Skip to the main content

Conference paper


Erkki Berndtson ; Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

Full text: croatian pdf 124 Kb

page 183-202

downloads: 591



The author is of the opinion that it is time for political scientists to reexamine
the origins of their discipline. In his judgment, the study of the history
of political science, curiously, has neglected the role of different “schools of
political science” in shaping political science as a discipline. They are usually
mentioned only in passing in histories of political science, though there
are a few commemorative writings describing the development of these institutions.
There are no systematic and comparative studies, however, on their
development and their impact on the emergence of political science as an independent
academic subject. Still, the experiences of the Ecole Libre des Sciences
Politiques in Paris (1871), the Facolta di Scienze Politiche in Florence
(1874), the School of Political Science at Columbia University (1880), the
London School of Economics and Political Science (1895), and the Deutsche
Hochschule f・ Politik in Berlin (1920) demonstrate that these schools have
played a crucial role in the birth of political science as a legitimate academic
discipline. The author begins with a pregnant account of the principal characteristics
of the “model of American political science” and of its development
through three stages (the founding of the graduate School of Political
Science at Columbia University in 1880 is considered the symbolic inception
of the discipline). Then he looks into three classic European models of
higher education: the English “Newmanian” model of liberal education, the
German “Humboldtian” model of true learning and unity of teaching and research,
and the French “Napoleonic” model, according to which teaching and
research were separated from each another. The new American higher education
system developed out of these three European models. The new American
research university relied on the idea of liberal education, on professional
schools (law, business), and on the idea of the linkage between research
and teaching. Through an analysis, firstly, of the influence of those European
schools of political science on the development of American political science,
and, secondly, on the influence of the American schools in a later stage on the
development of political science in Europe, the author puts forward an outline
for a reinterpretation of the history of political science.


political science, schools of political science, development of the discipline

Hrčak ID:



Article data in other languages: croatian

Visits: 1.153 *