’, European Political Science 5(2): 110–111. Bevir, M. (2006) ‘Political studies as narrative and science, 1880–2000’, Political Studies 54: 583–606.

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Blyth, M.M. (1997) ‘ “Any more bright ideas?” The ideational turn of comparative political economy’, Comparative Politics 29(2): 229–250. Bond, J.R. (2007) ‘The scientification of the study of politics: Some observations on the behavioural evolution in political science’, The Journal of Politics 69(4): 897–907. Bull, M.J. (2007) ‘Is there a European political science and, if so, what are the challenges facing it?’ European Political Science 6(4): 427–438. Checkel, J. (1998) ‘The constructivist turn in international relations theory’, World Politics 50: 324–348. Crick, B. (1959) The American Science of Politics, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Curtis, S. and Koivisto, M. (2008) ‘Towards a second “Second Debate”? History, scientific inquiry and historical sociology in international relations’, presented at the ISA Annual Conference, San Francisco, March. Dahl, R. (1961) ‘The behavioural approach in political science: Epitaph for a monument to a successful protest’, American Political Science Review 55(4): 763–772. Dryzek, J. (2006) ‘Revolutions without enemies: Key transformations in political science’, American Political Science Review 100(4): 487–492. Enloe, C. (2007) ‘Forward’, The British Journal of Politics & International Relations 9(2): 183–184. Farr, J., Dryzek, J.S. and Leonard, S.T. (1995) Political Science in History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Finnemore, M. and Sikkink, K. (2001) ‘Taking stock: The constructivist research program in international relations and comparative politics’, Annual Review of Political Science 4: 391–416. Garand, J. and Giles, M. (2003) ‘Journals in the discipline: A report on a new survey of American political scientists’, PS: Political Science and Politics 36(April): 293–308. Garand, J.C. (2005) ‘Integration and fragmentation in political science: Exploring patterns of scholarly communication in a divided discipline’, The Journal of Politics 67(4): 979–1005. Gibbons, M. (2006) ‘Hermeneutics, political inquiry, and practical reason: An evolving challenge to political science’, American Political Science Review 100(4): 563–571. Goodin, R. and Klingemann, D. (1998) A New Handbook of Political Science, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gunnell, J.G. (1993) The Descent of Political Theory. The Genealogy of an American Vocation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Guzzini, S. (2000) ‘A reconstruction of constructivism in international relations’, European Journal of International Relations 6(2): 147–182. Hix, S. (2004) ‘A global ranking of political science departments’, Political Studies Review 2(3): 293–313. Hoffman, S. (1977) ‘An American social science: International relations’, Daedalus 106(3): 41–60. Kaufman-Osborn, T. (2006) ‘Dividing the domain of political science: On the fetishism of subfields’, Polity 38(January): 41–71. Keating, M. (2009) ‘Putting European political science back together again’, European Political Science Review 1(2): 297–316. Kenny, M. (2004) ‘The case for disciplinary history: Political studies in the 1950s and 1960s’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6: 565–583. King, R.F. and Marian, C.G. (2008) ‘Defining political science: A cross-national survey’, European Political Science 7(2): 207–219. Kurki, M. and Sinclair, A. (2010) ‘Hidden in plain sight: Constructivist treatment of social context and its limitations’, International Politics 47(1): 1–25. Laitin, D.D. (2006) ‘The Perestroikan Challenge to Social Science’, in S.F. Schram and B. Caterino (eds.) Making Political Science Matter. Debating Knowledge, Research and Method, New York and London: New York University Press, pp. 33–55. Lijphart, A. (1997) ‘Reflections on the first twenty-five years of the European Journal of Research’, European Journal of Research 31: 5–16. Lovenduski, J. (2005) Feminizing Politics, Cambridge: Polity Press. Lowi, T.J. (1992) ‘The state in political science: How we become what we study’, American Political Science Review 86(1): 1–7. Lutz, D.S. (1984) ‘The relative influence of European writers on late eighteenth-century political thought’, American Political Science Review 78(1): 189 -97. Marsh, D. and Savigny, H. (2004) ‘Political science as a broad church: The search for a pluralist discipline’, Politics 24(3): 155–168. McLean, I., Blais, A., Garand, J.C. and Giles, M. (2009) ‘Comparative journal ratings: A survey report’, Political Studies Review 7(1): 18–38. Milne, D. (2010) ‘America’s “intellectual” diplomacy’, International Affairs 86(1): 49–68. heather savigny

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Moses, J., Rihoux, B. and Kittel, B. (2005) ‘Mapping political methodology: Reflections on a European perspective’, European Political Science 4: 55–68. Norris, P. (1997) ‘Towards a more cosmopolitan political science’, European Journal of Political Research 30(1): 17–34. Patomaki, H. and Wight, C. (2000) ‘After postpositivism? The promises of Critical Realism?’ International Studies Quarterly 44: 213–237. Petracca, M.P. (1990) ‘Political science in China: A new state of siege’, PS: Political Science and Politics 23(2): 253–257. Rihoux, B., Kittel, B. and Moses, J.W. (2008) ‘Political science methodology: Opening windows across Europeyand the Atlantic’, PS: Political Science and Politics 41(1): 255–258. Said, E. (1978/2003) Orientalism, London: Penguin. Schmidt, B. (1998) The Political Discourse of Anarchy: A Disciplinary History of International Relations, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Schram, S.F. and Caterino, B. (eds.) (2006) Making Political Science Matter. Debating Knowledge, Research and Method, New York and London: New York University Press. Sigelman, L. (2006a) ‘Introduction to the centennial issue’, American Political Science Review 100(4): v–xvi. Sigelman, L. (2006b) ‘The coevolution of American Political Science and the American Political Science Review’, American Political Science Review 100(4): 463–478. Smith, S. (1987) ‘Paradigm dominance in international relations: The development of international relations as a social science’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 16(2): 189–206. Smith, S. (2000) ‘The discipline of international relations: Still an American social science?’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations 2(3): 374–402. Vaughan-Williams, N. (2005) ‘International relations and the “Problem of History”’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 34(1): 115–136. Waever, O. (1998) ‘The sociology of a not so international discipline: American and European developments in international relations’, International Organization 52(4): 687–727. Wilson, E. (1998) Consilience, London: Little, Brown and Company. Zalewski, M. (2007) ‘Do we understand each other yet? Troubling feminist encounters with(in) international relations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 9(2): 302–312. Zalewski, M. (2010) ‘“I don’t even know what gender is”: A discussion of the connections between gender, gender mainstreaming and feminist theory’, Review of International Studies 36: 3–27.

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About the Author

Heather Savigny is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of East Anglia. She is the co-author of the forthcoming Doing Political Science and International Relations (Palgrave); sole author of The Problem of Political Marketing (2008, Continuum) and co-editor of Media, Religion and Conflict (2009, Ashgate). She researches in the broad areas of media and politics, and has publications in BJPIR, Political Studies (forthcoming) and elsewhere.

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.40

Abstract

methodology; pluralism; epistemology

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Keywords

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There are five levels in social inquiry: ontology; epistemology; approaches; methodology; and methods, which we see as means of gathering information. There is no determinate relationship such that one school will consistently choose the same options all the way down. We can cross between what are often seen as competing world views at various of these levels. Natural sciences have not arrived at a unified field theory and there is no reason why social sciences have to do so.

DISCOVERING PLURALISM

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s with many other social phenomena, scientific reflection is prompted by contingent events. In our case, this was the need to develop a methodological course for doctoral students coming to the European University Institute with different disciplinary backgrounds, national traditions and individual preferences. This, initially pragmatic, task stimulated us, although we had never thought of ourselves as methodologists, to reflect more deeply on our methodological choices and those of our students.

It was only towards the end of the (three years) preparation of our edited volume on Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences (della Porta and Keating, 2008) (henceforth Approaches and Methodologies) that we started to use the term methodological pluralism to describe what we were doing. Adding A pluralistic perspective as subtitle of the volume – as a conscious but not yet fully worked-out choice – had the positive effect of forcing us to reflect more systematically about our central proposition. However, it also obliged us to explain more clearly what this really means and european political science: 9 2010

(S111 – S120) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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logical position and concentrates on qualitative analysis’. By the third edition of their book, they presented a much more complex picture (Marsh and Stoker, 2010). We agree that the Manichean vision is misleading. We identified, in Approaches and Methodologies, five levels of social inquiry that need to be addressed, and at which differences are manifested. The most basic is ontology, what the social world consists of, how far concepts correspond to real phenomena and what are the building blocks of analysis. The second is epistemology, of how we can know about the world. The third is approaches, schemes of analysis often based on assumptions about relationships, for example between rational-choice, actorbased approaches and culturalist or socio-biological approaches. The fourth is methodology, the way in which we operationalize our concepts and choose to analyse them. The fifth is methods, which we see as means of gathering information. Although there is a close connection among these levels, we argued that there is no determinate relationship such that one school will consistently choose the same options all the way down. We therefore deny a necessary progress from a specific ontology-epistemologyapproach-methodology-method. The argument that social sciences must have a consistent set of ontologies and

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what it does not. The term pluralism has a positive normative charge but it is used in various ways and, if it is to be more than a liberal platitude, we need to delimitate more clearly our own conceptualization of the term. As we explain below, we see methodological pluralism in one sense as an empirical concept, pointing to the way that most science research occupies a broad middle-ground rather than conforming to the strict criteria postulated by the various competing schools. Most scholars work with nuanced assumptions and a moderate epistemological position and combine approaches in rather pragmatic ways. At the same time, methodological pluralism represents a normative view that in order for the social science to develop, we need to promote diversity, rather than a single way of doing things. Here, we go beyond relativism, as acknowledgment of the existence of different ways of doing things, and stress what unites, instead of what divides the social sciences. Unity comes from opening up the field rather than insisting on conformity to one model.

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SCIENCE WARS

The social sciences are given to recurrent debates and disputes about approaches, methodologies and methods, which often take the form of a dichotomous contrast running between opposing world views. On each side we are presented with a pillar running from ontology, through epistemology and onto specific methods, with no possibility of crossing over to other pillars or mixing elements from each. For example, Marsh and Stoker (1995: 290) wrote that ‘y within the discipline there are authors utilising perspectives as diverse as rational choice theory and discourse analysis. The former operates from a positivist epistemological position and emphasises quantitative analysis; the latter operates from a relativist epistemo-

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‘reified’; even though some of them nonetheless insist that there must be a single grid of concepts, usable for all purposes (Sartori, 2009). Going beyond the epistemological level, choices have to be made throughout the research process, which are not always easy to align on one defined cleavage such as positivism versus interpretivism, and even less quantitative versus qualitative methods. There is, that is, not just one choice (and one Methodenstreit), but a plurality of choices and tensions. The presence of multiple points of contention makes dialogues between different positions, to a certain extent, easier. As pluralist approaches to group politics contend, overlapping conflicts also mean overlapping membership, and therefore blurred, permeable boundaries. Moreover, none of the issues of disagreement can be defined as a dichotomous choice, being rather located on a continuum. Social science owes much both to natural science and to the humanities and indeed has developed as a ‘third way’ between them. It thus has the possibility of borrowing from one or the other or from both without having to confine itself to the epistemology or methods of either.

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epistemologies owes a lot to the natural sciences, where knowledge is seen as consistent and cumulative. It is assumed in this analogy that science is about generating theories that reflect as accurately as possible the material world. Ironically, the natural sciences themselves can go for a long time without agreement on some of the fundamental building blocks of knowledge. Physics has two quite different conceptions of light, which are used as appropriate to answer specific questions or to explain different phenomena. Scientists might aspire to a unified or field theory that would resolve the conflict between relativity and quantum mechanics but this does not stop them from doing good science in the meantime; and it may be that the conflict will never be resolved. Nor does science always insist on an identity between theory and material reality; theories rather are often ways of understanding the hidden dimensions of phenomena not amenable to positivist description (which now seems to amount to most of the universe). Science proceeds rather by conceptualization and both concepts and units of analysis depend on the question we are asking. As Rescher (1993: 41) notes: ‘There is no simple, unique, ideally adequate concept-framework for “describing the world.” The botanist, horticulturalist, landscape gardener and painter will operate from diverse cognitive “points of view” to describe the self-same garden’. If this is so in relation to the natural world, it is even more so in the social domain. This is because, even more than in the natural sciences, we are relying on concepts at a high level of abstraction. Only if we insist on a one-to-one correspondence between concepts and a concrete social world can we believe that our concepts are correct and other people’s are wrong (Kratochwil, 2008). Indeed even most positivist social scientists will admit that social science works with concepts and abstractions that should not be

BEYOND DICHOTOMIES Epistemological questions traditionally pit positivist versus interpretivist (hermeneutic) views, often linked with ontological assumptions about the existence of a physical world or the reality of the social world. In practice, assumptions about how we can capture the reality – and how much of it – vary in more subtle ways. Few believe that social scientists are able to easily get hold of the external reality, but few believe that a reality does not exist at all. Positivist researchers recognize the importance of concepts and theories as filters between the external reality and our knowledge of it, and the need to avoid reifying them. Constructivists do not

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‘Even though the various epistemological positions differ on their assumptions about social science’s capacity to develop covering laws, most researchers combine, in a Gramscian way, pessimism of the reason with optimism of the will’.

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research in a rather inductive manner. On the other hand, more directly inductive research usually starts from theoretical questions and produces new ones, without each time throwing away the results of previous work in order to start from the beginning. Grounded theory has long sought a middle way here (Glaser and Strauss, 1999), although it now covers a broad field, with some its exponents more insistent on universalization than others. As Howard S. Becker observed long ago, challenging the idea that quantitative and qualitative research each has its distinct epistemological assumptions : ‘(the) two styles of works do place differing emphasis on the understanding of specific of historical or ethnographic cases as opposed to general laws of social interaction. But the two styles also imply one another. Every analysis of a case rests, explicitly or implicitly, on some general laws, and every general law supposes that the investigation of particular cases would show that law at work’ (Becker, 1996: 53–54). Moving to methods, the traditional sharp distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods can be questioned. Quantitative methods require qualitative observations at various points; and qualitative analysis often refers to quantities in attempts to support the validity of its

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abandon the search for some inter-subjective knowledge, however contextual and contested. The focus on either the external reality or the subjective perception of it is a matter of degree, and often changes as we move from a research project to the next, or even as we report on our research. Critical realism provides an intuitively plausible middle ground that has now been given a rigorous intellectual justification (Bhaskar, 2002). The same can be said of the division on the search for generalizable knowledge versus the thick description of specific case, or for explanation versus understanding. Even though the various epistemological positions differ on their assumptions about social science’s capacity to develop covering laws, most researchers combine, in a Gramscian way, pessimism of the reason with optimism of the will; they express some scepticism about our capacity to build general laws (and so test and test again the results of previous research), but also some hope that research on specific cases can produce results that are useful also to understand other cases. Beyond the shifting balance between generalizable and contextual knowledge (often solved with the search for historically specific but generalizable knowledge) preferences vary on the means to achieve it. The debates between inductive construction of theories versus deductive verification/falsification of them cut across positivists as well as constructivists. Indeed, the distinction itself can be exaggerated. What is often described as the deductive approach, starting with a theory and testing it empirically, is not truly deductive, since deduction proceeds entirely by reasoning from premises. It is better described as the hypotheticodeductive approach or deductive/empirical approach, combining both pure theory and empirical work. Even the ‘deductive’ part of this is rarely truly deductive in practice. Rather, the initial hypotheses are constructed on the basis of previous

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units of analysis and the level of analysis, which is a theoretical question. The choice of individual or collectivity depends once again on the question being asked. Similarly the age-old conflict between structure and agency cuts across other divisions. Beliefs in the supreme explanatory capacity of economic structures versus values or interest versus norms have kept alive most disputes in the social science beyond epistemological or methodological boundaries. Nor is social science cumulative. Consider what the American political scientists do with their ‘bringing back in’ debates. These typically involve a search for a parsimonious theory of social action that could unify or define the field; behaviourism and rational choice in their time are examples. Then political scientists observe that their theories are either explaining less and less about phenomena, or depend on ever more stringent assumptions (or both) and seek to round them out. They do this by re-inventing old concepts while seeking to subject them to much the same logic as their existing models. The result is a reincorporation of ideas from adjacent fields or disciplines but while losing the richness of the concepts themselves. So we had the state brought back in during the 1980s without an appreciation of the strong historical and normative connotations of the term. History was brought back without

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arguments. Mixed-method strategies combining large and small N and triangulation of different methods are rarely opposed in principle, even though not often applied in practice. The identification of positivist epistemology with quantitative methods on the one hand, and interpretativist epistemology with qualitative methods on the other, hides as much as it reveals. Although ethnography and qualitative methods are primarily about the way subjects construct their world-views, they also have a strong orientation to the knowledge of the external reality. On the other hand, quantitative methods are also used to investigate subjective perceptions. Discourse analysis, even in its more subjectivist forms, may use quantitative techniques. Theory (method)-driven versus field (problem)-driven strategies divide ethnographers as well as quantitative researchers. We can continue to map disagreements that cut across the traditional epistemological and methodological divides. Scholars disagree on the best units of analysis of their research. Ontological individualists insist that only individuals exist, but this is to confuse real existence with the conceptual categories of research. Individuals exist in a physical sense but that does not mean that conceptual categories beyond the individual are not important. Methodological individualists prefer individuals as the units of analysis on the basis of the assumption that only individuals can act. Others instead take social interactions and/or complex institutions as the constitutive units of their disciplines. Here as well, however, there is space for combinations of units of analysis in multilevel designs in both qualitative and quantitative research. Indeed, much survey research uses individuals as units of observation and analysis but invokes characteristics at a higher level of analysis, such as social class, as the explanatory variables; that is, there is not a necessary correspondence between the

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partial hegemony that limits methodological diversity’. This may take the form of liberal tolerance or what in the Cold War was known as peaceful co-existence. It may also take the form of a provisional pluralism in which the existence of a diversity of points of view can be considered to enrich the discipline but then provide a market in which truth will drive out error. So eventually pluralism will give way to received truth. This might be considered analogous to the natural sciences, were it not for the fact, as noted above, that the natural sciences last for a long time with competing theories. Then there are those who think that pluralism can be justified in itself; these are the principled pluralists, among whom we placed ourselves. Principled pluralism is more than the observation of the dilemma between complexity and parsimony and the varied approaches that it produces. Nor is it a matter of accepting the legitimacy of distinct and self-contained schools which, for practical reasons cannot be reconciled and which we must, as liberals, tolerate even where disagreeing with them. It is not merely a matter of humbly accepting the limits to knowledge. On the contrary, it is something positive. We argue for pluralism at a deep level and as an enduring feature of the social sciences. This conception of pluralism is consistent with seeing the social sciences not as a single, cumulative enterprise but as a complex field (Steinmetz, 2005). A pluralist vision involves some assumptions about the ways in which disciplines are perceived and in the narrative of their evolution. In this sense, it is not (only) normative, but also reflects on the existing plurality of ontologies, epistemologies, methodologies (not to speak of methods). There are multiple points of connection, comparison and mutual learning, which cannot be systematized or placed within exclusive schools and pillars. So methodological pluralism recognizes that, in the

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sufficient appreciation of the subtleties and traps of historiography or the way in which the past does not merely influence the present as the present influences our accounts and understandings of the past. Ideas are brought back, but as a separate variable, their weight balanced against that of interests as though they were analytically and practically distinct. Norms and values are brought back without drawing on the rich tradition of cultural analysis in Weberian sociology. Culture, which is essentially an inter-subjective concept, based on relationships among people, is brought back reduced to an individual-level characteristic so as to fit the prevailing positivist and individualist paradigm (although we have just noticed an effort to ‘bring back in’ Weberian notions of culture in Hall and Lamont, 2009). Faced with this complexity, the forced nature of the binary choices often presented and the existence in research practice of a large middle ground, we made a plea in Approaches and Methodologies for a pluralist perspective, combining different methods as appropriate for the problem under investigation.

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TOWARDS PLURALISM Our pluralist proposal goes, however, beyond the observation of a plurality of methodological cleavages and the denial of the presence of one best way to knowledge. We also plea for a principled pluralism. There are those who think that their own approach is right and that everyone should conform to it. Others think that they have the one right way but realize that it is not shared by everyone and they might even be in the minority, so others must be accommodated; these are the pragmatic pluralists. In Caterino and Schram’s definition (2006: 4), the current state in political science is characterized as a constrained pluralism, that is ‘a

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complexity and defeat the purpose of the exercise, which is to gain some analytical leverage. Social knowledge must then by definition be partial and the search for a parsimonious and unified theory is an illusion. Lastly, let us make clear what principled pluralism is not. It is not a matter merely of accepting the legitimacy of distinct and self-contained schools which, for practical reasons cannot be reconciled and which we must, as liberals, tolerate even where disagreeing with them. Nor is it merely a matter of humbly accepting the limits to knowledge. Pluralism does not entail a hybridity or synthesis in which differences disappear or purely pragmatic compromises are made. On the contrary, it is something positive at a rather deeper level and as an enduring feature of the social sciences. Pluralism does not develop from pillarization. We can draw by a parallel here between methodological pluralism and social and cultural pluralism in contemporary liberal theory. Here the existence of distinct cultures is seen not as a problem but an asset, enriching the experience of society and individuals. For this, it is necessary that the diverse cultures not be sealed from each other but interact; but the condition for this is that they themselves be maintained rather than dissolving into the melting pot. There may be syntheses of different

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development of the social sciences, a plurality of points of view not only have coexisted, but also have been often in dialogue with each other. In the actual development of research and theorization in the social science, the image that methods and methodologies derive directly from prior epistemological or even ontological positions is misleading. Most of the time, these choices are made for more contingent and pragmatic reasons. The availability of data sets as well as the need to compare different contexts can push towards the use of more or less sophisticated statistical analysis. Collaborations among scholars with different methodological skills and experiences in problem-driven research projects favour triangulation of methods. The state-ofthe art in one subfield can push others towards quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods to make research more interesting. Availability of research funds as well as individual skills of course also play a role in the methodological choices. Attention to micro-meso-macro links and causal mechanisms often pushes towards combinations on different units of analysis and related theories (from structuralism to symbolic interactionism). Epistemological preferences are therefore often constructed ‘in action’, and/or remain implicit in a research design as well as in the construction of a scholar’s professional identity. A principles pluralist approach does not accept the teleological or linear narrative of institutionalization and paradigm consolidation. It thus avoids the circularity of continually re-introducing concepts in an illusory pursuit of completeness. Progress represents, rather, a dialectical process of challenge, incorporation and adaptation. Concepts borrowed from adjacent disciplines are not stripped down or adapted to the existing paradigm but taken seriously in their complexity. Of course, if we brought back in everything that might be relevant, we would be overwhelmed by

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international relations. French social science traditionally tends to an abstraction that contrasts with the empiricism of the English-speaking world. As emerging disciplines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, political science and sociology were linked in some countries to the older disciplines of history and law and these legacies are still visible. In many countries, international relations emerged as a discipline separate from comparative politics. The division between political science and sociology is sharper in the United Kingdom and the United States than in France or Italy. Sometimes these contrasts reflect differences in the political and social realities of the countries concerned. France has traditionally had a strong state. American politics has revolved around interestgroup pluralism within a rather narrowly defined value system (at least until the revival of the religious cleavage). Yet the difference in intellectual emphasis does not always reflect an underlying social reality, as opposed to different ways of thinking about politics and society. There is thus great value in taking the concepts and ideas from one country and seeking to apply them comparatively, and more generally in seeking concepts that travel, both as an aid to comparative research and as an antidote to methodological nationalism.

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It would contradict our central argument to advocate a single European political science or to identify some essential items to distinguish it from the American variety. Yet the European context is important. Exponents of rational choice, of constructivism or of historical institutionalism are much the same on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, however, there is a greater plurality of approaches. National intellectual traditions are multiple, and there is less of a tendency for one approach to dominate at any time or in any institution. As with the European project itself, different perspectives and expectations must live together in greater or lesser harmony without a shared telos. Speaking of national traditions risks reifying them and suggesting a uniformity that does not exist, yet certain ideas continue to be stressed in particular countries, as do specific approaches. For example, the concept of the state has a meaning in France and Germany that is difficult to convey in the United States or the United Kingdom. By contrast, American scholars, while downplaying the concept of the state in domestic politics, often give it supreme importance in

‘It would contradict our central argument to advocate a single European political science or to identify some essential items to distinguish it from the American variety. Yet the European context is important’.

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approaches and some may be transformed radically, but the aim is not the creation of a unified theory; since we argue that such a theory is impossible, any effort to do so would stifle the development of the discipline. Pluralism emphatically does not entail a relativism or indifference, in which any approach must be considered as good as any other, with no basis for choosing between them; rather they must challenge each other and defend themselves on the basis of their utility for answering the questions that they pose. A nihilism that contends that questions cannot be answered does not meet this requirement any more than does an insistence on the strict canons of positivism.

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into a particularly French form of science, the ‘sociology of organizations’. This in turn was taken up by British scholars and brought back into the English-speaking world. Here it encountered the ‘new institutionalism’, which had been working with similar ideas, starting from a different basis, as a reaction to behaviourism and rational choice. European sociology was influenced by American approaches, but also developed and then diffused new ideas of its own. Among others, French sociologist Alain Touraine was influenced by Parsonian functionalism when developing his theory of society, and European ethnomethodologists by Erwin Goffman. In all these fields, ideas developed by European scholars travelled however to the other side of the Atlantic, with particularly strong impacts on theorization and research on such issues as power (Foucault), communication (Habermas), culture (Bourdieu). It would be deeply unfortunate if this process of learning and mutual influence were to be put at risk by the search for a unified European political science in the belief that only with our own paradigm can we survive in global competition.

References

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There has always been an international market in ideas, peaking at times such as the Renaissance or the eighteenthcentury Enlightenment; but since the twentieth century, this has greatly intensified. The existence of a common language, successively Latin, French and English, encourages this, but itself may shape the ideas and their reception. For our purposes, two arenas are important: the market of ideas within Europe, and transatlantic trade as the United States has ascended to a dominant position within the social science research world. For example, the ‘behavioural revolution’ in the 1960s was American in origin but powerfully affected European thinking from the 1970s onwards, emphasizing universalism, quantification and rigour. Rational choice theory, so influential from the 1980s, was not an American monopoly but was strongest there and was powerfully aided by the strength of US social science in the global market. Other ideas have more complex histories. Organizational analysis was imported from the United States in the 1950s by Michel Crozier and others, who transformed it

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Becker, H.S. (1996) ‘The Epistemology of Qualitative Research’, in R. Jessor, A. Colby and R.A. Schwender (eds.) Essays on Ethnography and Human Development, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 53–71. Bhaskar, R. (2002) Reflections on Meta-Reality: Transcendence, Emancipation and Everyday Life, New Delhi and London: Sage. Caterino, B. and Schram, S.F. (eds.) (2006) ‘Introduction: Reframing the Debate’, Making Political Science Matter, New York: New York University Press, pp. 1–16. della Porta, D. and Keating, M. (eds.) (2008) Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences. A Pluralist Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Glaser, B. and Strauss, A. (1999) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, New York: Aldine Transaction. Hall, P. and Lamont, M. (eds.) (2009) ‘Introduction’, Successful Societies. How Institutions and Culture Affect Health, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–22. Kratochwil, F. (2008) ‘Constructivism: What It Is (not) and How it Matters’, in D. della Porta and M. Keating (eds.) Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences. A Pluralist Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 80–98. Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (1995) Theory and Methods in Political Science, Basingstoke: Macmillan. Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (eds.) (2010) ‘Introduction’, Theory and Methods in Political Science, 3rd edn., Basingstoke: Macmillan, pp. 1–12. Rescher, N. (1993) Pluralism. Against the Demand for Consensus, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sartori, G. (2009) ‘Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics’, in D. Collier and J. Gerring (eds.) Concepts and Methods in Social Science: Giovanni Sartori and His Legacy, London: Routledge, pp. 13–41. michael keating and donatella della porta

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Steinmetz, G. (ed.) (2005) ‘Positivism and Its Others in the Social Sciences’, The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences. Positivism and its Epistemological Others, Durham/London: Duke University Press, pp. 1–57.

About the Authors Michael Keating is Professor of Politics and ESRC Professorial Fellow at the University of Aberdeen and was previously Professor of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute. His principal interests are territorial politics and nationalism and he is currently working on a major project on Rescaling Europe.

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Donatella della Porta is Professor of Sociology at the European University Institute, on leave of absence from the University of Florence, where she teaches political science. She has carried out comparative research mainly on political violence, social movements, corruption, public order policing.

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the changing nature of european political science: the discipline in an age of acknowledged interdependence

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Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, Elmfield, Northumberland Road, Sheffield S10 2TU, UK E-mail: C.Hay@sheffield.ac.uk

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.41

Abstract

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Reflecting on the current state of political science – and the place of European political science within it – this piece considers the capacity of the discipline to respond to the challenges thrown up by real-world events in an era of acknowledged interdependence. It argues that the European tradition of political science is, if anything, better placed than its more narrowly disciplinary Northern American counterpart to respond effectively to those challenges, dispositionally more inclined as it has always been to acknowledge interdependence.

Keywords

European political science; interdependence; inter-discplinarity; post-disciplinarity

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t is both a great pleasure and a rare honour to be asked, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the European Consortium for Political Research, to reflect on the state of our discipline and the changing nature and place of European political science within it. Yet it is, I must confess, a quite daunting prospect. For it is, inevitably, very difficult to achieve an appropriate sense of perspective and, perhaps too, an appropriate sense of distance from a discipline within which I feel very deeply

embedded and to which I feel no less deeply attached. There is also the problem of the no less inevitable parallax error which comes from trying to capture the entirety of the rapidly developing European discipline from one particular location within it. In the attempt to achieve some of the required distance and perspective, the following reflections, though still necessarily both partial and subjective, are framed in terms of a couple of disarmingly simple questions: To what extent are european political science: 9 2010

(S121 – S131) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/

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THE NATURE OF THE CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGE

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Although there is of course nothing at all unprecedented about this, we live in difficult times. But what perhaps is new is the palpable sense of disappointment and disillusion which so frequently now accompanies the difficulty and seeming intractability of many of the substantive challenges we face – we live not just in difficult times, but above all in disappointing times. Thus, although we thought and were encouraged to think that we had so much to be hopeful about, a great deal of the optimism which characterised the post-war period has now largely dissipated. The contemporary political condition, it seems, is one of disenchantment, disappointment, disaffection and disengagement. This of course takes a great variety of forms. Politics, which has of course never commanded universal respect, is – in a manner almost certainly unprecedented since the advent of democracy itself – held today in near universal contempt. If public opinion is anything to go by, politics is failing us – with politicians trusted so little by the public they claim to represent that the very legitimacy of modern democratic institutions is increasingly called into question. What makes this worrying condition worse is that it coincides with an accumulation of economic pathologies – in conventional parlance, an economic crisis – as pronounced in its severity and as global in its scope as anything that has befallen us in living memory. And all of this takes place in a context characterised by the growing awareness of the longterm, cumulative and almost certainly irreversible damage we have collectively wreaked on our environment and, arising in part from this, an increasing recognition of the mismatch between the global character of the problems we face and the rather more parochially national and

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‘real-world’ developments drivers of the substantive content and the analytical and theoretical preoccupations of contemporary political science? And how – and indeed how well – has political science in general and European political science in particular, responded to the challenges posed by ‘real-world’ developments?1 Overall my argument is that political science, and European political science in particular, is well equipped to respond to the contemporary challenges that realworld politics present – considerable though these undoubtedly are.2 Indeed, if perhaps rather more through good fortune than design, the synergy between real-world developments and European analytical traditions in political science is especially strong. For the former, I will argue, have served to accentuate the importance of some of the things to which the European tradition of political science was arguably always rather better attuned than, say, its North American counterpart. Indeed, one could argue that this has proved a new stimulus to the trans-Atlantic transfer and exchange of ideas – with, for once, the flow at least as much from east to west, as west to east. At the heart of all of this, I want to suggest, is the challenge posed by interdependence – a condition I see (in a very European way) as not so much new as newly acknowledged. Arguably, European political science has always been more sensitive and attuned to interdependence in its various forms, dispositionally more inclined to see interdependence where its North American cousins have tended to see dependence. But the increasingly acknowledged centrality of interdependence to many of the real-world challenges we face suggests that, if anything, European political science and European political scientists are likely to play an even more important role in the development of the field in the years to come.

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Central to claims as to the distinctiveness of the political context in which we find ourselves today is the concept of interdependence. Indeed, if there is a single concept that captures the challenge that contemporary political developments might be seen to pose to conventional approaches to political science it is surely this. That having been said, interdependence is not a simple concept and has in fact become synonymous with a range of rather different claims. In what follows I distinguish between, on the one hand, the interdependence of the political, the economic and the cultural as domains of the social (domain interdependence) and, on the other, the interdependence of spatial scales and levels of analysis (spatial interdependence). But before exploring these in more detail it is first important to establish what we mean by interdependence itself. In the most basic and general terms interdependence might be understood as a relationship between two or more factors, processes or variables characterised by reciprocal causation or, perhaps better, mutual conditioning. Yet for a relationship to be seen as genuinely interdependent a further condition must

also hold – none of the factors or variables in the relationship must be the clear driver (or determinant) of changes in the others. An example may serve to clarify the point. We might well have good reasons (evidential or theoretical) for suggesting that unemployment, inequality and levels of crime are related (for, generally, they are). But if our understanding of that relationship is that the direction of causation runs consistently from unemployment via inequality to crime, then this is better seen as a relationship of dependence rather than one of interdependence. A more likely candidate for a genuinely interdependent set of relationships is that between levels of distrust in politicians, the projection of self-interested motives onto political actors (the tendency to see politicians as ‘in it for themselves’) and evidence that we might take as consistent with the selfinterested behaviour of political actors. Here, it is at least credible to think, a change in any one of these variables is likely to be reflected in a change in the other two. Thus, if, for instance, we become more inclined to view our politicians as motivated by self-interest, we are less likely to trust them and more likely to read their behaviour in such instrumental terms (thereby confirming our initial hunch). By the same token, if we become more convinced of the probity of those we have elected (perhaps following an election in which we have unseated many previous incumbents), we are likely

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ACKNOWLEDGING INTERDEPENDENCE

‘European political science and European political scientists are likely to play an even more important role in the development of the field in the years to come’.

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regional character of the institutions we charge with dealing with them. In what follows, I seek to consider how such substantive challenges might be seen to pose difficulties to both traditional demarcations of sub-field boundaries and to well-established ways of conducting political analysis and, above all, to consider the kind of political science we need to respond to such challenges. The key themes that emerge are interdependence, the need for interdisciplinarity and the place for sub-disciplinary specialism in an age of acknowledged interdependence.

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domain and spatial interdependence. It is to the former that I turn first.

INTERDEPENDENCE AND INTERDISCIPLINARITY

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The interdependence of the political, the cultural and the economic, as realms or domains of social interaction, is a key theme of contemporary political science, especially in Europe and it has potentially great significance for the discipline. For if it is accepted that the distinction between, say, the political and the economic is an artificial one, then it is but a small (and quite logical) step to acknowledging that the disciplinary boundaries that often circumscribe our analytical endeavours are no less artificial. It is not much more of a step (though a step nonetheless) to the idea of interdisciplinarity – a recognition of the potential value to be gained from the trading of insights across disciplinary boundaries; and no great leap from there to the idea of post-disciplinarity – the dissolution of disciplinary boundaries altogether in pursuit of an integrated social science. Yet, if only for fear of stretching our analytical resources too thinly, it is not necessary to go quite so far in working through the implications of acknowledged disciplinary interdependence. Ultimately, the limits to an integrated social science may well be more practical than they are theoretical. Put slightly differently, in gaining an analytical purchase on social and political realities there is still value in parsimony even in an era of acknowledged interdependence. If this is accepted, a firm grounding in a disciplinary tradition supplemented by the interdisciplinary transfer of relevant insights may well be a better way to cope with domain interdependence than the embrace of a fully integrated (and post-disciplinary) social science. Of course, there are different paths from acknowledged interdependence to

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to be less inclined to project narrowly self-interested motives on to them and less likely to read their behaviour in such terms. The point is that there is no consistent direction of causation between these variables. As long as this remains the case, this is a relationship characterised by interdependence. Defined in this way, interdependence is a neutral and descriptive concept. Yet it is likely to have very significant political consequences. For relations which are interdependent (and acknowledged as such) are likely to be far less tractable and amenable to political intervention than those which are more clearly characterised by relations of dependence. An age of interdependence is, then, likely to be one in which it is both rather more difficult to govern and perhaps also rather more difficult for citizens to hold those would claim to govern to account. But the crucial point for now is that, understood in such terms, interdependence is widely held to characterise the contemporary political condition. Yet, it is important to proceed carefully here. For one does not need to accept a stepincrease in levels of interdependence in order to see the concept as crucial to our understanding of politics. It is quite possible to claim that there has been no qualitative break with the past, nor even a dramatic increase in levels of interdependence, and yet still to argue that political analysis needs to adapt itself better to exhibited political interdependence. Indeed, my argument is that the European tradition of political science has always been more inclined that its North American counterpart to see, in the same developments, relations of both dependence and interdependence. That can only stand it in good stead in a context now widely acknowledged as one of interdependence. So how might we deal with such interdependence? Here and in what follows it is important to differentiate between

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‘Ultimately, the limits to an integrated social science may well be more practical than they are theoretical’.

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distinction does not become an impediment to the analysis of the (ontologically real) social processes it was intended to aid – by giving rise to a rigid disciplinary division of labour such as might preclude an analysis of the interdependence of the political and the economic. The distinction between the political and the economic is a valid and a useful one – but it is an analytical one rather than an ontological one. At best it draws attention to different aspects or dimensions of an integrated social, political and economic reality. The danger is that we forget this and, in the process, ontologise and thereby reify this analytical distinction, with the effect that we establish and entrench an overly rigid disciplinary fault-line between economics and political science (and, by extension, between other cognate disciplines and political science). The unfortunate effect of this is that the inter-relationship between the economic and the political is lost to us – falling between the tectonic plates of political science and economics to the detriment of each. The consequence is that we fail to consider the political conditions of economic dynamics and the economic conditions of political dynamics. It is these interactions, these interdependencies, that constitute the terrain of an avowedly interdisciplinary political economy so very necessary for diagnosing and responding to the challenges posed by the current global financial crisis and its likely implications. In fact there is a more general point here. For in a sense European political science leads the way in riding roughshod over what still tends elsewhere to be

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this kind of interdisciplinarity. Consider again the relationship between the political and the economic. One might argue for the potential value of an interdisciplinary political economy by pointing to the increasingly porous nature of the boundary between these two realms (such as might necessitate a transcendence of previously unproblematic disciplinary specialisms). Such a justification takes the form of a working through of the implications of real-world developments. Ontological change (a change in nature of social, political and economic reality) needs to be acknowledged epistemologically and methodologically. Thus, the growing interdependence of the political and the economic and the growing interpenetration of political and economic dynamics, it might be argued, has rendered anachronistic a previously valid disciplinary distinction. In other words, the world has changed and so must our understanding of it (and, indeed, the way in which we go about organising ourselves so as best to furnish ourselves with that understanding). But this is not the only path to an avowedly interdisciplinary political economy. Certainly no less credible (indeed, from my own perspective, rather more so) is the claim that the distinction between the political and the economic was always an artificial or analytical one rather than a real one. In effect, dissolving the social into separate realms of economic and political behaviour was an analytical strategy rather than being inherent in the nature of social and political reality itself. In other words, the distinction was not ontological but analytical. Indeed, it was a distortion of the ontological interdependence of the political and the economic. From such a perspective, the analytical distinction may well continue to be valid and useful in so far as it helps clarify our thinking to refer to political and economic dynamics separately. But it is important that such a

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point is simply put, though its implications are rather more involved. The categories we deploy and the distinctions we invoke as political analysts have a political and cultural significance beyond the analysis we engage in. For they are part of the language of politics itself – and, as such, they are a part of the political landscape we seek to understand. Thus, to take a now familiar example, whether we label something as ‘political’ or ‘economic’ may have a profound and practical political significance in itself. If we describe an accumulation of economic pathologies as a banking crisis we are rather more likely to attribute responsibility and culpability to financial market actors than if we refer to this as the product of a regulatory failure. Similarly, whether we view our environmental responsibilities as individual consumer choices or as collective political decisions will likely have a major bearing on societal responses to environmental degradation – and, indeed, our capacity to overcome the problem of coordination that so often prevents collective solutions to collective problems. As these examples – and countless others like it – suggest, the boundary between the political and the economic is not just an issue of academic interest; it is itself the product of ongoing political and social struggles to define and delineate the appropriate reach of public (or state) responsibility. As such, it is not fixed but fluid. Consequently, if we hope to capture any of that dynamism in our analysis of the political we cannot afford to see the current boundaries of public (or state) responsibility as circumscribing the realm of politics. In effect we need to acknowledge the highly political character of the processes in and through which the shifting boundaries of public and private authority are negotiated and renegotiated. Such boundaries are if anything even more intensely contested in times of perceived economic crisis and in a climate

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more clearly drawn and vigorously defended disciplinary fault-lines. We are happy to draw our insights quite unapologetically from an ever growing number of cognate disciplines in a manner still regarded as heretical in some corners of our own discipline. Yet, in each case, the approach is much more inter-disciplinary than it is post-disciplinary. For the most part, our analyses are still quite consciously and explicitly engaged in the analysis of the political (however that is understood), with interdisciplinarily drawn insights incorporated into, and reassessed in the light of, what are still disciplinarily developed research agendas and concerns. In this respect, I think, European political science increasingly acts as some kind of ‘via media’ – the point in and through which insights from other disciplines enter our own, eventually to be diffused to those parts of the discipline whose terrain is more jealously guarded from encroach from other subject areas. Thus far we have considered two paths from acknowledged interdependence to interdisciplinarity. But there is a third. Though similar to the second, it is subtly different. It leads from a reflection not on the analytical character of the distinction between, say, the political and the economic – but from its socially constructed character. This, too, is a developing theme in world political science – but which might claim its origins in Europe. The implications are not dissimilar, in that both reflections point to the arbitrary demarcation of the conceptual boundary between the political and cognate realms like the economic and to the dangers of ontologising such boundaries. But this third approach also serves to remind us that the categories we deploy are not our own – but are themselves an integral part of the social world we analyse. This, too, characterises much of what is most distinctive, and seen to be most distinctive, in contemporary European political science and international relations. The

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‘Whether we see interdependence as new or not, it is difficult not to see it as newly acknowledged – and that acknowledgement has ontological implications’.

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challenge that real-world developments pose to conventional understandings of both political science and international relations and, above all, to the division of labour between the two. These themes now suffuse our discipline, being reflected, for instance, in our interest in the manifestly global consequences of the decisions of mortgage lenders in sub-prime markets in the US for borrowers, investors and consumers around the world and the cumulatively consequential character of individual consumer choices for our collective environmental security. As such examples perhaps already serve to indicate, spatial interdependence may well increase the scope and scale of the consequences of one’s actions, but it is typically far from empowering. Such spatial interdependence is increasingly held to characterise the contemporary political condition – not least that of Europe itself. And its acknowledgment is typically taken to imply the need to dissolve the traditional subdisciplinary division of labour between political science and international relations. For if the parameters of domestic political choice are circumscribed to any significant extent by trans-national trends and processes and the converse also applies, then a sub-disciplinary division of labour which leads us to specialise on, and thereby privilege, either one spatial scale to the exclusion of the other can only blind us to key drivers of social and political change. If, in other words, there

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characterised by internal security threats (real or imagined). In such times, as now, it is even more important than that we are able to chart and analyse the shifting boundaries of public and private responsibility, the politicisation and depoliticisation of potentially contentious issues and, indeed, the changing content of the discourse of politics itself. As this suggests, as well as acknowledging the interdependence of political, cultural and economic dynamics within the academic understandings of politics we advance, it is no less important that we consider the rather more immediate and practical negotiation of such interdependencies by policymakers and political actors themselves – whether in debating the merits of a more interventionist form of regulation of global financial markets, or in sub-contracting decision-making duties to unelected officials, or in making the case for seeing our relationship to the environment as one of collective public rather than individual consumer choice. Each of these issues is about the renegotiation of the boundaries of public and private responsibility and authority; each is about managing political, economic and environmental interdependence.

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SPATIAL INTERDEPENDENCE AND THE PROBLEM OF SUB-DISCIPLINARY SPECIALISM And what of spatial interdependence? By this we refer to the interconnectedness (for some, the growing interconnectedness) of social and political processes at different spatial scales – and, typically, to the idea that domestic dynamics are shaped by trans-national or global factors and that trans-national or global dynamics are shaped by domestic dynamics. It is this sense of the interdependence of outcomes at different levels of analysis or different spatial scales that is generally seen as the most profound

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interdependence and with it intersub-disciplinarity. Some see the need to acknowledge interdependence as arising from real-world developments that dissolve previously quite legitimate subdisciplinary divisions of labour. Yet others point to the inherent limitations, as they would see it, of separately demarcated sub-disciplines to deal with the longstanding condition of interdependence. Yet although both the extent to which and the manner in which issues of interdependence are dealt with varies significantly in different parts of even the European discipline, a number of common – and sometimes surprising – general themes emerge. Taken together they have, I think, major implications for how we think about interdependence and how political science (broadly conceived) might best respond to the various challenges it poses.

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are domestic conditions of existence of inter- and trans-national political dynamics, and vice versa, then what value is there in approaches which close off our capacity to explore them? Yet here, more than ever, we need to proceed carefully so as not to risk throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. For, as in the discussion of the choice between inter-disciplinarity and post-disciplinarity above, there is a danger that in our rush to embrace another newly acknowledged form of interdependence which problematises longestablished sub-disciplinary divisions, we dismiss too readily much of what we already do that is valuable. Indeed, to get this in the right sense of proportion, it is perhaps important to remind ourselves that very little traditionally conceived political science, certainly that within the European tradition, explicitly denies the influence of inter- and trans-national dynamics – and much of it acknowledges such influences quite openly. The converse is no less true of international relations theory – arguably more so. As this suggests, while the prospects of a more thoroughgoing dialogue between political science and international relations exist (and there is plenty of evidence that such a dialogue is already well established), it would seem somewhat premature to call time on existing sub-disciplinary specialisms. But what most definitely is required is the subdisciplinary equivalent of interdisciplinarity – inter-sub-disciplinarity I suppose. In other words, we need to be both more sensitive to, and more eager to correct, the biases and blind-spots which often accompany sub-disciplinary parochialism. But this is just as much about improving the answers we are able to offer to the research questions we already pose as it is about recasting research agendas. Yet there are, of course, rather different reasons for embracing spatial

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INTERDEPENDENCE, COMPLEXITY AND THE POSSIBILITY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE That challenge is perhaps most clearly seen in ontological terms – though it is the epistemological and methodological implications that flow from this that are likely to concern us most. Whether we see interdependence as new or not, it is difficult not to see it as newly acknowledged – and that acknowledgement has ontological implications. For an interdependent social and political world is different in kind to one characterised exclusively (or even principally) by relations of dependence. Thus, the nature of the social and political landscape we acknowledge ourselves to inhabit changes quite significantly the moment we come to see the contemporary political condition as one of interdependence. This matters to us, as analysts of politics, because another synonym of interdependence is complexity. An

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‘Our task is not to hold up a mirror to reality – and hence to reflect its ontological complexity – but to build and trace narrative paths through it’.

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for an analytical purchase on political realities we inevitably simplify the complexity of the political world our ontological assumptions admit. And it is good to be reminded of that. But such a reminder need not become a manifesto of despair. Instead, it might be taken as an invitation to recognise and declare more openly the inherent limitations in the approaches to political analysis we devise. In particular, it encourages us not to abandon the attempt to develop a science of politics, but perhaps to be more honest about the difficulties inherent in such an enterprise and more clear about our strategies for managing the inevitable parsimonycomplexity trade-off.

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interdependent social and political world is more complex than one characterised principally by relations of dependence – if for no other reason than that situations of reciprocal causation and mutual conditioning do not exhibit highly conserved (and, in principle, generalisable) causal regularities. As a consequence, they do not avail themselves so readily to strategies which presume the existence of precisely such regularities and precisely such generalisability. In short, acknowledging interdependence is acknowledging (greater) complexity; and acknowledging (greater) complexity may lead us to question anew prior epistemological convictions. Yet, not for the first time, we need to tread very carefully here. For there are very different ways of responding to acknowledged complexity – and there is no particular reason for taking acknowledged complexity as the death-knell of a political science worthy of the name. A couple of points might usefully be made. First, whether we see interdependence as a source of the complexity with which we must contend or not, political analysts have always had to deal with complexity. As such, while the concept of interdependence affixes a label to an element of that complexity, its acknowledgement does not profoundly alter the challenge facing the political scientist. That challenge, as I see it, has always been to achieve some degree of analytical purchase on a complex social and political reality – and that inevitably entails a simplification of the complexity we hold to characterise that social and political reality. In short, political analysis has always been – as is likely to remain – a search for parsimony. Put in such terms, acknowledged interdependence is perhaps best seen less as a challenge in itself than as a chastening reminder of the difficulty of the task with which our subject matter has always presented us. In our search

CONCLUSION I began with the disarmingly simple question of the relationship between political science broadly conceived and its subject matter – and it is to this that I return in conclusion. What is clear is that the agenda of political analysis has changed quite decisively in recent years, that it will continue to change and that it should continue to change – as new practical political problems present themselves. Yet, although our subject matter has changed, if there is any substance to the argument that I have sought to present, then we can probably do without a new political science for new times and we can certainly do without a new integrated and post-disciplinary social science for colin hay

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reality – and hence to reflect its ontological complexity – but to build and trace narrative paths through it. In other words, the ontological assumptions from which the accounts of politics that we offer as political analysts build cannot and should not be chosen on the basis of their philosophical adequacy. For they are means to the end of achieving an analytical purchase on our subject matter. Second, and as I have also sought to suggest, even if we accept – as I think we should – that there are insights to be gained by according a greater role to extra-political variables and the interaction of political processes at a variety of spatial scales, this need not entail a dissolution of disciplinary and subdisciplinary divisions in pursuit of a genuinely post-disciplinary integrated social science. European political science (broadly conceived) and European political science and international relations (more narrowly conceived) have distinctive, valid, appropriate and dynamic research agendas – and it is imperative that we have answers to many (if not perhaps all) of the research questions they pose. What we need is not different questions but better answers. We are, I suspect, most likely to get those answers by acknowledging the limitations of what we already do, by being more sensitive than we are at present to our disciplinary and sub-disciplinary parochialisms and by actively seeking dialogue with those in other disciplinary and sub-disciplinary fields from whose insights we might learn. But that is a path which leads from the discipline and ultimately back to the discipline; it is the path of inter-disciplinarity and inter-sub-disciplinarity, not post-disciplinarity; and it is a path that has always been well trodden by European political scientists. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the European Consortium for Political Research it seems appropriate to remind ourselves of that fact.

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new times. The contemporary political challenges that increasingly provide the focus for our attentions do indeed expose some of the limitations of our discipline – in particular, its tendency to disciplinary and sub-disciplinary parochialism and its difficulty in dealing with relationships which are genuinely interdependent. But two qualifiers are immediately called for. First, these are not just the limitations of our discipline, but of all disciplines. And, second, in what is now a familiar theme, these are not so much new limitations as limitations newly acknowledged. The process of facing up to our limitations is, of course, an important one. As much as anything, it is about heightening our sensitivity as analysts of politics to what we do badly – in the hope that such a process might lead us to do things just a little better in the future. But, like most things, it can be overdone. For if we were to agree that interdependence characterises the challenge that contemporary political developments pose to us as political scientists and that disciplinary and sub-disciplinary specialisms prevent us from capturing such interdependence, then it might be tempting to seek to dissolve each and every disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundary. Yet that, I think, would be a mistake – for at least two reasons. First, as I have been at pains to suggest, all political science seeks an analytical purchase on its subject matter. It is, as such, about achieving parsimony – and it may well be that, among other strategies, turning a temporary blind eye to extra-political variables or to spatial interdependence is not a bad means to that end. The point is that to make sense of the world we need to simplify it; and to simplify it we need to start somewhere. It is not credible to think that our conceptual apparatus for exploring political realities should, or indeed could, bear a one-toone correspondence to those realities. Our task is not to hold up a mirror to

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the changing nature of european political science


Notes 1 These reflections build from and develop further arguments first presented in an introductory essay to a volume organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the Political Studies Association (Hay, 2010). 2 Of course, being well equipped to respond to a challenge is a necessary, but not in itself sufficient condition for responding effectively to that challenge; the proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating.

Reference

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Hay, C. (2010) ‘Introduction: Political Science in an Age of Acknowledged Interdependence’, in C. Hay (ed.) New Directions in Political Science: Responding to the Challenges of an Interdependent World, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 1–24.

About the Author

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Colin Hay is Professor of Political Analysis at the University of Sheffield where he is co-Director of the Political Economy Research Centre. He is founding co-editor of Comparative European Politics and British Politics and co-editor of New Political Economy. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including most recently, New Directions in Political Science, The Role of Ideas in Political Analysis, The Oxford Handbook of British Politics, Why We Hate Politics (winner of the W. J. M. Mackenzie Prize) and Political Analysis. He was recently elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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ECPR NEWS forty years of political science in europe – the ECPR celebrates its ‘ruby anniversary’

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doi:10.1057/eps.2010.55

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was for a European journal, a summer school, inventories of European political scientists and graduate courses, workshops, a data information centre and to build a trans-national infrastructure of institutions to create a self-sustaining community of professional political scientists. On the 29 July 1970 a Ford Foundation grant was awarded to support the achievement of these aims, and the ECPR was established. In the forty years since this group of professors held their first meeting the ECPR has grown into a leading force in political science. The Joint Sessions of Workshops were held for the first time in Mannheim in 1973; now the ECPR’s flagship event, the Joint Sessions attract some 600 participants each year and produce a book series published by Routledge (Studies in European Political Science). Later on in 1973 the first issue of the European Journal of Political Research (EJPR) was published, edited by Arend Lijphart. Now nearly forty years on, the EJPR continues to be ranked as one of the leading journals in European political science.

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n 2010 the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) celebrated its fortieth anniversary as the leading association for political science in Europe. Forty-one years earlier, in 1969, three European political scientists sent a letter to about a dozen of their European colleagues outlining some suggestions for creating an informal network of institutions and centres interested in comparative politics research. The authors of the letter were Serge Hurtig, Jean Blondel and Stein Rokkan. Over the next year, led by Blondel and Rokkan with the support of a number of leading professors all at the forefront of comparative research in their respective countries (the ‘founders’: Serge Hurtig, Norman Chester, Hans Daalder, Richard Rose, Jorgen Westerstahl and Rudolf Wildenmann) and with the backing of the Ford Foundation, the ECPR began to take shape. The plan

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INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP AND WORLDCLASS EVENTS Membership of the ECPR now stands at over 350 institutional members worldwide,

european political science: 9 2010 (S132 – S136) & 2010 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/10 www.palgrave-journals.com/eps/


op y rC be em M PR EC Long before email y, the ECPR’s first communication to its membership, October 1970. . and this continues to grow alongside the ECPR’s activities. In the past ten years alone the ECPR has added to its annual calendar a General Conference (held biennially in the autumn), which now

attracts some 2,500 or so international participants, alternating each year with a Graduate Conference, which attracts some 600 or so students from across the world. In addition to these, an annual ecpr news

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published by Palgrave Macmillan) in 2001 and a new, general, journal European Political Science Review (EPSR, published by Cambridge University Press) in 2009. In 2006 the ECPR even launched its own publishing imprint, the ECPR Press. Based at the ECPR’s Central Services at the University of Essex, the Press publishes cutting-edge new research in political science alongside re-issued classics, such as Giovanni Sartori’s Parties and Party Systems, and has quickly become established as a successful small publisher with a solid reputation.

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Summer School in Methods and Techniques was established in 2006, held at the University of Ljubljana, and a Capital Lecture Series, launched in 2008 (Madrid) followed by London (2009) and scheduled for Rome in 2011. In 2011 the ECPR will also re-launch one of its earliest initiatives, the Research Sessions, at the EUI in Florence.

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Jean Blondel, one of the ECPR’s founders, enjoys a reception to celebrate the ECPR’s fortieth anniversary during the Joint Sessions in Mu¨nster

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A GROWING PUBLISHING PORTFOLIO AND ITS OWN PRESS Building on the success of the EJPR, the ECPR’s publishing portfolio has also seen continued growth over the last forty years, creating a number of high-profile and prestigious places to publish research: the Comparative Politics book series, with Oxford University Press was established in 1990, followed by the Studies in European Political Science (Routledge) in 1994 and the new Research Methods series, published by Palgrave Macmillan, which published its first volume in 2008. As EJPR has gone from strength to strength since 1973 the ECPR has added a professional journal, European Political Science (EPS,

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FACILITATING MOBILITY AND MARKING ACHIEVEMENT In addition to the events and publications, the ECPR’s key concerns are with networking the political science community (through its Standing Groups), providing funding for conference attendance (through the Travel and Accommodation Grant and Scholarship) and acknowledging achievement in the discipline (through prizes such as the Jean Blondel Ph.D. Prize or the Lifetime Achievement Award).


CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY

INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION

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The key events and milestones of the first forty years of the ECPR have been brought together, along with first-hand recollections of those that have shaped the growth and development of the Consortium in a book The ECPR’s First Forty Years, by Ken Newton and Thibaud Boncourt (2010, ECPR Press). Alongside the book, is this special, ‘Ruby Red’, supplementary issue of EPS.

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SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS

Throughout its lifetime the ECPR has strived to develop links between both its international and regional counterparts. In recent years this collaboration has taken the form of holding panels at the annual meetings of sister organisations, as well as hosting receptions and exhibiting in the book exhibition. These events are key to the ECPR’s outreach and the furtherance of its goal of bringing political scientists together. In 2010 the ECPR organised panels at the UK Political Studies Association’s Annual Conference in Edinburgh; ISA’s Annual Meetings in New Orleans; and APSA’s Annual Meetings in Washington. More importantly, 2011 will see the ECPR organise its first joint conference outside of Europe with an international organisation as it stages the IPSAECPR Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil in February. This event will be another key milestone in the ECPR’s continued growth.

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2010 saw a number of events and activities to mark and celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the ECPR, including special publications, panels, roundtables, receptions and even commemorative scarves, ties and other memorabilia. Most activities were coordinated around the ECPR’s key annual event, the Joint Sessions of Workshops, held in Mu ¨nster in 2010, but events continued throughout the birthday year:

Central Services staff show off the commemorative scarves and the fortieth anniversary book in Mu¨nster

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tives are always under development, such as constantly improving the functionality of the ECPR website, making it a hub for political scientists throughout the world. The ECPR’s ambitions are to be a genuinely global force, and for this reason amendments were, in this anniversary year, made to its Constitution, allowing non-European members of the ECPR, who previously had to be content with Associate Member status, to become full members with voting rights and all the benefits that full members currently enjoy. The ECPR therefore looks forward to welcoming new non-European members to help it achieve its goals.

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LOOKING AHEAD – ANOTHER 40 YEARS ...

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Chair of the UK’s Political Studies Association, Vicky Randall and ECPR Academic Director, Martin Bull meet during the 2010 APSA Annual Meeting in Washington

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If 2010 was a busy year for the ECPR then 2011 promises to be even more so, with a full calendar of events that will take it around Europe and beyond (Rome, St. Gallen, Sao Paulo, Ljubljana, Reykjavik, San Francisco, etc.). Never one to rest on its laurels, the ECPR is constantly moving forward but always with its original aims and the needs of its membership and the profession at its heart. 2011 will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the ECPR’s professional journal, EPS, and 2013 the fortieth anniversary of EJPR. New initia-

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European Political Science 40 years anniversary issue