Poli-Sci for the Trump Era

By: Colleen Flaherty ,  insidehighered.com
Tue, 10/10/2017

President Trump’s rise to power prompted numerous think pieces from political scientists about the virtues (or lack thereof) of political neutrality in the classroom. But beyond questions about teaching and personal opinion, political scientists are also asking how they should study political science today. Namely, they’re asking whether the discipline’s traditional structure -- semi-siloed subfields including American politics, comparative politics (everyone else), political theory and international relations -- works in the age of Trump.  “For those of us who have been studying this country, it’s been remarkably stable over time,” said Suzanne Mettler, the Clinton Rossiter Professor of Political Institutions at Cornell University and co-author of a new paper on Trumpism and democracy; the article is an outgrowth of a workshop Mettler, an Americanist, and colleagues held at Cornell in June to promote dialogue across political science subfields -- a central message of the new paper.  Mettler’s collaborators and co-authors are Tom Pepinsky and Ken Roberts, professors of comparative political science at Cornell, and two professors of American political development: Robert Lieberman, of Johns Hopkins University, and Richard Valelly, of Swarthmore College. Over all, their project aims to wed comparative analytical approaches with historical and developmental approaches to studying American politics, Mettler said, “enabling us to assess recent developments against earlier instances of democratic stress and to identify how processes of change have given rise to the present moment.”  Click here to read the full article.

Mettler, Roberts, Pepinsky