Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reading recommendation

I recommend very highly this Robert Goodin essay on the state and history of political science as a discipline via), from a new supplemetary volume to the Oxford Handbooks in Political Science.

While political theory is the least integrated field with the rest of the discipline (read the chapter for explanation of the measure), I'm struck by Table A1.4, the integrators of the discipline. John Rawls appears in the top category (the only person in that group who was never a member of a political science department). The next rank includes Barry, Elster, Hardin, Shapiro, and Przeworski; the next, Goodin, Habermas, and Sen. Walzer, Taylor, Mansbridge, Berlin, Lukes, Holmes, Adorno, Ackerman, Bordieu, Held, Sunstein... The theorists on the list are, I think, generationally set apart from the others on the list, overall. There are reasons for this, though I'd still wish it were otherwise. But theorists (and part-theorists, which is part of the point) are hardly so absent from the list as the most persecuted-feeling among my colleagues might have predicted.

Anyway: go read the whole thing! (Those charts at the back seem to me like a plausible resource for comps prep, for those who are into that kind of thing....)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The list of theorists is a bit odd, bar the top couple. No Quentin Skinner, for example? Surely one of the most influential figures in political theory in the last 30 years. And ceratinly more so than some on the list. I'm sure there are others too.