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Josep Colomer on the Americanization of European Political Science

Josep Colomer:

the very creation of the European Consortium for Political Research was to a significant extent an American enterprise. As the story is told by Jean Blondel, one of the founding fathers of the ECPR, the idea to promote a model of “Americanized” political science in Europe was conceived as a synonymous for “modernization”. This was in contrast to the Parisian model at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques, better known as Sciences-Po, “which does not actively deserve its name since it is concerned only to a limited extent with what is conventionally regarded as political science in most parts of the world”. It was Blondel (born French but at the time at Essex, UK), together with Rudolf Wildenmann (at Manheim, Germany), Hans Daalder (at Leiden, the Netherlands), and Stein Rokkan (at Bergen, Norway), who undertook the initiative. “It was in New York city, in the magnificent glass Ford Foundation building, that the European Consortium was born, in the late spring of 1970”. Again in Blondel’s words, “only Americans, with their funds, but also with their skills in research management, could bring together a ‘representative’ body of European political scientists”.

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