Perspectives on Politics



BOOK REVIEWS: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Our Enemies and Us: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science


Edward J.  Harpham  a1
a1 The University of Texas at Dallas

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Our Enemies and Us: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science. By Ido Oren. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002. 256p. $29.95.

Political scientists periodically step back and reflect on the state of their discipline. Some explore the origins and development of a particular methodological approach to the study of politics, such as behavioralism or public choice. Others place developments in political science in a broader political and cultural context, such as progressivism or liberal reformism. Oftentimes such reflections are laudatory, championing the wisdom that has accrued in the discipline over time. Every so often, however, a critical voice is raised, not only questioning the empirical work being done in the field but challenging the assumptions upon which such work is based. Ido Oren's book is an important addition to this literature. It compels political scientists to stop and think about what they are doing in the discipline and what ideas from the past they may unintentionally be bringing into their empirical work.



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