political science is for everybody: an introduction to political science


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political science is for everybody is the first intersectionality-mainstreamed textbook written for introductory political science courses. While political science and politics are for everybody, political institutions are neither neutral nor unbiased. When we write political science textbooks that obscure the differences in how groups experience and interact with political institutions, we do students a disservice. This book exposes students to these differences while also bringing marginalized voices to the fore, allowing more students to see their lived experiences reflected in the pages of their textbook. Bringing together a diverse group of contributors, political science is for everybody teaches all the basics of political science while showing that representation matters – both in politics and in the classroom.


From the Publisher

political sciencepolitical science

BACKGROUND TO POLITICAL SCIENCE IS FOR EVERYBODY

You’ve probably heard the old adage that history is written by the victors. As any historian will tell you, that adage is not particularly true, but it contains a nugget of truth at its core: It isn’t that history is written by the victors ; it’s that, as with all knowledge production , history has been written by people who are viewed as legitimate and authoritative sources. And there is where things get tricky. Who is viewed as legitimate and authoritative?

Obviously, there are many factors at play – era, location, culture – but for simplicity’s sake, let’s think about people who are viewed as legitimate and authoritative research scientists (they get a lot more publicity than historians or political scientists).

1 Think about scientists who are famous because they are considered foundational to the production of scientific knowledge.

2 Take a minute to make a list of three to five scientists that you can name with[1]out thinking too hard about it.

Now, let’s look at your list. If I had to bet, I would say that if there is a woman on your list, it is Marie Curie (points for Rosalind Franklin and quintuple points for Katherine Johnson or Jocelyn Bell Burnell). I would also bet that if there is a scientist of color on your list, it is Neil Degrasse Tyson (points for George Washington Carver and quintuple points for Dr. Ocean Mercier).

What was the point of this brainstorming exercise? To demonstrate that knowledge production, and the group of people whom we consider to be legitimate producers of knowledge, has traditionally been dominated by men of European heritage. Yes, people of color and women have produced important and insightful scientific knowledge; historically, however, most have either been barred from research or had their achievements attributed to white male scholars.

As you can see in Figure 0.1 , political science, like its cousins in the natural sciences, is still largely dominated by white men. The vast majority of political science textbooks are written by white men. You may be asking yourself, Is that a problem? In a nutshell: yes!

It’s not that white guys don’t know things – they know all sorts of cool things! It’s that other people also know things. Members of dominant groups don’t often ask how marginalized groups experience the political world – there’s an assumption that what works for the dominant group must work the same way for every[1]one. But when all the knowledge that is widely shared comes from the dominant group, we get an incomplete picture of how the political world works. When textbooks are written from only the dominant perspective, you, the political science student, may be left with the impression that political institutions are neutral and unbiased. Except we know that’s not true. Think about the fact that racial and ethnic minorities are often punished more harshly for the same crimes than the dominant ethnic/racial group in your society. Think about the fact that women experience a wage gap in every country around the globe. Both of those facts are a result of social and political factors that help dominant groups and harm minority and marginalized groups.

Of course, these averages hide a lot of variation among states. For example, the Canadian Political Science Association reports that 40 per cent of its members. Percentage of Women and Scholars of Color in Anglo-American Political Science Women and Scholars of Color in Anglo-American Political Science are women, versus only about 31 per cent in the Political Studies Associations of both Ireland and the United Kingdom. The American Political Science Association reports that about 25 per cent of its members are scholars of color, while its Australian counterpart indicates that 0 per cent of its members are scholars of color (New Zealand reports <1 per cent and the UK <5 per cent). These numbers are, of course, historical legacies of a system that was invented by white men at a time when they openly asserted that theirs was the superior form of knowledge. And it is to that time that I turn next.

Amy atchisonAmy atchison

About the Editor Amy Atchison

Dr. Amy L. Atchison is an associate professor of political science and international relations at Valparaiso University. Her research interests include gender and poli tics, social welfare policy, and the status of marginalized groups in political science. She is the co-author of Survive and Resist: The Defi nitive Guide to Dystopian Politics with Shauna Shames (Columbia University Press, 2019). Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including Poverty and Public Policy ; Politics & Gender ; PS: Political Science and Politics ; the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy ; the Review of Policy Research ; and the European Journal of Politics and Gender

Table of Contents

Introduction Background to political science is for everybody

Why this book?

The Structure of the Book Final Note

Section I: The Foundations of Politics

1. What are the Foundations of Politics?

2. Political Theory and the Intersectional Quest for The Good Life

3. Political Ideologies

4. Civil Society and Social Movements 5. Political Parties 6. Electoral Systems and Representation Section II: Comparative Politics

7. Introduction 8. Executives 9. Legislatures 10. Public Policy Through an Intersectional Lens 11. Courts and the Law Section III: International Relations

12. What is International Relations? 13. International Political Economy 14. Security and Conflict 15. International Law & Human Rights 16. International Organizations Conclusion Summing Up The Politics of Division Identity Politics are not Bad Politics Final Thoughts End Notes

List of Contributors

Dr. Brooke Ackerly is a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University and co-editor-in-chief of the International Feminist Journal of Politics 2018–21).

Dr. Tiffany D. Barnes is an associate professor and a director of undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky.

Victoria Beall is a fifth-year PhD student and teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky studying political science with a focus in comparative politics and international relations.

Dr. James Brassett is a reader in international political economy at the University of Warwick, UK. His work engages the everyday politics of globalization with a focus on questions of ethics, governance, crisis, and resistance.

Anna Carella is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Pedro A . G. dos Santos is an associate professor of political science at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University and has also taught at Luther College.

Dr. Juanita Elias is a professor in international political economy at the University of Warwick.

Dr. Silvia Erzeel is an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium).

Dr. Kimberly P. Fields earned her PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained her BA in political science from Temple University.

Dr. Jillienne Haglund is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Farida Jalalzai is the associate dean for global initiatives and engagement at Virginia Tech. Dr. Meryl Kenny is a senior lecturer in gender and politics at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr. Keisha Lindsay is an associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Liza Mügge is an associate professor in the Political Science Department and research theme leader of the Diverse Europe group of the Amsterdam Research Centre for European Studies, both at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Dr. Malliga Och is an assistant professor of global studies at Idaho State University where she teaches classes on human rights, gender, global governance, and European politics.

Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega is an associate professor in the Methods Lab at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-México).

Dr. Jennifer M. Piscopo is an associate professor of politics at Occidental College. Dr. Lena Rethel is an associate professor of international political economy (IPE) at the University of Warwick.

Dr. Ben Richardson is a reader in international political economy. Dr. Laura Sjoberg is a professor of political science at the University of Florida and British Academy global professor of politics and international relations at Royal Holloway University of London.

Dr. Erica Townsend-Bell is an associate professor of political science and director of the Center for African Studies at Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Jon Whooley is a full-time lecturer at San Francisco State University, where he teaches human rights, strategy and war, American foreign policy, gender, critical security studies, and global politics.

Dr. Christina Xydias is an associate professor of political science at Bucknell University. Dr. Susanne Zwingel is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University.

Publisher‏:‎University of Toronto Press (February 16, 2021)
Language‏:‎English
Paperback‏:‎464 pages
ISBN-10‏:‎1487523904
ISBN-13‏:‎978-1487523909
Item Weight‏:‎1.72 pounds
Dimensions‏:‎7.5 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches

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