When thinking about civic engagement, I usually start with the question: What would Howard Zinn do? Hence N. Awakening. But today, as Howard Zinn’s legacy continues, how might he have spoken out against the “funding” question with respect to the people’s representatives /and/ funding political science research. Prima facie, American politics as well as World politics are not totally rational and efficient, so we need more research! …I would think that Howard Zinn might write for:
I join with my colleagues in opposing the Coburn amendment, and I am behind the efforts of APSA to support NSF-funded political science research. And I positively embrace one powerful line of argument that is being advanced against the amendment: that by recognizing only the values of national security and economic growth, the amendment disparages the most important public value of a free society—the value of democracy itself. As my colleagues rightly argue, citizens and leaders who take democracy seriously ought not simply to refrain from attacking political science; they ought to enthusiastically support political science, which more than any academic discipline centers its research and its teaching on the dynamics and challenges of democratic governance. Is this research and teaching of “use” to American citizens? Only those hostile to democracy, and to the relationship between democracy and public inquiry, could even seriously pose this question.