The Perestroika Movement in political science is a faction that works towards methodological pluralism and to heighten relevance of political science to people outside the discipline. The movement is against what it sees as dominance for quantitative and mathematical methodology in political science. Such dominance breeds academic isolation and poor quality in scholarship, according to the movement (Schram and Caterino 2006).
The Perestroika Movement began in 2000 with an anonymous e-mail message sent by one “Mr. Perestroika” to the editors of the American Political Science Review calling for "a dismantling of the Orwellian system that we have in APSA." The message went to seventeen recipients who quickly forwarded it to others, and within weeks the Perestroika Movement became a force calling for change in the American political science community (Monroe 2005).
In the years that followed, the Perestroika Movement established itself with its own literature, conferences, websites, and blogs. Main books about the movement are Monroe (2005) and Schram and Caterino (2006). Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg's book Making Social Science Matter (2001) has been likened to a manifesto for the Perestroika Movement by David Laitin.
Sources and further reading
- Flyvbjerg, Bent, Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
- Monroe, Kristen Renwick, ed., Perestroika!: The Raucous Rebellion in Political Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
- Schram, Sanford F., and Brian Caterino, eds., Making Political Science Matter: Debating Knowledge, Research, and Method (New York: New York University Press, 2006).
- David D. Laitin, The Perestroikan Challenge to Social Science (Politics & Society 31 (2003), 163).
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