The world’s top 100 public intellectuals

Dan Drezner thinks the world is in deep, deep trouble:

Forget everything I’ve said defending public intellectuals. I’ve just seen Foreign Policy/Prospect magazine’s latest list of the top 100 public intellectuals.

Rather than quibble with the definition/ranking methodology, let’s take the list as gospel. This is the graphic that scares me:


If political scientists — perhaps, God forbid, American political scientists — are the modal group in the category of powerful public intellectuals, then we are all officially f#$&ed.

(FYI: Drezner is an American political scientist.)

8 thoughts on “The world’s top 100 public intellectuals

  1. I find it interesting that such a disproportionately large fraction of the economists listed are development economists. I’m not sure how to interpret the fact, though.

  2. For a list created by polling readers of “Foreign Policy” the high ranking of politicians and economists is unsurprising. If anything it shows the lack of interest of the policy wonk crowd towards anyone who’s not of their own kind.

  3. 1, if you look at that list very few are American political scientists. I also did not count 16 political scientists on that list so I’m not sure where the number comes from. I think they are lumping all politicians and non-econ social scientists there.
    2, what the hell? Why the hate on poli sci? Is it the end of the world when economists aren’t at the top of the list — ESPECIALLY American economists?
    Sorry, I like you but this post kinda bugged me.

  4. Rather than running round yelling “the sky is falling” why not treat this as what it is?

    Its an online poll of FP readers. They had a list on their website, you get to vote for 5 people or add a write-in.

    This is nothing more than a list of the people FP readers had heard of and consider intellectual. Chill out.

  5. Just to clarify, these were quotes from Drezner (who is a political scientist).