This book examines what political scientists are studying – and how they are doing it – in ways that could improve our world. It features scholars in political science and related fields, who are engaged in research that is more politically relevant than the work that continues to dominate the larger discipline. Their shared commitment "to make the study of politics relevant to the struggle for a better world" represents the continuing legacy of the Caucus for a New Political Science, founded in 1967, and the perestroika movement that began in 2000. Both have challenged the defining commitments of political science as a discipline to narrow, parochial, and apolitical approaches to the study of politics.
Although the balance of disciplinary critique and alternative approach varies from chapter to chapter, all of the authors included here offer innovative and progressive perspectives on the study of politics today. Topics include: critiques of mainstream political science methods and models; redefinitions of key concepts and major institutions; reconstructions of the borders, subjects, and spaces of politics; and reflections on the ethical commitments of scholars and scholarly journals.
This book was published as a special issue of New Political Science: A Journal of Politics and Culture.
1. Introduction: Studying Politics Today: Critical Approaches to Political Science Nancy S. Love and Mark Mattern
2. The Intellectual Origins of New Political Science Clyde W. Barrow
3. Stultifying Politics Today: The "Natural Science" Model in American Political Science—How is it Natural, Science, and a Model? Timothy W. Luke
4. Political Political Science: A Phronetic Approach Sanford F. Schram, Bent Flyvbjerg and Todd Landman
5. A Post-Parsimonious Proposition Alix Olson
6. A Peculiar Blind Spot: Why did Radical Political Theory Ignore the Rampant Rise in Inequality Over the Past Thirty Years? Joseph M. Schwartz
7. Rethinking Resistance and the Cultural Politics of Occupy Kara Dellacioppa, Sergio Soto and Alan Meyer
8. Occupy the Social Contract! Participatory Democracy and Iceland’s Crowd-Sourced Constitution Susan Burgess and Christine (Cricket) Keating
9. Deep Presidency: Toward a Structural Theory of an Unsustainable Office in a Catastrophic World—Obama and Beyond William F. Grover
10. Essentially Contested Subjects: Some Ontological and Epistemological Considerations When Studying Homosexuals and Terrorists Shawn Schulenberg
11. The Politics of Space and the Spatialisation of Politics: New Directions for Examining the Connections between Immigration and Contagion Jed Horner and John Rule
12. The Case for a Postcolonial Approach to the Study of Politics Uday Chandra
13. For What Do We Cheer? Nietzsche, Moral Stands, and Social Movement Research Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh
14. The Art of Not Being Quite So Governed: An Examination of the Work of the "Critical" Journal Elisabeth Chaves