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PS: Political Science & Politics

APSA's Journal of Record for the Profession

PS: Political Science & Politics
provides critical analyses of contemporary political phenomena and is the journal of record for the discipline of political science reporting on research, teaching, and professional development. PS, begun in 1968, is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field and is the prime source of information on political scientists' achievements and professional concerns.

Current Issue: Volume 48, Special Issue

About the Special Issue: Political science is at a crossroads. The knowledge that it produces is more diverse and valuable than ever before—yet many audiences do not understand why or how political science is beneficial. Moreover, the rise of the internet has changed the kinds of information that people seek. For many scholars, the question has become “How do we make our knowledge accessible and relevant to others while still retaining our high standards of scholarship and teaching?”

With this question in mind, the American Political Science Association commissioned a Task Force on Public Engagement. Its leaders John H. Aldrich and Arthur Lupia solicited constructive ideas from a diverse group of 21 experienced and knowledgeable academics and public figures. Let’s Be Heard! makes these ideas available to everyone. Because of the topic’s timeliness, the American Political Science Association and Cambridge University Press have agreed to make the special issue available for free at Cambridge Journals Online.

Let’s Be Heard! is organized into three sections: Section I includes in-depth interviews with publicly engaged political scientists and practitioners; Section II examines how to change the profession’s incentives for serving others; and Section III considers new ideas, approaches, and avenues toward broadcasting the value of political science. The contributors contend that political science can offer immense, life changing value to society, but its ability to have this impact depends on its ability to communicate its knowledge effectively. Let’s be heard!

About the July Issue: The latest issue of PS: Political Science & Politics turns the spotlight on diversity in political science with a collection of articles that addresses diversity within political science and across academia.

Guest editors from the University of VirginiaCarol Mershon (professor of politics) and Denise Walsh (associate professor in the department of politics, women, gender & sexuality)introduce a collection of articles by addressing what they refer to as a long-standing and urgent question: how do we diversify leadership and end discrimination in the profession and across academia more broadly?

They argue that women and racial minorities are underrepresented among political science faculties in the United States and internationally. For example, they point to evidence showing that fewer than 29% of political science faculty staff across the United States are female, while female faculty of color are more severely underrepresented still-with African American women making up only 1.7% of political science faculty staff across the country in 2010-a mere 161 women. There are even fewer women from the Latina and Pacific Islander communities among political science faculties. 

Co-editors Mershon and Walsh argue that this underrepresentation of women and racial minorities perpetuates discrimination and bias across the sector in multiple ways, with women and women of color often encountering a hostile working environment and obstacles to career advancement. 

A series of articles offer innovative new strategies for transforming academe by applying political science insights about how to diversify institutions to the discipline itself. The contributions provide novel answers to these questions: What new strategies might political science research offer for advancing diversity and equity? Which organizations and actors can take the lead in promoting change? What steps should they take to maximize the probability of change? 
The July issue also contains several other articles. In A Forgotten Minority?Okiyoshi Takeda (associate professor, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo) provides the first analysis of Asian Pacific Americans in introductory American government textbooks. The author examined 28 textbooks and found that Asian Pacific Americans-who make up more than 5% of the US population-are discussed an average of 1.13 pages per textbook (which translates to 0.19%). In the paper, Takeda offers five constructive recommendations to rectify this underrepresentation, including an option to invite Asian Pacific American political scientists to serve as textbook reviewers and co-authors.

Other articles in this issue focus on diverse issues in the world of political science, including:
  • A paper by Alfred G. Cuzán (distinguished professor, University of West Florida) draws on more than 500 elections from around the world to present five empirical laws of politics-revealing that, in democracies, the ruling party or coalition actually represents a minority of the electorate (generally about one third of voters).
  • A paper by James E. Monogan (associate professor, University of Georgia) on the 2011 debt ceiling controversy and the 2012 US House elections.
  • A second paper by Monogan offers advice regarding the current debate on the practice of preregistration in political science-that is, publicly releasing a research design before observing outcome data.  
  • As well as articles offering practical tips for political science academics such as the benefits for students of capturing lectures on film, and how to engage students by using music and lyrics-including 21 recommended songs for teaching introductory courses in political theory!

See the table of contents

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Submission Guidelines

American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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