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Uneasy Partnership, The

Uneasy Partnership, The

Copyright Date: 1969
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 416
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  • Book Info
    Uneasy Partnership, The
    Book Description:

    This comprehensive work-relevant to the major issue of the relation of social knowledge to political power-argues for strengthening the role of the social sciences in the federal government. It calls for a central organization for the social sciences and for better integration of research within the federal agencies. It underscores the various factors that might help to bring about this goal.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-665-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Gene M. Lyons
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
    Donald R. Young

    As a beginning graduate student in sociology in 1919, and for some years thereafter, I (and others of my generation) never expected more than minor support for research, and most of that from my own university in the form of time free from teaching duties. In the five decades since then, I have seen funds for graduate fellowships, for advanced research, and for the application of research to practical affairs become available in (by 1919 terms) unimaginable amounts from private foundations, business and businessmen, and government. Indeed, in some fields, there are widespread complaints that there are more research funds...

    (pp. 1-16)

    It is stated in the proceedings of the American Philosophical Society that the great French naturalist, the Comte de Buffon, was among the first foreign scientists to be elected to membership. This honor was bestowed upon Buffon despite his earlier observation that the climate of America was practically unfit for human beings and his consequent pessimism about the future of settlements in the new land. Buffon’s disparagement of their country was ignored by the American savants when it came to his election. Perhaps they were impressed by his impartiality; for when Benjamin Franklin sent him evidence to the contrary, Buffon,...

    (pp. 17-49)

    Late in 1945, Wesley C. Mitchell, the distinguished economist and Director of Research for the National Bureau of Economic Research, appeared before a congressional committee to argue the case for including the social sciences in the proposed National Science Foundation. In the course of his testimony and in response to questions from members of the Senate committee reviewing the legislative proposal, Mitchell recalled the “enormous difficulties” that were encountered in economic mobilization during the First World War because “we didn’t know a great many of the basic facts about our resources or about how to combine them.” And he noted...

    (pp. 50-79)

    In the final months of his Administration, Herbert Hoover sent a series of legislative proposals to Congress to try to avert complete collapse of the nation’s economy; he asked for a cutback in government expenditures, a sales tax, legislation to avert banking closures and bankruptcy, and authority to ease pressures on mortgage payments. But by then the government was no longer his. A new president had been elected in November and Hoover was a “discredited failure.” The outlook in 1932 was grim. National income had fallen from $87.4 billion in 1929 to $41.7 billion. The number of unemployed had risen...

    (pp. 80-123)

    The social science that emerged after the Second World War, with its large-scale empirical techniques, interdisciplinary research, and testable theories, was largely an American phenomenon. In his presidential address to the American Sociological Association in 1962, Paul Lazarsfeld raised a basic question about this development; he observed that, while it took place in the United States, it owed a large intellectual debt to European sources. The fields of theoretical investigation to which American researchers most often turned and the empirical methods they employed had their roots, he noted, in the European social sciences that developed in the nineteenth century. Yet...

    (pp. 124-169)

    The Cosmos Club in Washington is to much of American science, it has been said, “what Paris cafes are to the existentialists, both the shell and the seed-bed of considerable professional activity.” Although membership in the Club remains select, it has increased in recent years, and its composition has reflected the different demands which the federal government has made on science at different times. Thus, “a study made in 1955 of membership trends in a 25-year period that began in 1931 revealed very natural peaks, with economists and other social scientists reaching high levels in the early years of the...

    (pp. 170-215)

    The doctrine of “containment” that dominated American foreign policy for some two decades emerged with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in 1947. It was based largely on an analysis of Soviet behavior by George Kennan, who emphasized that “the political personality of Soviet power as we know it today is the product of ideology and circumstances.” In his famous article on the sources of Soviet conduct, Kennan acknowledged the difficulty of weighing the relative influence of “ideology and circumstances” in Soviet policy-making. He nonetheless insisted on making the attempt, and in doing so employed the traditional tools of...

    (pp. 216-264)

    In his study of modem capitalism, Andrew Shonfield poses a question that goes to the heart of American politics:

    [It is a] paradox … that the Americans who, in the 1930’s, acted as the precursors of the new capitalism, seemed to stall in their course just when the system was coming to fruition in the Western world—showing its full powers to provide the great gifts of economic growth, full employment, and social welfare. … Why was the original momentum of the New Deal halted?

    Shonfield defines the new capitalism in terms of planning mechanisms that bring the public and...

    (pp. 265-310)

    It may be stated at the outset that there is no such thing asa national policy for science, that it is extremely unlikely that out of the American political process there could emerge a single, all-embracing policy for the use and support of science by the federal government, and that, even if therecould, there is serious doubt that thereshould. What has evolved since the Second World War is a complex of federal policies that reflect both political and scientific goals. These policies have given rise to a federal organization for science that provides links between the government...

  13. APPENDIX I. Extracts from “A Review of Findings by the President’s Research Committee on Social Trends,” in Recent Social Trends in the United States, Report of the President’s Research Committee on Social Trends, 1933
    (pp. 313-324)
  14. APPENDIX II. “Summary of Memoranda on the Research of the Federal Government in the Social Sciences,” by Charles H. Judd, in Research–A National Resource, Report of the Science Committee to the National Resources Committee, 1938
    (pp. 325-348)
  15. APPENDIX III. Strengthening the Behavioral Sciences, Statement by the Behavioral Sciences Subpanel, The Life Sciences Panel, President’s Science Advisory Committee, 1962
    (pp. 349-370)
  16. APPENDIX IV. “Summary and Recommendations,” in The Behavioral Sciences and the Federal Government, Report of the Advisory Committee on Government Programs in the Behavioral Sciences, National Academy of Sciences–National Research Council, 1968
    (pp. 371-384)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 387-394)