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Why Do We Need Diversity in the Political Methodology Society?

3 May 2014

Words fail to capture how much I felt validated in reading this post by political scientist Chris Achen. Though he’s talking about political methodology, I think the same ideas can be applied to political science and the academy more generally.

The whole time I read the post, I thought of how many people study African politics who are not from African countries, myself included. (I didn’t read the footnote until the end.) I’m sure there is plenty that we as students of African politics are getting wrong. We have a long way to go.

The Political Methodologist

The following post is written by Christopher AchenRoger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of Politics at Princeton University. Achen was the first president of the Political Methodology section of the American Political Science Association.

What does diversity have to do with political methodology? Not much, it might be thought. Of course, it is nice to have a wide range of people at methods panels and at the Summer Meetings. We’re glad to encourage a diversity of entry-level people to join us. But in the end, we may say, the central aspect of our professional lives is that we do science. It is really just about the work. And the whole point of the Society for Political Methodology is that we know how to do the work and how to train new people to do it, too. That is what constitutes us as an academic…

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