The essay "Political Science - Postmodernism" analyzes postmodernism era and political science. Postmodernism is a term which was initially encountered a decade or more ago and was at that time associated with current developments in the arts and architecture. Gradually the term's usage spread to other cultural spheres and a variety of academic disciplines. A voluminous literature now exists and numerous efforts have been made to interrelate postmodernism among diverse disciplines. In general, postmodernism is a cultural development with spin-offs in political science. There is no simple description of postmodernism. It is a dissenting voice levelled at the claims of the Enlightenment tradition and what is understood as the period of modernity embarked upon with the emergence of capitalism, industrial society, the nation-state, and the cultural turn toward individualism. In philosophy, postmodernism announces a "vigorous denunciation of abstract reason and deep aversion to any project that sought universal human emancipation through mobilization of the powers of technology, science, and reason". As Harvey further explains, the confidence in the association between scientific and moral judgments has collapsed, aesthetics has triumphed over ethics as a prime focus of social and intellectual concerns, images dominate narratives, ephemerality and fragmentation take precedence over eternal truths and unified politics, and explanations have shifted from the realm of material and political-economic groundings. towards a consideration of autonomous cultural and political practices (Harvey, 1989, p. 328).
Postmodernism: Implications for Political Analysis
One of the most significant generalizations about the consequences of postmodernism is that it affects not only the pace of our daily lives but our attitudes about knowledge, the power of political science and reason, and our confidence in the future. We become sceptical, insecure, uncertain and doubtful. (Colin 2002, p.9) As Harvey notes, "it is impossible to say anything of solidity and permanence in the midst of this ephemeral and fragmented world (Harvey 1989, p. 291). Everything we do and experience faces "the challenge of accelerating turnover time and the rapid write-off of traditional and historically acquired values" (Harvey 1989, p. 291).
Postmodernists have proposed a fresh start to understanding and conducting political analysis. They draw upon bodies of literature that are not usually part of international theory, including philosophy, cultural studies, feminist theory, geography, and linguistics. (Colin 2002, p.14)
Another narrative, that of aesthetic sensibility, (Colin 2002, p.3-4) explores the cultural symbols and conventions that have been used to represent the modern world and its relationships with the rest. Here, the inquiry focuses on the culture of modernism--examining the styles of artistic, literary and cultural representation through which modem society has represented itself: its characteristics, hopes, dreams and nightmares, beliefs and goals. This account relates closely to modern literary and artistic criticism--which probes the values, sentiments and meanings embedded in the canons of western art and literature. The representational account is concerned with broad patterns of sense and meaning that inhere in modem cultural products and seeks to connect these