Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Political "Science" at the "Edge of Chaos"?

Shu Yun Ma.

Over the last decade there have been increasing applications of the idea of path dependency in political analyses. However, most of those political "scientists" who have employed this perspective seem to be unaware that the path dependency approach, with its emphasis on "history matters", may shatter the "scientific" foundation of political "science". This paper will reveal the Newtonian nature of existing political "science", and discuss how the path dependency approach is in fact incompatible with this tradition. The paper will also argue that further applications of the path dependency approach may lead to a paradigm shift, moving political "science" away from the synchronic Newtonianism towards the more historical analysis of complexity science.


Shu Yun Ma  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Associate Professor
Department of Government and Public Administration
Chinese University of Hong Kong

S.Y. Ma is Associate Professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His specialty is in comparative politics, political economy, and development studies.

  • Path dependency
  • Political science
  • Complexity science

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)