Politics as an Academic Vocation

Michael Kenny

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Politics as an Academic Vocation

Show Summary Details


This article examines some of the assumptions about the development of politics as an academic discipline that shape contemporary thinking. It specifically argues that some deeply entrenched assumptions underpin commonly held ideas about the purpose and character of political studies as a modern, professionalized academic discipline. Additionally, it describes the three major intellectual props that have nourished a good deal of the hubris that contemporary practitioners feel towards the subject's earlier history — the ethos of professionalism, a critical stance towards the intellectual insularity and parochialism of the indigenous intellectual culture which is assumed to have held political science back, and the presumption that mature political analysis requires an epistemologically grounded distance from politics itself.

Keywords: politics; academic discipline; contemporary thinking; professionalism; intellectual insularity; parochialism; political science

Article.  10638 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.