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Platform governance matters. The failure of platform companies to govern their users has led to disasters ranging from the unwitting culpability of Facebook in the 2017 genocide of the Rohingya people, to the spread of fraud and disinformation exacerbating the COVID-19 crisis, and to the subversion of free and fair elections across the world. The Introduction to The Networked Leviathan frames the problem of platform governance and its similarity to some of the problems confronted for centuries by political states and recommends that policymakers and scholars of the internet turn to older forms of political organization for inspiration.
Governments and consumers expect internet platform companies to regulate their users to prevent fraud, stop misinformation, and avoid violence. Yet, so far, they've failed to do so. The inability of platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon to govern their users has led to stolen elections, refused vaccines, counterfeit N95s in a pandemic, and even genocide. Such failures stem from these companies' inability to manage the complexity of their userbases, products, and their own incentives under the eyes of internal and external constituencies. The Networked Leviathan argues that countries should adapt the institutional tools developed in political science to democratize the major platforms. Democratic institutions allow knowledgeable actors to freely share and apply their understanding of the problems they face while leaders more readily recruit third parties to help manage their decision-making capacity. This book is also available Open Access on Cambridge Core. For more information, visit https://networked-leviathan.com.
In Canada, there is renewed attention to the violence experienced by Indigenous peoples in residential schools, by police, through hyper-imprisonment and child removal, in hospitals, and in the contemporary education system. All of these issues are interlinked and outcomes of the carceral state—defined as the policing, monitoring, surveillance, criminalization and imprisonment of people, especially Indigenous and other racialized peoples. In this article, I define and illustrate what the carceral state looks like in Canada. I articulate the current approach to studying the carceral in political science, note the paucity of research in the Canadian context and show where attention has been cast previously. I describe an improved approach to studying the carceral, arguing that a decolonized approach to studying the carceral must be relational and abolitionist, seeking to reduce and eliminate the use of carceral interventions.
Conversations around transitional justice often focus on concepts of victimhood and perpetration. Such has been the case in Rwanda in the decades following the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. However, even as Rwandans continue to observe state-led transitional justice reforms which divide them into victims and perpetrators, they simultaneously draw on state discourses of unity to carefully critique and re-work the language and practices which produce such divisions. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Berman illustrates how a new generation of Rwandan youth is transforming political ideology by creatively engaging the discourse of ubunyarwanda (Rwandanness) to forge inclusive post-genocide politics.
This research letter introduces readers to health intelligence by conceptualizing critical components and providing a primer for research within political science broadly considered. Accordingly, a brief review of the literature is provided, concluding with possible future research agendas. The aim is to elaborate on the importance of public health intelligence to national security studies, and to political science more generally.
This article presents a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of constitutions: ‘constitutional institutionalism’. Conventional approaches in law, philosophy or political science tend to reduce constitutions either to their formal, factual or ideal aspects. The constitutional-institutionalist approach, by contrast, seeks to integrate these aspects into a more general perspective by focusing on the dynamic interplay between constitutional actors and constitutional norms. It understands constitutional norms as binding institutions that shape and constrain political action, but never fully determine it. Constitutional institutionalism furthermore asserts that constitutional norms, whatever form they take, only have meaning in relation to other constitutional norms as well as to constitutional actors, who impose meaning on these norms. Therefore, constitutional phenomena ultimately require interpretive explanations. This article concludes with a brief constitutional-institutionalist research agenda.
In this paper, we answer the multiple calls for systematic analysis of paradigms and subdisciplines in political science—the search for coherence within a fragmented field. We collected a large dataset of over seven hundred thousand writings in political science from Web of Science since 1946. We found at least two waves of political science development, from behaviorism to new institutionalism. Political science appeared to be more fragmented than literature suggests—instead of ten subdisciplines, we found 66 islands. However, despite fragmentation, there is also a tendency for integration in contemporary political science, as revealed by co-existence of several paradigms and coherent and interconnected topics of the “canon of political science,” as revealed by the core-periphery structure of topic networks. This was the first large-scale investigation of the entire political science field, possibly due to newly developed methods of bibliometric network analysis: temporal bibliometric analysis and island methods of clustering. Methodological contribution of this work to network science is evaluation of islands method of network clustering against a hierarchical cluster analysis for its ability to remove misleading information, allowing for a more meaningful clustering of large weighted networks.
Expert news sources offer context and act as translators, communicating complex policy issues to the public. Therefore, these sources have implications for who, and what is elevated and legitimized by news coverage. This element considers patterns in expert sources, focusing on a particular area of expertise: politics. As a starting point, it conducts a content analysis tracking which types of political experts are most likely to be interviewed, using this analysis to explain patterns in expert sourcing. Building on the source data, it next conducts experiments and surveys of journalists to consider demand for expert sources. Finally, shifting the analysis to the supply of expert sources, it turns to a survey of faculty to track expert experiences with journalists. Jointly, the results suggest underlying patterns in expert sourcing is a tension between journalists' preferences, the time constraints of producing news, and the preferences of the experts themselves.
We discuss how three social science disciplines, economics, sociology, and political science approach history and we contrast them to history as practiced by historians. We find that the drive to identify broadly generalizable causal effects, driven by the desire to predict and shape the future (the “Delphi syndrome”), frequently prompts social scientists to use history in a way that neglects the historians’ valuable insights. At the same time, the recent methodological developments in econometric techniques that have spread through the three disciplines place enormous, often unrealistic, historical demands on social scientists. We illustrate these issues by discussing several examples and we conclude by arguing that a way ahead consists in approaching the relation between idiographic and nomothetic research principles as one that approximates a continuum rather than a dichotomy.
This book explores the relationship between history and a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Specifically, it examines the role of historical study in eight distinct subject areas: economics, political science, political theory, international relations, sociology, philosophy, law, literature and anthropology. The relevance of historical approaches withing these disciplines has shifted over the centuries. Many of them, like law and economics, originally depended on self-consciously historical procedures. These included the marshalling of evidence from past experience, philological techniques and source criticism. Between the late nineteenth and the middle of the twentieth century, this dependence was reduced under the influence of new methods of research, many indebted to models favoured by the natural sciences. Statistical, analytical and scientistic approaches secured an expanding intellectual authority while the hegemony of historical methods declined in relative terms. Functionalism, structuralism, logical positivism, formalist criticism, behaviourism and economic formalism challenged context-specific forms of inquiry. In the aftermath of this change, the essays collected in History in the Humanities and Social Sciences reflect from a variety of angles on the relevance of historical concerns to representative disciplines as they are configured today.
I argue that feminism develops a historicist critique of philosophy from within philosophy. Feminist thinkers bring to bear both history and historicist sensibilities to reveal concepts as constructs of power rather than given in nature, and reason as fractured, weaponised, and thickly situated in political structures. They thereby take aim at both philosophy and – relatedly – patriarchy. But feminists are not immune from the lure of conceptual analysis, from wanting to fix, to get right, the terms of their campaign – nor indeed from wanting themselves to claim a transcendent vantage point of truth. This chapter is about the gulf between history and philosophy, and the feminist bridge between them.
This interdisciplinary volume explores the relationship between history and a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences: economics, political science, political theory, international relations, sociology, philosophy, law, literature and anthropology. The relevance of historical approaches within these disciplines has shifted over the centuries. Many of them, like law and economics, originally depended on self-consciously historical procedures. These included the marshalling of evidence from past experience, philological techniques and source criticism. Between the late nineteenth and the middle of the twentieth century, the influence of new methods of research, many indebted to models favoured by the natural sciences, such as statistical, analytical or empirical approaches, secured an expanding intellectual authority while the hegemony of historical methods declined in relative terms. In the aftermath of this change, the essays collected in History in the Humanities and Social Sciences reflect from a variety of angles on the relevance of historical concerns to representative disciplines as they are configured today.
Process tracing is a familiar analytical tool in a number of sciences. Successful process tracing pulls together what is already known, believed or assumed and the various events, activities and entities in a case study in order to construct a narrative of the case. Several chapters in this volume offer accounts of narrative science that are explored through process tracing. These examples are analysed to reveal how various aspects of process tracing inform narrative and how narrative, in turn, aids process tracing in an iterative process of interpretation and reinterpretation of evidence, testing, development and revision of hypotheses, and the explanation of singular events.
This Element denaturalises political science, stressing the contestability and contingency of ideas, traditions, subfields, and even the discipline itself. The history of political science is less one of scholars testing and improving theories by reference to data than of their appropriating and transforming ideas, often obscuring or obliterating former meanings, to serve new purposes in shifting political contexts. Political science arose in the late nineteenth century as part of a wider modernism that replaced earlier developmental narratives with more formal explanations. It changed as some scholars yoked together behavioural topics, quantitative techniques, and positivist theory, and as other scholars rejected their doing so. Subfields such as International Relations remained semi-detached and focused on policy as much as theory. Furthermore, the shifting fashions within political science – modernism, behaviouralism, realism, neoliberalism, the new institutionalism – have informed the policies by which governments have tried to tame contingency and govern people.
Political science (PSCI) is housed in the social sciences, which together “examine what it means to be a social being, ranging from the minutiae of human behavior … to large scale social movements, demographics, economics and politics” (European Science Foundation, 2016). Undergraduate research (UR) in PSCI, whether using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods, helps students develop critical thinking skills and tools, whereby they can apply what they learn in class to the real world, rather than just memorizing facts and figures that are forgotten after they take each semester exam.
Political institutions are currently seen in very different lights. In one version they are assimilated to institutions that dispense criteria for appropriate conduct and attributions of meanings. In a different perspective they are analysed as bulwarks of individual rights and protection from government in a theoretical framework that refers to modern liberal democracies and their defence of liberties. An additional image sees political institutions as regulators of individuals’ and groups’ egotistic drives in view of achieving self-enforcing equilibria that foster cooperation and help to overcome social dilemmas. In yet another framework they are identified with the organisational forms of political society. In this light, they are often viewed as forms of organisational symbolism, as ritual and ceremonial components that outweigh other dimensions to the point of swallowing any other type of institutional return. Finally, they are regarded as forms of government, as instruments of sharing or concentrating the coercive power of the political. It is likely these different views ask too much of political institutions. It is also likely that such widely diverging frameworks result from the application to political institutions of the properties of other kinds of institutions.
Over the past 10 years, feminist scholarship has made important contributions to the new institutionalism in political science. This literature has developed into two directions. Some scholars have sought to gender existing approaches, resulting in feminist historical institutionalism, feminist sociological institutionalism, feminist discursive institutionalism, and even feminist rational choice institutionalism. Others have tried to sketch a feminist institutionalism on a par with, and as an alternative to, the classic approaches. Through an analysis of eight recent books, this review asks which direction shows the most promise.
Bridging disparate literatures on courts and the legal profession in China, Jonathan J. Kinkel introduces an innovative cross-disciplinary framework to understand the reality of Chinese politics and society. Fusing a variety of perspectives from social ecology, historical institutionalism, and empirical legal studies, Kinkel contextualises patterns of court reform within China's rapid economic and social transformations. This book's extensive case studies emphasise the dynamic expansion of the legal system in the post-Mao reform period and demonstrate that law firm growth in large cities, especially in the early twenty-first century, pressured courts at the local and national levels to enhance judicial autonomy. Advancing debates on the multiplicity of political-legal regimes, this book offers a comprehensive, empirical account of how reforms in both the public and private arenas can interact and operate alongside one another.
Just as the relationship between labor and antitrust is often misunderstood, this chapter argues that the relationship between antitrust and trade policy is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented, and it has important implications for labor. Above all, they are seen as operating in distinct spheres, with antitrust as a domestic policy and trade as an international one. In light of this, I first outline several common conceptual frameworks used to understand the relationship between the two policy areas, drawing on work from economics, political science, and law. Second, I contrast different views on the changes to industrial organization, globalization, and trade that have made this distinction obsolete. I argue that the problems at the intersection of domestic antitrust and labor regulation – workplace fissuring, subcontracting, franchising etc. – are in fact that same set of problems associated with power imbalances in international supply chains emphasized by scholars of globalization. I finish with a case of 20th-century trade and antitrust policy showing that many of the domestic regulatory changes to antitrust and labor were motivated by a desire to protect American industry from international trade competition. While different perspectives either frame globalization as an external driver of domestic re-regulation or as irrelevant to it, globalization as currently experienced is in part constituted by these domestic reforms.
This introductory chapter outlines the problem of social order and the main argument of the book: that the question of what holds complex and diverse societies together has become – and has remained – a philosophical puzzle in modern political science, a presupposition that has been built into our concepts, theories, and normative commitments. Having outlined the argument, the contents and the structure of the book, the chapter then provides a short background for the problem of social order in political science. The chapter recalls how this problem emerged as such in modern social and political discourse in the evolution of the modern concepts of state, nation, and society and discusses how the relations among these concepts provided nineteenth-century political thought with a solution to the problem of social order predicated on a fusion of nationality and statehood.