Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ranking Political Science: Thoughts on a "Top Paper" Award

Via the Monkey Cage, it turns out that "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," by John Mearsheimber and Stephen Walt, was ranked the top paper in political science by the Social Science Research Network.

As readers may know, there's been
a massive debate on the Mearsheimer and Walt thesis (see "Hard-Hitting Critique or Deadly Lies?").

The New York Times has a story on the rankings, "
Now Professors Get Their Star Rankings, Too."

I've met Mearsheimer and Walt's scholarship formed a basis for my dissertation research.

I simply wonder if their scholarly bright-light on Jewish influence in American foreign policy was a larger contributor to the article's award citation than the paper's fundamental research excellence.

I don't think critics of the Bush administration's foreign policy agenda will bother with questions like this, for example, "
On Israel, America and Aipac," or "Iraq, Israel, Iran."

For a balanced analysis, see Walter Russell Mead, "
Jerusalem Syndrome
Decoding "The Israel Lobby