Technique Trumps Relevance: The Professionalization of Political Science and the Marginalization of Security Studies
Michael Desch explains the disconnect between the discipline’s self-image as balancing rigor with relevance with the reality of how political scientists actually conduct scholarship most of the time. To do so, he accounts for variation in social scientists’ willingness to engage in policy-relevant scholarship over time. His theory is that social science, at least as it has been practiced in the United States since the early twentieth century, has tried to balance two impulses: To be a rigorous science and a relevant social enterprise.
Technique Trumps Relevance: The Professionalization of Political Science and the Marginalization of Security Studies, by Michael Desch, appears in Perspectives on Politics Volume 13 / Issue 2 / June 2015, pp 377–393. This essay is followed by responses from Ido Oren, Laura Sjobreg, Helen Louise Turton, Erik Voeten, and Stephen M. Walt. Michael Desch then offers a response to commentators.