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Dealing with plurality in scientific practice: the case of international political economy

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Scientific pluralism, a normative endorsement of the plurality or multiplicity of research approaches in science, has recently been advocated by philosophers (e.g., Chang, Longino, Mitchell, Waters and Wylie) as well as social scientists. Comparing these accounts of scientific pluralism, one will encounter quite some variation. First, we want to clarify the variety of philosophical versions of scientific pluralism by showing how they incarnate different models of democracy (e.g., aggregative, deliberative, participatory, agonistic or antagonistic) – stipulating the desired social-epistemic interaction among the plurality of research approaches in different ways. Second, we analyze the recent debate about the desired interaction among the plurality of research approaches, or ‘schools’, in the discipline of International Political Economy (IPE). This debate was triggered by a paper of Benjamin Cohen (2007) in which he presents a way of slicing up the field of IPE in different schools as well as a proposal for its future development. The many reactions this paper provoked provide us with a clear insight into how scientific pluralism is understood by social scientists and how to implement it (see, e.g., the collection of papers in Phillips and Weaver (2011) and the 20th anniversary issue of the Review of International Political Economy (2013); also see Sil and Katzenstein’s (2010) account of analytic eclecticism). Scrutinizing this debate will clarify what social scientists themselves consider to be the ideal interaction among the multiplicity of research approaches (schools, theories, models, …). Further, the confrontation with the different philosophical accounts of scientific pluralism discussed in the first part of the paper enables us to make the social scientists’ accounts more explicit as well as evaluate and refine the strengths and weaknesses of the philosophical accounts – helping us to spell out more carefully how different research approaches interact in the most productive way possible. References Cohen, B.J. (2007) ‘The Transatlantic Divide: Why Are American and British IPE So Different?’ Review of International Political Economy 14(2): 197-219. Phillips, N. and C. Weaver (eds.) (2011) International Political Economy. Debating the Past, Present and Future. New York: Routledge. Sil, R. and P. Katzenstein (2010) Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Van Bouwel, J. (2009) ‘The Problem with(out) Consensus. The Scientific Consensus, Deliberative Democracy and Agonistic Pluralism.’ In: J. Van Bouwel (ed.) The Social Sciences and Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.121-142. Van Bouwel, J. (2015) ‘Towards Democratic Models of Science: Exploring the Case of Scientific Pluralism.’ Perspectives on Science 23(2): 149-172.
Keywords
scientific pluralism, models of democracy, plurality in scientific practice

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Van Bouwel, Jeroen. 2015. “Dealing with Plurality in Scientific Practice: The Case of International Political Economy.” In 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Abstracts.
APA
Van Bouwel, J. (2015). Dealing with plurality in scientific practice: the case of international political economy. 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Abstracts. Presented at the 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (CLMPS).
Vancouver
1.
Van Bouwel J. Dealing with plurality in scientific practice: the case of international political economy. 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Abstracts. 2015.
MLA
Van Bouwel, Jeroen. “Dealing with Plurality in Scientific Practice: The Case of International Political Economy.” 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Abstracts. 2015. Print.
@inproceedings{5849122,
  abstract     = {Scientific pluralism, a normative endorsement of the plurality or multiplicity of research approaches in science, has recently been advocated by philosophers (e.g., Chang, Longino, Mitchell, Waters and Wylie) as well as social scientists. Comparing these accounts of scientific pluralism, one will encounter quite some variation. 

First, we want to clarify the variety of philosophical versions of scientific pluralism by showing how they incarnate different models of democracy (e.g., aggregative, deliberative, participatory, agonistic or antagonistic) -- stipulating the desired social-epistemic interaction among the plurality of research approaches in different ways.

Second, we analyze the recent debate about the desired interaction among the plurality of research approaches, or {\textquoteleft}schools{\textquoteright}, in the discipline of International Political Economy (IPE). This debate was triggered by a paper of Benjamin Cohen (2007) in which he presents a way of slicing up the field of IPE in different schools as well as a proposal for its future development. The many reactions this paper provoked provide us with a clear insight into how scientific pluralism is understood by social scientists and how to implement it (see, e.g., the collection of papers in Phillips and Weaver (2011) and the 20th anniversary issue of the Review of International Political Economy (2013); also see Sil and Katzenstein{\textquoteright}s (2010) account of analytic eclecticism). 

Scrutinizing this debate will clarify what social scientists themselves consider to be the ideal interaction among the multiplicity of research approaches (schools, theories, models, {\textellipsis}). Further, the confrontation with the different philosophical accounts of scientific pluralism discussed in the first part of the paper enables us to make the social scientists{\textquoteright} accounts more explicit as well as evaluate and refine the strengths and weaknesses of the philosophical accounts -- helping us to spell out more carefully how different research approaches interact in the most productive way possible.

References

Cohen, B.J. (2007) {\textquoteleft}The Transatlantic Divide: Why Are American and British IPE So Different?{\textquoteright} Review of International Political Economy 14(2): 197-219.

Phillips, N. and C. Weaver (eds.) (2011) International Political Economy. Debating the Past, Present and Future. New York: Routledge.

Sil, R. and P. Katzenstein (2010) Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Van Bouwel, J. (2009) {\textquoteleft}The Problem with(out) Consensus. The Scientific Consensus, Deliberative Democracy and Agonistic Pluralism.{\textquoteright} In: J. Van Bouwel (ed.) The Social Sciences and Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.121-142.

Van Bouwel, J. (2015) {\textquoteleft}Towards Democratic Models of Science: Exploring the Case of Scientific Pluralism.{\textquoteright} Perspectives on Science 23(2): 149-172.},
  author       = {Van Bouwel, Jeroen},
  booktitle    = {15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Abstracts},
  keyword      = {scientific pluralism,models of democracy,plurality in scientific practice},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Helsinki, Finland},
  title        = {Dealing with plurality in scientific practice: the case of international political economy},
  year         = {2015},
}