Caucus for a New Political Science
Caucus for a New Political Science
New Political Science "is the official journal of the Caucus for a New Political Science.
Review by Clyde W. Barrow (2008)
"The burgeoning discontent of many political scientists culminated in the establishment of the Caucus for a New Political Science (CNPS) at the 1967 meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The original constitution of the CNPS states that it was organized “to help make the study of politics relevant to the struggle for a better world.”" (p.215)
"The CNPS was established at the 1967 meeting of the APSA amidst the escalating political turmoil in the United States and abroad. The CNPS was initially the brainchild of H. Mark Roelofs, a professor of political science at New York University, and Christian Bay, a professor of political science at the University of Alberta. Christian Bay was best known for his book The Structure of Freedom (1958), which was so highly regarded by political scientists that it was reprinted in 1965 (with a new preface) and again in 1970. Bay authored one of the earliest critiques of the behavioral persuasion, particularly as manifested in systems analysis." (p.218)
"At the other extreme, however, were political philosophers, especially Leo Strauss and his followers, who simply dismissed behavioralism. Indeed, one of the most influential early critiques of behavioralism by political philosophers was a collection of essays, edited by Herbert J. Storing, entitled Essays on the Scientific Study of Politics (1962). This Straussian critique of the behavioral revolution created a stir in the APSR by asserting the Straussian axiom that “political science is identical with political philosophy,”19 and therefore, as Storing concluded, the behavioralists’ focus on “how to study politics succeeds only in diverting us from the study of it.”20 As behavioralists tightened their stranglehold on the discipline through control of the APSA’s official positions, the APSR editorial board, and Social Science Research Council (SSRC) grants, they could easily ignore such criticism as sour grapes." (p.219)
"The Caucus was organized in a series of three meetings, each double the size of the preceding meeting, which culminated with the election of a 13-member executive committee, the adoption of an official name, and a membership list of approximately 225 persons. H. Mark Roelofs was elected chairman; Charles A. McCoy, vice-chairman; Paul Minkoff (Brooklyn College), treasurer; and Anna Navarro (Princeton University), secretary." (p.223)
"Other members of the original executive committee were Ronald Bayer (University of Chicago), Tom Blau (University of Chicago), Alex Gottfried (University of Washington), Edward C. Hayes (University of California, Berkeley), Sanford V. Levinson (Harvard University), Alden E. Lind (University of North Carolina), David Morris (Institute for Policy Studies), and Marvin Surkin (Moravian College)." (p.223)
In 1969 "Alan Wolfe, a young Caucus firebrand, who was a student of Theodore J. Lowi, published an article documenting the APSA’s “oligarchic yet apolitical character.”57 He applied the same method of power structure analysis deployed in radical critiques of pluralism to map out the APSA’s internal power structure and hold it up as an example of the discipline’s apolitical politics. Not a single Association office had ever been contested by anyone from outside this academic establishment." (p.226)
"The CNPS nominated Christian Bay for president. It nominated David Kettler, H. Mark Roelofs, and Alan Wolfe for the three vice-presidential positions. Henry S. Kariel and Lewis Lipsitz, among others, were nominated for the APSA Executive Council (see Table 1). Kariel and Lipsitz were also nominated by the APSA Nominating Committee, which led to the formation of a third group in the 1969 election called the Ad Hoc Committee for a Representative Slate. The Ad Hoc Committee was chaired by Donald G. Herzberg of the Eagleton Institute." (p.226)
"Following Hans Morgenthau’s failed bid for the APSA presidency in 1970, the CNPS nominated Richard A. Falk (1971) and then Peter Bachrach for the Presidency (1972–1973),with Bachrach capturing 49.5% of the vote in 1972 and coming within 60 votes (out of 6,471 cast) of winning the presidency". (pp.237-8)
"The political relationships that were condemned by the early Caucus were organized directly through the CIA, the National Science Foundation, the SSRC, private foundations, a network of private and corporate consultant relationships, and many other linkages that have nothing to do with the APSA and which the APSA can neither obstruct nor facilitate with any great capacity. These are relationships organized by corporations and the state." (p.241)
- Clyde W. Barrow, "The Intellectual Origins of New Political Science", New Political Science ,30:2 (2008) pp.215–244 Online Draft
- Kristen Renwick Monroe (ed.), Perestroika! The Raucous Rebellion in Political Science (Yale University Press, 2005).
- James Petras, “Ideology and United States Political Scientists,” in Charles A. McCoy and John Playford (eds), Apolitical Politics: A Critique of Behavioralism (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1967), pp. 76–98.
- Alan Wolfe, “Practising the Pluralism We Preach: Internal Processes in the American Political Science Association,” Antioch Review 29 (Fall 1969).
- Alan Wolfe, “Unthinking about the Thinkable: Reflections on the Failure of the Caucus for a New Political Science,” Politics and Society 1:3 (May 1971), pp. 398–406.
- Marvin Surkin and Alan Wolfe, An End to Political Science: The Caucus Papers (1970).
Resources and articles
Related Sourcewatch articles
- Network of Activist Scholars of Politics and International Relations
- Michael Parenti
- Isaac Balbus
- Victor Wallis, a formerCNPS chairman (1977–1978)