Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

The Political and Intellectual Origins of New Political Science*

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In 1967, the burgeoning discontent of many political scientists culminated in the establishment of the Caucus for a New Political Science. The Caucus included political scientists of many diverse viewpoints, but it was united methodologically by a critique of behavioralism and by the idea that political science should abandon the myth of a value-free science. This article reviews the political and intellectual origins of New Political Science by examining some of the major works of the late 1960s and early 1970s purporting to establish the foundations of a new political science. It concludes that new political science originated as a methodological critique of behavioralism, an empirical critique of pluralist theory, and a sociological critique of the relationship between political science and political power. However, by 1979, after a decade of organizational insurgency and conflict with the APSA, these strands of thought fused into a critique of capitalist society, while its methodological critique of political science was transformed into a commitment to socialist politics.


© 2017 Caucus for a New Political Science


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New Political Science