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eBook The Tragedy of Political Science: Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy ePub

by David M. Ricci

eBook The Tragedy of Political Science: Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy ePub
Author: David M. Ricci
Language: English
ISBN: 0300037600
ISBN13: 978-0300037609
Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 1987)
Pages: 338
Category: Social Sciences
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 455
Formats: rtf azw lrf lrf
ePub file: 1750 kb
Fb2 file: 1891 kb

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The Tragedy of Political Science: Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. A provocative, rich and rewarding book that advances a thesis that will be hotly and widely debated by political scientists.

Intelligent, lucid, scholarly, well-argued

Categories: Other Social Sciences\Politics.

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David M. Ricci; Disenchanted Realists: Political Science and the American Crisis, 1884- 1984. Pluralism, Democracy and Political Knowledge: Robert a Dahl and His Critics on Modern Politics. Hans Theodorus Blokland - 2011 - Ashgate. The Citizen's Choice. Ernest Barker - 1937 - Freeport, . Books for Libraries Press. A New Essential Tension for Rationality and Culture. What Happens If Politics Tries to Encounter Science Again. Salvatore Vasta - 2010 - Axiomathes 20 (1):129-143. Institutionalizing Agonistic Democracy: and Political Liberalism. Edward C. Wingenbach - 2011 - Ashgate.

Recommend this journal.

Young and von Beyme both assert the importance of rational choice theory. But neither says much about it and that little seems to me in need of qualification. I shall devote the first section to this. In the second section I shall take sides on a question that divides Young and Parekh: the position of John Rawls in relation to earlier writers in the postwar period.

Tragedy of Political Science : Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy.

The Tragedy of Political Science : Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy. Intelligent, lucid, scholarly, well-argued.

A provocative, rich and rewarding book that advances a thesis that will be hotly and widely debated by political scientist. ntelligent, lucid, scholarly, well-argued.

A comprehensive review and thoughtful critique of the development of political science as an academic discipline in this century, Ricci’s strong indictment of political science will be a source of lively controversy and discussion for years to come. “A provocative, rich and rewarding book that advances a thesis that will be hotly and widely debated by political scientists…Intelligent, lucid, scholarly, [and] well-argued.”—Neal Riemer, American Political Science Review“A first class critical examination of political science in American since its beginnings…a century ago.  It warrants thoughtful reading by both novices and established professors…A learned, incisive, and balanced work.”—Dwight Waldo, Political Science Quarterly“An informative and truly provocative work.  The Tragedy of Political Science is both a scholarly study of American political science as an academic discipline and a practical moral argument on behalf of its fundamental reordering…Ricci’s book is an extremely interesting work.  Its clarity of style and attention to scholarly detail make it an unusually accessible work…Any member of the discipline would benefit from the overview which Ricci constructs.  His summaries of the various schools and traditions within American political science are truly impressive.”—James L. Wiser, Perspective“A valuable book.”—David Morgan, Journal of American Studies“After this work there’s no need for another account of the pathos of political science in its American incarnation; it says all that’s needed, says its tellingly, and thereby provides a basis for transcending it. A splendid book.”—Henry S. Kariel 
In The Tragedy of Political Science, David Ricci laments that the political science profession’s commitment to following two contradictory principles is tragically leading to its self-destruction. The profession’s founders, around the beginning of the 20th century, conflated the moral aspirations of democracy with the methods of science. They imagined themselves as scientifically studying a democratic society, the USA. Hence, the idea of democracy guided their research. But the more they observed and described the workings of these “democratic” policies and institutions, the less democratic they all appeared. As anomalies piled up, frustration and even despair intensified among professionals.

Then around mid-century behavioralism emerged out of the original approaches. Behavioralism would focus on the scientific method, and disregard the moral impulses of earlier political scientists. There were two major consequences to this move. One was that research lost its guiding principles. The focus on “facts” resulted in hyperfactualism. Comparative politics and policy studies became alternatives to aimless fact gathering.

The other major consequence was a moral reaction. Political scientists who favored the moral element, over the scientific side, in the profession’s approach to politics protested the lack of relevance to real political issues. The profession became fragmented as the more powerful science side refused to recognize the professionalism of the moralists and would-be activists. Some of them formed groups of their own.

The profession continues to lack any unifying conceptual framework, and is drifting towards further fragmentation, as more divisions, caucuses, and areas of specialty are constructed.

Ricci’s “remedy” is to restore the moral impulse to the whole profession. He urges political scientists to be optimistic about the capacity of the profession to discover “political wisdom.” He envisions the profession as assuming a role of Moral Leadership in American society. He wants a renewed commitment to democratic aspirations. He sees democracy as entailing a Great Debate over the moral principles public policies should follow. Political scientists are uniquely qualified to lead the debate by informing elected officials and citizenry about the issues of the day. Our profession can clarify concepts and choices, and offer its Political Wisdom as to the direction to be taken.

But Ricci’s remedy for the tragedy of political science appears to be to keep doing what was originally done – use science as a guide to achieving democracy – while optimistically expecting different results.

What would Einstein say about that?

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Author: Progressive Logic: Framing a Unified Field Theory of Values for Progressives;The Human Birth Defect: On the Origins of Human Unhappiness, and Its Cure.; and,Internet Voting Now!: Here's How. Here's Why - So You Can Kiss Citizens United Goodbye!
I have often taught a graduate political science course at my university on "The Scope and History of Political Science." I have used Ricci's book as one of my assigned texts because it provides a general history of American political science from the middle of the 19th century to the early 1980s. Although my students are Ph.D. students in political science, they often know very little about the history of their discipline, and so they learn much from this book.

Ricci's history is combined with a critical attitude, because he believes that the attempt to turn political science into a true science of political behavior has impoverished political science by denying the importance of studying politics from a humanistic, philosophical, historical, and practical point of view. He believes that the academic profession of political science has little to teach ordinary citizens and politicians.

Ricci's book is narrow in the sense that it concentrates almost exclusively on American political science. But there is some justification for this insofar as the attempt to turn the study of political science into a science comparable to the natural sciences has been largely an American project.

Ricci's book needs to be up-dated to cover the last 25 years. If Ricci were to do that, he might have to consider how the various movements among American political scientists to give more weight to political history, political institutions, political judgment, and political evolution overcome some of the intellectual poverty that he criticizes in his book.

A big part of this recent history would be the turn towards biopolitics--based on the thought that political science is closer to the life sciences than to the physical sciences, and that the evolutionary biology of human beings as political animals can support a biological conception of political science that goes back to Aristotle.
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