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Political Science and the Work of Democracy


Katy J. Harriger

Wake Forest University, US
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The study of democratic theory and democratic politics is at the core of the discipline of political science. Yet the very centrality of democracy to the discipline may be what makes it difficult to sort out whether political science is doing the work of democracy rather than simply the analysis of it. Political science’s origins were civic minded but it has evolved into a more professionalized observer of politics than a promoter or creator of democracy. Nonetheless, in recent years there has been, as in many disciplines, a renewed interest in the civic component of our work and a challenge to the dominant paradigms of disinterested analysis and formal modeling. There are promising developments in political science that are contributing to the deliberative democracy “movement,” both in research and pedagogy.

How to Cite: Harriger, K. J. (2010). Political Science and the Work of Democracy. Journal of Public Deliberation, 6(1), 7. DOI:
Published on 30 Aug 2010.


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