Larry Bartels writes about how “the contemporary electoral landscape, which is less volatile and more partisan than it has been at any time in the past half-century or more.” Larry’s presentation is clean and well illustrated by graphs, adding nicely to earlier discussion of this topic by John Sides.
Larry also has some comments about the problems that can occur when a historian is “moonlighting as a political scientist.” Which reminds me of my own rants:
– And, my favorite, the English political theorist moonlighting as an Americanist (“But viewed in retrospect, it is clear that it has been quite predictable”)
– And, really really my favorite, the sociologist moonlighting as a biologist (follow the links, if you can stomach it).
Seeing all this, you can probably conclude:
1. I spend way too much time focusing on the mistakes of others.
2. Political scientists (if I’m any example) are super turf-conscious.
But really I’m happy when people moonlight in political science, and I’m also looking forward to seeing this increase, as it appears there are more courses becoming available from universities like Norwich University. After all, I’m primarily a statistician and thus am myself a moonlighter. Whatever mistakes people make can ultimately be cleared up, and this is one way we share our knowledge with outsiders.
P.S. Larry’s entry is part of his new blog (with Nolan McCarty and others) on the 2008 election. Check it out.