Once sparce and sporadic, histories of political science have proliferated in recent years. We contend that such histories are a necessary feature of the discourse of political science, because there are essential connections between the history, identity, and actual practices of any rationally progressive discipline. In light of the fact that the objects political scientists study are historically and contextually contingent, there has been—and should be—a plurality of histories to match the diversity of approaches in politicalscience. Unfortunately, most histories of political science prove either “Whiggish” and condescending toward the past, or “skeptical” and negative. The consequence has been an inadequate understanding of the relationship between plurality, rationality, and progress in the discipline. Taking into account both the deficiencies and achievements of Whiggish and skeptical accounts, we argue that context-sensitive histories would better serve the rationality and progress of political science.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||American Political Science Review|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|