The article reconstructs the early 20th century conversation among American political scientists about colonialism, imperialism, and empire. This account of the early disciplinary history of the sub-field of International Relations challenges the conventional claims that the field was not established until the end of World War I and that the subsequent period was characterized by idealism. The principal focus is on the contributions of Paul S. Reinsch who was a central figure in carving out a discrete discourse about international politics. Reinsch's work is a testimony to vibrant conversation about international politics that was taking place well before the conclusion of the Great War. This conversation focused on the topics of imperialism and colonialism, and formed the nucleus of the Politics section of the American Political Science Association.
International Politics
Department of Political Science

Schmidt, B. (2008). Political science and the American Empire: A disciplinary history of the 'politics' section and the discourse of imperialism and colonialism. International Politics, 45(6), 675–687. doi:10.1057/ip.2008.29