Many political scientists have turned to historical research as means of clarifying the constraints shaping contemporary political action. Polsky’s self-identified pessimism in this forum captures this view of political history elegantly when he identifies notions of “path dependence” and “policy legacies” as key contributions of historical research. The focus for many historically oriented political scientists has been on identifying the ways in which political institutions and policies have provided a distinctive set of incentives and constraints that have, in turn, structured subsequent political choice.
Source: Polity 32.3 (2000): 333-338
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