Political science is both a generalizing and an anchored, nationally defined, discipline. Too often, the first perspective tends to crowd out the latter, because it appears more prestigious, objective, or scientific. Behind the international/national dichotomy, there are indeed rival conceptions of social science and important ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions. This article discusses these assumptions and stresses the critical contribution of idiographic, single-outcome studies, the importance of producing relevant, usable knowledge and the distinctive implications of studying one's own country, where a scholar is also a citizen, involved in more encompassing national conversations. The aim is not to reject the generalizing, international perspective, or even the comparative approach, but rather to reaffirm the importance of maintaining as well, and in fact celebrating, the production of social scientific knowledge directly relevant for our own times and places.