Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When Political Scientists Attack

Over the last year or so, it’s been hard not to notice that sociologists have had a moment.  Matthew Desmond’s brilliant book “Evicted” just won a well-deserved Pulitzer.  Sara Goldrick-Rab and Tressie McMillan Cottom have appeared on The Daily Show.  Economists have long studied higher ed, but sociologists are proving worthy adversaries.

Meanwhile, my erstwhile colleagues, political scientists, have been quiet.

This will not do.

PS: Political Science and Politics (also known as the actually readable alternative to the APSR) has published a symposium on “Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy.”  It’s a collection of research pieces and reflections (including one by yours truly) bringing poli sci lenses to bear on higher education, both in the US and internationally.  Tobias Schulze-Cleven gathered scholars from various angles to provide examples of what a power-centric analysis of higher education would look like.

If you have a little time, check it out.  What does the multivalent nature of higher education suggest about policy feedback loops?  What contradictory effects has it had on the definition and production of citizenship?  And, close to my heart, what does performance-based funding say about the definition of “shared” in “shared governance”?