“Don’t you agree…
that, in general, economists are smarter than political scientists, and political scientists are smarter than sociologists?”
just appointed director of the National Economic Council by president-elect Barack Obama, when he was president of
Enrico Spolaore said...
but Larry Summers was right! (at least within the U.S. and using GRE results as a proxy for "smart")
Tufts University, Boston
Steve Coleman said...
The high ranking of economics majors on the GRE reflects mainly the quantitative dimension of the test. For the same reason, economics majors outscore political science majors, but are outscored by math and physics majors, on LSAT averages, but that probably does not make them better lawyers in itself. (Research shows that
Metropolitan State University
See GRE results
(Click on it for larger size):
The Best Academic Partners
The social sciences have developed at an impressive path during the last few decades, but they are yet not well represented within some of the best-established academic institutions. Just a few weeks ago, the Academia Europaea (in Latin), that is, the organization of “European scientists and scholars to promote learning, education and research”, has proposed to re-structure the current Social Sciences Section and create a number of new groups that would provide for a better disciplinary coherence and enlarge the membership in the different social sciences.
Since members of the Social Sciences section are invited to comment and discuss, I plan to collect opinions from colleagues here to be presented to the Academy within one month. All of you are invited to participate.
The initial proposal from the Academia Europaea Board does not sound very positive for Political Science. The three new Section groups would be:
1. Law and Political Sciences;
2. Economics (including Economic History, Business and Finance);
3. Sociology and Social Sciences (including Education, Geography and Demography).
As you can see, political scientists would be put together with lawyers, which seems to me a rather old-fashion pair. Indeed the dominion of law in political studies, which certainly promoted comparative studies on political regimes and structures from different regions and countries of the world, was strong until early twentieth century. But this persuasion was largely superseded with that of sociology, implying the diffusion of empirical, inductive methods, since mid-twentieth century, and the import of formal models, mathematical refinements and deductive reasoning from economics in the last few decades. All these contributions have been somehow cumulative. The scientific method indeed requires both empirical observations, quantitative measurements, and logical models. But the current developments in advanced research and graduate teaching do not seem to fit the coupling of Political science with Law. Please discuss.
The Academia Europaea was founded as recently as 1988, obviously helped by increasing integration within the European Union and the creation of the European Science Foundation and other research institutions. It has now some 2,300 members. It is organized in 16 sections, but only one section includes all the Social sciences (economics, geography, law, political science, demography, sociology), which together with the section in Behavioral sciences (anthropology, education and psychology) encompass only about 15 percent of all members.
The other 14 sections belong to two broad groups, respectively corresponding to humanities (with specific sections in History & Archaeology, Classics & Oriental studies, Linguistics, Literary & Theatrical, Musicology & History of Art and Architecture, Philosophy, Theology & Religion) and natural sciences (with sections in Mathematics, Informatics, Physics & Engineers, Chemical, Earth & Cosmic, Biochemistry & Molecular biology, Cell biology, Physiology & Medicine, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology). Indeed the “third culture” is crunched between the other two. Website: CLICK
For comparison, the
All comments very welcome.
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