Keys to problematize the concept of institutionalization in disciplinary studies: A critical review of David Altman's conceptual proposal

Sergio Angel Baquero Juan Carlos Rico Noguera Julián Andrés Caicedo Ortiz About the authors


This article proposes a critical view on, what is now conventional, the political science history in Latin America (Bulcourf et al., 2015BULCOURF, Pablo; CARDOZO, Nelson; GUTIÉRREZ, Enrique. Historia y desarrollo de la ciencia política en América Latina: reflexiones sobre la constitución del campo de estudios. Revista de Ciencia Política, v. 35, n. 1, p. 179-199, 2015.
; Leyva, 2013LEYVA, Santiago. Introducción. In: Santiago Leyva Botero (org.). La Ciencia Política en Colombia ?una disciplina en institucionalización? Medellin: Colciencias, Asociación Colombiana de Ciencia Política, Centro de Análisis Político, Universidad Eafit, 2013. p. 11-24.; Altman, 2005ALTMAN, David. La institucionalización de la Ciencia Política en Chile y América Latina: una mirada desde el sur. Revista de Ciencia Política, Santiago, v. 25, n. 1, p. 3-15, 2005.
among others). We problematize the direction that disciplinary studies has been taking in the region, manly influenced by the concept of “institutionalization”. This article states that the institutionalization concept suffers of two big problems to give account of the trajectories of regional political science: first, it does fall in what Sartori (1970)SARTORI, Giovanni. Concept misformation in comparative politics. American Political Science Review, v. 64, n. 4, p. 1033-1053, 1970.
has called the “concept enlargement”; second, the concept forgets about the social complexity and the contextual root of disciplines. We concluded that thinking in a situated development of political science can contribute to the comprehension of regional discipline and to build a discipline transformation coherent with the needs of our countries and region.

Political science; Disciplinary studies; Institutionalization; Situated development; Conceptual turn

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