Disenchanted Realists

Political Science and the American Crisis

By Raymond Seidelman

Series: SUNY series in Political Theory: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9780873959957, 295 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873959940, 295 pages, June 1985

Table of contents

Theodore J. Lowi


1. Introduction

Institutionalists and Radical Democrats
The Third Tradition: Beyond Mechanics and Spontaneity Modernism as channeled Flux
Sovereignty and the State
Citizenship and Legitimacy
Civic Education The Search for Reform Politics

2. The Impulse Toward a Science of Politics, 1880-1900

The Attack on Amateurs
The Profession Builders
The Strange Populism of the Founder of American Sociology
The Literary Politician and the Administrative Elite
The American Crisis Formulated

3. Science as Muckraking: The Cult of Realism in the Progressive Era

Arthur F. Bentley: The Objective Science of Middle Class Revolution The Fashioning of Scientific Politics
Progressive Science as Critical Understanding Between Science and Sentiment: The Chastened Optimism of Charles Austin Beard The Paradox of Realism
Realism vs. Reform: Beard's Confrontation with the American Political Tradition
The Return to "Values" The Demise of Fact Gathering

4. Reform and Disillusionment in the New Deal

Charles E. Merriam and the Crisis of American Democracy Behavioral Political Science and the Crisis of American Democracy
The Making of a Rational Public Charles E. Merriam and the New Deal Reform vs. Science The Reformer as Therapist: Harold Lasswell The Early Works The Eclipse of Reform Science: Conclusions

5. The Behavioral Era

V. O. Key and the Third Tradition Behavioralism as Pure Science
Empirical Democratic Theory
Legitimacy, Power and the Political Subculture The Behavioralism of David Truman From Reformism to Behavioralism
Pluralist Democracy
The Speeds of the Whirlwind Reality Destroys Realism

6. The Eclipse of Unity

Post-Behavioralism and the Search for a New Politics
Lowi and the Science of Phantom Reform
The Critical Pessimism of Walter Dean Burnham
The Irony of Post-Behavioralism

7. Conclusion: The End of the Third Tradition


Disenchanted Realists explores the intertwined fate of American political science and nineteenth and twentieth century liberal reforms. Beginning with the pre-history of political science in the 1880s, Seidelman and Harpham trace the development of pol


Disenchanted Realists discusses the assumptions, hopes, and understandings of prominent liberal reformers—Woodrow Wilson, Lester Frank Ward, Charles Truman, V. O. Key, Jr. , Theodore Lowi, and Walter Dean Burnham. Within this framework, the authors contend that political science in America has been closely allied with a continuing attack and ever-present disenchantment with the forms and philosophy of State organizations and mass politics.

Raymond Seidelman is Professor of Political Science at Sarah Lawrence College. He has written extensively on the Italian Communist Party and is presently researching economic planning in the United States.


"It organizes the materials around an interesting and provocative theme: the idea of a 'Third Tradition' in the history of political science in America. That is a novel approach, and helps the reader gain perspective on the subject. " — Norman Jacobson, Professor, University of California at Berkeley

"It is a solid piece of work on an interesting subject. The insights are numerous and the intellectual importance is self-evident. " — Gene Poschman, Professor, California State University at Hayward