The admittedly passé expression “ignorance is bliss” has found new meaning in research. For the most part, academics seem perfectly content to turn a blind eye to conventions, debates, and developments in other fields whilst simultaneously slandering scholars in those fields for doing the same to them. Yes, we are at least a little bit guilty of academic bigotry or, at the very least, of counter-productive naiveté.
In my oh-so unbiased opinion, political scientists often get the short-end of this ugly stick. Our field is not as time-honored as history (if only Herodotus had written about deterrence strategies) nor as empirical as economics. Many political scientists borrow liberally from sociology and anthropology; however, we are rebuked by our own kind for employing ‘soft’ methods (note to self: pretend cultural variables do not exist until guaranteed tenure). On the other hand, many political philosophers disdain the use of quantitative methods (you know who you are…) in political analysis.
Anyways, self-pity aside, I have made a decision — I REFUSE TO BE PIGEONHOLED!! Sure, my graduate school applications may be to the political science department; however this is mostly because I expect that my diverse methedological and substantive interests are best suited to the field that is subjected to the widest array of critiques. If I want to continue to learn from sociologists, economists, anthropologists, theorists, philosophers, political scientists, etc. I think I have to be rejected unofficially by all of them.
Lynn Hancock, MAverick (has a nice ring to it eh?)
THIS kind of maverick not this kind…