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The Development of a Discipline. The History of the Political Studies Association. Political Studies Special Issues

  • ID: 4290703
  • Book
  • December 2010
  • Region: Global
  • 200 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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To a large extent, an academic association reflects – rather than shapes – the evolutionary changes of a discipline it seeks to serve. Or sometimes, if it cannot properly anticipate changes, it may run the risk of falling behind. Founded in 1950 to develop and promote the study of politics, the Political Studies Association (PSA) has itself gone through fundamental changes over the course of its development as the current leading association in its field in the UK. By tracing the history of the PSA,
The Development of a Discipline: The History of the Political Studies Association also reveals the evolution of the study of politics and international relations in the UK into a highly–professional, diverse, scholarly community, with a broad agenda of research.

The book first reveals the PSA′s modest roots in the early 1950s as a somewhat elitist, club–like organisation resistant to outside influences. We are then shown how an expansion of higher education in Britain imposed new demands on the Association which it was not always able to meet. Coverage is included of the 1975 so–called Oxford coup which led to an attempt to reinvigorate the Association, the PSA′s setbacks of the 1980s, and its emergence as a highly professional organisation providing a wide range of services to its members and seeking to influence higher education policy. Also addressed is the changing role of women within UK political science and the PSA. This book offers rich insights into both the history of an esteemed association and the development of an entire academic discipline.

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Tables, Boxes and Illustrations


Chapter 1: The Emergence of a Discipline

Chapter 2: An Elitist Discipline? 1950 63

Chapter 3: The Stirrings of Discontent: 1964 75

Chapter 4: The Oxford–Led Insurgency: 1975

Chapter 5: An Activist and Expanding PSA: 1975 79

Chapter 6: Political Science in a Cold Climate: 1979 92

Chapter 7: A Work in Progress: 1993 2009

Chapter 8: Women and Diversity in British Political Science

Chapter 9: Conclusions: Confronting the Challenges



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Wyn Grant
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