The study of politics is in an unsatisfactory position, writes Graham Wallas in 1908. Throughout Europe and America, representative democracy is generally accepted as the best form of government; but those who have had most experience of its actual working are often disappointed and apprehensive. Democracy has not been extended to non-European races, and during the last few years many democratic movements have failed.
This dissatisfaction has led to much study of political institutions; but little attention has been recently given in works on politics to the facts of human nature. Political science in the past was mainly based, on conceptions of human nature, but the discredit of the dogmatic political writers of the early nineteenth century has made modern students of politics over-anxious to avoid anything which recalls their methods. That advance therefore of psychology which has transformed pedagogy and criminology has left politics largely unchanged.
The neglect of the study of human nature is likely, however, to prove only a temporary phase of political thought, and there are already signs that it, is coming to an end.