The Evolution of Political Knowledge

Democracy, Autonomy, and Conflict in Comparative and International Politics

Edward D. Mansfield and Richard Sisson, eds.

Over the course of the last century, political scientists have been moved by two principal purposes. First, they have sought to understand and explain political phenomena in a way that is both theoretically and empirically grounded. Second, they have analyzed matters of enduring public interest, whether in terms of public policy and political action, fidelity between principle and practice in the organization and conduct of government, or the conditions of freedom, whether of citizens or of states. Many of the central advances made in the field have been prompted by a desire to improve both the quality and our understanding of political life. Nowhere is this tendency more apparent than in research on comparative politics and international relations, fields in which concerns for the public interest have stimulated various important insights.

This volume systematically analyzes the major developments within the fields of comparative politics and international relations over the past three decades. Each chapter is composed of a core paper that addresses the major puzzles, conversations, and debates that have attended major areas of concern and inquiry within the discipline. These papers examine and evaluate the intellectual evolution and “natural history” of major areas of political inquiry and chart particularly promising trajectories, puzzles, and concerns for future work. Each core paper is accompanied by a set of shorter commentaries that engage the issues it takes up, thus contributing to an ongoing and lively dialogue among key figures in the field.

A companion volume examines the major developments within the fields of comparative politics and international relations.

Edward D. Mansfield is Hum Rosen Professor of political science and director of the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics at the University of Pennsylvania. Richard Sisson is professor of political science and Board of Trustees Chair of Comparative Politics, The Ohio State University.

Jan 2004
International relations, comparative politics
430 pp. 6 x 9

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