Scholasticism in political science

Lawrence M. Mead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Criticism of trends in political science centers on specific methodologiesquantitative methods or rational choice. However, the more worrisome development is scholasticisma tendency for research to become overspecialized and ingrown. I define that trend more closely and document its growth through increases in numbers of journals, organized sections in the American Political Science Association, and divisions within the APSA conference. I also code articles published in the American Political Science Review to show a growth in scholastic features in recent decades. The changes affect all fields in political science. Scholasticism serves values of rigor. To restrain it will require reemphasizing relevance to real-world issues and audiences. To do this should also help restore morale among political scientists.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)453-464
    Number of pages12
    JournalPerspectives on Politics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations

    Cite this