Tag: American Political Science Association

Stalinism at the American Political Science Association

 

There were ugly shenanigans this year at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and there is a good chance that there are more to come (I covered last year’s events here and here). The APSA was founded as an unincorporated association in 1903 and incorporated in 1954 as a 501(c)3. It operates to this day under the original constitution, which defines its purpose in the following fashion:

Other Straws in the Wind

 

shutterstock_158954213Earlier this week, I drew attention to the dearth of panels at the 2014 American Political Science Association (APSA) conference that were devoted to an assessment of the achievements in domestic and foreign affairs of the administration of Barack Obama. As I pointed out, the APSA has fifty-three “divisions” and sixty “related groups”that sponsor more than one thousand panels at these meetings with something on the order of four thousand scholars making presentations of one sort or another. Given those numbers, the profession’s silence with regard to Obama’s accomplishments are so striking as to suggest that the political science profession now regards “the One” as an embarrassment.

Today, I returned to the program of the APSA, which is available online and can be downloaded and searched. This I did with an eye to studying it more closely. Here and there, I found that someone had given a paper on some aspect of Barack Obama’s career — usually, with a focus on race — but that no one had bothered to ask whether he had been successful on the whole at home or abroad.

I found other omissions no less striking. There was, for example, not a single paper given at the convention in which the name Clinton appeared in the title, and there was not a single paper delivered in which the title referred to anyone named Hillary. You would think –given her front-runner status for the Democratic presidential nomination — someone would have addressed her achievements as Secretary of State or as a United States senator. But no one even bothered to discuss her future prospects, and no one looked back to the administration of her husband.

A Straw in the Wind

 

This past weekend, the American Political Science Association (ASPA) held its annual meeting in Washington, DC. It was a huge affair, involving 53 “divisions” and 60 “related groups,” and featuring more than one thousand separate panels. Here is the kicker: this year, there were no sessions at all devoted to an assessment of the foreign policy of Barack Obama, and not one panel was dedicated to an examination of Obama’s domestic policy.

There was, to be sure, a session entitled Author Meets Critics: Lebovic’s “Flawed Logics: Strategic Nuclear Arms Control from Truman to Obama, and there was another entitled Obama, Bush, and Grand Strategy.” But Obama was mentioned by name in the title of only one of the papers delivered at the latter panel: “Grand Strategy Constraints and Feedback During the GW Bush and Obama Administrations.” And its focus was a technical question. There was also a panel entitled Authors Meet Critics: “The Obama Effect: How the 2008 Campaign Changed White Racial Attitudes.” From a left-liberal perspective, those were the days!