Political Science Education and the Profession

Political Science and the Democratic Method: How Higher Education Can Strengthen Democracy at Scale



This paper proposes a theoretical, methodological and practical approach for political science to improve the effectiveness of democratic governance through civic education and engagement. Every state can be seen as an experiment in political science and a working model of how to govern, developed through trial and error, and peer reviewed by citizens in democratic societies. This insight provides a basis for scholars to help citizens address democratic deficits and improve pluralistic politics as a method for solving problems. Treating institutions as experiments also gives scholars new ways to increase effectiveness of research and civic engagement. The paper provides examples from across the world to illustrate seven levels of support for civic engagement that can be developed to strengthen pluralistic democracy. It concludes with three strategies for a large-scale experimental programme to close democratic deficits and improve democracy as a form of government.


Thumbnail image of Political Science and the Democratic Method - work in progress APSA .pdf


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