Healing the Rift between Political Science and Practical Politics

The Forum, Vol. 8, No. 3, October 2010

Posted: 14 Oct 2011

See all articles by Jacob S. Hacker

Jacob S. Hacker

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Date Written: October 14, 2010

Abstract

Policy - what government does, why it does it, and what difference it makes - deserves a more central position in political science, especially in the study of American politics. This paper outlines the advantages of such a "policy-focused" political science not just for the engagement of the discipline (and those within it) with pressing real-world problems, but also for the quality of research. My argument is not simply that a focus on policy will make political science more "relevant," although it will. It is that a political science without systematic attention to policy is a bad political science - a political science that fails to capture extremely important aspects of politics.

Keywords: policy focus, political science

Suggested Citation

Hacker, Jacob S., Healing the Rift between Political Science and Practical Politics (October 14, 2010). The Forum, Vol. 8, No. 3, October 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1944183

Jacob S. Hacker (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jhacker

Yale University - Institution for Social and Policy Studies ( email )

89 Trumbull Street
New Haven, CT 06515
United States

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