Thursday, March 12, 2009

Matt Bai thinks political science is rubbish

Via the Monkey Cage, NYT's Matt Bai speaks the "disconnect" between political journalism and political science:

Generally speaking, political writers don’t think so much of political scientists, either, mostly because anyone who has ever actually worked in or covered politics can tell you that, whatever else it may be, a science isn’t one of them. Politics is, after all, the business of humans attempting to triumph over their own disorder, insecurity, competitiveness, arrogance, and infidelity; make all the equations you want, but a lot of politics is simply tactile and visual, rather than empirical.

Curious for me is that he uses the word empirical, which at its core is simply an emphasis on evidence. Isn't what journalists do also empirical? At least I would hope the whole discussion here.