Why the Public Should Fund Political Science Research

Our public officials are certainly free to make decisions about the best use of the public’s money. But to single out one discipline out of the many that receive federal support seems pernicious, especially when that discipline is focused on such basic questions about the quality of our government and its abilities to improve people’s lives. The answers to these questions are neither cheap nor obvious; they require support and expertise to answer.

As Congress considers its next budget resolutions, we strongly encourage its members to support restoring full funding to the NSF political science program. This represents only a very narrow sliver of the federal budget, but it makes an enormous difference to scholars, their students, and, ultimately, anyone who cares about the functioning of their government.

From a letter written by Seth Masket of the University of Denver, Robert Duffy of Colorado State, and David Brown of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

2 Responses to Why the Public Should Fund Political Science Research

  1. myron May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    The appropriate economics/social-science term here is rent-seeking.

  2. brianS May 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    myron apparently believes that there is zero social value possible or likely out of political science research, such that expenditures on it merely redistribute wealth from taxpayers to political scientists.