John E. Trent
Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa

Paper Prepared for the 21st International Political Science World Congress
Santiago, Chile, July 2009

Abstract: This article summarizes the empirical evidence about trends, issues and perspectives in political science to be found in Research Committee 33’s book series entitled: The World of Political Science: Development of the Discipline and the papers presented at the 2008 Montreal Conference of the IPSA on New Theoretical and Regional Perspectives on International Political Science. The question the article asks is whether political science is relevant to the outside world and if not, why not? It is evident to the naked eye that in comparison with economists (President Obama has three advisory councils) and even with other social science disciplines, political science is of relatively little interest to policy-makers, the media and the public. We have to ask if political science is out of step with the world and, if so, what might be done about it?

Introduction: The World of Political Science Book Series: For a decade now, via the intermediary of RC 33 on the study of the discipline, the International Political Science Association (IPSA) has been working on a process for evaluating and developing political science. This is not just another "state-of-the-art" exercise. By 'development' we mean analysis and explanation: analysis (evaluation) of all the elements of the field including both its research output and infrastructure; explanation of why things are the way they are. . We want to move toward 'causal' understanding of our strengths and weaknesses so we can seek areas and means for improvement as we strive after elusive political generalizations. To do this we turn social science methods on our own discipline seeing it as a dependent variable for which we seek independent explanatory variables so that we can better analyse and prepare the development of our field.

The Book Series “The World of Political Science: Development of the Discipline” was a project adopted by IPSA in 1998 to produce specialized studies on various sectors of the discipline. This research program formulated an analytical approach and research model that was offered to other Research Committees which desired to study their particular sub-field. To date the Series, edited by Michael Stein and John Trent, has produced seven books with three to come.

Derk Berg-Schlosser (ed.) Democratization: State of the Art, 2nd rev. ed., 2007

Linda Shepherd (ed.) Political Psychology, 2006

Rainer Eisfeld (ed.) Pluralism: Developments in the Theory and Practice of Democracy. 2006

David Coen & Wyn Grant (eds.) Business and Government: Methods and Practice, 2006

Harald Baldersheim & Hellmut Wollmann (eds.), The Comparative Study of Local Government & Politics, 2006

R.B. Jain (ed.) Governing Development across Cultures: Challenges and Dimensions of an Emerging Sub-Discipline in Political Science, 2007

Subratra K Mitra, Malte Pehl and Clemens Spiess (eds.). Political Sociology: The State of the Art, 2009

All books are published by Barbara Budrich Publishers, Opladen, Germany

The five forthcoming publications in the Series include:

Adrien Guelke, (ed.), Politics and Ethnicity, (RC 14)

Jane Bayes (ed.) Women and Politics, (RC 7 & 19)

Al Somit and Steven Peterson, Biology and Politics, (RC 12)

IPSA Conference on New Theoretical and Regional Perspectives on International Political Science: The second source of empirical evidence is a synthesis report I prepared on the papers presented at the 2008 Montreal Conference. It brought together leaders of the IPSA Research Committees and national and regional associations to discuss the state of political science and its future perspectives.

Some 150 Participants from more than 30 countries representing 27 research committees and 23 political science associations gathered in Montreal in May, 2008. According to the co-chairs, Dirk Berg-Schlosser and Rainer Eisfeld, the meeting provided an opportunity to review three ongoing IPSA activities: 1) the critical assessment of major sub-fields in our discipline, as reflected by the editors and associate editors of the forthcoming 8-volume IPSA Encyclopedia of Political Science (co-edited by Bertrand Badie, Dirk Berg-Schlosser and Leonardo Morlino, to be published by SAGE); 2) the organizational review of the discipline, represented by political science associations from every region of the world; and 3) the state of cutting-edge research, as evidenced by the work of our research committees

All participants in the Montreal Conference presented papers in one of three categories: 1) the state of affairs and conflicting perspectives in the major sub-fields of the discipline; 2) the state of the discipline in major regions of the world; and 3) cutting-edge areas of research in political science. There were a total of some 75 papers (see the Program in the Bibliography) of which some 50 were synthesised in my Report for the IPSA Executive. However, it, like the report on evidence on trends in political science from the Book Series mentioned above, is organized around the model of the “development of the discipline” as elaborated by RC 33, also described above.[1] As I have already reported at length on the Book Series in my paper at the Montreal Conference, I will spend more time reporting in this paper on the evidence from the contributions to the Montreal meeting itself. Fortunately (for the author) there was considerable corroboration between the two sets of evidence.

Findings from the World of Political Science Book Series

What are the common threads about the development of the discipline that we find in the first seven books of the World of Political Science Book Series?


1. Political science requires greater relevance, more empirical theory and data.

2. It is felt that the individual as actor and agent needs to be reintegrated into political science. This would include more attention to culture, identity, personality and human nature. At the same time, agents must be integrated in their institutional contexts to analyse contextual influence on behaviour.

3. Researchers should pay more attention to multiple variables, multiple levels and multiple systems of influence on politics. Mention was made of the micro, meso and macro levels of analysis and the incorporation of influences not only from the economic, cultural and social sub-systems but from history and the international system.

4. In practice, society has seen a reinforcement of the resources and power of business and a corresponding increase in economic, social and political inequality, without it drawing the research interest it might.

5.”Good governance” is unlikely to be achieved by political means without economic development, private sector support, and reduction of entrenched interests. As presently conceived the concept is ideological and naïve.

6. Despite its supposed qualities of generality and parsimony, rational choice theory is of limited value unless incorporated in a broader analytical framework with more descriptive realism. Assumptions of rationality, full information and utility maximization are unrealistic and over-simplified.


1. All books have stressed the considerable growth of political science around the world (but not covering the world) and its great advances as regards the spread of comparative research, research techniques and information sources.

2. We now have many more elaborate statistical data archives to help us study voting, decision-making, conflict and negotiation.

3. One of the major breakthroughs has been in the study of policy networks where we also have more empirical materials and explanatory models.

4. There are now a considerable number of behavioural measurements and empirical evidence in the form of data sets, information banks, values surveys, barometers, indicators, audits, newsletters and websites.

5. We recognize the need for better methods and theories on “identity groups”.

6. We have a new appreciation of the multiple roles and impacts of globalization, including its complexity and multi-level, multi-actor openness to influence.

Issues, Criticism and Explanation

1. Many of the calls for improvements in the section on “Trends” are also problems of the discipline.

2. There are continuing tensions between objective and normative approaches, scientific and political orientations, value neutrality and “doing good”, and causal certainty versus external validity and there are no simple solutions to these tensions. They require our abiding attention.

3. There is a generalized lack of theoretical development and conceptual clarity.

4. Political science still appears to be Western dominated.

5. Rapid global changes have lessened our understanding of current politics and

harmed the relevance of our discipline.

In summary, despite great expansion and research development, political science is found to have problems with methods, theory, values, scope, context, and relevance,

Findings from the Montreal Conference Section 1: The Major Subfields

Trends in the Major Sub-fields: The study and application of methodologies, especially quantitative ones, have made great leaps forward in the recent decades. The level of sophisticated quantitative analysis is “stunning”, as is its interpretation. This is supported by advances in norms and software for the collection, replication and sharing of large-N data sets. There is also tremendous interest in working out research design issues. One particular advance is in new multilevel models which allow researchers to get beyond assumptions of homogeneity by both assessing and modeling heterogeneity and by aggregating micro and macro analysis and this is increasingly supported by impressive amounts of data collection. Other evolutions include: a return to problem-oriented research; a more subjectivist orientation affirming the significance of the actor; and a greater appreciation of historical sociology and normative theory.

The question is posed of whether or not all the more sophisticated methodological analysis is not too far out in front of the discipline? Is it not time to get back to political science by attaining coherence between theory and measures? Perhaps there is too much emphasis on maximizing the internal validity of our quantitative models at the expense of external validity and generalizability to the world of politics. However, all this cumulation in quantitative methodologies appears to be contradicted, or perhaps the better term is ‘balanced’, by the latest move to a greater acceptance of qualitative research and the recognition of the need for “multi-methods”. The same themes are repeated in international relations where a study showed that more than three quarters of the IR articles published in the APSR between 1996 and 2006 fell into the general categories of the presentation of empirical results, often formalized ones. There were no policy prescription articles. However, it is found that this represents “a strange combination of American insularity and hegemony” or perhaps it is just the APSR. In either case, the trend now, including that of many Americans, is parting ways with this manifestation of American IR and towards other international journals and perhaps toward a post-Western even global IR with more interest in qualitative, normative and historical research.

Elite theorists (as one section of political sociology), after decades of intensive studies, have some rather unpalatable advice for their fellow citizens. Elites arise from the fact that in large collectivities common interests are fairly minimal and must be supplemented by authoritative decisions. Elite theorists believe historical evidence indicates that no type of elite is compatible with the full democratic ideal. Thus, elite theory teaches that a mature advocate of democracy must always settle for a political order that is considerably less than the ideal so as to avoid the disastrous expression of dogmatic interests. This sounds like conservative, functionalist advice. Nothing stops us from seeing that elite theorists are teaching that to buttress themselves against the inevitability of elites, societies should pay attention to their socialization and look to their balanced access to political resources (Etzioni-Halevy 1993). Nevertheless, efforts to produce a general theory of elites have not been very successful. Linking elites causally to major regularities in politics remains elusive. There is no accepted specification of the circumstances and ways in which one elite type replaces another. Political interactions between elites and non-elite populations are captured only piecemeal. Still and all, while elite theory is distasteful to many and predictability is elusive, elites are nevertheless central political actors.

New Public Management (NPM) has proposed the adoption of private management techniques in public management settings, as well as out-sourcing, privatization, and “letting managers manage”. The reformers of NPM have continuously criticized public service for its rigidity, hierarchy, formal authority and over-specialization which, they claimed, explained the inefficiencies of centralized bureaucracies. It has been argued that NPM is both the salvation and damnation of the public sector by neglecting the necessities of public responsibilities and trying to privatize what are essentially public services. It may once again be important to understand the central role of the public bureaucracy as many political institutions lose some of their capacity for governance and the public administrators become more important not only for advising on policies but for making the linkages with the various publics for their implementation. This is one of the paradoxical results of NPM which was intended to make the government more market driven but, at the same time sapped the authority of politicians.

The fundamental notion of ‘governance’ is that there is a need for some form of collective decision-making to steer the society as a whole for a range of values and by a range of actors. This definition dovetails neatly with that of the elite theorists but there is no linkage between the two. Both recognize the functional need to provide steering. The main difference between government and governance is the extent to which non-government actors – interest groups, corporations – take part in the process. The critique of governance is articulated around four issues. a) Governance has many meanings and could become an ‘empty signifier’. b) Is there a theoretical argument being made or is the concept just derived from descriptions? It is hard to take seriously a concept that does not give pride of place to ‘government’ among steering groups. c) It can be argued that the involvement of non-government bodies has always been the case. d) The geographical scope of cases appears to be limited to Western liberal democracies. The individualistic turn in political science, reflected in both the behavioural and the rational choice approaches, diverted attention from the output side of the political system and tended to ignore institutions and processes. The governance turn in political science has brought the discipline back to some of its roots in thinking about the capacity of the public sector to provide coherent direction to society.

The list of variables in policy analysis: typologies, policy fields, comparison, policy instruments, legislation, issues, discourse and social factors – keeps getting longer and our understanding more complex. But policy studies have been in general decline in importance. Policy analysts seen better at describing processes than they are at explaining outcomes. Although some elements within the general policy model rely on ‘policy entrepreneurs’ and ‘advocacy-coalitions’, generally it is devoid of the animation, conflict, and clash of ideas that should explain change.

With regard to other fields, political sociology is in decline in many countries, partly because it no longer addresses itself to the big questions of society (Lipset’s famous “why no socialism in the United States?) and partly because it has become an aggregate of causes that lose sight of the larger, macro-social picture. Comparative research is having troubles fostering more collaborative analysis and still mainly publishes small-N studies with limited comparative scope. International relations theory and research is still mainly “a Western project”. In fact, it was suggested that IPSA should form a “Trans-cultural Commission on IR”. But even within sections of the core “Western” region there is a growing perception that the prevailing Westphalian conceptions of statehood are inadequate to grasp current far-reaching processes of transformation. Proving the depth of the requirement for change in political science, we find some researchers calling for a “debordering” of the discipline in terms of developing a “science of the global” which seeks to distance itself from “methodological nationalism”.

Of course this section has provided many other details on the recent evolution of the basic fields of political science. However none of these new approaches is without fundamental criticism. The basic impression is still one of an international discipline in search of its soul.

Findings from the Montreal Conference: Section 2: The State of the Discipline in Major Regions of the World

My first goal is to arrive at some generalizations under the headings of trends that will give a schematic portrait of the discipline in the world today. Needless to say, these generalizations will leap over the hills and valleys of the realities that exist in different countries.

Regional Trends in Political Science. The first thing to note is the steady expansion of political science during the past two decades. Kasse estimates there are more than 40,000 of us around the world producing more than a 1,000 political science journals. Expansion has been particularly significant both in former communist countries and in the Third World but also in Europe. In the U.K. the number of post-graduate students has multiplied by a factor of 100 in the last forty years. In Germany, the number of under-graduate students went from 7,000 in 1980 to 28,000 in 2006. The European Consortium for Political Research started with 8 institutional members in 1970, but now has 330. Over the past 40 years, the United States has graduated more than 25,000 doctorates in political science, 4,800 of them from foreign countries. The International Political Science Association (IPSA) now numbers more than 50 national members from countries most of which can claim to have a critical mass of political scientists who are adequately institutionalized and relatively self-sufficient in the creation of structures, standards and a professional community.

Certainly the above mentioned changes have renewed interest in the definition, scope, institutionalization, professionalization and methodologies of political science. In most countries, political science is reaching “adulthood” with the steady expansion of their departments, associations, journals, teaching and research staffs and students. The discipline has become a collective enterprise, a profession, with well-defined standards for training and employment, based institutionally in national university systems. Institutions are generally well entrenched. Systematic empirical knowledge is growing apace. The profession has established a common language, standards of activity, partnerships of colleagues, means of critical assessment, and generally well-established professional communities including research networks. Internationalization of the disciplines through associations, exchanges, publications, and research projects and networks has led both to better professional standards and homogenization.

Aside from these structural commonalities regarding the institutional and professional bases of the discipline, there are also a number of common tendencies concerning its content. The core components of the political science curriculum that Klingemann attributes to Europe, apply more broadly across the world. They include: political theory and history of political ideas; political system of one’s country and the region; public administration and policy analysis; political economy and political sociology; comparative politics; international relations; and methodology (including statistics)(p.374). However, different epistemological positions surface when it comes to particular methodological skills: one camp stressing analytic theory and quantitative data analysis while the other prefers a philosophical/historical approach and hermeneutics.

A core global set of research sub-fields seems to be appearing focusing on a myriad of research specializations (IPSA 50 research committees, APSA and British PSA 30 - 40 sections). The fields most often mentioned are national political systems, democratic regimes, methodological approaches, areas and comparative studies, international politics, public administration and local government. For instance, a recent APSA study of major fields of political science research in the United States showed that 38% worked on American politics, 37% comparative, 30% international relations, 17% political theory or philosophy, 10% public law and 10% methodology. There is also a convergence around an eclectic, pluralist set of approaches to political science analysis. Among those mentioned on several occasions: systems analysis, structural-functionalism, behavioralism, historical-institutionalism, juridical-constitutional, critical theory, Marxism, qualitative research, management (public administration), public choice and constructionism. Convergences in journals is towards: internationalization of authors and contents; thematic and specialized journals and fewer generalized ones; less influence for non-English journals; more methodological and empirical maturity and complexity of content; and less parochialism, more comparativism and international studies.

Among the most striking recent trends in political science is the “change and diversification” reported by the United States. For instance, the newest organized sections in the APSA go against international trends. One of the largest of them deals with “qualitative and multi-methods” which is very revealing in a world currently absorbed by catching up with the Americans in quantitative research and specialized methods. Furthermore, projected American research trends deal not with the core topics mentioned above but with feminist theory, the study of identity (race, nationalism, ethnicity, sexuality, personality etc.), integration of theoretical and empirical models and sexuality and politics among others. Even more radically, the American authors project their discipline will grow in its awareness and attention to public issues.

Factors Explaining the Development of Political Science: In seeking the factors that explain the development of political science we may speak of a certain “path dependency”. As can be expected, general influences come from educational and political institutions, national and international social and economic conditions, and the prevalent cultural/intellectual environment which defines social perceptions and recognition of the discipline. Democratic regimes would seem to be a sine qua non for the flourishing of political studies. But even within democracies, political scientists must take into consideration their political context including political forces and institutions. Globalization and internationalization have had a homogenizing influence on the discipline. Other specific influences on the development of political science include: an open education system, prosperity, foreign exchanges, returning exiles, research models and theories, leading scholars and educators, professional associations and, above all, relatively independent universities and stable sources of funding. A number of countries say they are concerned about the destabilizing impacts on relatively fledgling political science communities of new national agencies aimed at making research and universities more collaborative, competitive and self-supporting. As regards intellectual influences, the U.S. says that the era of great scholars and individual break-throughs has been replaced by complex scholarly networks, a diverse and inclusive profession and institutional progress.

Findings from the Montreal Conference: Section 3, Cutting- Edge Areas of Research

So that no one will be disappointed, let me say these self-selected papers are a potpourri rather than a rigorous selection that would truly represent all the discipline. Not everyone may agree that they represent what is going on at the “cutting-edge” of the discipline. Nevertheless, the papers are fascinating in their diversity and I have endeavoured to stress what may be considered to be “cutting-edge” issues and approaches. The papers have the additional merit of offering a broader view or cross cut of what is going on in the discipline that we are likely to find in any one journal or book.

Here is the subject matter with which we are dealing with the titles of the papers in short form.

  • Political Atlas of the World (Polunin et al)
  • Critical Geopolitics (Dalby)
  • Religion and International Politics (Wessels)
  • Family Forms and Scales of Government (Harder)
  • Electronic Democracy (Kersting)
  • Political Finance (Pinto-Duschinsky)
  • Multi-level Governance and Federalism (Stein & Turkewitch)
  • National Parliaments and Europeanization (Kropp)
  • Local Governance and Party System Change (Holtmann)
  • Capacity Building in Legislative Assemblies (Hedlund et al)
  • Welfare State Research (Jain)
  • Public-Private Partnerships in Health Care (Bjoerkman)
  • Does the Market Work for Health Care (Rosenau)
  • Islamist Extremism in Southeast Asia (Singh)

More Trends in Political Science: Political science now has a number of large data sets covering the world that contain dozens of key variables, indexes, categories and classifications that allow us to more easily compare countries on both a static and dynamic basis. They also help us place countries on a continuum concerning various international issues such as the quality and the efficiency of the state, capacity to respond to threats, capacity for influence, public well-being, and democratic potential. Inevitably, these classifications will give rise to debates about their quality. Passing to the policy side of international relations, we learn of the importance of what has been called “geopolitical culture” that serves to construct and map threats, structures strategic thinking, and creates “an architecture of enmity” for the formulation of foreign policy. In particular, the notion of critical geopolitics presents an analysis of the hegemonic tendencies in the foreign policy of the world’s leading super-power. One of the major changes in international relations in recent decades has been the return of religion as a serious factor. This is because religion is no longer submerged under atheistic ideologies and because globalization fosters mobile, boundary-free creeds, diasporas with irredentist tendencies, and contending minority religious communities in most countries. Ethnic, tribal, and religious identities explain much of what we call international relations and tension reduction will require the interaction of both politics and religion.

Another major change, this time in domestic society, has been the reformulation of family structures and sexuality. Ideology has not been foreign to this process. Both classical and neo-liberalism have unspoken assumptions about the famiy’s role in facilitating the interests of capitalism’s logic of private accumulation through household care and the preparation of workers. Neo-liberalism supports the nuclear family through its emphasis on individualism, freedom and a weakened state sector. Nevertheless, it leaves open to change an important site of contestation in which historical processes, political norms and moral values can assert themselves. Another immense field of change with political repercussions derives from information and electronic communication technology. The digital divide between rich and poor countries is still very significant but the problem is as much one of skills and motivation as it is access to technology. As regards democracy, research shows that on-line voting does not seem to stem voter apathy. But, it is hypothesized that participation rates can be increased through the judicious use of E-information, access and communication such as E-polls, web forums, news groups, chat pages, referenda and consulting and influencing government. The study of political finance of parties and elections and political corruption has become a huge industry. The flow of money and interest is having the contradictory affect of subtracting from the strictly academic study of the field and creating problems in the relations between funders and researchers.

Political scientists have added to their tool kit a new interest in multi-level governance (MLG) rather than just the dualistic relations between national and international relations or central-provincial relations in federations. Multi-level governance corresponds to the much broader phenomenon of how globalization obliges public sector decision-making to be more dispersed, complex and widely shared between governmental and non-governmental actors. It is designed to distribute power while optimizing policy-making capacity. MLG allows for up to five levels of governance, more flexibility in the allocation of policy responsibilities, and more over-lapping of competences and types of actors.

To understand the successes and failures over time of parliaments to preserve their stability and steering capacity, an alternate approach called “evolutionary institutionalism” has been proposed to take into account the interaction between legislatures and their changing external environment – particularly the electorate and the executive. It builds on a broad body of research around social, cultural and biological evolution and integrates history with social science theory-building. Degrees of institutionalization can be measured along two axes of ‘retention of properties’ and ‘adaptive capacity’. It is also found that change can be brought about in parliaments by informal networks of MPs working with the executive. NGOs are a vital source of policy information for MPs. Such influence improves perceptions of Parliaments carrying out their democratic roles. This research went beyond institutional processes to analyze individual behaviour and beliefs and the effects of coalitions. Local politics is another source of change from below in partisan politics and an example of the process of multi-level governance. Party dealignment and realignment can be engineered from below by “hidden” and “undercover” partisan lists for local councils. These “hybrid” actors from the local community interact with national parties bringing about flexible responses to social change.

Turning now to policy issues, we find another form of multi-level governance in the relatively new institutions called public-private partnerships (PPPs) – in this case in health care services. Research has provided a number of “policy lessons” for PPP contracts. Both public and private leadership is crucial as is managerial capacity. Pilot projects are proposed as are better documentation, decentralization and regular communications between the government and the private units. At the same time, it is noted that with PPPs government responsibilities increase, not decrease, and so must its administrative capabilities. Public facilities must be strengthened in tandem. Still in the field of health care, research has found that there is no evidence that market competition has lowered costs, increased accessibility or improved quality of health care. If policy makers continue to support private sector competition it is because they have changed the yard sticks – now the goals are personal preference, increased choice and giving priority to individuals over society, because it is these individual who have “voice”. More generally in the field of welfare, we find that most knowledge and research focuses on advanced Western societies. This is unfortunate because poor countries desperately need some kind of social services and safety nets. This should become the goal of governments and researchers and proposals are made in this sense.

The relationship between the West and the Muslim world is a policy issue of extreme importance. Here we have access to a body of research from Southeast Asia explaining Muslim radicalism which is on the rise, even if the strong majority is moderate. We are reminded that just as in the West, there is a wide range of Islamist thinking and that all trends undergo a process of indigenization in Southeast Asia. Paradoxically, although founded on real grievances, radicalism at present is stoked by the process of social and cultural diversification taking place in the Muslim ummah. Fundamentalists want to reverse this “hybrid” trend in the name of Islamic “authenticity”. We are advised that the essentialist “conflict of civilizations” thesis only serves to hide the struggle to know who will speak for Islam. What is called for to manage Muslim extremism, aside from modifications in American foreign policy, is a united front against the injustices of the global polarization of wealth and power.

Cutting-edge Research and Issues and Policy Advice

We have in these papers a good example of the diversity and eclecticism of modern political science – to say nothing of the vast range of subject matter the discipline must cover. In this case we just see the tip of the iceberg based on what Research Committees consider to be the cutting-edge of the discipline. The research covers all levels of politics from local, to regional to national and international and global. While most work concentrates on the West (and a great deal on Europe), there are also papers on the Third World and broad comparisons. Approaches include institutionalism, process, individualism, belief systems, ideologies, markets, comparison, informatics, policy studies and, now, multi-level governance and institutional evolution. There is a reaching out to include other disciplines and concepts such as biology, evolutionism, morality and history.

The issues that are attracting attention include: health care, family structures, sexuality, welfare, domination and imperialism, religion, fundamentalism, terrorism, democracy, legislatures, parties, political finance and corruption, ideologies, political culture and the digital divide. Among the newer research topics are large data sets, multi-level governance, biological evolution, local impacts on change, and institutional evolution.

Of significance, the research in seven papers drew conclusions that propose policy and research recommendations. We have already seen a summary of the policy lessons for Public-Private Partnerships, private health care, institutional evolution research model, E-democracy and the management of Muslim militancy. Below we will see proposals for the discipline concerning research on welfare and political finance. Still we only have four sets of policy recommendations that would be recognized by the public. The majority of the papers (10 of 14) are addressed to the discipline.

Issues Facing Political Science:

A number of the challenges affecting political science have been enumerated. We are in a situation of catching up with a changing world. New problems and realities keep forcing us to open up new boxes. Examples are: globalization, enhanced social pluralism, the requirement of greater tolerance for diversity, dealing with people’s revolutions and the greater relevance of civil society. It is therefore not surprising, as was found in the section on the Book Series, that despite great expansion and research development, political science is found to have problems with methods, theory, values, scope, context, and relevance.

It seems like everything has been transformed and political theory must keep in step. In a globalized world, how do we reconcile equality and universality, common identity and new particularities? How do we get sacrifices for the common good to build new forms of solidarity? Theory will have to deal with the rediscovery of history and religion. Once again we will be forced to ask what are the meaning and limits of universal and regional concepts. Perhaps some functions are universal even if institutions are not. It seems there is a demand for stronger normative philosophy. The conundrum will be developing broad theory in a world of cultural and local differences and perhaps in situations where shared liberal values do not exist. All the new communications technologies require political science to think about how we become informed and how we disseminate information to others. The dilemma of political theory is that the problems it deals with are always a mixture of the normative and the empirical or between the ‘ought’ and the ‘is’. This is compounded by the recent tendency of overspecialization (a problem mentioned several times) and hence the mutual isolation of the normative and the empirical. Modern political theory should be based on a conversation between the classical and empirical approaches rather than their isolation from one another.

The leading problem facing political science is the issue of fragmentation and excessive specialisation. The major issue in fragmentation is with both international relations (IR) and public administration creating separate departments and associations thus leading to the blurring of the discipline’s boundaries. Certainly it magnifies the difficulties in representing the discipline. A second issue is the obsession with specialization with most researchers drawn into ever narrower fields of research with their international colleagues while ignoring local issues. A third is the “mainstream” – “non-mainstream” division and deprecation between quantitative (e.g. empirical/scientific) vs. qualitative (e.g. philosophical/institutional) practitioners. The U.S. and UK see specialization as a boon, providing links to non-academic interests, stronger career progression, and the emergence of new fields. They believe collaborative, integrative activities are going on simultaneously. Others fear divisions are being created that impede effective communication, prevent cumulation, hamper debates within the discipline, and that reduce our capacity to deal with real political issues.

A second key problem is the relationship between political scientists and political reality leading to issues of visibility, recognition, relevance and identity. The Americans recognize allegations of “monolithism, scientism and detachment” and wonder if there has not been an increasing risk of “scholasticism and detachment from practical politics”. To put it another way, there is a retreat from domestic political debate because of our specialization and our “scientific pretensions”. Quantitative methodology was criticized as a mathematical scientism that is a logical and conceptual morass and a “science only in name”. There are few “public intellectuals” and few connections with the political class. Several countries (e.g. U.K., Belgium etc.) reported strong interaction between academics and policy-makers, but most countries complained of poor applications of our research to politics and poor visibility in the media. Others are dependant on state contracts, research funding and authorizations. The general results are a widening gap between public expectations and scholarly interests and a sense we are not helping citizens. In addition, political scientists in some countries have weak visibility in comparison with journalists and other disciplines which traditionally have disputed the subject matter (law, history, philosophy, economics, and sociology).

To combat the poor relations between political science and the political class and to encourage a better influence on real political problems, there were a number of calls for dedicated think tanks to bring scholars together in new cross-disciplinary and policy-oriented ways. Political science needs to make a collective effort to understand the social needs of their time. Relations with politicians and governments should be “constructively critical, engaged, but autonomous”. Broader perspectives in the M.A. programs might counteract hyper-specialization. We also need to have better information on the infrastructure and institutionalization of the discipline

A third major problem is that the public persona of political science is still mainly “male and white”. Many countries, even the most advanced, reported that barely a third of political scientists are female, although it is getting a little better in the new generation. In multiethnic and multiracial countries, the non-white groups, especially aboriginals are poorly represented in the discipline – as are great regions of the world. Youth are also having difficulty getting into the discipline due to budget cuts and a loss of popularity in some places that cause a bottleneck in the career ladder. PSAs are responding with youth sections. An interesting conclusion from Germany is that the flexible boundaries and heterogeneous curriculum of political science may be making our young graduates more adaptable for the labour market.

While internationalization is generally viewed favourably, it can have pernicious results. It can lead to the importation of analytical frameworks that do not reflect local conditions. Giving priority to international research networks reinforces specialization and can lead scholars to ignore local issues and debates.

Small political communities fear that internationalization will lead to further specialization and fragmentation. All of which leads to several calls for indigenization.

In small countries and small departments there is a “miniature replica” difficulty where departments try to “emulate the big boys” but there are insufficient resources and a lack of funding continuity to cover all the major areas in the discipline. Hence, some small political science communities complain of being submerged by international trends; of having neither a theoretical nor methodological core; and of having to create fanciful new courses – with a resulting lack of continuity and growth. One solution has been to focus on building key specializations and first class projects.

Many are questioning the bifurcation of the discipline into “IR and the rest”, when it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the ‘domestic’ and the ‘international’. The same can be said of public administration. Surely the logic of politics does not stop at national boundaries or at the ante-chambers of government. If it can be argued that political scientists never made sufficient space for sub-fields such as international studies, public administration and even political philosophy, maybe it is time that political science associations took the lead in opening up debates on this issue and possible solutions.

In addition to the above general and widespread issues facing the discipline, a number of specific issues and proposals were also highlighted.

  • Large-N studies should specify to a greater degree what they are trying to explain.
  • To better understand foreign policy, geopolitical culture needs to be linked to political economy.
  • The prevailing Westphalian conceptions of statehood are inadequate to grasp current far-reaching processes of transformation. Proving the depth of the requirement for change in political science, we find some advanced researchers calling for a “debordering” of the discipline in terms of developing a “science of the global” which seeks to distance itself from “methodological nationalism”.
  • A greater effort needs to be made to direct “cutting-edge” research toward practical policy issues so that they will not just be high-level descriptions.
  • A research agenda is required for the concept of E-government.
  • When accepting research funding, researchers must be very circumspect and leave space for their own academic research. Researchers should be aware some agencies choose consultants: for results which are to their liking; for their congruence of views; because they know what is expected of them (hatchet job or praise); or to provide simplistic devices. In addition, agencies may withhold payment over disagreements, plagiarize, and impose harmful conditions of confidentiality. “Forewarned is forearmed”. (Pinto-Duschinsky)
  • Research is still Western-centric.
  • To make research on welfare more oriented to developing countries it should: be more south-south comparative; take into consideration the total context; include family social security and health care; study the effects of race, religion and ethnicity, and go beyond simple income inequality. (Jain)
  • Current concepts of multi-level governance are criticized for being too descriptive; exaggerating the importance of sub-national actors; artificially ignoring structures; lacking a clear conceptual focus; stretching the concept to cover any multifaceted process; and giving priority to problem- solving capacity over democratic accountability in policy-making. (Stein & Turkewitch)
  • While the concept of governance has led us to recognize the larger political field that must be organized, perhaps what is needed is not a new label but a better way of theorizing the process of governing that asks how the different elements are woven together


If we can arrive at some generalizations concerning world-wide political science it is probably because we are all facing a more demanding, increasingly competitive, homogenizing environment, largely created by globalization, Europeanization, international mobility, and changing government policies on higher education and research. The first thing to note is the steady expansion of political science during the past two decades both in former communist countries and in the Third World. Also,

we have in this body of evidence a good example of the diversity and eclecticism of modern political science – to say nothing of the vast range of subject matter the discipline must cover.

The overall impression one gains is that the discipline has been developing in an incremental manner during the last decade of the 20th century and the first of the 21st century. There has been a continuous output of research and new techniques. But the major conclusion has to be that there have been no major breakthroughs and even the significant changes that there have been are all now hotly contested. Political science around the world still seems to be looking for itself. In fact what was said of international relations seems to apply to all of political science: the community has rejected “great debates” and settled down for Kuhnian “normal science”, each researcher “self-encapsulated” within one of a broad range of coexisting theoretical perspectives. It has been called “analytical eclecticism” based on a self-consciously “agnostic methodological stance”. In addition, we are dealing here with the realities of the sociology of science that, it is said, are based on the dominance of national disciplinary structures that are self-absorbed with research agendas that reflect national conditions and tend, at the most, to still be Western. The basic impression is still one of a discipline in search of its soul.

Commentary: Future Perspectives:


A commonality of our body of evidence on the development of the discipline is that it stress the significant influence of change on the political science agenda from the end of the Cold War to the 9/11 attack on America and the process of globalization There is an absolutely enormous scope of issues confronting modern society and, by extension, political science. One can safely claim there is no end in sight to challenges to security, the environment, equality, democracy and economic stability. Now, as we have just seen, the scope of issues is being augmented by simultaneous demands for more attention to human values and identities, interdisciplinarity, a global vision, and being relevant.

What is the current perspective that political scientists will be able to deal with these challenges? We have seen the lengthy list of problems with which face the discipline. But, is there not also a serious disconnect between political science and politics and the public? Are we listening to politicians and the media and do they listen to us? Do we address ourselves to the general public? In short, is political science out of step with the world? As we saw above, many people fear that our excessive specialisation reduces our capacity to deal with real political issues. Many writers referred to the political science issues of visibility, recognition, relevance and identity. The Americans recognize allegations of “monolithism, scientism and detachment”. We noted that 10 0f the 14 papers on the “cutting-edge” of the discipline were addressed mainly to other political scientists. Political science has few “public intellectuals” in its ranks. It was even maintained that there is a widening gap between public expectations and scholarly interests. Simply put: is political science relevant? Unfortunately, it is not so simple because it begs the question of what one means by “relevant”?

The concept of relevance begins with a relationship to a consequential other. With what significant audiences should political science be connected? More or less obvious answers are: other political scientists, citizens, politicians, policy-makers, specialists, educational authorities, research funders and, of course, students. Political scientists have multiple roles as teachers, researchers, administrators, specialists, consultants, advisors, employees, and commentators.

Being relevant to all these roles and audiences makes diverse and sometimes contradictory demands on political scientists.

To go one step further, we may ask if political scientists, because of the nature of their unique profession, do not also have a requirement to go beyond strict professional obligations to include such weighty qualities as being wise, balanced, far-sighted and critical? The main debate is with regard to audience. Some will maintain that our main obligation is towards the discipline, that is, to the production of more and better knowledge. In his book entitled “From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the Humanities” (Pentire Press, 1984/2007), the philosopher of science, Nicholas Maxwell, contends that intellectuals must do better. They must have as their basic aim to enhance personal and social wisdom. They have to give priority to personal and social problems, to what is desirable and of value. He makes a fundamental critique of the underlying empiricism of the philosophy of knowledge. Further, problems of knowledge, while important, become intellectually subordinate and secondary. It is a tool to an end. In such a context, one would have to argue that the relevance of political science goes beyond the discipline and policy-makers to include citizens, politicians and the society. This is how I mean relevance. I assume that political scientists will always have to continue to be relevant to students, educational authorities, research funders and policy-makers because they give us our mandate and pay our salaries. But in a broader and more profound sense, it is really the public and the politicians, society and democracy, to whom political scientists must be responsible.

How are we currently dealing with the issue of relevance in political science? Already, the Americans are moving toward qualitative and multi-methods, feminist theory, the study of identity (race, nationalism, ethnicity, sexuality, personality etc.) and the integration of theoretical and empirical models. They are also working to enhance the disciplines awareness and attention to public issues. The American Political Science Association Report on Graduate Education suggests a revolutionary new ethic for political science which goes well beyond the traditional “science for knowledge” motivation. The APSA Report says one of the discipline’s primary tasks is the “exploration of how far politics can help explain human experiences and help resolve human difficulties” and that “studies of ethical norms and normative commitments are central to the study of politics”. Nevertheless, a more fundamental solution might be to look at how our research is produced and what rules it follows. Is it not possible that the difficulties we have connecting with a broader public are, in part, due to our scientific methodology? The Book Series poses a number of questions in this direction.

Disciplinarity: Does not a too narrow concentration on politics cut us off from fields of knowledge that are essential to our research? Are not the issues with which politics deals interdisciplinary by their very nature? As Parsons and Easton taught us, we have to develop methods that include the social, the economic, the psychological, the philosophical, and the international – not just one of these, but all of them in an integral manner As an example, Laurence Whitehead says in the book on Democratization that Guillermo O’Donnell’s work on “delegative democracy” “is a prime example of scholarship inspired by the turmoil of learned experience, rather than constrained by orthodox disciplinarity” (p. 131).

Scientific: Is the scientific method too constraining for the study of politics? As long as science means searching for the rigorous, viable and verifiable means to knowledge, it is an aid to the study of politics. But when it becomes pure methodologism, computerization and quantification does it not constrain the complex diversity that is politics and government? In the book on Political Psychology there is a fascinating article on computational, experimental (i.e. laboratory), and data set approaches to the study of foreign policy decision-making. While quite positive about the benefits of the studies, Sylvan and Strathman nevertheless also note that these models “tend to be labour intensive, are not parsimonious, do not generalize easily, do not directly address the “real world”, are largely a-theoretical, inductive and unable to distinguish causes, and cannot specifically predict strategies or behaviours within political situations.” After such a litany can we expect politicians to listen to us or pay for our work?

Empiricism: Have we not all been brought up in our graduate studies to recognize that strict adherence to empiricism can lead to conservative conclusions? Empirical research only deals with what exists and what is going on. It does not include what could be or what should be.

Value neutrality: Is it possible to explain political behaviour, policies or goals without taking into account human values? Linda Shepherd, editor of the volume on Political Psychology concludes that “The attempt to define the interplay between politics, morality, philosophy, and human nature can certainly animate a research agenda (p.133).

Tentativeness: Do we not teach our students to be very tentative about the results of their research and does this not stop them from taking the “leaps of faith” that might allow them to make contributions to the types of decisions that are necessary in complex and turbulent times? An excellent piece of empirical research at the ISA 2008 conference demonstrated conclusively that international organizations, and not governments, were responsible for more than 80 percent of treaties and conventions thereby single-handedly rejecting Bush’s claim the UN is irrelevant. And yet the study’s conclusions were framed in the sense of “suggestions” that “perhaps” a “relatively” large number of solutions to international problems came from the much defamed international organizations.

All of this leads to the question: do our political science research methods not lead us to results that are too narrow, irrelevant and tentative to be taken seriously by those who should be consuming our product? In a recent volume (Shapiro et al. 2004) on Problems and Methods in the Study of Political Science, political science is portrayed as a battlefield of highly disparate agendas, worshipping conflicting ideals of scientific endeavour. The main conflict is between problem-driven research versus champions of methods- and theory-driven studies. Real world relevance and eclectic methods confront analytical rigour, explanatory elegance, and the goal of a unified science. In the same volume, Robert Dahl et al. opt for seeking “to help achieve good ends” rather than the goal of a unified science (pp. 378-81). In the Book Series volume on Local Government, Baldersheim and Wollmann propose an alternative approach that combines problems with theory orientation in a sort of return to Harold Lasswell’s famous program for “policy sciences” that are both scientifically sound and of practical relevance (Lasswell 1951).

Of course, I am not suggesting we throw out the baby with the bath water. The scientific method has helped us to think about rigorous knowledge. But it only helps us marginally and excludes many domains like philosophy, law, governance, democracy, nationalism, religion, morality, equity, values, goals, constitutions etc. etc. Do we not need a new form of analysis that allows us to deal rigorously with all the enormous issues that confront us in the 21st century? The authors in our Book Series have answered positively. O.P. Dwivedi (Governing Development) proclaims, “My view is that the new century demands a new thinking to face the greatest dilemma before humanity: how come a small group of nations keep on “progressing” while the majority remains poor and deprived? (p.184). Juan Linz (Democratization), states, “The task ahead is gigantic and a few cross-national surveys are far from sufficient for our needs.” (p.145). And Geraldo Munck adds, “Indeed, the future development of the research agenda on democratic transitions is likely to hinge on the ability of scholars to tackle some broad and fundamental challenges.” (p. 51).

I am not sure that any one of us alone or even working in our departments can come up with solutions to these fundamental problems. Political scientists have to learn to think collectively. So my last question is this: should our national political science associations and the IPSA not be setting up one or more commissions to study and evaluate the state of the discipline and propose techniques for its development?

Dealing with Specialization:

We have seen that among the most significant issues facing political science circa 2010 are the problems of fragmentation and specialization. Of course, they are intimately related to the scientific method just discussed. Fragmentation encompasses all the divisions in political science that have been mentioned earlier in this report – the separation of international relations and public administration and some other sub-fields, competing theoretical and methodological approaches, and a myriad of other splits over language, centre vs. periphery, ethnicity, country-specific education systems etc. Specialization is another form of fragmentation. By specialization I presume we mean individual and group concentration of research within one of the academic sub-fields of political science. While not disputing the contributions of specialization, several papers worried it has become “excessive”. By this, we may presume they have in mind scholars whose research focuses on ever-more narrow subjects that absorb their whole career and excludes any attempt at linkage with their broader sub-field or with socio-political problems.

This power of concentration has led to many of the break-throughs in science. The capacity to know all about a specific research area, to be in contact with colleagues at the cutting-edge of the field, and to focus one’s research on new developments can offer inspiration and save time and energy. There can be no doubt that specialization is an integral part of scientific progress. The questions are whether specialization also leads to human progress and whether its excesses can be counteracted? It seems that each time we learn of a new scientific advance we also hear about examples of related, uncontrolled technologies despoiling our environment and communities.

This report has enumerated many of the problems that excesses in specialization are causing for the discipline:

  • Political scientists communicate badly among themselves and with the world. Poor communication impedes cumulation of knowledge.
  • Narrow, academic knowledge does not go very far in satisfying the public’s thirst for an understanding of their society and for an informed debate over its goals and values. Even within the discipline there is little theoretical debate among the “separated tables” of different approaches.
  • Our students rarely get exposed to the fundamental questions underlying our discipline so they are not encouraged to “look at the big picture”, to take a broad approach, and to be adventuresome in their research hypotheses. They lack holistic vision or understanding. Because of the nature of our disciple we spend more time trying to eek out the last two percent of the explanatory power of our statistical model than we do in confronting society’s issues (Beck ).
  • As teachers we spend more time spoon-feeding details than educating. We rarely ask ourselves to study the value-added benefit of a professor in the classroom.
  • International specialization distracts scholars from participating in the debates of their university or country.
  • Different epistemological positions surface when it comes to particular methodological skills: one camp stressing analytic theory and quantitative data analysis while the other prefers a philosophical/historical approach and hermeneutics.
  • Although the two aspects of the discipline – policy and individual behaviour – are in fact more complimentary than competitive, they tend to ignore each other (specialization) or to press the primacy of one over the other.

The question is, of course, can anything be done about fragmentation and particularly about specialization or is it just the nature of the beast? From the outset, it has to be admitted this is an issue that bedevils all of science and not just political science. For instance, many people complain their doctors treat them as detached pieces of organs rather than in a holistic manner. Sometimes specialization is credited with the continued progress of science, at other times it is accused of all the sins of a divided humanity.

The problem of specialization is all encompassing and has been around for a long time, so we have had some time to think about it. It all starts when we take our first degrees in political science and every thing is cut up into ‘half courses”, so that our subject matter is straight-jacketed into the time table. Later on, our kindly thesis advisor suggests we would be wise to be very narrow in our choice of topic if we want to get it completed and defended. So begins our career. Then, most things in our career – teaching, research, promotion, recognition, and publication -- seem to conspire to force us to specialize.

The specialization problem is so all-pervasive that it will take immense thought by the whole discipline to deal with it – another reason for creating the political science study commission called for in the last section. There are already signs disciplinary leaders have recognized the extent of the problem. The IPSA has always taken care to start its World Congresses with Main Theme Sessions that bridge the discipline. Now it has taken responsibility for organizing cooperation and communication between research committees. In the U.S. they are seeking new means for promoting inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary research. More and more voices are being raised against the irrational divisions between political science, international relations and public administration.

But, it is likely much more needs to be done to build a holistic understanding of politics. It is unlikely either that specialization will disappear or that any single solution can be found for its excesses. Rather we need to think in terms of spreading awareness of the dangers of specialization and taking counter-active measures. Already we have seen suggestions for broadening out the curriculum of the M.A. program and of creating think tanks and research groups dedicated to exploring political issues and developing trans-disciplinary research. Can we go further? Should there be obligatory introductory courses and texts dealing with the major issues in politics and political science at the B.A. level which would be analysed in greater depth during doctoral studies? Should our doctoral students be encouraged to be more venturesome in their theses in order to tackle a corner of the fundamental issues facing our societies? Could there be greater interaction with politicians and public servants at all levels of government -- to begin with at our annual conferences? Should our associations seek to bridge the gap between politics and political science? Perhaps we should strive to ensure that narrow specialization is not considered to be a scholarly attribute.

Special Recommendations to the IPSA

The International Political Science Association should consider taking a more pro-active role in counselling their members and supporting their research activities. Along with its research committees, the IPSA could provide information to their members about how funding bodies operate and safeguards they should put in place. They might have an interesting role as partners in projects to help represent and protect the interests of scholars. There is also a potential role for systematic mentoring and tutorial arrangements, both face-to-face and on the Internet. RCs provide a vital forum for contacts and nurturing. Along with the IPSA Executive and Secretariat they should investigate ways to expand this work in novel and economical ways.
(Michael Pinto-Duschinsky)

Susan Scarrow (2007) raises the question with Pinto-Duschinsky whether the ivory tower may turn out to have more practical value than a consciously policy-relevant approach. Surely this opens for the Association the meaning and the context of the notion of “relevance”. Does it raise the question of the academy doing what policy-makers cannot do for themselves? Should researchers’ obligations be to policy-makers or to society, governance and democracy? Is our job to be simply empirical and judgmental or must we strive to be critical, wise, balanced and far-sighted?.

Mainland China should be invited to rejoin the IPSA and the Association should strive to help develop political science in Asia, Africa and the Arab countries. The Montreal Conference called for the formation of a general European political science association.

It was proposed that the IPSA should form a “trans-cultural commission on international relations”.

Bibliography 1
IPSA Conference Program
Concordia University, Montreal (Quebec), Canada
April 30 – May 2, 2008

International Political Science:

New Theoretical and Regional Perspectives


1. Epistemological Foundations and Methodology

Introductory Paper: BECK, Nathaniel (New York University)
Statement: POTEETE, Amy R. (Concordia University, RC 1)
Statement: CALISE, Mauro (Italian PSA)
Statement: UJO, A. A. (University of Abuja)
Statement: McFALLS, Laurence (University of Montréal, RC 1)
Statement: RIHOUX, Benoit (Belgian PSA).

2. Political Theory

Chair: Bertrand BADIE
Introductory Paper: INOGUCHI, Takashi (University of Tokyo)
Statement: WHITEHEAD, Laurence (Nuffield College, RC 13)
Statement: BAUMEISTER, Andrea (University of Stirling, RC 31)
Statement: CURRY, Jane (Santa Clara University, RC 16)

3. Political Sociology

Introductory Paper: LAGOS, Marta (MORI Chile)
Statement: FAUCHER-KING, Florence (Vanderbilt University, RC 6)
Statement: HIGLEY, John (University of Texas, Austin, RC 2)

4. Governance and Public Policies

Chair: Leonardo MORLINO
Introductory Paper: PETERS, Guy (University of Pittsburgh)
Statement: SCHNEIER, Edward (City University of New York, RC 8)
Statement: COLEBATCH, Hal (APSA/Robert Gordon University, RC 32)
Statement : PAL, Leslie A. (Carleton University, RC 32)
Statement : LA BRANCHE, Stéphane (IEP Grenoble, RC 46)

Lecture by John TRENT (University of Ottawa)
“Issues and Trends in Political Science: 
Perspectives from the World of Political Science Book Series”

5. Comparative Politics

Chair: Leonardo MORLINO
Introductory Paper: MATTES, Robert (University of Capetown)
Statement: WAELTI, Sonja (American University, RC 28)
Statement: ARAT, Zehra F. (Purchase College , SUNY, RC 26)
Statement: SADIE, Yolanda (University of Johannesburg, RC 7)

6. International Relations

Chair: Bertrand BADIE
Introductory Paper: CARLSNAES, Walter (University of Uppsala)/HELLMANN, Gunther (University of Frankfurt)
Statement: ATTINA, Fulvio (Italian PSA)
Statement: GUELKE, Adrian (Queen’s University of Belfast, RC 14)
Statement: GAL-OR, Noemi (Kwantlen University, RC 40)


Panel 1: Asia and the Pacific / Africa

Chair: Hideo Otake, Luc Sindjoun

Paper by SAWER, Marian (Executive Committee) “Political Science in Australasia”

Paper by OYUGI, Walter (University of Nairobi): “Political Science in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda)”

Paper by LEE, Chung Hee/KIM, Kee Seok (Korean PSA): “The State of Political Science in Korea”

Paper by CHOU, Yujen (Chinese PSA): “Political Science in the Republic of China (Taiwan)”

Paper by TANIGUCHI, Masaki (Japanese PSA): “The State of Political Science in Japan”

Paper by CHATURVEDI, Madhukar Shyam (Indian PSA): “The State of Political Science in India”

Paper by LEE, Lai To/SINGH, Bilveer (PSA Singapore): « Political Science in Singapore »

Paper by HOLMES, Ronald D. (Philippine PSA) “The State of Political Science in the Philippines”

Paper by SEBUDUBUDU, David (University of Botswana): “Political Science in Botswana”

Panel 2: Latin America / North America

Chair: Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida

Paper by FERNANDEZ, Arturo (SAAP Argentina): “Political Science in Argentina”

Paper by JOHNSTON, Richard (Canadian PSA): “Political Science in Canada”

Paper by Tavares de Almeida, Maria Herminia/ PINHEIRO, Leticia (Brazilian PSA): “Political Science in Brazil”

Paper by BRINTNALL, Michael/AFFIGNE, Tony (APSA): “The State of Political Science in the United States”

Panel 3: Europe (I)

Chair: Max KAASE, Tatyana PARKHALINA

Paper by RIHOUX, Benoit (Belgian PSA, Communauté Française) : “Political Science in a Small, Open Country: Belgium”

Paper by HOLZER, Jan (Czech PSA): “Political Science in the Czech Republic”

Paper by PETTAI, Vello (ECPR Executive Committee): “Political Science in Estonia”

Paper by BERNDTSON, Erkki (Finnish PSA): “Political Science in Finland”

Paper by Yves DELOYE/Nonna MAYER (French PSA): “Political Science in France”

Paper by SCHUETTEMEYER, Suzanne S./WURM, Felix W. (German PSA): “Political Science in Germany”

Paper by SEFERIADES, Seraphim (Hellenic PSA): “Political Science in Greece”

Paper by CAPANO, Giliberto/VERZICHELLI, Luca (Italian PSA): “Political Science in Italy”

Paper by KLINGEMANN, Hans-Dieter (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin): “Towards an Integration of Political Science in Europe?”

Panel 4: Europe (II)

Chair: Wyn P. GRANT, Irmina MATONYTE

Paper by JAKNIUNAITE, Dovilé/VINOGRADNAITE, Inga (Lithuanian PSA): “The Development of Political Science in a Small State: The Case of Lithuania”

Paper by POIRIER, Philippe (Luxemburg PSA): “Political Science in Luxemburg”

Paper by SOLHAUG, Trond (RC 21): “Political Science in Norway”

Paper by SASINSKA-KLAS, Teresa (Polish PSA): “Political Science as an Academic Discipline in Poland: Past & Present”

Paper by ILYIN, Mikhail/MALINOVA, Olga (Russian PSA): “Political Science in Russia”

Paper by PREBILIC, Vladimir/ZAJC, Drago (Slovenian PSA): “Political Science in Slovenia”

Paper by LLERA, Francisco/ONATE, Pablo (Spanish PSA): “The Development of Political Science in Spain”

Paper by TURAN, Ilter (Program Chair, XXI IPSA World Congress): “The State of Political Science in Turkey”

Paper by SAEZ, Lawrence/HARRISON, Lisa (PSA of the UK): “Political Studies in the United Kingdom: A 21st Century Health Check”


Panel 1: International Politics, Globalization and Democracy

Chair: Lourdes SOLA

Paper by POLUNIN, Y. A./MIRONYUK, M. G./TIMOFEEV, I. N. (Moscow State Institute of International Relations): “Political Atlas of the World: Understanding the Non-Linear Dynamics of World Politics”

Paper by DALBY, Simon (Carleton University, RC 15): “Imperialism, Domination, Culture: The Relevance of Critical Geopolitics”

Paper by WESSELS, David (Sophia University, RC 43): “Religion in International Politics”

Paper by TEUNE, Henry (University of Pennsylvania, RC 47) “Comparing the Local in the Open Global System”

Paper by OSTROWSKI, Krzysztof (Pultusk Academy of Humanities, RC 47): “Democratization in National and Global Systems (Research Findings)”

Paper by CARVER, Terrell (University of Bristol, RC 49): “Materializing the Metaphors of Global Capitalism and Democratic Resistance”

Panel 2: Political Sociology and Political Socialisation

Chair: Jorge Heine

Paper by IGNAZI, Piero (University of Bologna, RC 6): “The Resilience of Class and Religion in Established Democracies”

Paper by SOMIT, A. /PETERSON, St. A. (Pennsylvania State University, RC 12): “Biology and Politics: Cross-Field Linkages”

Paper by HARDER, Lois (University of Alberta, RC 52): “The Public Character of Intimate Life: National Membership, Family Forms, and Scales of Governance”

Paper by HAUSSMAN, Melissa (Carleton University, RC 19): “Opportunities for Pro- and Anti-Feminist Activism in North American Federal States”

Paper by ANDREW, Caroline (University of Ottawa, RC 19): “Interscalar Strategies around the Organizing for Women’s Safety”

Panel 3: Electoral Politics and Political Financing

Chair: Marian SAWER

Paper by STANTON, Richard (University of Sydney, RC 22): “MySpace Telecommunications as Campaign Strategy in Australia’s 2007 Federal Election Campaign”

Paper by ALDE, Alessandra (U do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, RC 22): “Brazilian Elections: The Role of Political Opinion Weblogs”

Paper by KERSTING, Norbert (University of Marburg, RC 10): “Electronic Democracy in Comparative Perspective”

Paper by HOFNUNG, Menachem (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, RC 20): “Political Finance Regulation: The Comparative Advantage”

Paper by PINTO-DUSCHINSKY, Michael (Brunel University, RC 20): “Public Policy and the Study of Political Finance”

Panel 4: Levels of Governance and Public Policies

Chair: Leslie A. Pal

Paper by STEIN, Michael (University of Toronto, RC 28)/ TURKEWITSCH, Lisa (University of Toronto): “The Concept of ‘Multilevel Governance’ in Studies of Federalism”

Paper by KROPP, Sabine (University of Düsseldorf, German PSA): “Delegation and Accountability in Europeanized National Parliaments”

Paper by HOLTMANN, Everhard (University of Halle, German PSA): “Local Governance and Party Systems Change: A Cross-National Perspective”

Paper by Hedlund, Ronald D./PATZELT, Werner J./OLSON, David M. (Northeastern University/University of Dresden/University of North Carolina, RC 8): “Capacity Building in Parliaments and Legislatures”

Paper by JAIN, Sharda (University of Delhi, RC 39): “Paradox of Welfare State and Dilemmas of Research in the Context of Developing Societies”

Paper by BJOERKMAN, J. W. (The Hague Institute of Social Studies, RC 25): “Public-Private Partnerships in Health Care Services of Less Developed Countries”

Paper by ROSENAU, Pauline Vaillancourt (University of Texas, RC 25): “Do Private Market Models for Health Care Work: What Is the Evidence?”

Panel 5: Civil-Military Relations, Terrorism, and the Protection of Human Rights

Chair: Daniel Tarschys

Paper by KENKEL, Kai M. (Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, RC 24)/WOOD, Kathryn L. (San José State University, RC 24): “Soldiers in Politics: The State of the Field in the World’s Regions”

Paper by KING, Preston (Morehouse College Atlanta, RC 31): “Managing the Terrorist Challenge to Democracy”

Paper by SUNGUROV, Alexander (St. Petersburg Center for Political Studies, RC 26): “Terrorism and Human Rights: The Chechen Conflict”

Paper by SINGH, Bilveer (PSA Singapore): “The State of Studies on Islamist Extremism in Southeast Asia”.

[1] For those interested in the details of the two reports, they may be found on my website, John E. Trent, “Issues and Trends in Political Science at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Perspectives from the World of Political Science Book Series” paper presented at the conference on International Political Science: New Theoretical and Regional Perspectives, Montreal, May 2008. and John E. Trent “Development in Political Science: Report on the IPSA Montreal Conference May 2008”.