Taking Political Stands Does Not Sit Well With All Scholarly Groups


Wayne Tilcock, The Enterprise, AP Images

Since the Vietnam War, military conflicts and campus disputes have been among 
the issues that have led scholarly associations to consider taking 
controversial public stands. Pictured: 
pepper-spraying at the U. of California at Davis, 2011.

The American Economic Association has never taken a position on any public-policy issue. The American Anthropology Association has taken plenty. The American Political Science Association is thinking about becoming more active. And some members of the American Studies Association are wishing their organization were less so.

In academe, where every argument quickly finds a counterargument, the role of the disciplinary association in matters of public advocacy is a curious one. Recent,