What Can Political Science Learn from Literature?
Cover of Volume 44 (1)
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Political Science
Political Philosophy
Political Theory

How to Cite

What Can Political Science Learn from Literature?. (2020). The Political Science Reviewer, 44(1), 1-19. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/639


This article examines what the discipline of political science can learn from the study of literature – how literature contributes to our understanding of politics – and why it remains essential to the discipline. It first reviews how literature was perceived by philosophers as an illegitimate source of knowledge and only recently has regained its place as an epistemological equal to philosophic reason. It then looks at the scholarship on literature and politics within the discipline of political science, summarizing the lessons that political scientists can learn from literature. The article concludes that the study of literature remains essential for political science by broadening our conception of politics and providing a normative account absent in behavioralist methodology.


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