Monday, January 30, 2006
previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)
The conservative take on Off Center
The editors of The Forum -- Berkeley Electronic Press' online-only journal of applied research in contemporary politics -- had an interesting idea for how to review Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson's Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. They asked the few Republican political scientists they knew what they thought of the book, with the idea that Hacker and Pierson would reply.
While a nice idea, I suspect many people -- including Hacker and Pierson -- got too busy to participate. [UPDATE: Pierson writes in to say that their reply is coming soon!!] Still, you can read my review. And you can read John J. Pitney's as well. They actually complement each other quite nicely.
Here's the key paragraph of my review -- which picks up on a point that Henry Farrell made about the book last fall:
Hacker and Pierson are attempting something unusual and even laudatory in political science (and I say this as a Republican). They are trying to use the tools and data of political science to make an explicitly political argument. This is refreshing, for the dirty little secret of our profession is that there is not a whole lot of politics in the academic study of political science. Most scholarship is written with the attitude of the detached observer; concepts like “blame” or “responsibility” – or even “good” and “bad” – rarely appear in our professional discourse. By injecting normative factors back into their analysis of the body politic, Hacker and Pierson have written a polemic that is light years better than anything Michael Moore or Sean Hannity could ever dream of publishing. This does not mean that their analysis is correct – indeed, Off Center suffers the flaws of most polemics, topped off with a few even bigger flaws. But this is a book that cannot and should not be ignored by either political scientists or pundits.posted by Dan on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM
>"They asked the few Republican
"They asked the few Republican
I think..I could be wrong.
Gee...Am being picky today...posted by: James on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
I assume DD means "complement" & that he & Pitney don't fluff out their reviews with log-rolling.posted by: Anderson on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
Whoops!! All should be fixed now.posted by: Dan Drezner on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
It would be nice if there was a guest logon for the site with Dan's review.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
Actually, the lack of a response on our part is due to a really unfortunate breakdown at the Press. We really liked the idea of this kind of exchange. There is certainly a lot to talk about. We are eager to reply and will, although we are frustrated that our response won't be available simultaneously with your review.posted by: Paul Pierson on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
"Hacker and Pierson are attempting something unusual and even laudatory in political science"
But I enjoyed the piece
Danposted by: Dan Tompkins on 01.30.06 at 04:16 PM [permalink]
Post a Comment: