Constitutionalist political science: rediscovering storing’s philosophical moderation

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In an era concerned with dysfunction in American politics, polarization, and the relevance of academia for ameliorating these problems, the fiftieth anniversary of a debate about American political science permits rediscovery of the philosophical balance and breadth of Herbert Storing. His constitutionalist political science embodied a broad conception of American principles that emphasized founding debates and their continuing echoes in policies and thought, as well as a post-Progressive appreciation for assessing ends and enduring truths of free government. Storing’s science anticipates, but contrasts favorably with, the narrower methodological pluralism of the recent Perestroika movement; it developed a philosophical moderation that analyzed alternatives and extremes in both ideas and politics but appreciated intellectual and political blending that sought higher middle grounds; and it focused on leadership or statesmanship in a way that addresses worries over dysfunction, a leadership crisis, and academic relevance more constructively than alternative models of American political science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-288
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Political Thought
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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