Constitutionalist Political Science: Rediscovering Storing’s Philosophical Moderation

Paul O. Carrese, American Political Thought 4:2 (Spring 2015), pp. 259-288.


In an era concerned with dysfunction in American politics, polarization, and the relevance of academia for ameliorating these problems, the fiftieth anniversary of a debate about American political science permits rediscovery of the philosophical balance and breadth of Herbert Storing. His constitutionalist political science embodied a broad conception of American principles that emphasized founding debates and their continuing echoes in policies and thought, as well as a post-Progressive appreciation for assessing ends and enduring truths of free government. Storing’s science anticipates, but contrasts favorably with, the narrower methodological pluralism of the recent Perestroika movement; it developed a philosophical moderation that analyzed alternatives and extremes in both ideas and politics but appreciated intellectual and political blending that sought higher middle grounds; and it focused on leadership or statesmanship in a way that addresses worries over dysfunction, a leadership crisis, and academic relevance more constructively than alternative models of American political science.


JSTOR [pdf]