By Gerard Alexander
Would academic political science benefit from more viewpoint diversity? Let’s start with the good news, which is that political science isn’t nearly the worst-off discipline on campus.
This is not because its intellectual demographics are so great. Surveys, such as this one, of faculty members’ voter registration data suggest that poli sci does not contain nearly as large a share of conservative and libertarian professors as the more intellectually diverse fields of economics and law. Democrats outnumber Republicans among political science professors by over 7 to 1.
Political science may contain no more diversity on this score than un-diverse fields such as comparative literature, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, and social psychology. If poli sci is better than most, it’s because the frameworks of thinking, research, and teaching that dominate it are, ironically, less politicized than in many other disciplines.
In fields like literature and anthropology, research agendas so thoroughly reflect liberal and progressive assumptions and interests that in many cases it is unclear how the occasional conservative can contribute to major debates. Political science contains some areas of study like this, driven by the left’s beliefs about what topics are salient and how they should be studied. CONTINUE READING HERE