On the Road to “Normal Science”: The State of the Discipline as Seen by Political Science Communities in Four Central European Countries

author: Jan Holzer, Masaryk University
published: March 14, 2010,   recorded: February 2009,   views: 108
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This paper presents extensive qualitative research undertaken in 2008 on the state of the discipline, represented by the views of eminent political scientists in four countries of Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The research is aimed at analyzing the opinions of leading political scientists from relevant Central European universities on the development of the political sciences since 1989, both in their home countries and in the wider context of Central Europe. The research was based on standard methods for evaluating the dynamics of development of political science as an academic discipline, methods not used in Central Europe until now. The research reveals new information on the following topics: (1) the processes of institutionalization and organization of the political sciences; (2) the degree of (dis)continuity with pre-989 developments, and ongoing re-definitions of the discipline; (3) the configuration of newly-created communities of political scientists; (5) the paradigms, theories, methods and topics favoured by those academics; and (6) the relationship between academia and broader society. The output of the research is a complex, comparative and structured image of the development of the political sciences in the four Central European countries, studied in the era of renewed academic freedom. Written with Pavel Pseja

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Comment1 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION (IPSA), March 4, 2010 at 5:01 p.m.:

On the Road to “Normal Science”: The State of the Discipline as Seen by Political Science Communities in Four Central European Countries

Abstract:
This paper presents extensive qualitative research undertaken in 2008 on the state of the discipline, represented by the views of eminent political scientists in four countries of Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The research is aimed at analyzing the opinions of leading political scientists from relevant Central European universities on the development of the political sciences since 1989, both in their home countries and in the wider context of Central Europe. The research was based on standard methods for evaluating the dynamics of development of political science as an academic discipline, methods not used in Central Europe until now. The research reveals new information on the following topics: (1) the processes of institutionalization and organization of the political sciences; (2) the degree of (dis)continuity with pre-989 developments, and ongoing re-definitions of the discipline; (3) the configuration of newly-created communities of political scientists; (5) the paradigms, theories, methods and topics favoured by those academics; and (6) the relationship between academia and broader society.
The output of the research is a complex, comparative and structured image of the development of the political sciences in the four Central European countries, studied in the era of renewed academic freedom.

Authors:
Jan Holzer
Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Pavel Pseja
Masaryk University, Czech Republic

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