Stephen Walt on Political Science

I’ll pose the question to my friends who were/are actual political science majors: is the trend Walt identifies here, in which caution defeats ambition and compels scholars to focus on drab, esoteric questions over bold new models, for real?

It sounds plausible to me, and certainly tracks with my one deeply dissatisfying semester in NYU’s Politics department, but that’s not enough to base an argument on. And to be fare, I don’t think this is somehow unique to political science; the same sort of institutional pressures could affect many different departments, and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t.

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