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The Communication of Ideas across Subfields in Political Science

  • Erin R. Graham (a1), Charles R. Shipan (a2) and Craig Volden (a3)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

What factors inhibit or facilitate cross-subfield conversations in political science? This article draws on diffusion scholarship to gain insight into cross-subfield communication. Diffusion scholarship represents a case where such communication might be expected, given that similar diffusion processes are analyzed in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. We identify nearly 800 journal articles published on diffusion within political science between 1958 and 2008. Using network analysis we investigate the degree to which three “common culprits”—terminology, methodological approach, and journal type—influence levels of integration. We find the highest levels of integration among scholars using similar terms to describe diffusion processes, sharing a methodological approach (especially in quantitative scholarship), and publishing in a common set of subfield journals. These findings shed light on when cross-subfield communication is likely to occur with ease and when barriers may prove prohibitive.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Andrew Bennett , and Colin Elman . 2007. “Qualitative Methods: The View From the Subfields.” Comparative Political Studies 40(2): 111–21.

William D. Berry , and Brady Baybeck . 2005. “Using Geographic Information Systems to Study Interstate Competition.” American Political Science Review 99(4): 505–19.

Dietmar Braun , and Fabrizio Gilardi . 2006. “Taking `Galton’s Problem’ Seriously: Towards a Theory of Policy Diffusion.” Journal of Theoretical Politics 18(3): 298322.

James A Caporaso . 2000. “Comparative Politics: Diversity and Coherence.” Comparative Political Studies 33 (6/7): 699702.

James C Garand . 2005. “Integration and Fragmentation in Political Science: Exploring Patterns of Scholarly Communication in a Divided Discipline.” Journal of Politics 67(4): 9791005.

James Mahoney . 2007. “Qualitative Methodology and Comparative Politics.” Comparative Political Studies 40(2): 122–44.

Michael Mintrom , and Sandra Vergari . 1998. “Policy Networks and Innovation Diffusion: The Case of State Education Reforms,” Journal of Politics 60(1): 126–48.

Paul Pierson . 2007. “The Costs of Marginalization: Qualitative Methods in the Study of American Politics.” Comparative Political Studies 40(2): 146–69.

Charles R. Shipan , and Craig Volden . 2008. “The Mechanisms of Policy Diffusion.” American Journal of Political Science 52(4): 840–57.

Lee Sigelman . 2006. “The Coevolution of American Political Science and the American Political Science Review.” American Political Science Review 100(4): 463–78.

Beth A. Simmons , Frank Dobbin , and Geoffrey Garrett . 2006. “Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism.” International Organization 60(4): 781810.

Harvey Starr . 1991. “Democratic Dominoes: Diffusion Approaches to the Spread of Democracy in the International System.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 35(2): 356–81.

Jacqui True , and Michael Mintrom . 2001. “Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming.” International Studies Quarterly 45(1): 2757.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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