In 1969 David Easton argued that a new revolution was “underway in American political science.” This revolution, which he labelled the post-behavioral revolution, is motivated by a “deep dissatisfaction with political research and teaching, especially of the kind that is striving to convert the study of politics into a more rigorously scientific discipline modelled on the methodology of the natural sciences.” Specifically, post-behavioralists, according to Easton, attack the abstractness, irrelevance, “methodological purity” and conservatism of the existing literature, and argue that political scientists as well as the associations of which they are a part, must take a more active role in the solution of contemporary social problems. In short, post-behavioralists seek to “help create a ‘new political science’ that will not be trivial or misleading.” But, what is the nature of the support within the profession for this goal? In other words, what kinds of attitudes do American political scientists hold about this new revolution? In addition, what are their views on the behavioral revolution, the other major event in the recent history of the discipline?
To answer these questions we recently conducted a mail survey of 176 political scientists in the Mountain West (i.e. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.) Our questionnaire included twenty three items dealing with professional and related issues.