APSA Abandons liberalism and Advocates republicanism?

To some degree, lines of communication will help determine the political outcome. The stronger the lines of communication, the more likely the “representative” of the people will abide by “the will of the people.”

Hence, liberalism is not all powerful (i.e., the representative in a “representative democracy” with people focused on capitalism). Indeed, I would make the case that APSA is advocating notions of “republicanism“!

Here is a repost from an email I received on funding political science via the National Science Foundation to support my claim:

Dear Colleague,

NOW is the time to urge your senators to support Senator Mikulski and the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill (S. 2437) without amendments to restrict or eliminate National Science Foundation (NSF) for political science funding.

This week the Senate is likely to debate and vote on the FY 2015 CJS bill, which will be open for amendments from the floor. Once again, we anticipate that amendments detrimental to the NSF Political Science Program and the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) will be introduced. 

There is no time to waste! Contact your senators TODAY!


The Senate Committee on Appropriations passed the FY 2015 CJS bill on June 5. Among other things, this bill appropriates funds to the NSF. 

To date, the bill has not met with any controversy or conflict, and includes positive funding levels for the social sciences and does not include any restrictions on funding for political science research.

As we know, however, it was roughly this time last year when Senator Coburn introduced his amendment to eliminate funding for political science altogether, and when a revised amendment that severely restricted the range of political science research that could be funded was passed. 

Skepticism and distrust of science and scientists is apparent in some corners of the Capitol, and it is likely that political science – and perhaps the social sciences more generally – will be threatened by floor amendments.

It is crucial that you urge your senators TODAY to vote against any such amendments offered on the floor tomorrow. We will have little advance notice of the amendments, and the votes will occur quickly so registering your position NOW is the best time to influence the votes of your senators on the bill. 

As always, we provide a direct portal to your senators with sample language that can be modified to create your own message. If you prefer to call your senators, you can find their DC phone numbers here.

Also, we encourage you to forward this e-mail to your university president and government relations office, as well as your colleagues, students, and other concerned people on your campus.


For more information on APSA Advocacy – including regular updates and materials, a list of our partners in the science community, and a member toolbox – see our webpage. Please contact our advocacy team or me with any information, questions, and comments you would like to share.


Jennifer Segal Diascro, PhD
Senior Director, Program Operations


Probably, what we are really looking at is a form of synergy. But I like to think that this exercise (via APSA) is almost entirely an exercise of republicanism.

If APSA wanted to steer hard towards republicanism, they would provide a petition on a dedicated webpage (signed by many people) to make poli-sci funding a long-standing issue. Like, see here.




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