Political Science Revitalized
While studying political science at Stanford and Yale in the early 1960s, behavioralism was the rage. As an undergraduate, I was first introduced to knowledge produced by behavioralists in a course taught by John Bunzel. As a graduate student, I was most influenced by behavioralists Robert Dahl, Karl Deutsch, Heinz Eulau, Robert Lane, and Robert North. At the same time, my undergraduate experience...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
1,256
Political Science Revitalized
Is political science a science? If political science is a science, then the discipline should have three symbiotic characteristics common to any other science. At one level, scientists make observations. engineer changes in the real world, and calibrate measuring instruments. At a second level, they search for relationships between two or more variables across several cases in order to establish...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
528
Political Science Revitalized
The history of political science attests to shifting overemphases in one or two of the three facets of the scientific enterprise (theoretical, empirical, applied). Preacademic systematic political speculation, for example, was largely theoretical in the writings of the moral philosophers but clinically applied when they inspired policy changes and constitutions.
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
9,641
Political Science Revitalized
Why not abolish political science? To answer this question, there must be a conception of political science as a field that is fulfilling an important function in the world today. If political science is only an academic field that thrives on the fact that few disciplines choose to study governmental institutions, then political science could disappear to the extent that political sociology,...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
8,972
Political Science Revitalized
A compendium of important events, leaders, and subfields is inevitably an incomplete history of an academic discipline. Knowledge generated by that discipline is a more fascinating history. To the present, no scholar has surpassed what David Easton presented in his landmark The Political System: An Inquiry into the State of Political Science (1953), wherein he critiqued the...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
1,240
Political Science Revitalized
Traditional political science accepted several paradigms, though later political scientists have been unaware of the assumptions and models implicit in their research. Those who later espoused behavioralism sought to break free from the conventions of the early period, which began with legalism and developed into paradigms with increasing sophistication, though they often reformulated traditional...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
6,319
Illustrations in this section
Political Science Revitalized
Traditional paradigms provided inspiration for research in political science up to about 1945. Although employed as ways of looking at reality, none of the paradigms sought scientific testing. Case studies flooded the literature of political science. The focus was on particular facts, rather than on relations between variables, operationalizing theoretical concepts, or on systematic comparisons...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
13,790
Illustrations in this section
Political Science Revitalized
Postbehavioralism was clearly anti-behavioral. Summarizing the critique in a single sentence, the attack was on behavioralist claims to seek objective knowledge without regard to the main policy issues of the day (Easton 1970, 512–13). The neotraditional and multidimensional pleas for behavioralists to balance theory, methods, and policy (Haas 1967; Haas and Becker 1970a, 1970b) were...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
1,201
Political Science Revitalized
According to David Easton, postbehavioralism doomed political science to lack a central focus, with little interest in developing metatheory; what he wrote in 1990 was still on his lips during conversation in 2013. Barbara Geddes (2003, 4) expressed a similar point eloquently in saying that “like elaborate sand castles, paradigms have been built with great effort and attention to theoretical...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
760
Political Science Revitalized
According to David Easton (1990), the only surviving metatheory in the postbehavioral era was the Rational Choice paradigm. Indeed, Arlene Tickner (2013, 634) believes that the Rational Choice paradigm is still the dominant metatheory in the United States. Although Herbert Simon (1955) published “A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice,” few political scientists were then interested....
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
6,630
Illustrations in this section
Political Science Revitalized
The Rational Choice paradigm does not promote democratic development; the focus is on the elite, and the mass public is left out of rational calculations except insofar as they can be beguiled with public goods—the “breads and circuses” of satirist Juvenal (c.100). Although American democracy grew in part because of a vibrant civil society (de Toqueville 1835, 1840; Skocpol,...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
6,299
Illustrations in this section
Political Science Revitalized
Seymour Martin Lipset (1994) has stressed that a strong commitment to democratic norms is necessary to preserve democracy from backsliding into authoritarian rule. To transform procedural democracy into substantive democracy, civil society must be carefully constructed. Dictatorships may potentially be transformed into democracies if civil society is allowed. And the answer to global anarchy...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
8,425
Illustrations in this section
Political Science Revitalized
The three preceding paradigms are the major ones in political science, applying to many levels of analysis with a literature far larger than presented. Efforts to develop older and newer paradigms have appeared in recent years; they are briefly described in this chapter.
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
8,911
Political Science Revitalized
Having demonstrated the content of many paradigms and the way in which some of them can be tested, political science cannot continue to be mired in mid-level theories that are disconnected from one another. A new chapter in political science must begin, albeit a continuation of an agenda established more than fifty years ago that was interrupted by a fascination with other matters.
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
392
Political Science Revitalized
Some fifty years ago, a plea was articulated not only to build bridges between traditional and behavioral scholarship but also to improve nascent quantitative research (Haas 1967; Haas and Becker 1970a,b). Although not all those bridges have been crossed in the interim, new ones are needed today. Unfortunately, some political scientists have anguished over the “jigsaw puzzle,”...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
5,789
Political Science Revitalized
Perhaps the best glimpse at how paradigmatic research is conducted is to examine the practice of testing whether data fit one or more predictions based on metatheories. Empirical narcissism exists when a study tries to prove that a pet theory is consistent with evidence, ignoring competing paradigms. Paradigmatic empiricism involves testing two or more paradigms on the same body of data to...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
3,754
Political Science Revitalized
Today, the field of political science remains divided between ideological pontification, hyperfactual hypothesis testing without operationalized concepts, and case studies with or without policy implications. Others engage in multiple regressions with neither paradigmatic significance nor policy relevance, and even those who solely deal with important policy issues focus on individual cases. All...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
1,814
Political Science Revitalized
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
28,528
Political Science Revitalized
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
22,411
Political Science Revitalized
Political scientist Michael Haas is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for his work on behalf of human rights. The author of more than fifty books on government and politics, he holds a doctorate from Stanford University, has taught at Northwestern University, Purdue University, the University of California (Riverside), five campuses of California State University, Occidental College, and for...
Michael Haas
Lexington Books
203