Home > News > Bridging the gulf
27 views 2 min 0 Comment

Bridging the gulf

- August 21, 2008

“Marc Ambinder”:http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/08/no_offense_to_political_scient.php at _The Atlantic_ blogs …

No Offense To Political Scientists…

But the gulf between academia and practitioners of politics is very wide. Too wide.

So why the heck would the American Political Science Association hold their annual convention during the Democratic National Convention…

… in Boston?

Want to bridge the gap? Try holding the conference in the same city as a convention…the week before the convention.

Well, none taken. But the problem is that APSA (a) always has its conference on Labor Day weekend, and (b) decides where the conference is going to be several years in advance. Indeed, at the moment there’s a heated debate over whether APSA “did the right thing”:http://www.apsanet.org/content_53651.cfm in planning to have the 2012 conference in New Orleans (there are issues with non-gay friendly statutes in the state of Louisiana). The Democratic National Convention, as best as I know, neither has a fixed date nor a policy of planning out meetings very far in advance, for all the obvious reasons. So the conclusion is clear: if we seriously want to bridge the gulf between practitioners and political scientists, it’s the practitioners who need to plan their meeting around APSA, not APSA who needs to plan their meeting around the practitioners. As to why the practitioners have failed to take advantage of the collective wisdom of umpteen thousand political scientists gathered together in their badly-fitting blue suits at a single spot this summer, I’m at a loss to say.