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Historical panorama of views about the state of political science as a discipline

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Part 1 Beginnings/1857-1903

Part 2 Developments/1903-1945

Part 3 Debates/1945-1970

Part 4 Departures/1970-1992

Copyright © 1993, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.


James Farr and Raymond Seidelman bring new historical reflection to the "state of the discipline" debate in political science. This anthology offers a panorama of views about the state of the discipline that have been sketched by leading political scientists and disciplinary historians from the late nineteenth century to the past.

The essays in this volume explore four distinct periods in the development of the discipline, with special emphasis on the subfields of American politics and political theory, revealing that the identity of the discipline is constituted not so much by agreements over fundamental principles as by the history of debates about the meaning of politics, the methods of science, the theories of behavioralism and the state, and the responsibilities of public professionals and civic educators.

Contributors are Terence Ball, Charles A. Beard, John W. Burgess, Robert A. Dahl, David Easton, John G. Gunnell, Norman Jacobson, Harold D. Lasswell, Francis Lieber, Charles E. Merriam, David M. Ricci, William H. Riker, Dorothy Ross, Helene Silverberg, Leonard D. White, Woodrow Wilson, and W.W. Willoughby.

Its unprecedented treatment of the history of political science makes Discipline and History essential reading for political scientists and their students. Historians of the social sciences will also find much to consider.