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Our Enemies and US: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science (Paperback)
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Our Enemies and US: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science (Paperback)

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£20.99
Paperback 250 Pages / Published: 07/01/2013
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Ido Oren challenges American political science's definition of itself as an objective science attached to democracy. The material Oren unearthed in his research into the discipline's ideological nature may discomfit many: Woodrow Wilson's admiration of Prussia's efficient bureaucracy; the favorable review of Mein Kampf published in the American Political Science Review; the involvement of political scientists in village pacification and interrogation of Viet Cong prisoners during the Vietnam War. Oren reveals the fervently pro-German views of the founder of the discipline, John W. Burgess, who stated that the Teutonic race was politically superior to all others, and he presents evidence of a long-term, intimate relationship between the discipline and the national security agencies of the U.S. government. Oren documents a systematic pattern of historical change in the discipline's characterization of America and America's chief enemies (Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Stalin's Russia). These characterizations, he finds, swing from pre-conflict ideological "accommodationism" to post-conflict "nationalism." Substantial traces of this historical process, in which politics and scholarship intertwine, still remain in the supposedly objective concepts and data sets of contemporary political science. Our Enemies and US is more than an expose, however. Oren urges academics to be more sensitive to the moral ramifications of their work and to reflect on issues fundamental to the identity of political science. The discipline, he says, must take into account the historical position of its own scholarship.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801478949
Number of pages: 250
Weight: 485 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"In this fascinating critical history of American political science, Ido Oren notes that the image of the profession that emerges from its own discourse is 'one of an objective science that investigates politics yet remains outside politics, and whose question and conceptual constructs are not embedded in any historical or national context.' Oren outright rejects this dispassionate, objective image. . . . Oren concludes that while political science is predominately a body of thought with an American national and historical perspective, the profession rarely acknowledges that perspective.' Virginia Quarterly Review"


"This provocative book is certain to stir up controversy at the next round of political science conventions. . . . This carefully reasoned work confronts the very identity of political science." Library Journal"


"In this important and courageous book, Oren engages in a research activity in which few American political scientists dare to venture, namely a critical investigation of the history of the discipline. . . . Critics of mainstream political science will find that this book supports many of their intuitions about the ideological nature of the American science of politics, while those in the mainstream may be left shocked and horrified. Whatever the case, Oren's factually based account of the development of American political science provides a wealth of thought-provoking material that all serious scholars can ill afford to ignore." International Affairs"


"Oren's book forces readers to reflect on the complex ways that disciplinary canons, institutions, and broader cultural norms interact to produce scholarship. Our Enemies and US is a theoretically informed history of the knowledge/power nexus in political science but it is also a very timely book." Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences"


"Oren's is a thoughtful and compelling addition to the growing literature on the history of political science, and must reading for political scientists who want to better grasp the genesis and development and the limitations as well as the potential of their own inquiries." Journal of Politics"


"Our Enemies and US is an exciting and timely addition to the growing literature on the development of American political science. It should be critical reading for all social scientists, new and old. It compels us to reassess the degree to which we have fulfilled our own aspirations to objectivity. It invites us to recognize the extent to which, in the past, time and place have only too often imposed unsuspected but serious limits on the presumed objectivity of scholarship in our discipline. Even more unsettling, there appears to be little reason to believe that such constraints are not actively at work in shaping much of our research today." David Easton, University of California, Irvine"


"In this fascinating critical history of American political science, Ido Oren notes that the image of the profession that emerges from its own discourse is 'one of an objective science that investigates politics yet remains outside politics, and whose question and conceptual constructs are not embedded in any historical or national context.' Oren outright rejects this dispassionate, objective image. . . . Oren concludes that while political science is predominately a body of thought with an American national and historical perspective, the profession rarely acknowledges that perspective.' Virginia Quarterly Review

"

"This provocative book is certain to stir up controversy at the next round of political science conventions. . . . This carefully reasoned work confronts the very identity of political science." Library Journal

"

"In this important and courageous book, Oren engages in a research activity in which few American political scientists dare to venture, namely a critical investigation of the history of the discipline. . . . Critics of mainstream political science will find that this book supports many of their intuitions about the ideological nature of the American science of politics, while those in the mainstream may be left shocked and horrified. Whatever the case, Oren's factually based account of the development of American political science provides a wealth of thought-provoking material that all serious scholars can ill afford to ignore." International Affairs

"

"Oren's book forces readers to reflect on the complex ways that disciplinary canons, institutions, and broader cultural norms interact to produce scholarship. Our Enemies and US is a theoretically informed history of the knowledge/power nexus in political science but it is also a very timely book." Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

"

"Oren's is a thoughtful and compelling addition to the growing literature on the history of political science, and must reading for political scientists who want to better grasp the genesis and development and the limitations as well as the potential of their own inquiries." Journal of Politics

"

"Our Enemies and US is an exciting and timely addition to the growing literature on the development of American political science. It should be critical reading for all social scientists, new and old. It compels us to reassess the degree to which we have fulfilled our own aspirations to objectivity. It invites us to recognize the extent to which, in the past, time and place have only too often imposed unsuspected but serious limits on the presumed objectivity of scholarship in our discipline. Even more unsettling, there appears to be little reason to believe that such constraints are not actively at work in shaping much of our research today." David Easton, University of California, Irvine

"

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