Although a great deal has been written about the perestroika movement in turn-of-the century political science its actual place in the history of the discipline has been poorly understood by its founders, defenders, and critics. Perestroika can be best understood as a manifestation of the persistent crises of identity that have characterized the discipline of political science, and it cannot be explained apart from the manner in which it was reflection of issues that attended both the origins of the field and periods such as the 1920s and aftermath of the behavioral era. What has been particularly important in each case has been the impact on both American politics and political science of the ethic of pluralism, which has created significant difficulties for both the practical and epistemic relationship between the discipline and its subject matter. — John Gunnell.
This essay is followed by responses from James Farr, Robert O. Keohane, David D. Laitin, Kristen Renwick Monroe, Anne Norton, and Sanford F. Schram. John Gunnell then offers a response to commentators.
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