Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


In February 1909, at a time where political scientists were confused as to their purpose to society, the Right Honorable James Bryce highlighted the three most important criteria for effective research of political science at the fifth annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. He declares that political scientists “1) must be critical, 2) must beware of superficial resemblances, and 3) must endeavor to disengage the personal or accidental from the general causes at work” (numbers added) (8). These specific criteria ensure that any political science research conducted leads society to increase its understanding of the laws that govern themselves. Decades later, a new theory has taken political science by storm; relying on mathematical theories used by economists to explain why citizens and institutions act the way they do.