Why researchers don't have answers for Trump's America
- Political scientists are beginning to ask themselves if the siloed nature of the discipline has made it difficult to dissect the current political climate, according to recent reporting by Inside Higher Ed.
- In large part, this questioning has come from a realization that the tradition of dividing the discipline into four focuses and being entirely U.S.-centric has actually hindered the ability of political scientists to truly unpack the nature of the current democracy under President Trump.
- Suzanne Mettler, the Clinton Rossiter Professor of Political Institutions at Cornell University and co-author of a new paper on the topic, did not advocate for destroying the idea of subfields in her interview with Inside Higher Ed, but instead pushed for more collaboration across them to provide a more total view of the nation's political climate.
The discussion about the silos which are hindering political science can be applied to every discipline and field of study in the country. In a global society, it is impossible to draw effective conclusions while working in a bubble. Not only is collaboration needed across subfields of a singular discipline, but promoting a more cross-disciplinary approach to research helps create better thinkers. As Bentley University President Gloria Larson recently said, "combining philosophy courses with economics courses makes all of the sense in the world."
But as Mettler briefly touched on in the Inside interview, it isn't just collaboration across disciplines on one campus or area of the world. Collaborating across regions in the same country will yield different challenges and perspectives to enhance research — so imagine how much greater the impact could be if American political scientist experts collaborated with researchers across the globe. Not only would this bring new context to help solve global problems, it would also go a long way in de-colonizing the curriculum to better reflect the experiences of an increasingly global student population.
- Inside Higher Ed Poli-Sci for the Trump era
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