European Political Science

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 143–155 | Cite as

toward a science of politics?

  • Bernard Grofman
Symposium: Why Political Science is not Scientific Enough


In the first half of the essay we summarise the main contributions in the essays in this issue by Coleman, Colomer, and Taagepera, and identify key commonalities in their suggestions for making political science more ‘scientific’. We argue that most of their concerns are well taken, but that the remedies they propose may not be applicable in all domains within political science. In particular, it is largely in the area of voting and elections, where clearly demarcated input and output variables can be identified, that their suggestions seem the most applicable. In the second half of the essay we trace the rise and fall, over the past 100 years, of movements in the US to make political science more scientific. We conclude by identifying similarities between these essays and the recent EITM movement in US political science.


philosophy of social sciences methodology logic of inquiry scientific study of politics 


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Grofman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

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