Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Biology and Politics
For most of the past century, the so-called standard social science model (SSSM) has been the overwhelmingly dominant paradigm in American political science. As we know, the SSSM holds three tenets to be critical: 1. that humans have no innate behavioral tendencies; 2. that, consequently, human nature and human behavior are solely the products of learning and socialization; and 3. that, consequently, human nature and behavior are essentially malleable. The launching of the “biology and politics” movement in the mid-1960s by a handful of political scientists was the result of two intellectual convictions they held in common. One was an acute dissatisfaction with the state of the discipline in general and with the hegemonic SSSM in particular; the other was a growing appreciation of the significance for political science of recent advances in the biological sciences—especially in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, genetics, psychopharmacology (the demonstrated ability of some drugs to change ...