The central goal of most American politics scholarship - and, indeed, of much of modern political science - is to foster more precise accounts of political and social life, that is, accounts that reduce uncertainty about politics and society. Drawing on Marx's call for a "ruthless criticism," this article outlines the contours and promise of a more disruptive American politics. Rather than reduce uncertainty about politics and society, disruptive scholarship unveils points of tension at which they are contingent and mutable - in a sense, rendering them more uncertain. In the process, I argue, this scholarship articulates important possibilities for democratic and egalitarian change. To illustrate the promise of disruptive research, I examine the American politics literatures on intersectionality and policy feedback, both of which have a significant but often underappreciated capacity to reveal crucial points of sociopolitical tension. I conclude by suggesting how scholars of U.S. politics might better develop the disruptive potential of their collective work.
- American politics
- critical social science
- policy feedback
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science