Genetic configurations of political phenomena: New theories, new methods

Ira H. Carmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research by E. O. Wilson, Alford-Hibbing, Carmen, and others indicates that the competing social science paradigms of behavioralism and rational choice are in their last throes. Their salient weakness is insensitivity, bordering on ignorance, to politics as a biologically orchestrated phenomenon. More specifically, political scientists know precious little about either genetics or evolutionary dynamics. In this article, the author presents a new theory-sociogenomics-to replace the shopworn conceptions of yesterday's political science. The author then demonstrates how social scientists can employ the tools of molecular biology to flesh out the genes coding for baseline political attitudes and behaviors. The theory and methods of sociogenomics will serve to synthesize the social sciences with the natural sciences in a broader consilient framework, so that the laboratory of Darwinian investigation can become the laboratory of Aristotelian investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-55
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Consilience
  • Genetics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sociogenomics
  • Twin studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic configurations of political phenomena: New theories, new methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this